Copywriting Monkey

I was on a conference call where marketing was being discussed.

The discussion turned to “back end promotions”. Which means, “what you sell people after they bought your entry-level product”.

And the topic was the copy used to sell “back-end promotions”. One of the well-known, high-profile marketers on the call said something like, “Heck, you don't need a great copywriter to write  that stuff. Those people are already your customers. A monkey could write that stuff.”


That player is out of the game.

If you think any piece of your copy can be written by “a monkey”, you're in trouble.

Because if that's what you think, you're saying your customers are monkeys, too. See how that works?

And if you still think there's nothing wrong with all that, try this exercise: imagine your mother or your grandmother is the customer in question. Now imagine telling Mom or Grandma you hired a monkey to handle this part of their transaction, because that's all the respect you needed to give them.

How's that working for you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I can agree with you, Ray. I think this whole a-monkey-could-do-it mentality, at least in the context of your call, is a gross extension of automation. That is, it's automation taken a bit too far.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for technology, automation, and ease of replication, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks that are simply…mundane.

    However, there are some aspects of marketing (or, heck any communication…and, in the bigger picture, life in general) that require the human touch, so to speak. You simply can't automate that, and no robot, monkey, or automated program could do that for you.

    • Thank you Ray — great share! Though I've been a copywriter for well over 25 years (yep, I'm old!), I am always searching for new information as well as reminders to hone my skills. It pains me (no drama intended) to see marketers who may or may not be skilled writers selling their followers on how easy it is to write or “monkey” sales copy. One thing copywriting is not, and that's easy on any end.

  • Great subject line, Ray – “Copywriting Monkey”

    Sure, I agree the second sale is often easier to make than the first — but that doesn't mean a monkey could do it.

    Perhaps this well-known marketer is taking for granted a skill that comes easily to him? Perhaps he views himself as a monkey?

    All kidding aside, I find that we tend to undervalue whatever we do well because we assume everybody else can do well what we do well.

    But that's not true at all.

    Often what comes easy to us is extremely difficult for others.


  • One thing is for sure: even a noob like me who actually never learned english in school or private class can feel and understand that sales letters must be written GOOD.

    Maybe that “guru” (it could be only a guru, real internet marketers woulnd't be able to say that) had in mind that notoriuos phraze said by I don't remember who about a tousend momnkies typing random would re-write Shakespeare's work within a given time.

    There is the point where I personaly draw a line between a guru and a real internet marketer : “Those people are already your customers”.
    FALSE !
    I hardly can think to something more inaccurate. Is not “your costumer”. Is “your costumer FOR NOW”, until he click the unsubscribe link.

    Vacheron Constantin and Rolls-Royce are probably the best quality watches & cars worldwide. Quality top. All you must do is wear / drive. Still, both need a certain level of maintenance; far far less than average but if you badly want them perfect .. Same (in fact far more) is about your costumer. Give them not enough attention, show them lack of respect and sooner or later you'll loose'em. Period.

    Why ? Because there is no perpetuum mobile, does not exist.

    My 2 cents.

    Valentin Hornicar (aka wmraul)
    Bucuresti, Romania

    ps: about the recent downloaded interview: … buah ! That's not an interview, is a “how to” serie of lections … THANK YOU, Ray !