Writing copy for your ad

Yes, after a hiatus I’m back visiting Seth’s blog and in his entry, Your Favorite Seth Posts, 2006, I came across a post from June 29, 2006 called Nine things marketers ought to know about salespeople (and two bonuses). And that, in turn, was the catalyst for the following:

If you want to get any kind of decent copy written for your product or service, be it for a television, print or radio ad, or a Web site or anything — you really need to answer a few things first so your copywriter isn’t left dangling in the wind.

And to make sure he or she doesn’t simply shovel a load of horse manure at you because it’s clear you’re not serious about getting something worthwhile written. Off the top of my head, I came up with this list:

  1. Don’t tell me the product is great. Tell me why it’s great. Better yet, show me.
  2. Another way to look at #1: why would someone want your product?
  3. Who would want your product?
  4. Why would someone want your product and not someone else’s?
  5. What’s the bonus, or extra, that someone gets with your product? (Or, as Seth Godin would put it, what’s the “free prize inside”?)
  6. How does your product/service make someone feel? What’s the experience that a customer is buying when they purchase from you?
  7. Is your product cheaper or more expensive than your competitor’s? Why?
  8. Where can someone get your product?
  9. Give me three words that describe your product. (Take note: You cannot use the words “great” or “cool” or “awesome”. They are forbidden. And the words you do use must be truthful and accurate. And don’t worry, if necessary my Thesaurus can jazz them up later.)

Feel free to add to this list in the comments area. It will be interesting to hear some other views.