Copywriting: Understanding The Art Of Writing Words That Sell


‘Selling is not yelling. Selling is not tricks. Selling is an impressive, forceful communication of facts and benefits’

-Gary Halbert

Imagine appeal. Imagine allure. Imagine all that in a bottle of wine. Now see the bottle being uncorked, and a clumsy pair of hands carelessly dispensing the lustrous red liquid into a fat bottomed whiskey glass. Along with the wine, the charm dribbled away too, didn’t it? Now imagine the same wine being sensuously poured into the perfect glass, and presented you with a complementary side snack. Which one would you prefer?

A friend had once opined that copywriting is an art. We say copywriting is as much of science as of art. It is a finished product of creativity, but too much of it kills the copy, and that’s where the science comes in. One of the most important techniques of copywriting demands an economical use of words, but in a way that coaxes the audience to come back for more.  So how does one do that? As an earnest copywriter in Solomofy, here are a few tricks, albeit uncomplicated and (un)demanding techniques that might be used to win multiple birds with one stone.

  • Keep it short, smart and simple.  

(A sample from Apple: ‘ Ingenuity makes it thin. Aluminium makes it strong’)

  • Come straight to the point. Do not beat around the bush. Who has the time anyway?

(Mozilla beats the game, with this brilliant one: ‘We are Mozilla. Doing good is part of our code’)

  • Play with your words, but do not get drowned in the lure of it. Remember, wordplay, not wordtrap

(For example, this soap ad by Tesco: ‘See, the more we sell, the less we charge. You scratch our back. We gently exfoliate yours)

  • Know your audience, get inside their heads

(For example, this copy on Renoir Men’s Suits, again by Woot:  ‘All the ladies love a guy with a good job. But if you don’t have a good job, then the ladies also love a guy with a good suit…’)

  • Persuade with the power of performance

(Again, Apple takes the cake with this copy: New noise-cancelling technology reduces background noise. So when you hold your iPhone up to your ear in a loud room, you hear what matters most: the voice on the other end’)

  • Don’t sell yourself, sell the product (Mastering this one can be a little tricky)

(Follow Woot’s copy on Swarovski and Mandalay Bay Luxury Bedding: ‘It’s like being in a Vegas casino, sleeping on diamond sheets. Except comfortable.)

  • Converse with the customer

(For example, this product description of Trello: ‘Drop the lengthy email threads, out of date spreadsheets, no-longer-so-sticky notes and clunky software for managing your products. Trello lets you see everything about your project in a single glance’)

  • Hypnotize. Mesmerize. Entice, but…
  • Never estimate the power of the common man
  • Finally, make your CTA (Call To Action) simple, clear and compelling

(For example, this simple and effective CTA by Evernote: ‘Want to remember everything? Sign up for Evernote)

 A good, effective and far reaching copy can be produced if the writer is as much familiar with the product as the audience that is being catered to. A thorough research of the product, its benefits, and how it can help will eventually reveal the points that could be emphasized on while marketing or advertising the product, because the USP of what is being sold will ultimately boil down to: (a) why it should be bought; (b) how it is different from the rest; and (c) how it will benefit the customer.

The art of copywriting is not just to write, but to communicate. Just grabbing the attention of the customer is not the trick anymore, staying in the customer’s head, and compelling him to take action is.