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Be a Good Copywriter: Definition of Interactive Copy

Updated on April 17, 2011

So I went hunting for jobs yesterday. Packed myself a sandwich, picked up my rifle, slapped on some camouflage pants and hiking boots, and set out with my duck call. Then I realized I took it too literally and went back inside and typed "" into my laptop.

I came across copywriter positions. I applied. They called. They asked for my experience with "interactive copy".


That was my response. Well, it was more like, "What do you mean when you say 'interactive'?" and then they were like


So, I didn't get the job.

I discovered after some research that these people could not possibly have a concrete answer to my question, and that this term "interactive copy" was simply some term they had picked up from the person who just quit for whatever reason. That whole incident not being satisfying, I decided to decide on a definition of interactive copy for myself in order to feel good about adding it to my resume.

To write interactive copy, a person must be able to engage their reader in a way that will resonate with that reader and instill the intended message. For example, my intended message above is that "'Interactive Copy' is simply some term some prick said on the phone to me because he wanted to make himself feel important, but that it is good to pretend you know what it is in order to get a job."

The real meat and potatoes here is trying to figure out what makes good copy, and hence a good copywriter?

Good copy is copy which engages the reader in a fact-finding or opinion-cultivating search. A good copywriter sets the stage for the reader to embark upon that journey. Most copy is written with the intention of making someone spend money, and the underlying journey is to the checkout line.

Example: Guenevere wants a new pair of shoes. She is then faced with the journey to the answer of the questions, "What kind of shoes do I want? From where? How much will I spend?" A good copywriter will take her hand to guide her on that journey. "Well, Guenevere, you want these leopard print pumps from DSW and you will spend $120 plus shipping." That is what this good copywriter will ultimately tell her, but not in so many words.

To be a good copywriter, one must be able to:

  1. recognize the selling points of the goods in question,
  2. identify and convey the message of the company whose goods are being sold,
  3. target the appropriate customers,
  4. meet customers' expectations, meaning, answer their questions,
  5. grab viewers' attention and be easy to read and decipher,
  6. and obviously be grammatically correct.

Reasons I know "Interactive Copy" is not extra special and is just some term some dude said once but it never caught on:

Here the helpful answers I came across during my fact-finding mission to answer the question, "What is interactive copy?":

  1. The geniuses at Randall Rench Marketing Communications Concepts really broke it down. They told me that it is copy that interacts with its readers. Duh. So I am thinking that it perhaps comes out and holds my hand, or gives me lemonade. But I found no copy that does that so that cannot be right.
  2. A job post told me that interactive copy includes bold, strategic, and persuasive headlines and taglines. It also will teach you to juggle. Projects, that is.
  3. Another marketing company said interactive copy is good copy. If copy is good, it is interactive. If it is interactive, it is good.
  4. Then I thought that, well, good copy is sometimes on the TV or a billboard, right? Randall Rench to the rescue again. Interactive copy can be offline too! They say. Experts said it. They said copy needs to be interactive offline, too. They say it has to be good! Offline or online it has to be good! "Otherwise, it's bad copy."

So, from these experts, I deduced that interactive copy is:

  1. good.
  2. not bad.
  3. online.
  4. offline too!
  5. does not make lemonade.


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