FAQs—frequently asked questions

FAQs—frequently asked questions—are a popular type of Web page, because they communicate important information that prospects want to know.

I created the below FAQ page for my Web site, but never posted it, mainly because I couldn’t decide how many and what other questions to ask, and how detailed to make the answers.

Hiring Bob Bly as a Copywriter: Are These Your Questions?

Q: You say you guarantee my satisfaction with your copy, Bob. How does that guarantee work?

A: Most clients are pleased and happy with my copy when they receive it. But if you are not, I will rewrite it according to your specific comments, entirely at my expense.

Q: What about sales? Do you guarantee that your copy will get the sales results I want?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: There are many factors in your marketing—product, market, price, list, demand, consumer preferences, design, approvals, current events—that I do not control.

Therefore, while I can and do guarantee your satisfaction with my copy before you test it, I do not promise—and cannot guarantee—specific results.

Q: Then how do I know the copy I hire you to write will beat my control or even be profitable?

A: You don’t. And neither do I.

What you are buying when you hire a professional copywriter is the increased likelihood that his copy will outperform your copy, based on experience. And that’s all.

Experienced direct marketers know that this is part of the risk of doing business. Inexperienced direct marketers usually don’t understand this, and have unrealistic expectations as a result.

The reality is that no one has a formula for beating the control or ensuring a winning promotion every time. If I did, Bill Gates would be my houseboy.

Q: Will you write copy for me for nothing up front but a nice share of the profits if your copy works?

A: No. Every job requires an advance retainer, and I do not begin work without it.

Q: Do you never, then, work for a royalty or mailing fee?

A: I LOVE royalty and mailing fee arrangements! But those royalties are paid as a performance bonus, not in lieu of an up-front fee.

If I were to write your promotion for no up-front fee, I would be in effect investing in your company. And I am not a venture capital investor or speculator. I am a copywriter.

Q: But why would a client pay you an up-front fee PLUS a royalty or mailing fee?

A: To give me a financial incentive to think about their product after the copy is written—and to look for ways to improve the copy on an ongoing basis, so it continues to generate a profitable response (see below).

Q: If you write a promotion for me and I need occasional tweaks, or want to do some headline tests, will you write that for me at no extra charge?

A: If the promotion is currently in use, and I am being paid a royalty or mailing fee, I will make those tweaks and create those headlines at no charge. After all, I have a financial interest in keeping my copy as your winning control.

On the other hand, if the promotion is not paying me a royalty or mailing fee, there is an additional charge to do more copywriting on your product beyond what was originally contracted for.

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