There is a lot of magic in Basecamp’s landing page. While the headline is money, what I love most is the email opt-in. What makes this killer copywriting? “Join the 4,088 businesses that signed up last week”, say’s you’re not alone and a lot of people have tried us and like us. “Start a free 30-day trial”, says there’s absolutely no risk in giving us a try.
While today Sunkist is a mega-brand, there was a period of time where they were growing more oranges than their customers were eating. They actually had to start cutting orange trees down. They ended up hiring an advertising genius named Albert Lasker who introduced American’s to the idea of “orange juice”. He patented an orange juice extractor, sold it for .10 cents a piece and American’s started buying oranges in droves. The campaign name? Drink and Orange. It’s a concept that is anything but new to us today, but back then it made for killer copywriting.
Last week, I was in Salt Lake City Utah getting my ass kicked on the slopes of Snowbird Ski Resort. While I was there, I fell in love with their billboards. They curated negative reviews and turned them into advertisements. Well played Snowbird. Well played.
I am a little biased here because I have worked with them in the past, but The Hustle does a lot of things from a copy standpoint really well. My personal favorite is their email opt-in page — “Your smart, good looking friend that sends you an email each morning with all the tech and business new you need to know for the day.” They have expertly created a trusted and personable brand through conversational copy.
Anytime you are making a change to your body, you want people to notice but not so much that they question whether or not it is fake. You want people to notice the 6-pack… not the liposuction. You want people to notice a thicker head of hair… not that you are using Rogaine. The same can be said for women who are getting their hair colored. Results combined with a secret as to how the customer got the results can make for killer copywriting — “Does she… or doesn’t she?”
On Medium’s “Our Story” page, they have taken everything we hate about social platforms, crossed it out in red ink and wrote down everything we would like to see. This is simple yet killer copywriting.
Everything about Squarespace is lovely. Everything. Like Basecamp, I really love the email opt-in here. “Start a free trial” says there is no risk for you to try us out. “No credit card required” says it’s not going to be a pain in the ass to sign up.
Harry’s is revolutionizing the shaving industry as we know it by introducing a completely new idea — men’s razors delivered right to your door step. Anytime you are introducing a foreign concept to your customers, you need to do a great job of explaining it. One way to do this is through simple and concise copy. Harry’s has killer copywriting because they keep it simple. They don’t get flowerly. They don’t try and impress you. They just attempt to explain what they do in the easiest way possible.
Like Harry’s, RXBAR is another company that has reaped the rewards of simple and concise copy. Previously, protein bars have been complex. Half of the ingredients you read on the back of them can’t be pronounced. RXBAR decided to create a bar that was just that… a protein bar. They kept it simple and created killer copywriting to further highly this simplicity. How about that ending line? “No B.S.”
Baron Fig is a small online business that sells beautifully crafted notebooks. I appreciate how their story utilizes some humor. “We make tools for thinkers.* *If you have thoughts, you’re a thinker.”
If you’ve never head of J. Peterman’s, you should introduce yourself now. Their online store offers an experience like no other. All of their clothes are displayed in the form of vintage drawings versus actual product pictures. Out of the 17 brands I have listed in this article, I think J. Peterman’s does the best job of combining lovely imagery with killer copywriting to pack a pretty punch.
Nothing screams simplicity like Hiut’s slogan — “Do One Thing Well.” I think this denim brand proves that investing in a timeless and powerful slogan is worth all the money in the world.
I love everything about this Lion Matches’ vintage advertisement. Through killer copywriting they made a match out to be the most valuable product in the world. Actually, it might be the most valuable product in the world?
14. Universal Barber Shop Street Ad
I couldn’t find the official website of “Universal Barber Shop”, but what a great idea for a street advertisement. Not going to get too far into the weeds here, but this is another example of how humor can sell.
Full disclosure… I actually wrote this product copy for the Aubrey Marcus Collection. I’m not going to brag about how great I think it is (although I do think it is great). But, if you are digging it, get in touch with me here. I would be happy to sling some copy for you too.
This is killer copywriting because it is humor that gives way to a realization in the customer.At first glance, you read it and smirk. Then, as the copy sets in you come to the realization that wait… Corvette is right… they don’t write song about Volvos.
This copy makes every copywriting bone in my body shake with delight. It’s punchy. It’s funny. It’s edgy. It’s killer copywriting. When writing copy, never be afraid to get a little edgy. It can sell like hell.
Alright, so that’s all I’ve got for you today. But, don’t be sad. This certainly won’t be the last Killer Copywriting post I wrote. If you want me to let you know next time I put something like this together… join my email list below. Or, if you want me to write copy for you, send me an email right here.
By Cole Schafer
Cole is the copy chief at Honey Copy, where he helps startups make more money through emails and landing pages that read like poetry and sell like Ogilvy. When he isn’t slinging copy, he is right here on Medium sharing ideas about life, business, marketing and pretty words. Or riding alpacas…