Elements of Good Copy

Good copy, like all good writing, has basic elements that make it stand out from the rest.

If your copy has all or most of these ten elements, it will set you apart as a top notch copywriter.

Grab the reader's attention

You must grab the reader's attention and keep it long enough for them to get your message.

This doesn't mean it has to be fancy or flashy, only that it has to draw the reader in.

stamp of approval

The message must be relevant 

If you are a marketing writer for medical equipment, your readers are doctors and hospital administrators. They don't need to know the inner workings of the machine. But they want to know how it will make their job easier or save the hospital money.

Promise a unique benefit

A benefit answers the question, "What's in it for me?" for the reader. Going back to the medical equipment example, a unique benefit could be that it speeds up diagnosis of certain ailments which helps doctors see more patients and make more money. You could also emphasize the increased number of lives saved by this new technology.

Market a product, but don't focus on it

Instead focus on the reader. Empathize with their difficulties and show them how the product can make their lives better. How it can ease or eliminate those difficulties. It's all about the reader.

Keep your tone conversational

Good copy is written as though it were being shared with a friend. What would you say to your best friend about this product if you knew it would help make his or her life better? Write like you talk.

Avoid fancy language and jargon

Keep your language simple and understandable to get your message across successfully. Again, how would you talk about this to your best friend? To a fourth grader? If either of them would have difficulty understanding your copy, it's too complicated.

Check the flow of information

Is it logical? Does it go from point A to point B in a natural progression? It should.

Good copy will inspire the reader to act

If the act is to call, the reader will pick up the phone. Know what you want the reader to do about the information you've provided and then tell what to do and how to do it.

Make it clean and polished

clean copy water drop

This element applies to all good writing. Eliminate typos, grammatical mistakes and unnecessary words. Tighten it up as much as you can without losing the flavor of the piece.

Blend copy with the graphics in the final product

For instance, if you are writing a brochure, what you write has to fit well with the pictures, captions and layout of the final piece.

It can't be too long. Or too short.

No one is born with the ability to write perfect copy. It comes from practice.

You will excel at some of these elements and struggle with others. As long as you continue to work and make progress, you can succeed in copywriting.

Return to Copywriting Basics Main Page

Return Home

Make Sure You're 
Getting It

We have a firm no spam policy. When you sign up for our newsletter, you will only receive Getting It Write.

Some of the links on this site include affiliate links, providing Nonfiction Writing Guide a percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. You, of course, are not obligated to use these links to make a purchase, but if you do, it helps to support this site and help it grow.

What Our Readers Say

"An outstanding site that I have bookmarked for future reference. I found it interesting and informative; an excellent resource."


Advertise with us!

This space can be yours.