Whether writing the Next Great American novel or a company newsletter, a writer must do his homework first. For copywriting, it is paramount.
When I write copy for a client, depending on the job, my objective might be to engage the reader or elicit a response or make a sale (or all three). It is impossible to accomplish this without knowing:
- The product or service being offered: What does it do, how does it work, what are the benefits, who uses it and what is their feedback?
- The industry in which it is offered: How does this industry work, who are the competitors, how does the service or product being offered differ?
- The target audience: Who is the typical buyer? Is it a CPA or a dental patient or an IT Manager, or, or, or? What are their problems, their pain points, their requirements? And, just as importantly, what words do they use?
Typically, the client knows many if not all of the answers to these questions. But it is incumbent upon the copywriter to ask them and to do any further research on his own. That’s what I do.