Violin bow resting on sheet music

Copywriting tip 20: The copy loop

Violin bow on sheet music - trimmed

I’m 20 days and 20 tips into this journey.

So far, we’ve looked at how to start the writing process.

How to open your copy: in the reader’s world.

How to craft your writing, shorten those sentences and words.

But how do you finish your piece of copy?

My brother, Piers, is a conductor.

No, not a bus conductor. A musical one.

Here he is at work:

Piers Maxim conducting

And here he is with the Queen:

Piers Maxim with the Queen

But that’s a story for another time …

Piers tells me that sonatas have three movements.

The first movement is called the Exposition: introducing the musical theme.

The middle section, the Development, goes off and explores that musical theme.

But the last movement, the Recapitulation, returns to the original musical theme.

It’s a reminder, for the audience, of what originally drew them in.

There’s a finality. Closure. Like the full stop at the end of a sentence.

Good copy does the same thing.

End with a reference to the headline or opening line of your copy.

For example, let’s say you’ve got an opening line of:

Our new range will save you an arm and a leg on servicing costs.

We go into beautifully-crafted copy. Then, the last line:

So, save an arm and a leg. To use for better things.
Like picking up the phone, or walking to your nearest store.

Can you feel the relief? We’ve arrived.

There’s a completeness.

It’s known as the copy loop: looping back at the end.

(But I call it the copy sonata.)

What you can also do is build in a threat.

For example, an opening line of:

Content marketing is the future.

A positive copy loop would be:

So, to see what the future holds, call us.

But a threat version would be:

So, don’t get stuck in the past. Call us.

Careful. Don’t threaten them with death. Or divorce. Just a gentle reminder of the repercussions.

So, always end your copy with a reference back to the first line or headline.

You’d be loopy not to.


This tip is based on my 30 Tips in 40 Minutes webinar.

Feel free to download a version of the slides and watch a video of the one-hour webinar.

Image source: Pixabay


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Jon Maxim

Jon is a multi-award winning copywriter. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients – large and small – develop engaging concepts, content and copy. For 25 of those years, he’s been teaching people how to do it themselves. His courses on copywriting, ideation and presentation skills are highly sought-after and highly effective. Jon lives in Sydney, Australia: but is often found on a plane, heading to where he’s most needed.