EPISODE #3 - “Hit Song” Copywriting Template

August 14, 2019

August 14, 2019

I like to think about killer pieces of sales copy like they’re hit songs. The truth is, whenever Beyoncé or the Beatles or the Backstreet Boys write a song, they’re trying to sell you on something. They’re selling you on their sound, their ideas, their point of view, their lifestyle, and of course, they’re selling you on buying tickets the next time they come to town.

Let’s take the simple path to organizing your sales message like a hit song so you can start singing your customer’s tune with stunning clarity and effectiveness.


00:03                            Welcome to the music of copywriting podcast to copywriting resource for take action entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Doug Pew.

00:18                            Welcome back to another episode of the music of copywriting podcast. Today we are going to talk about hit songs and what I call the hit song copywriting template. I like to think about killer pieces of sales copy, whether they're emails or sales letters or Facebook ads or videos like hit songs. The truth is whether it's Beyonce or the Beatles or the backstreet boys or the Beastie Boys, whenever they sing a song or write a song, they're trying to sell you on something. They're selling you on their sound, their worldview, their ideas, their, their point of view, their lifestyle. And of course they're selling you on buying tickets to their next show in your town. So let's take a little, a little deep dive. Well, not too deep. We're going to take a a medium dive into, uh, an interesting way to organize your sales messages the way that great musicians, especially popular modern day in the last 50, 60 years, musicians organize their sales messages through his songs because there's actually quite a lot of similarities.

01:34                            Now. Last week we took a bit of a psychological approach when we talked about the rock star copywriting framework and we talked about kind of how to think about selling with problems and how to open your sale and how to, to convince them that you have this solution and how to kicks, you know, their, their objections to the curb and all these kinds of things. That must go into your copy. But now we're going to, we're going to take a little bit of a different look at it and we're going to look at the big sections of your copy and what kind of stuff needs to be written in each of those sections. Yes, it needs to have the spiritual guts that we talked about last week, the problem and opened the sale and all that kind of stuff. But now we're going to get kind of specific.

02:19                            Okay. So when it comes to writing a song, now you probably know by now I, I'm a musician, I have a doctorate in music and I, I'm a very classical kind of musician, but I also love a rock and roll a lot. And I played in rock bands in high school and early in college. And just a few days ago I bought another guitar. It's this gorgeous cherry red epiphone, um, epiphone wildcat and offender hot rod amp. And Oh my gosh, I'm having so much fun pretending I'm a rock star and it's been a lot of fun. Um, but the, the, when you write a song, whether you are the Beatles or queen or Beyonce or whomever, there's a formula and it, she changes. Not every song is exactly the same of course, that that'd be boring. But there are some basic ways through a song that just about every song takes into consideration.

03:13                            Of course, each artist changes it up. We're going to apply these kind of big broad strokes sections to your copy. Okay. Because as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, as a course builder or a membership site owner or an ecommerce company or whatever you do in this online business game like we talked about last week and you need to sing your customers tune will these songs have form, they have architecture, they have structure. They didn't just chuck together a bunch of different words and notes and melodies and make a song and others there's an order to things. So we're going to get into that order and we're going to compare a copywriting advertising writing kind of sections of the copy to sections of songs as an easy way to remember, um, how to do it and sort of have a little skeleton guide as you go.

04:08                            Now you can follow along. I've, I've prepared a document on my website called the Rock copywriting framework. Excuse me, a Rockstar copywriting framework and hit song email template. Talked about the first half last week on the episode, hit on the episode number two and that today in episode number three, we're talking about this second half of the hit song email template or sales letter template or whatever kind of copy template you want to use. Okay. Um, so component number one, there's, there's really five components, five big areas of uh, a sales message. Now in the, in the pdf download, which by the way you can, you can find@douglaspew.com Slash Start and just below the opening screen scrolled on just a tab. There's a section called something like, uh, boost your sales with all my free cheat sheets. The very first one is this rockstar copyright and framework and hit song sales letter template, which you can download.

