Copywriting Essentials

Date Location Register
September 8 – October 13, 2015
Every Tuesday, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST
November 3 – December 8, 2015
Every Tuesday, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST
February 9 – March 15, 2016
Every Tuesday, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST
April 26 – May 31, 2016
Every Tuesday, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm EST

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Write Bold, Relevant, and Unexpected Copy.



You’ve got your creative; you’ve got great content, now it’s time to make it shine with words. But the words you use and how you use them are of vital importance. This live online course will help participants integrate fundamental strategies and tools using well-written copy to build and sustain customer relationships. This course will address the fundamentals from traditional media like direct mail as well as emphasize writing for new digital media including email, social media, web, and publicity. You’ll learn to draw rules from the traditional and apply them to digital.

The goal of every marketer is to integrate across all channels and build new relationships as well as strengthen your existing ones. Here, we will touch on how to create an integrated marketing plan across channels effectively. You’ll discover ways that leveraging your work in one area can be coordinated and supportive in others.


  • How to write great copy for today's markets
  • Learn how to create an effective marketing strategy
  • Write for all channels: teasers, taglines, value propositions, offers, and calls to action
  • Discover ways to write for traditional DM & print channels
  • Explore writing across digital channels
  • Delve into writing for emerging channels

Key Takeaways

  • Master the must-use skills of writing powerful, profitable copy
  • Discover how to write persuasive emails, build successful landing pages, and emphasize key selling spots in layout hot spots
  • Learn to stand out among the 150,000 words your target audience reads every day

6 weeks

Week 1: Writing for Today's Markets

  • Introduction
    • Who we are and how we cross over all of marketing and all titles and levels
    • Who you are and what is your scope of work
  • Integrating Your Marketing Strategies: DM, publicity, digital, advertising
  • History: Key examples and why they matter now
  • Current situation today
    • How you set your message apart
      • Branding
      • Connecting social responsibility with marketing and social media
    • How the rules have changed (do not mail lists/spam blockers)
    • 40/40/20 rule vs. 5-2-2-1 rule - it all comes down to permission and relationship with customer
    • Elements that go into building the customer relationship
      • Writing should say something - make it relevant and unexpected
      • Today's copywriter is not just a writer, but a message writer and relationship builder
  • When you write, why are you writing? Ask these four questions:
    • What am I selling?
    • Who am I selling to? And who else is selling to them
    • Why am I selling this now?
    • What do I want my customer to do?
  • Getting started with writing techniques
    • Brainstorming
    • Answer 4 questions
    • Identify value proposition
    • Identify benefits and features

Week 2: Writing Great Copy

  • Assignment Review
  • The rules and mechanics of good copy
    • Examples - The good, the bad and the ugly
    • Style
    • Organization
    • Layout
    • Importance of grammar
    • Rule breaking
    • Authenticity
    • Rhythm of three
  • What is good copy?
  • Being relevant, unexpected, unique - Looking at things from a new angle
  • Testing to know if it was good? What is customer response?

Week 3: Creating an Effective Marketing Strategy and Tactics Involved

  • Writing for all channels: teasers, taglines, value propositions, offers, calls to action
  • Developing a good marketing plan and tactical strategy/li>
    • Examples - The good, the bad and the ugly
  • Integrate and use all channels: DM, email, web, social media, publicity
  • How to use other channels including TV, video, advertising
  • Traditional channels vs. digital vs. emerging
  • Revisit the four Questions
  • Anatomy of campaign pieces across all three channels have the same underpinning
  • In-class activity - focus on what works/what doesn't work
  • Vote for your favorite teaser/offer and why
    • Different elements - how to write for each one

Week 4: A Closer Look at Writing for Traditional Channels: Emphasis on DM/Print

  • Traditional channels
    • TV/DRTV
    • Video - some call it traditional, some say emerging
      • Look at market and uses
    • Mail/Print - direct mail: advertising, catalog, DM
      • Trends: Postcards, tri-folds, letters, catalogs, etc.
  • Revisit the four questions
  • Anatomy of DM pieces
    • Review what works: bullets, white space, images
    • Effective teasers
    • Remember: Rules of good DM and print are the rules of new media too
  • In-class or take home activity if needed
  • ECHO case study
      • What teaser would you write?
      • What offer?
  • Winning ECHO award examples
      • Identify who the target customer is for these examples

Week 5: Focus on Writing across Digital Channels

  • Types of digital channels - What to know about each to be an effective marketer
    • Email
    • Landing page
    • Website
  • Trends in digital
  • Revisit the four questions in the context of each type of media
  • Rules for writing each and reusing your work across the channels
  • Anatomy of a digital marketing campaign - ECHO examples of email, landing page and website

Week 6: Exploring Emerging Channels

  • Types of Emerging Channels
  • Social Media
    • Blogs
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn (B2B)
    • Others more audience specific (i.e. We Are Teachers)
  • Importance of a Social Media strategy
    • Building an audience
    • Finding new followers
    • Integrated to include the other media/medium
  • Mobile
  • Trends: HubSpot, Ground Swell, etc
  • Revisit the four questions
  • Unique attributes for writing for each platform
  • Review ECHO case studies
Are you just dying to attend one of DMA’s Education seminars this year, but you’re not sure how to convince your boss to let you attend? Try one of these approaches or download our customizable convince your boss letter.


        • I know budgets are tight, but this is an opportunity that pays for itself instantly. A single tip from any of the DMA seminar could pay for the costs of the whole training. I’ll be learning secrets from practicing experts and industry thought leaders.


        • I'll become more proficient in industry best practices, as well as on the latest tactics and technologies in today’s ever‐evolving marketing landscape. From direct mail to data governance, social media to email marketing; the DMA has all of our needs covered.


      • I can share what I learned after the seminar; maybe host a brown‐bag working lunch and present the team with all the new techniques, strategies, and ideas I’ll come back with. Combining my own notes and ideas with the session handouts provided by the DMA, I'll have plenty of inspiration and information to share when I return. Besides… this’ll allow everyone to get trained all for the price of sending just one person; and the team will definitely appreciate the opportunity to find out about the latest strategies used by many of our competitors today.


Still presenting itself as a hard sell? Inform your boss that your course can go on their accomplishments at the end of the year for their review: "Trained staff to improve results!" This is a win/win.

Instructor Bio
Christine Fleming McIsaac

Christine Fleming McIsaac
President, Smart Solutions Group, Inc.
After over a decade of working on the “inside” for Pearson Education and Scholastic, Christine started her own business and uses her experience in marketing, editorial, and sales to help all publishers reach their customers. Her company, Smart Solutions Group, Inc., specializes in everything marketing—from market research and strategic planning to campaign execution and product implementation.

In her spare time, Christine loves to write things other than marketing collateral. She’s the author of two children’s books: The Star-Spangled Banner and Art as Science.

Christine has a B.A. in Communications from Marymount University, and an M.B.A. in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Clare Harrison
Clare Harrison
President, Full Circle Consulting Inc.
Clare thinks creatively, plans strategically, and executes effectively. And those are the goals of her company, Full Circle Consulting Inc. Clare’s 19 years of experience working across professional and educational publishing and leading customer-centered marketing efforts that leverage print and digital channels translates into consulting services to help clients set marketing strategy, execute effective campaigns, and successfully implement research and product planning. As a publishing consultant, Clare works extensively with leading publishers and professional developers to craft and strengthen their brand, positioning, and marketing.

Before founding Full Circle Consulting, Inc. Clare worked across marketing and product development at Henry Holt & Company, Thomson Publishing, Pearson, and Scholastic and holds a B.A. from Providence College.

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