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Believability in Copywriting

Published by: David Garfinkel on 08-17-2020

Have you ever noticed that some copy you read is immediately believable, while other copy leaves you wondering whether it’s the real deal or not?

One of the most important reasons copy is believable is whether the copywriter used one or hopefully more of a few little hacks. Today, continuing our Old Masters series, I found an extremely valuable chapter in an old book that spells out what these hacks are.

I’ll leave it to you to decide how valuable they really are, and whether you are already using them, or should use them even more than you do now.

So, again -- I’ve noticed a lot of copywriters miss out on these things. It hurts the believability of your copy when you don’t use use things. I’ve picked five of them from A.O. Owen’s chapter in Masters of Advertising Copy.

But to make them a little clearer and more obvious, I’ve included examples from three winning pieces of copy, so you can see and hear exactly what they look like.

The first place I went looking for examples was from a famous newspaper ad from the 1970s, The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches, by Joe Karbo.

The second source of examples was a sales letter I wrote for a local business in San Ramon, California in 2006. Once he mailed the letter, his business was flooded with customers. The ad was for a summer special to get your car detailed. The business was Mendelson Autobody.

And the third sources of examples was an online sales letter that’s running right now, and has just crossed the $10 million mark in sales. It’s by Million Dollar Mike Morgan. It’s a financial promotion, and for business reasons I don’t have permission to tell you anything more than that about the letter. But I will mention that Million Dollar Mike is a former guest on Copywriters Podcast.

OK, so as for the old master, A.O. Owen. I can’t find out much about him other than what it says at the beginning of the chapter, which is that he was a well-known sale promotional copywriter and copy chief with large publishing houses who has lectured on copywrting and written many ads of all types.

I believe he wrote the chapter in the 1920s. But as you will see, what he wrote is every bit as true today as it was 100 years ago.

Keywords: old master series

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