10 Tempting Reasons to Take Your Copy Seriously

by Scott Martin

Last updated on November 27th, 2017

The top copywriters earn more than top doctors. This may seem crazy as doctors save lives and copywriters put words on a page—but it’s true.

According to an article in Forbes, the top paying medical specialty is orthopedic surgery with an average annual salary of $464,500; next was invasive cardiology with $461,364 per annum.

That’s a lot. But I personally know some top direct response copywriters who have earned well over $1 million a year.

An AWAI article details how one copywriter earned more than $5 million for a single promotion.

A direct response professional recently told me they paid a copywriter over $1 million in royalties for ONE piece of copy.

Whereas a heart surgeon gets a flat fee for completing a procedure, the top copywriters earn a fee—plus a commission based on the sales their copy generates.

That’s because a copywriter is a salesperson…

A salesperson paid on a commission basis, to be precise. The royalty is the commission. And the top direct marketing companies are happy to pay what could be a whopping royalty.

Why? To answer the question, imagine the conversation between the CEO and the VP of marketing.

“We’re paying a copywriter $1.2 million in royalties,” says the CEO. “That’s crazy.”

“But the copywriter’s copy helped us generate $70 million in revenue,” replies the VP of marketing. “We pay the royalty so we keep the top copywriters writing for us and not the competition. When we make money, the copywriter makes money.”

I shine the light on the inner workings of copywriter compensation to prove an important point: The most successful marketers understand the value of superb copy and the potential ROI.

So in this article, I want to persuade you to act like those top marketers and take your copy seriously. Let’s see if these 10 reasons persuade you…

10 reasons to take your copy seriously

ONE. Your copy is your salesperson and sales team. In some businesses, like expensive vacations, you might need (and want) to persuade people to call a toll-free number to speak with a vacation specialist. But a great copywriter can persuade a website visitor to click through to the transaction page—thus reducing the reliance on (expensive) human beings.

TWO. You avoid the clients and customers who will hurt your business. Great copy persuades the right clients and customers to buy AND it keeps the non-qualified customers from wasting your time.

THREE. Reduce your customer acquisition costs. It’s becoming much more expensive to acquire clicks through PPC advertising. When you have great sales copy on your website and landing pages, you can reduce your acquisition costs because your conversion increases.

FOUR. You keep up with the top competitor and hammer the others. In your space, there’s likely one major competitor who “gets it” when it comes to copy. This competitor is likely one of the top dogs in your market.

FIVE. You can keep visitors returning to your site. Content (a form of copy) is the key.

SIX. You can test to see what works (and what fails). Nine versions of a sales page might fail to beat a control while the 10th version might give you sizeable increase in conversion. Invest in excellent copy and you can test. And when you test, you find the copy that drives more revenue.

SEVEN. Upsell and lifetime value bumps. Great copy improves conversion. And when you improve conversion, you can increase upsell revenue and lifetime customer value.

EIGHT. You can mine additional value from your database. Let’s say you have an opt-in database of current or potential clients and customers. A great copywriter can help you routinely generate additional value from this database.

NINE. You keep people on your site. There’s a trendy web term you may have heard: “stickiness.” Stickiness measures how long readers “stick” to your site. Awesome copywriting keeps visitors on your website and away from your competitors. It can also keep them from visiting web forums to find (mostly unreliable) information about your company.

TEN. You give readers more reasons to buy. When you take your copy seriously, you give them every conceivable reason to buy. Your potential customer may be looking for the one benefit or feature that really gets them motivated to buy. A great copywriter understands this and includes every conceivable reason to buy.

These companies clearly “get it” when it comes to copywriting


Quite honestly, I’d like to see more copy. Certain “typical” direct response elements are missing, but the copy is rock-solid.

Here’s an example for the iMac. There’s an intro page.

web page from Apple

Then you can click through to a secondary page that details some features and benefits. Here’s the page above the fold.

secondary page from Apple

Bob Bly

Bob Bly is one of the top copywriters and authors in the United States. His site provides a ton of content and not only generates qualified leads but also sells information products.

Bob clearly understands he needs ample content to persuade top clients to hire him. Look at all the options.

home page of Bob Bly's site

Dip below the fold and there’s even more opportunity to explore Bob’s deep well of copy and content.

below the fold on Bob's page

Bob’s a busy copywriter and nobody paid him to write all the copy for these pages. However, he fully understands the value of taking copy seriously.

Last week, a copywriter contacted me complaining she didn’t have much work. A quick look at her site shows a paucity of serious copy. That’s a reason.

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a theme to the 10 reasons above.

  • Take your copy seriously and hire a top quality copywriter, and you should generate more revenue.
  • Ignore your copy and you will send a TON of potential revenue to a competitor who understands the power of copy.

Remember, there’s a reason the top direct marketing companies in the world pay those big royalties to copywriters…and it’s NOT because they’re good looking.



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Scott Martin

Scott Martin is a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has also written or edited 18 books including The Book of Caddyshack: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Greatest Movie Ever Made. Scott provides free resources for marketers including direct response checklists.


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  1. Mark says:
    February 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Apple has around 35 pages of copy for every product. (Print em out and count em.)

    It just doesn;t look like a lot of pages or copy. They are really clever about it. They chunk it up, split it up into tabbed sections, put it over several pages and all sorts of other little tricks.

    Just because it isn’t all on the first page doesn’t mean long copy isn’t there.

    • Scott Martin says:
      February 7, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks Mark, for the comment. You’re right — there’s plenty of copy for the products. Would I like to see more? Yes … in part because I’m a copywriter(!) and also because many of their products are expensive. But you’re right — they do a great job of slicing and dicing the copy.

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