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How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards

The full title of this book by Ray Edwards is

How to Write Copy That Sells: The Step-By-Step System for More Sales, to More Customers, More Often

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a rating of 4 Stars. This means it is good and well worth reading.

Strong on copywriting techniques

The author is an American copywriter with more than 30 years experience and has written a wide-ranging book on writing copy.

As you’d expect, the book is easy to read. It flows nicely and us very clear. There is also a helpful summary at the end of each chapter.

It includes a new (to me) acronym for producing copy – called PASTOR – based on doing right by the customers. It starts by understanding the people, their problems and pains.

The second chapter builds on PASTOR to identify the components if a successful sales letter, online or offline, the components are basically the same.

Chapter 3 focuses on the critical topic of headlines for your sales letters, blog posts etc. This is often described as the “ad for the ad” because it must encourage target customers to read more. The chapter contains sensible advice along with five formulas but I thought the contents was a bit skimpy.

Chapter 4 looks at writing persuasive emails. The big advantage of email is the ease someone interested can get more details of the offer or buy since all you have to do is click on the link. There us no time delay or effort. It explains the main types of email sent by marketers and gives you tips on how to write them.

Chapter 5 explains how to write bullet points. These are the short statements which cause your curiosity to shoot up, and if ignored, can nag away at your brain, forcing you back to the sales letter to rake a second look at the offer. It talks about 21 different types of bullet points which made me aware this is a neglected area of my study and working practices. The book recommends building a swipe file for bullets to help inspire you.

Chapter 6 is about offers, risk reversals and closures. This is an introduction chapter before the topics are reviewed in more detail in their own chapters. It has 21 tips across the three categories

Chapter 7 focuses on guarantees. It takes you through a ten step process for writing them. There is also an example of how the 10 steps can transform a weak guarantee.

Chapter 8 examines the close. This is how you summarise and ask for the sale. The author shares the five closing templates he uses most often.

Chapter 9 is about making irresistible offers. It covers the 9 offer types the author uses most frequently. Up to your offer section, your copy has been very positive but this section covers the painful issue of the price. This chapter explains how you can tempt more buyers into saying yes.

Chapter 10 looks at copy for product launches, an issue which has become a specialist area of the last 15 years. The author recognises the leading role of Jeff Walker in this are with his expensive train course called the Product Launch Formula and his introductory book called “Launch”.

Chapter 11 looks at the role of stories in your sales copy and what you can learn from Hollywood. This links into David Ogilvy’s one big idea concept.

Chapter 12 is a very brief explanation of how to apply the ideas in the book.

At the end of every chapter, you’re invited to join a membership site by the author with more training. I’ve joined it but I haven’t watched the videos yet.

Certain aspects of the book may make you feel as if you’re trying too hard and coming across as too salesy. This is a common British view of American copywriting. My advice is to try some of them and test. If they make your copywriting more successful, either push out of your comfort zone on the techniques you’ve tried or add more of the authors recommendations.

I’m reading a lot of copywriting books at the moment. If I was allowed to, I’d rate it around 4.3 stars, better than most four star books but not good enough to round up to five stars. It’s very strong on copywriting techniques but weaker on what needs to go on in the prospect’s mind. That’s a common weakness.

I’m happy to recommend this for small business owners as a follow up to “The Brain Audit” by Sean D’Souza.

For copywriters, I’m a big believer you need to read the classics – Caples, Hopkins, Schwab, Sugarman, Bird etc – as well as modern books. This is a worthy addition to your copywriting library.

You can buy this from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

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