Image of copywriting research process

Copywriting Research Process Using 7 Phases

In this article, I’m going to reveal a copywriting research process Using 7 Phases …

Whether you’re writing for your business, you’re a freelancer or writing for an agency.

This article will give you the confidence to gather the correct information and turn that research into converting sales copy.

But at the same time…

this is NOT going to go through how to create the full copywriting sales letter…

Instead, this is all about setting up the structure of copywriting, preparing you through research to know exactly what to write that will set your sales letter up for getting real conversions.

Why is research important in copywriting?

This research phase of copywriting is probably the most important part and you shouldn’t write a single word until you get this down…

Otherwise, your copy won’t have the right sales language and won't resonate with your prospect unless you know as much as you can about them.

So before you start researching…

I want you to start thinking a bit differently from how you might expect…

Because when you research you want to start becoming a detective.

Image of being a detective in copywriting

Searching and looking for all the pieces and putting them together to write up your conclusions.

And the most important thing about being the detective…

Is building up your very own case or in this context your swipe file.

Your swipe file will contain everything you need to write up your sales copy quickly.

Image showing swipe file for copywriting

It’s one of the most important pieces you’ll ever need in constructing the sales message.

Now when you’re doing detective work and researching your prospect and competitors…

Your mind must make a shift into stepping in the shoes of your avatar…

Focusing on empathy for your avatar and delving into their minds.

It can be a bit of a curse in a way because sometimes just like some actors it can be difficult to come out of character but at the same time…

Will be extremely powerful when you genuinely have empathy and care about them when you write your copy.

But with all this said…

There are two main areas of focus you’ll have when researching through each step.

image explaining where to focus when researching copywriting

Which is, ONE delving into your prospect's world

And TWO delving into your competitors.

Going back and forth as you go through each step as you research.

So let’s get into each step of what you need to look for when researching.

What is the process for Researching copywriting?

Look For Problems/Pains/Villains

Image explains bullet points of researching pain problems for copywriting

Now when searching for your customer's problems.

You DO NOT want to look for big general problems…

Your product or service doesn’t sell to everyone.

Instead, you want to get very specific about who you are solving the problem for.

And what problem are you bringing up about them…

What’s that one thing that keeps them up at night, and if only they could solve it everything will be different.

You see If you think about movies…

Movies and stories are driven by problems and the character always has to face a crisis whether it’s internal or external…

Because Without this, there wouldn’t be a story.

And let’s be honest, people would rather buy their way out of a problem…

then they would buy towards pleasure.


That’s why I like to focus my copy on leading with problems.

Even change doesn’t happen with people until trauma or the problems are so big they need to fix it.

And here’s the thing…

You want to also look at how the problem is affecting them internally and externally.

What’s their world becoming around them how serious is it getting and how much is it affecting them inside.

Then you want to ask within the problem…

Who's the villain, what’s stopping them or making it worse?

This could be a person, an addiction, or even a company

Such as most food manufacturers don’t care about your health they throw in all the additives and unhealthy fats and then use psychological persuasion and marketing to manipulate you to buy.

Or someone holding you back and making things worse.

Find as much information around this and add it all into your swipe file.

Then the next step is to search for…

The Unique Promise

Image explaining the unique promise in copywriting

Now I say UNIQUE

Because of all the solutions that surround your avatar …

How can you find what your prospect is looking for and make it different from everyone else?

Because your research depends on where you’re customer is at, which I’ll get into more soon about this.

But What solutions have they been presented with and how can you discover a way to be DIFFERENT from what you'll promise.

The promise will directly solve the problem…

And you want to search for current solutions that people are moaning and complaining about that haven’t worked…

That’s where you come in!

Adding that one thing required to help get your prospect out of the problem.

Fills that gap with the solution that you're promising…

This leads to Step Three…

Finding the Mechanism

Image explains the mechanism for copywriting

This will be the THING that provides the solution.

Basically, it’s your product or service.

And the thing about this…

Is that when you create the mechanism you want to research what your COMPETITORS are using as their mechanisms…

And then connect that with how their customers used the solution for their transformation.
And what didn’t work and what did work for them.

Now I'm going to give you something here…

It’s a VERY powerful tip that you should take note of…

because when creating a mechanism…

the goal Is to innovate your competitor's solutions.

DO NOT STEAL!

Only take the ideas from a couple of competitors and combine them and innovate something different from what their solution is.

Here are some questions a good copywriter should ask when making a mechanism…

Image explains how to create mechanism for copywriting

Do you have something no one else has, is it rare? If not make it rare!

Do you have something no one else speaks about?

What’s the biggest benefit it provides?

