Friday, July 8, 2011

Is there a recipe I can follow to become a better freelance copywriter? --"Alone in the Kitchen"

Dear Alone:
Yes. In French cooking, many recipes begin with the phrase: “Make a roux” (butter and flour cooked together). In creating annual reports, rack brochures, direct mail pieces, and other forms of marketing communications, we often begin with the phrase: “Make a reveal.”

What is a “reveal?” If you’ve ever read a humorous greeting card, then you’ve experienced a reveal. The format is generally the same: a setup on the cover—a question or something that piques the reader’s curiosity or is intriguing—followed by a strategic payoff on the inside.

How does a “reveal” work? Here are three examples:

Example 1: A regional power company was expanding into new forms of energy and needed a way to tell that story to investors. On the cover of their annual report was the phrase, A word about our future. On the first text page inside was the payoff— the single bold word, Energy.

Example 2: A national exterminating company launched a new commercial service and needed a direct mail piece to send to potential clients. On the cover was the statement, Now the technology to eliminate bugs fits in the palm of your hand. A visual payoff—a telephone handset—was used on the inside along with a call to action to call the company for a free inspection. This promotion was a self-mailer. (For more about using post cards, see June 6th post)

Example 3: One of my old self-promotion pieces was targeted to advertising agencies with agri-business clients. The cover asked the question, What could a nice Jewish boy from Miami Beach possibly know about farming? The one-word payoff on the inside: Plenty. The question-answer format is a popular way to create a reveal. A question on the cover piques readers’ curiosity—hopefully enough to cause them to open the piece. This promotion fit in a catalog 

Now it’s your turn…


Who am I?
ROTH copywriting is Robert Roth---expert Atlanta freelance copywriter.

What I'm working on now
Just finished writing content articles for a global crop science company. Starting on a monthly newsletter for the CDC.   

1 comment:

  1. Love the french / American help. As a copywriter I can always brush up on my skills. BTW...I made you new blog of the day.