Science of Copywriting Weekly Newsletter Issue 38

Imagine walking into any company and letting them know with full confidence you can improve their marketing performance – and guarantee it with real proof (not promises like most people do – a promise is just a promise, proof is the real persuader).

But better than that, imagine what it would do to your OWN confidence to say to yourself: “I now know how to pitch any business no matter what industry they’re in.”.

Think of it as the magic formula, except it’s not magic, it’s pure logic, and like all good stuff, it follows a path (ie. it’s not plucked from thin air like most pitches).

I gave a clue about this in two of the posts from last week (links below).

How does it work? By using First Principles (read the ICA Getting Started series). Step one is to track back to the start of all communication (for that is what copywriting is).

Which means words. Without words, there is little to no clear communication. We invented words for that sole reason – meaningful communication.

Step 1: communicate

Step 2: using words

Step 3: measure the difference

For example, if we placed a clickable ad with just an image and no words at all (step 1) we’d have our first two KPIs – how many people click on an image and then go on to buy. 

The image wouldn’t even have a BUY NOW button because the point of this example is to show how we EVOLVED from no words (step 1) to words (step 2) and how that improved things.

NOTE 1: Don’t get bored with the simplicity of this. To make it stick, you need to go through the process of how and why words were developed (otherwise, like most people, we’ll take them for granted and forget just how powerful they can be).

NOTE 2: We use First Principles to remove assumptions (that’s how we become masters of our industry).

From this experiment, we’ll discover how many clicks we get from the image, and then how many sales we make after they click through and read whatever’s on the landing page.

If the image is appealing but not related to what we’re selling, we may well get a high clickthrough rate. But we won’t make many sales.

So we can experiment by adding words to the image. Words, for example, that CALL OUT who we’re advertising to. This may result in less clickthroughs, but they will be of higher quality because only those who are being called out are likely to click.

The proof of the quality of those clicks can then be measured from the conversion rate from clickthrough to sale. If they improve it, we can PROVE our words (ie. our copy) beat what was originally there.

Which means Step 4 is to test different words, and Step 5 is to adopt the new words if they beat the old ones.

So far so good, but no client is going to sit there and listen to this without going to sleep. So once again we turn to words and figure out how best to explain this to prospects so they buy it.

That means understanding their needs, and then explaining how you can fulfil them. They don’t care about the details (that’s your department), they only care about results.

The first thing we need to discover is how well their current copy is performing. To do that, we ask them. “How well are your current ads performing?” 🙂

If they don’t know, we’re already one foot in the door. “Unless we measure performance, we have no idea if we’re wasting money. But better than that, once we know how we’re performing, we can work on improving it. That’s where I come in.”

Business owners buy on proof. The stronger your confidence, conviction, and logic, the more readily they will buy. By giving them the simplest of advice (“without KPI’s, no one knows what’s going on”) and offering to do it for them, it becomes an irresistible offer.

We’re always talking about changing beliefs, awareness scales, and using persuasive language to get results, but above all of that is proof. Proof we know what we’re doing, and proof why we do it.

Last Week

There were two major themes last week. The first was the Big Idea (and how to develop them), and the second became the topic of this week’s newsletter. Here are the links:





With my love,
Quentin Pain
Science of Copywriting

PS. As I mentioned last week, you can now access the full ICA Getting Started series online. I highly recommend it (yes, it’s also an introduction to the ICA, but whether you choose to join the ICA or not, this series is very different from the normal stuff you see elsewhere):



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