The Secret Words That Keep Your Prospect Reading!

By: Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, Expert Copywriting Strategist

© All Rights Reserved

SecretWant to know one of my secrets to getting my copy très conversational? Bridge phrases! You know. That throw-away language my journalism school professors called “empty and useless.” The connector phrases that keep the pace going – like a bucket brigade! Direct mail copywriter Maxwell Ross used that concept to illustrate how copy should flow.

Let me take you back to when the West in America was young. When men were rugged. And women didn’t have to diet. I’m talking about the time before there were fire departments. Oh, there were still fires. Just no organized way to put them out. So they came up with the bucket brigade system.

When a blaze got going, the townspeople pulled together. They’d line up and pass water – bucket by bucket – from the nearest water source to the fire. Being careful to keep the water moving along briskly. No let up. No slow down. Can you picture it?

Well, that’s what we aim for in copy. It needs to move along briskly. No let up. No slow down. Each sentence pulls the reader into the next. And so on. And so on. Until he’s so deep in your copy he doesn’t want to come out. In fact, once your reader has gotten through 25% of your copy, chances are he’ll read it all, says copywriter Joseph Sugarman (the marketing genius who introduced the Blu Blocker sunglasses among many other successful marketing campaigns). Joe also said, “The sole purpose of the first sentence in an advertisement is to get you to read the second sentence.” There’s your bucket brigade in action.

That’s a little bit about the flow of the copy. Basically, the 1st sentence of your copy is designed to get them to read the next sentence. And then that sentence is to get them to read the sentence after that.

That’s why that visual works really well for me when I think about writing copy that flows. Before this country even had fire departments a long time ago, they would have volunteers that were called “the bucket brigade”. If there were a fire in the village the people in the bucket brigade would line up from the water source to the fire. One person next to the other and they would pass the bucket down full of water quickly, because they had to get it there, and throw it on the water and fill it back up and so on.

So I like that visual of each sentence briskly moving you along to the next sentence over and over again. That’s how your copy should go. It should never let up. As soon as you start letting up, you’re going to lose your reader. And that’s why we have sentences that connect like,

  1. As if that’s not enough
  2. Best of all
  3. But wait there’s more,
  4. By now
  5. By the way,
  6. Even better
  7. Good news!
  8. Here’s why
  9. Meanwhile,
  10. Nevertheless
  11. No wonder
  12. On the other hand
  13. What’s more
  14. You see
  15. Think about it
  16. As if that’s not enough
  17. As it turns out
  18. But that’s just part of the story…
  19. Fair enough?
  20. No problem!
  21. What does this mean for you?
  22. And we don’t stop there
  23. As it turns out
  24. But that’s just part of the story…
  25. Fair enough?
  26. In my experience
  27. It’s true
  28. My experience is
  29. No doubt about it
  30. No problem!
  31. Sadly,
  32. Simply stated
  33. These are just a few
  34. To make a point
  35. Treat yourself
  36. What does this mean for you?

Things that your English teacher would say like don’t put that in there. That’s really silly. It doesn’t add any value. But it does add value. It’s a connecting phrase that keeps the copy flowing along the way. Remember that copywriting is interactive. The reader gets to decide when the copywriting is over. The reader gets to decide when they’re done reading. As soon as they’re not feeling your copy, they’re gone.

And that’s also why the headline and the sub headline, those 2 are the most important part of your copy. It doesn’t matter how good your copy is if they’re not going to read it. And they’re not if you don’t get their attention.




ABOUT LORRIE: Award-winning marketer, world-renowned copywriter and creator of The She Factor, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero of Red Hot Copy has a reputation as the top female copywriter in the info-marketing industry. Lorrie is dedicated to teaching the world it is possible to shift from the hype-filled sales to a more modern version … marketing written with authenticity, trust, and rapport.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Lorrie’s She Factor Copywriting Boot Camp and her other amazing products.

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