Why startups need to be investing heavily in copywriters.

Cole Schafer
Feb 17, 2018 · 4 min read

You walk out to your mailbox and find a single envelope — neatly sealed along with your name written in jet black ink.

You open it up and are bewildered by what you see. Nestled, in the depths of the envelope is a $100 bill. But, it’s not just any $100 bill… the individual who sent you this $100 bill only sent you half of it.

You hold it in your hands with a mixed feeling of interest and frustration. “What kind of person would send me half of a $100 bill?” You ask yourself.

You are about to crumble up the envelope when a small yellow sticky note catches your eye… “Call 812–484–2199 for the other half.”

You pause momentarily, then get out your phone and dial the number.

Good Copywriting Sells Like Half of a $100 Bill

“Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling.”

— William Bernbach

I am bias when it comes to copywriting, terribly bias. After all, it is how I make a living.

But, this doesn’t mean I am not right when I say — copywriting is one of the most important areas a business can invest in.

A good copywriter offers two high-impact drivers within an organizations:

1. Sell Product.

“Copywriting is a job. A skilled craft. Verbal carpentry. Words on paper. Scripts to time. And one more thing. Salesmanship.”

— Bruce Bendinger

Businesses have no problem paying salesmen a fat commission to go out and sell, yet they are hesitant to employ a copywriter. A thought process that is counterintuitive and ultimately detrimental to the longevity of the brand. In a world where email has an ROI of 4,400%, the most valuable investment a business can make is in a copywriter.

With that said, I don’t believe a copywriter should ever take the place of sales individuals — I think they are invaluable to to an organization. But, businesses need to view the copywriter/salesman dynamic in the same light as say a knight and archer.

In order to win a war, a business needs its knights (salesmen) on the ground, getting their hands dirty, leading the charge. But, it also needs its archers (copywriters) up on the walls, providing cover fire from afar.

One month ago, I spent but a few hours writing an email campaign that consisted of just 3 emails — my client has been using it for 4 weeks and has already seen $10,000 in revenue come through the door.

Copywriting sells.

2. It Makes Brand’s Interesting.

“When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

— David Ogilvy

People like interesting.

People like to be friends with interesting people. People like to date interesting people. People like to work with or for interesting people.

And, people like to buy from interesting brands.

If you look at a few companies that have gone out of business within the past 5–10 years, you will notice a pattern — they are all boring.

RadioShack is an example of a company that has closed a ton of stores over the past decade because it was dated, offered shitty products and… was boring. Just take a look at their website that is still barely alive and kicking, it’s as entertaining as a traffic jam.

I believe interesting is something that needs to be ingrained within an organization from the ground floor — in the 21st century, startups have focused heavily on this. And, for good reason, it sells.

Designing the culture within a business to be interesting is one thing… designing the emails, the website, the mailings and the content is an entirely different animal.

If you are looking for a few examples of startups that have successfully implemented interesting copy, take a look at Robinhood or The Hustle.

One Last Thing…

“The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.”

— Thomas Jefferson

The clock is ticking. It has been for a while. Every time I log into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (which is rarely nowadays), I am blown away by how much useless content litters its walls. It’s obscene.

99% of this content offers no value whatsoever, but this doesn’t mean it’s not taking up space, nor taking attention away from your startup that is actually offering a valuable product or service.

Now more than ever is it imperative that you write purposefully to capture the world’s attention — you’re up against a lot of shit making a lot of noise.

By Cole Schafer.

Cole is the copy chief at Honey Copy, where he helps startups make more money through emails and landing pages that read like poetry and sell like Ogilvy. When he isn’t slinging copy, he is right here on Medium sharing ideas about life, business, marketing and how god-awful RadioShack is. Or riding alpacas.

Cole Schafer

Written by

I help businesses grow with pretty words. Say hi at… www.honeycopy.com or on… www.instagram.com/cole_schafer

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