8 Mental Models by Legendary Copywriter Joe Sugarman

You are currently viewing 8 Mental Models by Legendary Copywriter Joe Sugarman
  • Post published:July 31, 2022
  • Post category:Marketing

I recently finished one of my favourite books on copywriting.

The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joe Sugarman. 

In it, the legend highlights 15 axioms, to sum up copywriting in its entirety.

Read this if you don’t want to read the book.


Axiom #1: Copywriting is a mental process.

Source: Author


It differs from person to person but every copy is made up of your unique experience and specific knowledge.

How you transfer that onto paper for selling a product or service is where creativity comes in.


Axiom #2: All copy elements have 1 job.

Source: Author


To get you to read the first line of the copy. Your foot soldiers are the headline, subheadline, and image.

They should be placed strategically to direct attention towards the actual body copy.


Axiom #3: The first sentence only has one job.

Source: Author


To get you to read the second sentence.

It is in those words that you need to grab attention and keep the reader hooked.


Axiom #4: The first few paragraphs and ad layout should create a buying environment.

Source: Author


Context is king here.

Rolex doesn’t do an ad with discounts & promotions. FMCG products can’t live without an ad with discounts & promotions.


Axiom #5: Get the reader to say YES in the first couple of lines of your copy.

Source: Author


People get interested because they can harmonize with your words.

Think of statements like “do you want to earn more but don’t have time for another job?”

Rarely would people say no to this.


Axiom #6: Your readers should be so interested that they can’t stop reading.

Source: Author


Think of your copy as a slippery slope. It should make your readers slide down to the end. Without stopping or breaking their flow.

You can do this with:

-Facts or figures




Axiom #7: When trying to solve problems, don’t assume constraints that aren’t there.

Source: Author


The difference between good & bad copy is testing. Because the latter will never improve.

Test, collect data, and then take a decision.

Never assume when writing copy.


Axiom #8: Keep your readers interested with seeds of curiosity.

Source: Author


Use phrases like:

-But there’s more.

-So read on.

-But I didn’t stop there.

-Let me explain.

-Now here comes the good part.

At the end of every paragraph to direct readers onto the next one.


What’s your favorite axiom out of these?

Comment your thoughts below!👇🏻

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