05:14                            And at the end of it, it gives a very real life example of an email that I wrote for one of my clients for an e-commerce client that uses both the rock star copywriting framework and the hit song sales letter or hit song email template. And it kind of labels it as it goes through. So you can see in, in, in practice, um, example. Okay, so let's go through the five components of a hit song, sales letter or a hit song. Email. All right, let's think about rock and roll. Rock and roll song. Even a pop song, Michael Jackson or backstreet boys or whomever, there's usually something that gets the song started and it's typically a riff or some kind of lick, a guitar riff, a piano lick, some kind of opening series of notes that grabs your attention. Okay? So then that, so that's component one of the hit song sales letter or the hit song email template is this attention grabber?

06:25                            Um, it could be very simple. It could be just a couple of chords. Like if you think of a song help by the Beatles, there's that one core rare, all that, excuse me, that's a hard day's night. So those are the one chord and it goes right in. It's been a hard days, but it's kind of an interesting chord to like, oh, attention. And it dives right in. If you take a band like led Zeppelin, they have a little bit longer, uh, opening riffs. And bought a boat and ban [inaudible] duty and a duty to a bomb, that kind of opening guitar riff, but they can be sweeter and nicer with like more modern pop. Um, I'm thinking of the songs like on the movie trolls, I can't think of the title of that song is the Justin Timberlake Song. Um, that opens up with a great attention grabber.

07:17                            Okay. So whatever style it's in or whatever time period it was written in, all of these hit songs open with a riff or a lik some kind of musical attention grabber that goes for your copy as well. You have to grab their attention. If it's an email, it's the subject line has got to grab their attention. I have another download on my website about subject lines, starter kits, which we're gonna talk about in a few weeks. If you want to grab it now it's at the same place. This download is Douglas pew.com/start you can dig in and see some examples in my, um, I think there's 11 or 13, I think it's 13 email subject line starter ideas to get you going. But basically there are different kinds of rifts, different kinds of opening licks to grab your reader's attention or if it's a Facebook ad, you've got to have something right at the front that grabs their attention just like the opening of their favorite song.

08:19                            Or if it's a long sales page or if it's the opening of your webinar or if it's the opening of a video, like think of something like the squatty potty video. That video opens all, all those Harmon brothers videos, they're open with some kind of attention grabber, whether it's an arrow being shot at the mom and the Chatbooks video, or if it's a a unicorn pooping and squatty potty, like that's an opening lick. That's an opening riff that just grabs our attention. Sucks us in. Okay, so that's component number one of a hit song sales message component number two, I call lyrics and legends. Okay, so you open with a was the hook or a reference or lick and then you move into the story, right, and lyrics and legends is like the story of the song, right? I'm thinking of a Song Hotel California for example.

09:09                            This is a big long story, but you have the opening riff on the piano and the guitars and then it's like, oh, what is this about? It's so intriguing. And then they go bop, bop on a doc desert. Hauwei [inaudible] cool wind in my hair. It takes you right into the story. So the lyrics, paint a picture for you of the scene of what's going on, of where you're going to go. It brings you into this story. This sauce. Great songs do that. Okay? Whether it's a happy song or if it's uptown funk or you know, a day in the life by the Beatles, there's a story and it comes in the lyrics. Okay? So that's the second big section of a hit song. Sales message open with some kind of interesting hook, which is often a headline and an opening sentence. That's what we call in music, the riff or the lick.

10:06                            Then you move into the big second section, which is the story or in music, the lyrics. Okay? Now after that story, there's a section of convincing them, like we talked about lastic with kick objections to the curb. Another way to do that with the width story, uh, is to use what we call in copywriting bullets. Okay. And these are like fascination bullets where we take an element of whatever you're selling and we zoom in a little bit on that element and we make it really exciting, really sexy, really like juicy. Like, oh my gosh, I got to know what that one is. And one fascination bullet could intrigue the reader or the listener so much that they've got to buy your pot just to find out how you're going to demonstrate that thing that you just told them you're going to demonstrate. So in, in the hit song, uh, in the hit song, I call these the shoe B dues and do ops.

