What is good copywriting?

Two questions I get asked time and time again are; “what’s great copy?”, “how do you write great copy?“. In some respects it’s easy to spot great copy, it resonates with you, it gets the message across well, and turns you from a prospective customer into a customer. Great copy like a good song or a tasty meal, it surprises & delights you, is easy to listen / eat.

What does great copy do ?

Great copy sells more.
Great copy makes your brand more personable.
Great copy sets customers apprehensions at easy.
Great copy tells a story that resonates with the reader.
Great copy breaks complex things into digestable pieces.
Great copy talks to you more as a friend than a boss.
But besides all that
Great copy is thorough, empathetic and honest.

Writing for different mediums & audiences will influence the length of your copy, the tone of the copy, the vocabulary you use. Think about writing to one particular person, not a group, a demographic, an industry. One single person.


So it’s easy to spot it when it’s done well (and bad), so how do you go about writing great copy? For me it’s an iterative processes. I’ve probably rewrote pieces of this article 10-15 times, and I’ve read it at least 40, even a short piece like this can take an hour or two. I think about the topic I’m going to write about before I put finger to keyboard (or pen to paper). When I think it’s finally written I go back and check if everything that’s included in a piece is absolutely necessary. The old adage of it’s not what you put in but what you leave our holds true here.

The end result is something that flows better, is easy to read, and hopefully gets my point across in the best possible way.

Here’s an example of two emails I received from boloco.com today


Boloco Friends and Family,

Like every other brand in the Western world, we are doing something cute for St. Paddy’s Day. It actually feels kind of lame to do what everyone else is doing, but then we remember that the main “green” thing we have is… you guessed it… Guacamole. And since our scratch-made Guac rocks, as all Guac should, why waste an excuse to promote it, right?

So we thought to ourselves, let’s just offer Guac for FREE* today because it’s green. Isn’t that ingenious?! The creative minds at Boloco have been on fire lately, yes, we know.

OK, that’s it. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy the free green!

John Pepper
CEO & Co-Founder

This email was followed up a hour or so later with

Boloco Friends and Family,

Two corporate “CYA” things to note in response to a hundred and one questions – as well as a few phone calls – received in the last few minutes…

1) Yes, you need to buy something to get your free delicious Guac today… we will run out if you try to skip Whole Foods and stock your fridge with our Guac instead. Besides, it’s bad karma to try that anyway…

2) Our online/app partners just let us know that they can’t “turn on” Free Guac after all so we are stuck with this promo being in-store with a cashier only. Not cool at all. The “what gives?! it’s 2016!” argument we try to use in moments like these works about as well as it did in 1997…

If you have any issues, reach us at hello@boloco.com and we’ll take care of your concerns… no questions asked, as always.

OK – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Do you think Boloco got their message across with empathy ? Hell yes they did!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day !

Rocking some shamrock ! #t

A photo posted by Paul Savage (@paulsavage) on

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