The first rule of copywriting is that it’s all about the customer. All other rules defer to the first one. You must put yourself in your audience’s place. Why should they care about your service or product? How will it improve their business or lives? What makes your offering any better than that of your competition?

The best copy is always customer focused. It thoroughly answers your customer’s ultimate question of “What’s in it for me?” Copywriters accomplish this task by translating features to benefits meaningful to the specific audience they’re addressing. In other words, they “sell the sizzle not the steak.” The most attractive benefit is one that appeals to your reader on an emotional as well as a logical level.

For example, successful automobile sales campaigns don’t sell cars to people – they sell them the ability to go where and when they want in style and comfort. They sell them prestige. Your direct marketing might illustrate how a client could gain a competitive edge, improve productivity, or save money by choosing your product or service.

Copywriting blends powerful, motivating, and persuasive words that not only gets your message across to your target audiences, but also brings about the desired results. As every successful copywriter knows, you must generate AIDA – the acronym that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It’s a proven formula employed by the world’s leading direct marketers.

One way you can get your audience’s Attention is with a compelling offer in the headline. Or, you can make a bold statement that plays off a compelling graphic. However, you need to retain that attention in the introductory paragraph. If you don’t immediately hook your audience, the rest of your copy will be ignored.

Building Interest requires convincing your prospective customer that your product or service will make a credible improvement in their lives or business. Some copywriters maintain interest by including sub headlines throughout the copy. The Interest approach uses emotions to reassure the prospect that this purchase is a good bargain, the right step, a smart choice, a sound decision.

Once you’ve got your targeted audience’s Attention and Interest, it’s time to build their Desire. At this juncture, your prospect is most receptive. You just have to seal the deal, and get them even more excited about your product or service. While always being truthful, the Desire element of your copy should portray the best and biggest benefits your customers will realize. It should address deep emotions as much as possible.

Finally, we reach the Action stage. The copy must give the customer enough motivational cause to take action and buy. By this juncture, the customers should have all the information they need. The copy will have led the audience to the point of purchase.

Please refer to the blog post "Call to Action - Guiding your customers to closure" for some great insider information on creating irresistible calls to action.