Then moving to the next step you want to look for is…

Proof

image explaining how to develop proof for copywriting research

Here is where you want to find as much information as you can and gather as much proof as possible…
And your job here is to build as much certainty and belief in what you say…

Because you need to answer this question…

“Why should they believe, what you have, will work for them”

Now when I research for this, I like to see what competitors are using for proof and what are customers saying that makes them believe…

Because proof can come in many ways, a lot of people think testimonials are the best ways of proof.

But the truth is…this is simply not true!

Do you remember those video infomercials that would show you how to clean your carpets, they throw a load of dirt and grime then wipe it off with a miracle cloth or shampoo…

That’s another form called Demonstration…

Then you have studied, if you go to archives there are tens of 1000s of scientific studies available to use such as supplement studies.

Then even Being very specific can also be another form of proof, telling someone in detail about something makes it real.

Also, Pictures can be very effective.

Such as being stood with an authority figure or if you look at charities when they show pictures of someone starving this will compels people emotionally to believe.

image showing different types of proof for copywriting

So look for what your prospects think is the best proof for them and find your way of creating this.

Then we have the Fifth step…

Look for Stories

image showing finding the story for copywriting

These can be many multiple types of stories from…

The rags to riches story…

The guy or girl who had nothing and found everything…

The Negative stories – things that happened that made the problem.

The discovery stories…

Discoveries of a new supplement…

Discovery of new teeth whitening…


But specifically, look for…

What are your competitor's stories?

What are the stories of your avatar?


This helps with creating your story or theme across your copy because the power of the story will help hold your reader's attention and paint the picture that makes it more novel…

You could even take structures from movies and create your own story!

Because If you think of films they always have a character that goes from zero to transforming and embracing a new identity…

Such as the pursuit of happiness,

This story was about a guy who was desperate to make a difference in his life and he struggled all the way, even sleeping in a public toilet with his son…until that final moment, he got accepted into the broker firm he finally transformed his life in that single moment.

That’s the power of using stories.

And here’s the thing…

If you can find a powerful story from your own life about how you went from the problem to discovering the solution…

This holds so much weight and is a lot more compelling.

Then moving to the sixth step…

The level of awareness, where are they at? What solutions have been in front of them?

Image explaining the level of awarness of the avatar for copywriting

Now at this part of your research, you should already have a good amount of knowledge to figure this out.

But knowing exactly where your avatar is with their problem and knowing exactly what solutions they’ve already tried…

Is such a powerful way to pre-frame your own mind and the readers to understand where you’ll begin and lead your copy.

Now there are two books here, I highly suggest you read and study, especially if you want to learn How do you master copywriting.

the first one you should start immediately...

But for the second BOOK, I would say get a few promos out first BEFORE YOU READ IT…

Which are great leads by Michael Masterton and John Forde

And breakthrough advertising by Eugene Schwartz…

Image showing great leads book and break through advertising

In great leads, it’s a book that will help you understand more about this topic which goes into the different stages of awareness, and which is the best angle you should use…

And after you do a few promos you can then read through a more advanced book break-through advertising that goes into the different market sophistications…

Basically what that means is…

How often a product or solution has been advertised through different stages.

This comes down to the final step…

Developing the BIG IDEA

image showing developing the big idea for copywriting

Now I don’t want you thinking you have to get the perfect BIG IDEA here…

because as you write your copy this can change, and it’s not something you should hook yourself on…and overthink this…

and in all honesty, big ideas are actually developed from the subconscious mind…

It’s a mixture of taking all your research and letting it soak up and waiting for an idea to POP.
Because you're going to combine everything you’ve researched…

As the BIG IDEA is the mixture of…

"Your story, your proof, your promise, the problems, your mechanism that’s all combined in a unique way that grabs attention and serves an urgent emotional need of your prospect".

Image explains how to create the big idea in copywriting

But again don’t look to make this perfect at first…

Have a basic idea…

Then run with it and start creating your copy and the big idea can change along the way.

Remember it’s about letting your subconscious come up with the idea…

Just like how the best ideas come out of nowhere, have you ever taken a shower and something sparked?

That’s the subconscious making a POP.

Now here’s the thing…

I want to give you a Final tip but before I do, make sure to check out this full video of explaining this copywriting research in more detail here:

What is the structure of copywriting?

Because if you’re new to copy or have been writing a few promos in the past…

Most people think that writing copy is writing the whole thing at once.

This is not true!

The structure of copywriting is actually creating these parts of your copy from your research…

And then writing them separately to and combine it all together…

Writing copy is done in stages.

With that said here’s a basic way how you should structure your copy…

Step 1: Write your headline

Step 2: Write your Lead

Step 3: Take the prospect's objections and handle them

Step 4: Write Your Offer

Step 5: Add your guarantee

Step 6: Add testimonials


This is the order your copy structure should be in when it’s finished…

Now, if you want any help with any of this let me know in the comments below and ill do my best to help. 

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