11:08                            Okay. These are like the in between parts of the song, right? So go with me. In the song, we have our opening section, the riff and the lick, which kind of opens it up. Then the second component, the lyrics start, the singer starts singing and let's say it's Ray Charles or somebody like that and they're singing their song, you know, hit the road jack. And don't you come back? No. Mono, mono, mono more well in between some of his lines of lyrics, the background singers do these little additions, these little, I call them shoobee dues and do ops like do up, do up, do Buddha, boom do up do. That's kind of the behind layer of the main melody. And some of these do ops and Shoobey dues are so interesting to me as a listener of the song that I listened just for that one should be due or that one lick of a guitar that's in between the melody.

12:06                            I was thinking of that song, Hotel California, again, there's a fantastic little lick between some of the lyrics. I could hear it in my mind. Baby Buddha. It's just like, oh, every time I wait to hear Joe Walsh play that lick, that's like a fascination bullet. It's these extra fascinating things that are attacked in there around the story and around the hook that keep it interesting and, and like I gotta keep reading like what is this? And as a, as a listener to the music, those should be dues and do obstacles. Little internal fascination, musical points. Keep the song interesting on a second verse on a third verse on a, on a, on a subsequent chorus, cause it's Kinda the same music over and over again. But you can re excite the listener with these, this Shubie dues and do ops. Okay, so that's component three. So so far in our hit song sales letter or hit song email, we have the, the uh, the riff and the lick, the opening hook that brings them into the sale.

13:13                            Then we go to lyrics and legends, which is the, the story. And then in that story we get these Shubie dues and do ops, which is the bullets. Okay? Now if you're, if you're writing an email, you don't necessarily need tons of bullet points and they shouldn't be boring. It should be fascinating bullet points. In a longer sales page or sales letter, you will often have many, many, many bullets. Okay? So it's important too to work on your shoes and do obs cause they can really fascinate the, the reader or the listener. And again, these are, these are all kind of spelled out on this pdf, this free pdf. I prepared to my website@douglaspw.com slash start and scroll down just a tad and it's there in the rockstar copyright and framework and hit song, um, email template,

13:59                            writing a sales page or email sequence for your new online course membership site or product launch can be frustrating and take hours, days, or even weeks even at the best of times you put your heart and soul into your writing, but you're not sure if it's going to resonate with your audience. You've spent weeks or even months creating your content and a lot is riding on the success of your sales page and email sequences. It's the kind of fear that keeps you up at night, worried that all your hard work will have been in vain. Luckily there is a way to get your copy ready without spending thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars hiring another copywriter. I do copy critiques and one on one sessions to help you finalize and maximize the strength of your sales pages or email sequences. I take the time to study what you've written and make suggestions to improve and hone your copy.

14:44                            I've written winning copy, promoting online courses and seminars for influencers like Ray Edwards and social media examiner. I've coached copywriters as a part of the Ray Edwards International copywriter certification program. Here's what one of my students, Colin Daley said about my coaching and critiquing Doug is a copywriter who knows how to find the most important idea. Quickly is coaching a few simple but powerful suggestions helped me improve my copy in record time. Doug's unique musical perspective helps him feel the right word or phrase from the reader's point of view. If you're looking for a copy coach or a killer copywriter, I highly recommend Doug. Thanks Colin. To get your copy critique, visit Douglas pw.com/work with me and now back to our show.

15:29                            Okay. Component Four. So we've done our hook, which we're calling our rifts and licks. We've done our story with recon lyrics and the legends. Then we've done the Shubie dues and do ops, which is really our bullets are fascination points. And now in music, the fourth thing we call turn, turn, turn, and these turns, especially in an email, I thought of the three turns of that song, there is a season turn, turn, turn. This is the moment in the email after the fascination, after the bullets where you do a little turn, which leads you to component five, which is the call to action, which we'll get to in a second. But there's a turn, there's a, there's a turning point. So we opened the email with this hook. Got To Rick, what is that like? One of my favorites that I wrote, my hook is get your pen out of my crack.

16:27                            It's like, what are you being vulgar? I was like, no. Cause then the first sentence of the of the email is about an opera singer who had, was mad at the composer for writing notes in the part of her voice that made her crack. And so I'd tell the story and I talk about why that's important to them. And then I make this turn that leads into the message that I'm giving. Okay, so you have to turn the story toward the goal in mind. The Hook, it may sound abstract at first and not like it's going to lead to the call to action. And that's sometimes is really good because sometimes you want to kind of like shock and awe them a little bit like, oh my gosh, I got it. What does he mean by that? Like there's a famous Ben settle email. Subject line is a phantom pooping prospects.

