Title (and my nearly verbatim notes) from David Garfinkel’s Copywriting Podcast
Here it is…
“Copy is not written, copy is assembled” —Gene Schwartz
Schwartz didn’t mention this in Breakthrough Advertising. I think he did in his Rodale speech, Phillips Publishing talk or some other hard-to-find interview he did. If I can find it somewhere, I’ll put it here.
Update: Didn’t find it yet, but did find a transcript of his Phillips Publishing speech.
Garfinkel Goes on to Say
Assembling copy is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle…think of it like building blocks
Several “Assembling Levels.” Assemble each of the pieces first:
- Bullet points
- Story / stories
This list is a starter. You might have notebooks / digital docs with each of the above components.
Assemble an outline of pieces, then…
Assemble the completed pieces into the ENTIRE sales letter
Writer’s block problems that assembling copy solves
Not knowing what to write
Not knowing HOW to write it
Where to find material to assemble your copy from
Assuming you know:
WHO (avatar) you’re selling to and
WHAT part of the sales process you want it to cover (Generate a lead, close sale to cold lead, close sale to warm lead, upsell to another promo?)
Then you pull from:
1. Material from your memory
Study great copy + infomercials + ads
Hang out in your market, and learn how they feel/felt
You’ll start to internalize a lot of the stuff and your memory will take over.
2. Material from swipes
DO NOT PLAIGARIZE
Adapt / modify ideas
Copy structure / ingredients
3. Your own groundwork / research
Go through the product THOROUGHLY and record all the product’s details in writing:
What are the facts?
What are the benefits?
What are the advantages?
“Assemble each component, then assemble all the components together”
It’s fractal: Build the parts, then build the entire letter from the completed parts
“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
David Garfinkel is a copywriting OG and a legend.
Check out his podcast – Copywriter’s Podcast