Professional copywriting is the craft of writing promotional business copy. Professional copywriters create promotional text that grabs the attention of their target audience. Professional copywriting differs from other types of business writing in that, above all else, it must be persuasive.
Whereas most kinds of business writing informs, professional copywriting goes a step further and persuades. For example, business copy for a stationery company may list a brand of notebook and include the number of pages, style of spacing and other features. But, professional copywriting shows how these features benefit the target audience.
Copy that persuades the customer to buy the notebook may point out that this product has quality paper that doesn’t curl up or show ink through the other side. Already, the product is persuasively positioned apart from many other brands of notebooks because it’s being promoted as providing extra quality for the customer. Professional copywriting communicates the unique selling proposition (USP), which can be summed up as benefits that similar products don’t offer.
Besides presenting product features as customer benefits, professional copywriting uses established persuasive techniques such as a type of headline called the Johnson Box. The Johnson Box is frequently used in sales letters and it may be a long headline that appears on its own or placed inside a boxed graphic. It’s always positioned above a salutation or greeting such as Dear Mr. Jones. Studies have shown that most people read the Johnson Box headline of a sales letter even if they don’t read all of the body.
Professional copywriting includes broadcast types such as radio and television commercials. Travel copywriting is another professional niche area; package deals and vacations are presented in ways to help sell them to customers. Professional copywriters need to think both critically and creatively about the product or service their work is promoting. Professional copywriting must always connect with the target audience in a compelling way.
A copywriting job can be extremely competitive to get, but perseverance and passion for the work can eventually pay off. Professional copywriters work for advertising agencies and corporate marketing departments. They may also be self-employed and handle small or big business accounts. Talented and persevering professional copywriters can earn six figures within several years in the profession.