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It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It: Understanding Copywriting

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It: Understanding Copywriting

Once upon a time, there were two Buddhist monks who loved to smoke. They were passionate smokers, stealing any chance they could to enjoy a cigarette. It seemed to them that the world would be perfect if they could smoke all of the time. But being monks, they were required to regularly stop smoking for prayers.

This bothered the two monks, and they discussed it with each other. It was resolved that they would go, each to the head of their own order, to inquire about the possibility of smoking during prayers.

One monk came back very upset. His superiors had scolded him most severely. The other monk, however, had gotten what he wanted. In fact, he’d been praised for his inquiry.


The first monk was suspicious of the second monk. So he asked, “What exactly did you say to your superiors?” The second monk smiled and said, “I asked if it was permissible to pray while smoking.”

There is a world of difference between asking whether one could smoke while praying versus asking whether one could pray while smoking. This may not be immediately obvious, but it’s a fundamental lesson you need to learn if you’re going to write effective copy for your business website.

Effective copywriting begins with knowing what your customers want from you. The second monk knew his superiors wanted him to live a life of near-constant prayer. Framing his request in a way that made it seem like he was moving closer to their desired end guaranteed his successful outcome. The first monk kept the focus on himself: his desire to smoke during prayers was seen as selfish and taking away from what the superiors felt he should be focused on.

Before you write any copy, make sure you’re very, very clear on what your customers want from you. All messaging should center on reinforcing the point that you’re the source of the answers they’ve been looking for. Make sure you’re not smoking while praying when they want you to be praying while smoking!

One last thing: this is an old story, and today we know that smoking is actually very, very bad for you. So don’t smoke – even if you’re praying!

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office