I love Columbo.
He’s sly like a fox. He knows ‘whodunnit’ right from the start (he’s just figuring out the ‘how’).
And I get a kick out of the way he says ‘just one more thing…’ to catch suspects off guard.
Best of all? I love that every episode sticks to a proven, deceptively simple template.
Think about it…
In each episode, you see the murder, Columbo appears about half an hour in and the rest of the show consists of him needling the suspect and looking for clues.
Every episode it’s the same. The pleasure comes in watching how our wily detective figures it all out.
You can approach sales copy the same way.
Follow a proven structure or pattern. I’ll resist the word template because it sounds so cheap but that’s really what it is.
However in this case, just like a Colombo episode, you can work within these constraints to make your copy unique.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel on every piece of copy.
It’s way smarter to follow a well-worn path and get creative within the parameters you set yourself.
Forget ‘outside of the box’ thinking. Stay inside the damn box. After all, out of limitations and constraints comes creativity.