Why Copywriting Is Like a Game Show

Game show host and contestant

I love game shows. Ever since I was a little kid watching “The Price Is Right” with my grandma on her old black-and-white TV: Bob Barker would enter the stage with his corded microphone, calling out, “Welcome to ‘The Price Is Right!'” I would sit transfixed on her bedroom floor, watching contestant after contestant win their way on stage to play games for cash and prizes. I would laugh and clap when they won a car or a living room set or maybe a trip to some tropical place I’d never heard of.

The sheer magic of watching people make their dreams come true (hey, maybe that lady from Texas really wanted a hot tub!) has stayed with me. I don’t laugh and clap like I did when I was little, but I still smile and feel a warm glow whenever a game show player wins, whether it’s money, a gift certificate—even a hot tub!

It dawned on me this morning, while I had “The Price Is Right” on in the background, it’s the same way I feel about helping my clients. I get that same warm glow when they come to me with a problem I know I can solve. It sounds hokey, but I don’t know how else to describe it.

For instance, I wrote a press release for a client and distributed it through a service to all the local news outlets. Well, a journalist picked it up and turned it into a front-page story in the local, medium-market paper. Not only did the PR result in positive coverage, but the event we were promoting also saw a spike in registrations after the story was published. Those results made me feel good!

It’s not just pride in a job well done, either. This is different. I simply enjoy seeing people win!

I also know when I create and execute an email marketing campaign that results in subscription rates going from flat to increasing 22 percent each week, it makes me feel good. I like to help.

Don’t get me wrong. The actual writing often feels like hard work. As any good copywriter can attest, finding the right words and putting them in the right order to persuade people to take the right action at the right time can be a challenge. It’s not always fun, and it’s never easy. BUT the end result always makes it worth it: a happy client seeing how your words have a measurable effect on their bottom line—it makes me smile just thinking about it.

So, can anybody else relate? How do you feel after you’ve launched a successful campaign or won a hard-fought case? For me, it’s like watching a contestant win $10,000 playing Plinko!