Copywriting Lessons You Can Learn From Direct Response Marketing

direct response marketing copy writing in a coffee shop

Wondering how to write compelling copy? No matter how difficult it may seem, writing it isn’t that hard. That is, if you know what you are doing. People who write – or used to write – direct response marketing copy definitely knew how. Learn from the greats of direct response copy. 

You need to test your copy

Testing is a big deal in the marketing world. You need to perfect your message in order to sell, and for that you need testing. David Ogilvy said that if you stop testing, your copy stops improving. And testing is a lot easier nowadays than it used to be. So, get started. 

Your copy needs a CTA

One of the things all great copy has in common is the fact that all of the examples have a clear and powerful call to action or CTA. Just imagine, you’ve told a great story, did the research, implemented all other wonderful techniques – your copy simply shines. Yet, there is no response. 


Because the readers didn’t know how to respond. This is where CTA steps in to save the day. Give a clear, actionable call to action and watch the conversions follow. 

It should be long-form

There is this myth going about that copy needs to be short in order to be good. That’s false. Just look at some of the greatest examples of direct response copy – all at least a page long. People love reading copy – it tells a good story, has useful facts and tips, and it speaks directly to them. 

So why would you waste your chances at success by writing short pieces? Besides, Google actually prefers longer copy for many reasons. 

Focus on the customer

The copy should be all about the reader. Just go for the 80-20 rule. It says that 80% of your copy should be “you”, or directed at the customer and that only 20% of the time you should use “we” or “I.” A powerful rule because this is what makes your copy compelling. 

Use the headline wisely

“One of the biggest lessons you can draw from direct response copywriting is that headlines matter. It’s what draws people in and attracts their attention. However, this lesson directly opposes the myth that headlines need to be quirky and a bit strange in order to get attention. In fact, most of the headlines in direct response marketing are relevant to the topic and audience, while being quite simple,” says Mike Collins, an editor and guest lecturer at Essayroo and Essay Services.

This is what you should do with your copy headlines – simple, relevant, yet powerful. 

Target the right audience

All of these previous tips are good for nothing if you don’t target the right audience. You can write as much as you want and you still won’t be able to get the response you need. This is one of the things direct response marketers knew and so they did a lot of audience research in order to find out what kind of copy they need to write. 

These days, research is even easier – with Big Data and various tools that exist on the market, is there really a reason not to do research? 

Speak to the senses

While TV advertisers, for instance, can very easily trigger the senses, this is not such an easy job for the direct response marketers. Written word, if done poorly, can’t really evoke these senses. However, when you write with power and make your sentences flow with dynamic and harmony, you can do it. 

Remember that smell is one of the strongest senses and it’s directly related to memories. If you can use memories evoked by those senses in your writing, you’ll have no trouble making an impact. 

Use good writing

“It all starts with good writing. This is something you should start with. So, for instance, use simple words, not their thesaurus counterparts. No jargon or slang should be in your writing – unless there is a specific need for it,” says Jordan Bellings, a writer at Academized and Write My Paper.

Write dynamically. One short sentence. One medium sentence that adds to the harmony. And one long sentence that is more descriptive and complex than the previous two and adds more information to the copy. 

Grammar and punctuation, as well as spelling, are a given – as a copywriter, this is essential. 

Creating good copy requires practice, research, and studying. This is where direct response marketing can help. Learn from the great people who wrote it – all of those rules apply today. 

Aimee Laurence is a copywriter at Top European writing services and State Of Writing. She loves writing educational and business articles for various online publications like Assignment Services, where she shares useful tips on writing good copy. In her free time, Aimee likes doing yoga.