Ideas for Writing Good Lines of Copy. Action!

Thoughts for Writing Effective Lines of Copy

Copywriting. Many of us do it every day. But how many of us, in writing our marketing pitches, succeed in coming up with something memorable?

Well, don’t feel bad. Michael Cieply wrote last week that there have been hardly any memorable lines in films in recent years. Now granted, that isn’t copywriting, but screenwriters get paid a lot of money to come up with memorable lines. “It may be that a Web-driven culture of irony latches onto the movie lines for something other than brilliance, or is downright allergic to the kind of polish that was once applied to the best bits of dialogue,” Cieply wrote.

A quick look at yesteryear proves Cieply’s point. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” (“Gone With the Wind”) was written 69 years ago, “I coulda been a contender” (“On the Waterfront”) 56 years ago; “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” (“The Godfather, Part II”) 36 years ago, and even “Life is like a box of chocolates” (“Forrest Gump”) was almost 20 years ago.

In specialized publishing, the goal is obviously more about getting people to take notice, visit your site, and act on a great value or offer than coming up with a line to remember. In this spirit, we give you two lists today. This first provides some good lines I’ve come across the last two days from our folks:

1. Do you Flip? By now‚ you know that reference. I hardly have to explain. (Ragan)
2. Reach a bumper crop of gardening and tree associates. (DMNews)
3. The recruiting world moves fast. Move faster with Monster.
4. Less is more. Short-attention-span text ads work. (Mequoda)
5. You have everything to gain … and nothing to lose … by accepting this risk-free offer. (Robert Bly)
6. A well-written letter can move mountains. (Robert Lerose)
7. Out of sight, but not out of mind: How to effectively manage a remote workforce. (Ragan)

And a second list offers some intriguing possibilities that Cieply might approve of…

1. “The force will definitely be with you” (“Star Wars”) if you sign up for our new cyber-security webinar.
2. “We’ve rounded up the usual suspects” (“Casablanca”) of great speakers and some exciting new ones for our upcoming conference.
3. We think “You CAN handle the truth” (“A Few Good Men”) and that’s why we’re giving it to you in our new white paper.
4. “We [may] always have Paris” (“Casablanca”) but you won’t always have this incredible opportunity to attend our Conference there.
5. “Yes, we’re talking to YOU!” – this is the special report that you’ve been asking for. (a play off of “You talkin’ to me” from “Taxi Driver.”)
6. “Show me the money” (“Jerry McGuire”) you ask. That’s exactly what we’re going to do at our new virtual conference.
7. “Go ahead, make my day” and YOURS (Clint Eastwood’s “Sudden Impact”) and sign up for this incredibly valuable webinar.

Now if anyone can come up with something for “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die” (“Goldfinger”) and “we don’t need no stinkin’ badges” (“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”), I would be quite impressed. Though, on second thought, the writer of that last line may have been involved in planning one too many conferences. Seriously, though, if you can come up with another good line, please share it with us in our comments section.


Good lines lead to awesome ads.
Learn new ways to make those ads happen
at our upcoming SIPA/Mequoda seminar:
Writing Killer Text Ads: Proven strategies
for writing text ads that trigger response,
increase page views and generate revenue

Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 12:30 p.m.

Register by tomorrow, October 29,
to get the $147 SIPA early-bird rate!

Register now for this new, 90-minute webinar and discover
how to write text ads that can generate big revenue dollars.
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