Reprinted from The Catalog Marketer

How to Get Your "Thinking Cap"

Working for Your Copywriting

by Rene Gnam

There are no basic rules, but there are some easy procedures that may assist you in starting the thinking process!

     Clean your desk. Unclutter it. Take out a pad or scratch paper and a pen or pencil -- not a typewriter or word processor.

Jot Down Concepts in Longhand, "The Good Old Fashioned" Way

     Since longhand allows you to think longer -- because your mind rests a bit instead of speeding along at a keyboard in an attempt to make a deadline or churn it out -- answer these five questions in longhand on your pad:

  1. Who is my target audience?
  2. Why will this product (or idea) appeal to them?
  3. What benefits does the product, idea, or service provide to the audience? (Write down every single detail you can think of. Overwrite. It's easier to cut than to add.)
  4. How does my product beat the competition?
  5. What is special about my offer and how can I rework it into a dramatic mind-catcher?

     Perhaps all this appears a bit simplistic on the surface.

     But these procedures will not only get you started writing about the product, they'll also help you go about writing it "differently", from a fresh point of view.

Ask Yourself How To Present Concepts "Differently"

Like every direct marketer with an open mind, you're always looking for a new way to use that mind to greater advantage.

So try these five simple questions the next time you're stumped with a copy problem. See if they don't trigger you to use the talents you often can't put to work because the deadline, or the "sameness" of the product, or the marketing objective prevents your mind from getting to work as it should.

Here, for example, are two every day "different" phrases you can refresh, and as you review them think about how you can come up with your own ways of saying the same thing:

Instead of "Call Toll Free, 1-800-556-GNAM", try "For immediate action, Call Toll Free, 1-800-556-GNAM".

Instead of using an order form and adding your toll free number somewhere in your copy, try adding a tag line in fairly large type at the bottom of the order form: "For faster delivery, call Toll Free 1-800-556-GNAM."


Rene Gnam is an independent response marketing consultant

specializing in creative advertising techniques.

He can be reached at 813-407-8400


Photo of Marketing Consultant Rene Gnam

Rene Gnam is a Marketing Consultant and Advertising Copywriter

logo for Rene Gnam

I'm usually in Florida, and here are the numbers:

FAX 813-475-4354      CELL 813-407-8400

You can reach me right now by e-mail:


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