Author Archives: Patrick Quinn

About Patrick Quinn

Patrick Quinn is a copywriter, author, trainer, and seminar leader with 40 years of experience in the advertising business. Both as an ad agency copy chief / creative director and as a freelance copywriter. He has operated in London, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Miami.

Getting Your Message Across

It has been scientifically proven that most of us take in only around 40% of what we actually see. Our brains edit out the other 60% of visual information as unimportant.

On these grounds, if you have a serious proposition to make in your website, brochure, or sales letter, it would be wise to repeat it. And not just once, but several times.

Just because you are deeply immersed in your offer or promise, it doesn’t follow that your market will be likewise informed after only one reading. Ads, brochures, and websites are the most negligently read materials on the planet.

Aside from you, nobody has any real or abiding interest in them. Always remember that you are preaching to the indifferent.

Therefore, if you have something to say – say it often. Everything will bear repetition if it is sufficiently interesting to the audience.

If you’re stuck with copywriting problems, or suffering from writer's block, or can’t quite come up with that elusive headline may I recommend our own sales writers’ resource ebook Word Power III?

You’ll find ready-made copy such as headlines, tag lines, link lines, calls to action, price defenders, guarantees, and more, which you can lift straight from the page and adopt or adapt. You’ll also discover a sales writers’ thesaurus in the form of a theme finder, which will cure writer's block forever. You can see it in the Word Power III: Copywriting Bible.

© 2005 Markethill Publishing


Copywriting Tips No.1

This article is brought to you by Our aim is to produce a library of informative pieces that contain copywriting tips, marketing know-how and lessons in good advertising practise.


Patrick Quinn

Many well-meaning writers on the subject of copywriting are happy to tell you that the headline is the single most important element of any ad, brochure, website and so on. Which, of course, it is.

They also tell you that the headline must be so cleverly framed as to practically force the reader into the compass of the body copy. Which, again, it should

But it is right there that the commonsense comes to a stop. Because they then go on to offer you a formula of some kind along the lines of: ‘Ten Ways To Write Killer Headlines’, or Eight Sure-Fire Methods For Creating Copy Impact’

Some even go so far as to say something like: ‘If You Can Write A Headline Like This, You’ll Be A Cash Millionaire This Time next Week.’ The latter is usually accompanied by a sample headline that, take my word for it, would get most ad agency trainees fired on the spot.

Let’s clear the decks. There are no formulae, no quick tricks, no lazy ways to produce a good headline. A good, selling headline depends for its success on just one simple ingredient a statement of benefit. Meaning a benefit inherent in the product or service that the consumer will reap if he goes out and buys it.

Every product or service has a benefit. If it hasn’t, why is it being produced? Thus, the best headlines, those that move product, say to the reader: ‘Buy this product and get this benefit.’

Simple, isn’t it?

And on the subject of commonsense copy here’s a bit more:

Me, me, me.

A lot of website writers, not to mention a lot of brochure and corporate newsletter writers, seem compelled to talk about themselves. They talk about their business, when it was founded, why it was founded and who by. Not content with this, they tell us all about their employees one by one; about the size and location of their offices or plant; and about the lengths they go to in order to satisfy their customers.

A little of this sort of thing goes a long way, but a lot of it goes right over people’s heads. And they lose more customers than they gain with such naval-gazing.

The simple truth is that nobody gives a damn about other people’s achievements. All most of us are interested in are our own achievements. Good enough reason, then, when writing your next website or promotional material, to talk more about your potential customers and what you can do for them, than about yourself. Six-to-four, you’ll get a bigger response.


Patrick Quinn is a copywriter, with 40 years' experience of the advertising business in London, Miami, Dublin and Edinburgh. Over the years, he has helped win for his clients just about every advertising award worth winning. His published books, include:

The Secrets of Successful Copywriting.

The Secrets of Successful Low Budget Advertising.

Word Power 1, 2 & 3.

© Markethill Publishing 2005.

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