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What Does a Direct Response Copywriter Do? 

You should fully understand the role of a direct response copywriter in the development of your marketing campaigns. Because copywriters do more than writing. As a professionally trained direct response copywriter myself, I have found two articles that answer the question “what does a direct response copywriter do?” 

The first article, titled “What Is Direct Response Copywriting? 6 Real-Life Content Lessons From This Form Of Copy”, written by Julia McCoy for, focuses on what a direct response copywriter does to persuade people into making an immediate purchase. 

Julia presents in her article six lessons she had learned from dealing with direct response copywriting. Including the importance of understanding your audience, why you should keep things simple, and how you can create a sense of urgency for your offers. The article also has examples of the application of real-life long-copy by large corporations – like Apple and Adobe. 

The second article was written by Neil Patel for The Crazy Egg, and it’s titled “5 Things to Learn From Direct Response Copywriters”. 

In this article, Neil goes over how direct response copywriters have been effective in producing sales – going all the way back to Claude Hopkins and toothpaste.  Among what Neil covers in this article, there’s the importance of testing, why you should use long copy, and how to make your advertising appealing right from the get-go. 

Neil also presents real-life examples of direct response copywriting for products like Dove and Palmolive. 

3 Things Direct Response Copywriters Do 

Drawing from these two articles, as well as my experience as a direct response copywriter, I have listed three things I believe financial marketers must know to understand the role of a direct response copywriter: 


The first thing a direct response copywriter needs to do is dig up as much information about the project as they can. They must look through old marketing pieces to find data that can be useful for writing new campaigns. 

If it is a new offer with no marketing attached, that should not be an issue. Because – usually – a lot of planning and paperwork precede any new products and services. Including employee memos, blueprints, and the likes. Just make sure to collect as much information as you can about the offer. If there’s nothing about the offer that is different from your competitors’, then the direct response copywriter should focus on finding what benefits have not been stressed out by the competition and make them the focus of the advertising efforts. It can be anything from product reliability, economical offer, customer support, or the guarantee. 

Analysis of The Project 

Once the direct response copywriter has collected all the information needed for the project, they should dissect that information and get what’s needed for the assignment. 

The direct response copywriter will focus on three things: the offer, the market, and the campaign. 

Analyzing the offer, the copywriter should focus on what makes the product or service different than the competition. If they can’t find any unique selling propositions, then they should turn their attention to the benefits that have not been stressed out by the competition yet. And those benefits can be anything from reliability, an economical offer, customer support, or your guarantee. 

Analyzing the market, the copywriter should try to get into the mind of the customer. Trying to get an image of who they are talking to, so they can then pick the right approach to have a conversation with them through their writing. 

And finally, when analyzing the campaign, the direct response copywriter looks for what works, what hasn’t, and what hasn’t become exposed. This information will help the copywriter decide what to include in the campaign, how to present it to the market, and which channels will best do so. 

Once the direct response copywriter has collected and dissected all the data, then it is time to sit down and start writing. 


Once the direct response copywriter has all the information they need, then they’re ready to start writing. 

Here’s where the marketing philosophy of the copywriter comes into play. Because the copywriter’s philosophy is going to decide which route they’re going to take with their writing. Now I’m going to go off on a small tangent for a second and talk about the two marketing philosophies. Starting with retail… 

The Retail Marketing Philosophy 

If your copywriter has a retail marketing philosophy, then he won’t be thinking about getting the sale right away. Instead, they’ll focus on trying to assimilate your product with something (they think) the market will find cute or funny – depending on the market they’re writing to. And that’s how you get Geico’s and most Super Bowl commercials you see on TV. 

The retail marketing philosophy of marketing carries a couple of negatives with it: 

  1. It’s very cost-heavy because you are trying to attract the people by being flashy – thus you’ll have to spend a lot of cash to out-flash your competitors. 
  1. It’s also not measurable because you don’t know who bought your product because of your advertising and who bought it by accidentally stumbling upon it. Therefore, you never know what works and what doesn’t – so you keep throwing money at that pit in the hopes that it brings positive results at some point. 

The retail marketing philosophy suits large corporations because they have enough resources to try new (and expensive) tactics to keep their brands in the mind of the consumer. If you’re not a large corporation, you may want to stay away from this until you are. 

The Direct Response Marketing Philosophy 

On the other hand, if your copywriter has a direct response marketing philosophy, they will apply a sense of urgency to your marketing campaigns. They are looking to connect with the market away and persuade them into taking the deal ASAP. But they don’t do this by swindling the market – they do it by focusing on what the market wants, needs, and loves. 

The direct response marketing philosophy it’s cost-effective because it’s not looking to be Hollywood-esque or to win any advertising awards. Instead, its purpose is to gain you as many leads or sales orders as possible. 

And you can easily point out what works and what doesn’t due to the application of your CTAs (calls to action). This allows you to keep running with that’s bringing the money and toss aside what’s not working. 

Any business – from freelancers to big corporations – can get positive results from applying the direct response philosophy into their marketing. Its personal approach allows you to connect with the market on a higher level. And you’re coming with valuable information, making you an asset to their daily lives. 

Now let’s go back to the topic at hand… 

Direct Response Copywriting 

The direct response copywriter will follow a formula (depending on the market, campaign, and offer) that will allow you (the business) to connect with the customer on a personal level. 

But regardless of the formula used, your direct copywriter should look to achieve three goals: 

  1. Get the attention of the right people by addressing something that interests them in some way. 
  1. Communicating who you are and what you can do for them in a clear and concise manner. 
  1. Guiding them into taking the desired course of action (filling a form, sending a check, etc.) 

Achieving those three goals help the direct response copywriter meet the goal: to help you generate more sales. 

What Does a Direct Response Copywriter Do? 

Starting today, you need to realize that your direct response copywriter does more than just typing words on Microsoft Word. Direct response copywriters are salespeople – for them to succeed, they need to know you, your products, and your buyers before typing. 

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