I’m sure you’ve seen your share of aggressive, hard-sell copywriting.
The big screaming headlines, the flashing red text, the yellow highlighter, the countdown clock…
The kind of sleazy stuff that feels like its only goal is to part you from your money.
Let’s call that cash-first copywriting.
And, for the record, I’m tired of it.
I bet you are too.
Because it’s a new era.
And as more and more businesses start to wake up to the idea of doing what’s right, both for people and for the planet…
Cash-first copywriting feels like it’s overstayed its welcome.
It encourages us to treat our readers as a means to an end.
We get tempted to embrace ideas like “You don’t even know what your problem is… But if you stick with me, I’ll show you—and then I’ll sell you the solution.”
And when we do that, we move away from saying simply “If you’re having a problem, let us help you fix it.”
Consequently, it becomes all too easy to imply that our readers are the problem.
That they don’t work hard enough.
Or they’re not using the right formula.
Or—let’s get right down to it—they haven’t spent enough of their money with us yet.
Cash-first copywriting promises that we can eliminate our readers’ insecurities…
Even as we’re the ones who are making those insecurities worse—or even creating them in the first place.
That has to stop—and it’s why I’m excited that people are waking up to the alternative.
I call that alternative real-world copywriting. (Not the sexiest name in the world, but it’ll do.)
Now, before you think I’m turning my back on all of the great copywriters who’ve come before me, I want to make sure you don’t misunderstand me.
Real-world copywriting as I envision it is still definitely focused on conversions, and on using psychological insight and persuasion tactics—and, yes, great writing—to make more sales.
But real-world copywriting does all of that from an ethical place.
It’s a kind of copywriting that makes it easier, as marketers, for us to sleep at night.
You see, when we tell our readers over and over that they have to listen to us because only we can fix what’s wrong with them…
We end up believing it ourselves.
Which is dangerous.
Instead, let’s listen to what our readers are telling us they need and what they believe…
And then write copy that speaks to those needs and beliefs.
Reader-centered copy, that creates conscious conversions, in the real world.