17:21                            It's like, what the heck is he talking about? I got to open it just to figure it out. But then in that first sentence he keeps you interested and then he keeps it, he tells you a story, just like the lyrics of a song. And then he talks about these fascinations of the point he's trying to make, like the should be dues and do ops. And then there's a very clear moment of turning and the turn is this lead to the final point of the email, which is to take action. Okay. So at the end of the email, we call it component five. Taking it to the bridge is like James Brown, some of his songs, like I feel good being an internet or um, well there's so many examples, but he'll often shout to the band, taking it to the bridge, to the bridge, to the bridge, and then they'll go [inaudible] and they'll go to the really exciting bridge part, which is always the climax of the song.

18:20                            Okay. So in the email we make the turn and that takes us to the climax of the email, which is kind of this closing section, asking them to take action, whether it's to click to watch a video or to click to sign up for a Freebie or to buy something or to tune in next time, or whatever it is, there's gotta be an action at the end. Okay. So those are the five sections of this, this hit song, email construct. Okay. So one more time with musical terms and copywriting terms. The music opens with a riff or a lick, which is like our hook, our email subject line that hooks the reader in to the conversation and the opening sentence is very important. Often that opening sentence will answer directly the email subject line cause that keeps the reader interested. Okay, so that's the riff and the lick then comes the lyrics and legends which you start getting into the story of what you want to talk about.

19:21                            Like with Ben Settle's Phantom pooping prospects. That's about as dog and it's about how prospects are sometimes like dogs and it's this funny kind of story. Then there's the third section which is the should do's and do ops, which is kind of the fascination points where you list in a very transformative kind of language, the exciting parts of whatever it is you're trying to convince them to click on. Okay. Then comes the moment of turning component for turn, turn, turn and an emails. We also call it the turn or return from the store and we just pivot the whole conversation toward the transformation that's coming. Once they reach component five, taking it to the bridge, the call to action, the climax of your email. Okay. So as you've been listening, you've probably noticed that a lot of these are similar to the rock star copywriting framework and that's on purpose cause they really fit together.

20:20                            Okay. A sales email and you can apply this to a sales letter also, but this, this document is particularly written towards emails is uh, built in these five parts where you have the opening, the hook, then the story, the fascinations, the transition or the turn, turn, turn and then the call to action. And sometimes they move around a little bit. You might get fascinations after the story, you might get them before the story, you might even get them after the turn. You could even do a double call to action where you call to action and then you do the fascinations and then call them to action again. So in that sense you're being a creative songwriter. I mean it's typically best practice to start with the basic rules, like the basic outline I've given you here a or as a songwriter to start with. The basic of like verse, Chorus, verse, Chorus, bridge, chorus.

21:17                            That's kind of a typical song form. And then get creative after you've kind of conquered that to the point that you end up someday writing a Bohemian rhapsody kind of song, which is so much more than a regular song. It's like it's a, it's a rock and roll song. It's a ballad, it's an opera, it's a movie. It's like in six minutes. It does all of these things. That's a very advanced kind of song. So don't shoot for Bohemian rhapsody style emails at first. First, get the hang of these kind of basic like twist and shout kinda hit song emails that the general flow. And as you get better, you can get more creative and stretch the boundaries a little bit and see what you can do. Okay, so in the download I've prepared an email from an email I wrote for one of my e-commerce clients.

22:08                            And uh, I'm just gonna read this to you and you can follow along with the download. Again, the download is@douglaspew.com Slash Start and you scroll down just a bit to the boost your email conversions with one of my free cheat sheets says something like that in a big headline. The very first one is the Rockstar copywriting framework and hit song email template. Okay. Now you'll see when you download it on the right hand side, I have this little column that demonstrates each part, each phase of the emails so that as I read it, you can follow along. Okay. So this product was um, Hyland's teething tablets before the FDA shut them down. The FDA headed in for these homeopathic, uh, baby products. And it's too bad because boy, we use these teething tablets for our kids. A lot is e-commerce. Client of mine had the exclusive distribution rights for these teething tablets for several months and I started pounding out daily emails and we were doing some serious, serious sales of these on a daily basis.

