A lot of talk is made of “beating the control” in copywriting…

Today, a tip for beating the control as a copywriter.

That is, creating an ad or marketing piece that generates more response than what’s being used now.

There can be all kinds of reasons for this.

Starting with a sheer desire to have the best performing ad.

The best marketers (including many of my clients) do this regularly.

They have an ad that’s working.  But they hire another copywriter to come in and try to write something that works better.

And then even when a new control is found, they’re trying to beat it again in short order.

“The control is your enemy.”

This is why I’m hired, in many cases.

A top copywriter writes a control.  Then I’m hired to come in and beat it.

In other cases, you simply recognize an ad isn’t working as well anymore.

So you want to beat the control just to bring some life back.

I was working on something like that today.

I’d written an ad a while back, that had done very well.

This one in particular was for a back-end promo — meaning, it’s primarily shown to the client’s prospect and customer file.

And it had run for a while.

But it’s an investment promo.  And the market has changed dramatically since it was written.

Not only that, it was subject to the same aging as any promo shown to the same audience over-and-over.

But we knew this promo worked.  And the opportunity was still sound.

So we decided to just rework it a bit.

A new lead, to get attention in a new way.  To create a new control.

And reworking the rest of it to make sure it was up-to-date in terms of the numbers.

Of course, I treat every opportunity like I’m looking for a brand new angle, to write a brand new control.

Which brings me around to my main point.

How do you beat a control?

Here’s a hint…

It’s NOT about using more fancy, flowery, or poetic language.

It’s about saying something better.

Having something more substantial to say.

Having a better idea.

Or a good idea, conveyed in a better, more powerful and persuasive way.

Which is where we get to my recommendation for today: “Do the math.”

You see, in my quest to really figure out the best, most compelling way to make the investment case for the stock featured in this promo…

I did a LOT of math.

Playing with numbers.

Building spreadsheets.

To find that one interesting number that would SCREAM profit opportunity.

And even if you don’t write investment promos, there’s a parallel process.

It’s in the research.

How research — especially in line with the 26 believability elements in my Proof, Credibility, and Believability training — contributes to your final pitch.

It’s about finding that one thing you can hang your message on.

That one really substantial point you can bring to the table.

Better than what came before.

More powerful than what came before.

So that prospects can’t help but feel pulled in.

And you can beat the control.

I share more specifically about my process today — and how you can use it to beat more controls — in today’s video.

Watch now.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

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