Legendary copywriter Jospeh Sugarman’s 15 axioms to write copy that sells

Jospeh Sugarman wrote the copywriting BIBLE.

Here are his 15 axioms to help you write copy that sells. 🧵

It combines
• Your knowledge of the product
• Your experiences
• Your writing

To create an advert that sells a product or service.

What do you call a customer who never reads your copy?

An imaginary friend.

If you can’t get a potential customer to read your copy, you’re never going to convince them to buy.

One sentence is not enough.

That’s why your first sentence MUST make them read the second sentence.

These are critical moments in your copy.

You wouldn’t buy a luxury car from a rusty garage.

But if you go to have your car serviced, you expect to see tools around.

Your ad needs to set the right frame.

You want your reader to feel like your inside their head.

You want to enter the story they are telling themselves and align with it.

Each sentence you write must give the reader a reason to read to the end of you copy.

If it’s too boring, they’ll tune out.

Stories from the press can help capture attention.

We often assume constraints that make work more difficult than it needs to be.

Check your assumptions

Imagine if a constraint wasn’t true.

Say “I have a secret to tell you” and watch your listener lean in.

We want to know what’s hidden and will pay more attention if you create a story gap or “open loop”.

A concept is what makes the product unique or noteworthy.

This could be an attribute of the product (the thinnest digital watch) but it could be something surrounding it (A pocket chess computer pitted against Gary Kasparov).

Your subconscious is an ad generating supertool.

It can find connections between disparate ideas for totally original and noteworthy copy.

Give your brain the chance to speak by taking breaks.

Short =/= good when it comes to copy.

Concise copy is the most effective.

Both require you to cut extra words, but concise copy can be very long. It’s just not longer than it needs to be.

So don’t write your copy to everyone, write to one person.

And write it as you would if you knew them.

And if you’re wondering what to do when you have multiple personas, well you write multiple pieces of copy.

Copywriting is sales in print.

And in a sales conversation, the potential customers is going to have questions and objections.

It’s the same when they read your copy, but you can’t just pop out of the page and answer them. (if you can, tell me your secret!)

So you have to address them in your writing.

No further questions your honor.

“Kill your darlings” said Stephen King.

It applies to copywriting just like fiction writing.

Your goal is to edit your content so you express your ideas in the fewest words.

A painkiller is for a problem someone has now.

A vitamin is to prevent issues in the future.

The first is easier to sell as we want relief now! But we delay preventatives like vitamins because they aren’t urgent.

To sell a “vitamin” present it as a cure or emphasise the aspects that are a cure.


Here are Jospeh Sugarman’s 15 copywriting axioms to help you write copy that converts.

If you found this article valuable:

1. Follow me on twitter for more threads on marketing, copywriting, and creativity. → @espressocopy

2. Each week I share a condensed newsletter with three quick items that will improve your copywriting in under 5 mins. Get your copy at https://espressocopy.com



Most creators struggle to stand out and make sales due to their average copy. I help you write copy that converts so you can pursue the life you want.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Chris Wilson

Most creators struggle to stand out and make sales due to their average copy. I help you write copy that converts so you can pursue the life you want.