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Where have all the researchers gone?


Once upon a time copywriters used to spend three days researching the product or service to every one day they spent writing. 

I belong to a few copywriting forums and I’m amazed how some newbies think all they need is a decent swipe file and in a month or so they’ll be a copywriting star making really big bucks. Research, if any, tends to be a quick 15 minutes on Google.

The problem with research is that you never really know if the effort will be worth it.  But if you don’t put the time in you’ll never know.

My first copywriting mentor was Bob Troop who was the editorial director of Stonehart Publications.  When he wrote a promotion for one of our newsletters he would read every copy of the newsletter from cover to cover for at least 12 months.  He had written countless promotions for our ‘Property Confidential’ and was once really struggling to come up with a control-busting promotion.  Just one line in one issue stood out for him “some people have been known to make £750 a day from city car parks”.  He used that as a headline, produced a free report on City Car Parks and our subscribers doubled in number in just six months.

Who said extensive research was a waste of time?

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