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Review of “Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales: Time-Tested Tactics that Prompt Action” by Jack Zerby on Skillshare

In this review, I’ll examine Jack Zerby's Skillshare course on improving your copywriting. Curious to know if this course is the right fit for you? Let's take a look.

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Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales: Time-Tested Tactics that Prompt Action on Skillshare: Our Verdict (2023)


4.5 / 5

"Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales" by Jack Zerby on Skillshare serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding and mastering the art of copywriting, an essential skill for anyone in marketing and sales. In this course, Jack Zerby shares his knowledge and experience, offering general guidelines to help you inspire action through words. You’ll learn the tools and techniques to write persuasive copy that drives results. The course is well-structured and easy to understand, perfectly suited for those who know nothing about copywriting, but don't be fooled – even experienced copywriters can find useful tips and practical techniques here.


  • In-depth content
  • Valuable resources and examples
  • Easy to understand
  • Suitable for beginners


  • Lack of face-to-face instruction
  • The course could be more dynamic


Copywriting is the secret of successful marketing and sales. Used effectively, it has the power to inspire action and generate results. Serial entrepreneur Jack Zerby has a thing or two to say about this in his Skillshare course “Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales: Time-Tested Tactics that Prompt Action,” so I wanted to take this up to see if I could master the art of persuasive writing.

Is this course a good choice for those looking to improve their copywriting? In this review, we’ll answer that question by exploring the course content, and we’ll evaluate what it offers for those venturing into copywriting.

Table of Contents

Course overview

Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales” is a 75-minute online course led by serial entrepreneur and designer Jack Zerby. This course is designed to provide essential lessons and practical guidance for those interested in the art of persuasive copywriting. Through a series of 13 engaging video lessons, the course covers the history of sales letters, how to identify your audience, popular writing formulas, creating headlines that grab people’s attention, and much more. It’s a great starting point if you want to learn how to write compelling and effective marketing content.

Who is Jack Zerby?

Instructor Jack Zerby making a cryptic introduction
Mysterious instructor Jack Zerby introducing himself

Jack Zerby is a designer and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He currently serves as the founder of DOHQ and https://designfordecks.com/. His past startups, Flavors.me (acquired by Moo) and Goodsie, have been covered in publications such as Forbes, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Fast Company, and Time Magazine.

Target audience

Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales” is suitable for a diverse audience. It is a great learning tool for aspiring copywriters, marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners seeking to improve their copywriting skills. Whether you’re just starting and want to learn the basics of persuasive writing or have some prior experience and seek to refine your techniques, this course will help you achieve your copywriting goals.

Since this course covers the fundamentals of copywriting, it can be of help to anyone who has a message to share or a product to sell.

Course Content

  1. Introduction
    • In this section, Jack Zerby introduces the course and highlights the importance of copywriting in marketing and sales.
  2. What is Copywriting?
    • Jack explains the fundamental concepts of copywriting and its role in persuasive content creation. He shares famous sales letters that are very useful for learning copywriting.
  3. Audience: What to Ask and Why
    • This section covers the importance of understanding your target audience and writing in their language. Asking the right questions can lead to obtaining better results.
  4. Classic Structures: Frameworks
    • Jack discusses various copywriting frameworks, including the Star, Story, and Solution framework, and the Problem, Agitate, Solution framework. You can find these frameworks in every ad used nowadays.
  5. Classic Structures: Principles (Part I)
    • This section covers key principles like the use of tension and triads in copywriting. These principles are used to create engaging and memorable copy.
  6. Classic Structures: Principles (Part II)
    • Jack discusses additional principles like pattern interrupts, which focus on engaging readers and addressing their needs effectively.
  7. Headlines: Analyzing What Works
    • Jack stresses the importance of headlines and provides examples of both good and bad headlines. To write a good headline, you must write with your audience in mind.
  8. Headlines: Purpose, Types, and Upworthy
    • This section explains the primary purpose of headlines and introduces the three types of effective headlines: self-interest, news, and curiosity. It also discusses the use of Upworthy as a tool to find effective headlines and learn from them.
  9. Headlines: Frameworks
    • Jack talks about various headline frameworks and provides a list of words and phrases commonly used in headline creation.
  10. Headlines: Applications
    • This section is about the practical application of headline-writing techniques and the importance of testing the headlines you write. You never know what will work or not until you test it.
  11. Copy: Features and Benefits
    • Jack explains the difference between features and benefits in copywriting and provides an exercise to help distinguish between the two that consists of writing them side by side on sticky notes. The most important thing, he says, is communicating benefits to customers.
  12. Short vs. Long Copy
    • This section addresses the debate about the length of marketing copy. The length of your copy depends on factors like the product or service’s complexity and audience, but you should never sacrifice your message’s meaning by trying to make your copy shorter.
  13. Improving Your Skills
    • Jack provides recommendations for improving your copywriting skills. Hand-copying ads and letters is a great exercise to understand their structure and the reasons they are effective or not.

