What Is A Copy Deck & How Do I Use It?

Copy, in the copywriting world, refers to the text used for the purpose of advertising or marketing. The copy is meant to persuade someone to buy a product, or influence their beliefs.

A copy deck is a written document, most often written by a copywriter, that contains the advertising idea with the specific wording to be used in advertising or promotions to persuade people to buy or believe in a product. It also contains graphics, any links, and really anything that is considered essential for promoting the product or service.

Since the term includes the word ‘deck,’ let’s look at this in the form of playing cards.

After determining Who Is An Ideal Customer, you are now ready to create your copy deck.

1. My Copy Deck Cover

A card deck has many cards, but one cover design. Every single card is identified as a part of that particular deck by its cover. A good copy deck is the same. It will take each facet of your advertising and align your product or service with a pre-existing customer desire. Aligning your product with a human desire becomes your cover. It is THE essential theme that will permeate every aspect of your advertising. Everything in your deck must reflect in some way upon that desire. Whether you are creating your own ads or not, you must understand this essential element as it is the core of all your advertising. Your ad creator cannot design effective promotions unless you are able to clearly convey this to him.

One of our clients is in the health and fitness field. As a new business, she came to us for help creating a website and marketing plan. During one of our sessions, we covered copy decks. We began by delving further into her target market.

  • We broke down the audience she was pitching to; 80% women to 20% men
  • We also decided that most people she was pitching to were overweight
  • We outlined possible human desires around her product, Body by Vi, in the chart below
  • We ranked the desires according to value

We listed many of the benefits her program offers then ranked each one according to its emotional appeal to her target audience.

Copy Deck, What Is A Copy Deck & How Do I Use It?, Business Marketing Engine2. Playing with a full deck

Remember – the written copy will be the foundation from which you build your supporting theory and message applications for all advertising, marketing, and in person sales pitching of your services.

Your copy deck should include:


Body Copy

Calls to action throughout

Social Proof

More supporting content

Final call to action

Copy Deck, What Is A Copy Deck & How Do I Use It?, Business Marketing EngineAfter aligning my client’s product with the primary desire of her ideal customer, which is to lose weight, I drew this visual so she could see how each ‘card’ was strategically played in this game we call advertising.

The person on the left feels secure and safe upon her home base. By placing the headline card at the top with its catchy, bold title, we capture her initial interest.

With the addition of some supporting info, the body card, we give her enough security to feel she can step over to do a little more research. We continue to strengthen our structure with engaging text, and she begins to feel this may be something that will actually work, especially since she read about her friend, so-and-so, who gave testimony about her own success.

By the time she has reached the bottom, she has seen that call to action numerous times and feels comfortable enough to take the initial step to make the initial phone call.

Copy Deck, What Is A Copy Deck & How Do I Use It?, Business Marketing Engine3. Display your winning hand

Now that you understand what constitutes a full deck, each card’s function, and how it is used to draw in your ideal customer, it’s time to actually write the copy or direct the ad creators to do so.

My client and I brainstormed many different phrases and action verbs, capturing as many human desires as possible to place into a clear concise format for the type of advertisement she was working on. I drew up another visual and we began the writing process, erasing and rewriting until we felt we had hit upon the right text for her copy deck.

Headline: Change Your Breakfast and Lose 10 Pounds!

Body: Let me show you how you can lose weight and save money with a breakfast that takes less than two minutes to make and costs less than $2.00 a day.

I challenge you to start today and join the hundreds of local people I’ve helped reach their health and weight loss goals.

Call to Action: Call today: 440-479-2485 or visit www.getfitgeauga.com (no longer an active business).

You’ll notice that not all the cards were ‘played’ on this particular ad. Your full copy deck is useful for many different types of promotions and advertisements which you will create. Pick and choose the cards best suited for the kind of ad being designed. This ad has been pared down to the essential three; the headline, body, and call to action to fit into the space permitted.

Your Turn!

Take some time and create a copy deck of your own then formulate an ad you could use in a newspaper. Follow these four steps and you’ll be well on your way to having your own winning hand!

1. Create a cluster form of benefits. Rank and label.

2. Create and title five documents for your copy deck: headline, body, social proof, additional supporting details, and a call to action.

3. Fill in these documents with appropriate descriptive words and phrases for your product/service.

4. Write a newspaper ad or two with a headline, body, and call to action.

Your copy deck will change as your business changes, but you’ll now have a framework established to work within and an understanding of how to use it effectively. If you would like help in creating a working a copy deck or in writing effective copy from your current copy deck, feel free to contact us.

If you found value in this post, please comment and share it. It would mean a lot to me!

P.S. If you need help coming up with a rock star copy deck, or need fresh content for your blog, try our FREE headline and idea creator tool here.