All copywriters must DIE

What happens when you send 2 copywriters to London on their own? Follow us from A to Z

The D stands for ‘disrupt’. Worked, didn’t it? Find out what the other 2 letters stand for and everything else we learned at CopyCon2019.

“Absolutely no one will have to write copy in Excel sheets today.”

David McGuire, organizer CopyCon

Organizer David McGuire needed less than 10 seconds to get a room full of naturally skeptic copywriters on his side. What followed was a day full of keynotes, break-out session and inside jokes.

Ready? Follow me through the nooks and crannies of the Barbican Centre.

Never meet your heroes

Unless they’re named Joanna Wiebe. The founder of Copyhackers set the tone early with a convincing presentation on conversion copywriting. Or in her words getting that ‘yes’.

Solid advice #1: Dare to step into the danger zone. Write copy that makes you feel unsure whether it will launch into the stratosphere or crash and burn. Joanna calls it the breakthrough or bust-philosophy. Not for the faint-hearted.

Solid advice #2: Listen to end-customers. Like, really listen. You know, the part that everyone wants the results of, but no one actually wants to do. Her answer? Just do it. “Our job is to lure it out, listen and repeat it back in persuasive ways.”

Besides, the order in which clients talk about certain aspects of your service/solution makes for a highly effective email flow.

Did someone say email? We have a top-notch newsletter right here at Club-Curiosity. It might not go out as frequently as you’d like, but it’s chock-full of crazy interesting content – unfiltered, straight from our mouths. Get on board along with +700 other subscribers.

Solid advice #3: split testing headlines and CTAs should be automatic. Notice that newsletter Call-To-Action? Only 1 in 4 visitors get to see it. We think it’s the best one, to be honest, so count yourself lucky.

The results are in: we’re all sheeple

Don’t believe me? Watch this:

The academic field of behavioral science is filled with interpretative frameworks. Keynote speaker Richard Shotton (author of The Choice Factory) passionately advocated for the EAST model. Which is why I tried it out in this article. Remember when I pitched you our newsletter a couple of paragraphs this way ↑? Note that it’s:

  • Easy: just one field and one checkbox, shouldn’t be too hard.
  • Attract: features or benefits, which one works best? Well, why not position a flaw (unpredictable frequency) as a virtue (worth it) to gain credibility?
  • Social proof: that’s an easy one. The number is correct though.
  • Timely: will you ever be more receptive to our newsletter than when you’re actually reading an article?

DIE for direct response copywriting

Quick disclaimer: had enough of acronyms? Better skip this part.

If you made it this far, you must be really curious as to what All copywriters must DIE means. Well, I can finally satisfy your curiosity. DIE stands for:

  • Disrupt: that doesn’t mean you should curse or insult your readers. Useful, urgent, unique and ultra-specific – that should do the trick.
  • Intrigue: slightly confusing but specific enough to push the reader to think along.
  • Engage: offer guidance, incentive and reassurance to increase direct responses.

All credits for this remarkable work goes to Glenn Fisher, writer of The Art of the Click and this incredible book review:

Get some skin in the game asap

Who is Harendra Kapur? Besides head of writing at Velocity – you know, the cool content gurus – Harendra ended the conference with a passionate, thoughtful, and hilarious presentation on the concept of skin in the game.

The idea is that having a risk when taking a decision is necessary for fairness, commercial efficiency, and risk management. Or just do as the Romans did: when the construction of a bridge was finished, the architect had to sleep under it with his whole family for at least one night. Are you sure that bolt is tight enough?

“Should I go to CopyCon2020?”

Yes. Yes, you should. And if you can’t make it, just wait for next year’s report. Meanwhile, take a look at some of the speakers’ presentations and subscribe to our newsletter to discover more curious stuff.