23:14                            So here, here's a, an example of one of these emails that follows with some variation. You'll see there's a little bit of variation in the order of things. On the right hand column, um, the, the Rockstar copywriting framework and hit song email template. Okay, here it goes. The subject line is because this was Christmas time, so I was trying to get, get them. Uh, I'm, I'm a parent, so I know, I know their pain very well, so I thought it would kind of play on their pain and during the season to try to bring a Christmas flair. So here it goes. Now rests. He married parents all with sleeping teething babes. That's the subject line. After so many not so silent nights in a row, being woken with such a clatter of sore gums and sobbing swaddled Babes, one tends to feel as though their brains are being roasted on the open fire.

24:06                            Forget about chestnuts. If this has happened to you, I know exactly how you feel. I've certainly been the victim of the midnight mama bear nutcracker. It's your turn. She roared with smoking nostrils and poisonous forked tongue. After an hour of trying to calm the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I give in an order, some high, the Hyland's teething tablets online expedited, oh, come teething tablets, joyful and triumphant. At last, the Postman arrives and we've got a special package. Joy to the world. Relief has come. Maybe the whole homeopathic thing has you roll in your eyes. I know my eyeballs were rolling when I first heard about them, but then we tried them and at last we can finally get some zs. Now instead of the venomous hissing sound from a few nights ago, I hear my happy wife seeing a strangely exotic rendition of the little drummer boy, um, to meme.

25:10                            I love puddle wrap-up Pum Pum, which rather get that kind of action instead of daddy got run over by a demon. Speaking of getting run over, if you don't hurry, you're going to get run over by all the dads desperate for some disease. So click the link below and get yourself some of these amazing Hyland's teething tablets to save yourself from the stampede. Www dot Hyland's teething tablets.com. You'll thank me later. I some mommy blinking Santa Claus. I'll let you fill in the blank. Good night and good luck. And there's a sign off and that's the end of the email. Okay, so you can see how the rock star copywriting framework and the hit song email template all fit together as you follow along on the free download with this, uh, with this reading of this email. So the, the great thing is you can use this is pliable.

26:10                            You can move it around a bit, you can add personality, you can stretch parts, you can move some parts around a little bit. Um, like the, like the great songwriters do not every song follows the twist and shout basic framework or the basic verse, chorus, verse, Chorus, bridge, chorus framework that many, many, many hit songs follow. I recommend you start, if this is your first few times trying this kind of email or Facebook ad copy that you start is, you know, pretty close to the formula. And then as you get more comfortable with it, start finding your voice and start finding your way through this. Feel free to, to stretch it and make it your own. And eventually maybe you'll get to like the band queen did and come up with something so out there, but so effective like Bohemian rhapsody, which can't even be classified really as a song.

27:08                            It's like a, it's a ballot. It's a rock tune. It's an opera that it's amazing and six minutes, all these different things happen. So you know, you can get there too with your, your emails and with your Facebook ads. But this, this is to this framework and this template is to help you get started and get your, kind of cut your teeth in this kind of writing and help you get on your way and have some success. So one more time, if you haven't downloaded it yet, head over to Douglas pew.com/start scroll down just a bit to the booster. Um, but what is it called? Boost your something or other? With one of my free cheat sheets, the very first free cheat sheet, rock star copywriting framework, and hit song email template. That is all for this episode of the music of copywriting podcast. Next time we will take a deeper dive into one of my favorite bands and pink Floyd and we'll talk about pink Floyd's money secrets. So stay tuned for the next episode and we will take this whole rockstar and hit song thing to the next level with a real live amazing, super big time selling song and see what pink Floyd did to really turn this song into one of the most fantastic rock and roll marketing and copywriting lessons I can think of.

28:35                            Alright, we will see you next week. Goodbye.

Thanks for tuning into the music of copywriting podcast. Please take a minute to subscribe and leave me a comment and tell me what you think. If you liked the show, please feel free to share with a friend on social media for your complete fix of the music of copyright in podcasts. Please visit the music of copywriting.com see you next time.

Douglas PewComment