What I liked about the course

An image with text that says 'What is copywriting
What is copywriting?
1. I liked the instructor’s approach to teaching copywriting. Jack Zerby’s practical style makes the course concise and easy to understand.
A stack of books with a title that reads 'The only books you need to learn copywriting
The only books you need to learn copywriting
2. Plenty of resources and learning materials. From historical sales letters to contemporary examples, Jack offers a comprehensive overview of copywriting.
A vintage hourglass, symbolizing timeless classic frameworks
Classic frameworks are timeless
3. A remarkable aspect of this course is the use of classic copywriting frameworks and principles. Since human nature has not changed, these frameworks are timeless and effective when creating persuasive content.
A notepad with a list of catchy headline starters
Words to start an eye-catching headline
4. The course is easy to understand, making it accessible to both beginners and those with some copywriting knowledge.
A series of interconnected steps on a path, representing a step-by-step guide to writing effective copy
A step-by-step guide to writing effective copy
5. I found the course to be a complete beginner’s guide to copywriting. It covers all the fundamentals necessary to start in this field and provides a solid foundation for further learning.
David Ogilvy allegedly wrote 104 headlines to get to this one
6. The use of numerous examples throughout the course helps illustrate the concepts being taught, making it easier to learn the principles of effective copywriting.

What I didn't like about the course

  1. The lack of the instructor’s face in the course videos. The content is enlightening and useful, but some learners like myself might find it challenging to follow along with just text and images. Having a visual of the instructor could help to make the class more engaging.
  2. The course, although informative, could be more dynamic. It consists of a narrated presentation, which would not engage some learners. More practical exercises and interaction with the instructor would be appreciated.

How much does the course cost?

Courses on Skillshare can not be bought individually – they can only be accessed by signing up for a Skillshare membership. The good news? Skillshare offers e-student.org learners a full month free trial if you use our link (if not using our link, there is normally only a 7-day free trial). As virtually all Skillshare courses will take you less than a month to complete, you can in effect take this or any other Skillshare course for free – or any number of courses that you can finish in a month.

Once your free trial is over, the cost of Skillshare is $165 per year, which averages out to $13.75 per month. This gives you full access to all 34,000+ Skillshare courses. But if you're not happy to continue, you can easily cancel any time before your free trial ends – just go to your payment settings in your account.

If you have no need for a free trial, you can instead get %30 discount on your first year by using this special link instead. With this link, your first year will be just $115.50, averaging out to $9.63 per month. Note that this offer is only valid for new accounts, so it can't be combined with the 30-day free trial.

Conclusion – Is the course worth it?

In conclusion, “Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales: Time-Tested Tactics that Prompt Action” by Jack Zerby on Skillshare serves as a solid introduction to copywriting. It’s a valuable resource for beginners looking for a strong foundation in persuasive content creation.

This course has significantly improved my understanding of copywriting. It teaches you the basic knowledge and skills needed to create persuasive and engaging marketing content, and it has certainly inspired me to explore this field further.

If you are seeking a beginner’s guide to copywriting and are willing to complement what you will learn with further exploration and practice, this course is a worthy investment in your marketing and content creation skills. So don’t hesitate; this course has all you need to know to start copywriting!