Turning Good Copy into Great Copy: Makepeace Reveals His Secret.

One of the reasons I like blogging is that I can post notes and articles I want to re-read someday, and I can call it work. Today’s pearl by Clayton Makepeace is something I surely want to read again. In it Makepeace tells the story of how he learned to mix the left brain and right brain to create the best ad. Here’s my summary of the copywriting points, without the wonderful story.

Left Brain Approach

Appealing to the left brain means appealing to reason. In other words, you are providing the rational reasons, or benefits, for buying a product. An appeal to the left brain would involve the following steps when writing the ad copy.

  • List the benefits of having the product.
  • Use the most powerful of these benefits to craft a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
  • Establish the USP right up front and repeat throughout your copy.
  • Fully develop every “Reason Why” your prospects should buy.

Right Brain Approach

Appealing to the right brain means appealing to the prospect’s emotions. These are the emotions in areas that the product addresses. For example, if your product is health related, the emotions you might address could be the fear of being sick if you don’t use the product, or the positive feeling of well being if you do use the product. To elicit these emotions you paint the appropriate picture for you target market (best done by telling a story).

Mix Right Brain with Left

In the article, Clayton presents us with the question, “What could possibly be better than leading with a tangible benefit?” His answer is to mix the left brain with the right, leading with the right.  In other words, sell with emotion (and relevant imagery) and justify with reason (benefits).   This involves the following steps, as presented by Clayton.

  • Figure out what the prospect’s resident emotions are regarding areas the product addresses.
  • Figure out which of those resident emotions are the strongest, most compelling, most “dominant” in his or her life.
  • Identify the benefits the product offers that will most effectively enhance his strongest positive emotions and/or resolve his negative ones.
  • Address those benefits in ways that keep the prospect’s dominant emotions working with you, and never against you.
  • As you review and edit your sales copy, keep making this kind of emotional connection at every opportunity.


While these notes are here to summarize the key points of the article, you really should read it. Education should always be this much fun!

Click here to read Clayton’s article.

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