10 Keys To Copy That Sells!
Whether you're selling a product or service, the 10 tips below are your keys to writing great copy that communicates and persuades ... to get results! These guidelines can apply to most any form of consumer marketing communications: sales letters, brochures, web copy, or direct mail. As long as your goal is to elicit a reaction from your reader, you've come to the right place.
Many ads, brochures, and Web sites we see talk endlessly on and on about how great their products and companies are. Hello? Customer, anyone? Think of your reader thinking, "What's in it for me?" If you can, talk with some of your current customers and ask them 1) why they chose you, and 2) what they get out of your product or service. TIP: To instantly make your copy more reader-focused, insert the word "you" often.
The fact that your product or service offers a lot of neat features is great, but what do they DO for your customer? Do they save her time or money? Give her peace of mind? Raise her image to a certain status? Here's an example: If you go buy a pair of Gucci sunglasses, you're not just looking for good UV protection. You're buying the sleek, stylish Gucci look. So that's what Gucci sells. You don't see their ads talk about how well made their sunglasses are. Think end results. Now, what does an insurance broker sell? Policies? No - peace of mind. (See? You've got it.)
The first thing your reader sees can mean the difference between success and failure. Today's ads are chock full of clever headlines that play on words. They're cute, but most of them aren't effective. There are many ways to get attention in a headline, but it's safest to appeal to your reader's interests and concerns. And again, remember to make it reader centered - no one gives a hoot about your company.
Bad: "SuccessCorp Creates Amazing New Financial Program"
Better: "Turn Your Finances Around in 30 Days!"
Like mini-headlines, subheads help readers quickly understand your main points by making the copy "skimmable." Because subheads catch readers" eyes, you should use them to your benefit! Read through your copy for your main promotional points, then summarize the ideas as subheads. To make your subheads engaging, it's important to include action or selling elements. Bad: "Our Department's Successes." Better: "Meet Five Clients Who Saved $10K With Us."
Write to your customers like you'd talk to them. Don't be afraid of using conversational phrases such as "So what's next?" or "Here's how do we do this." Avoid formality and use short, easy words. Why? Even if you think it can't possibly be misunderstood, a few people still won't get it.
Avoid industry jargon and buzzwords - stick to the facts and the benefits. An easy way to weed out jargon is to think of dear old Mom reading your copy. Would she get it? If not, clarify and simplify. (This rule, of course, varies, depending on who your target audience is. For a business audience, you should upscale your words to what they're used to. In these cases buzzwords are often crucial. Just make sure your points don't get muddled in them!)
No one has time to weed through lengthy prose these days. The faster you convey your product or service's benefits to the reader, the more likely you'll keep her reading. Fire your "biggest gun" first by beginning with your biggest benefit - if you put it toward the end of your copy, you risk losing the reader before she gets to it. Aim for sentence lengths of less than 20 words. When possible, break up copy with subheads (see no. 4), bullets, numbers, or em dashes (like the one following this phrase) - these make your points easy to digest.
Let your prospects know they won't be the first to try you. Give results-oriented testimonials from customers who have benefited immensely from your product or service. Oh, and never give people's initials only - it reminds me of those ads in the back of magazines with headlines like "Lose 50 Pounds in Three Days!" Give people's full names with their titles and companies (or towns and states of residence) - and be sure to get their permission first.
Tell your reader what you want her to do - don't leave her hanging. Do you want her to call you or e-mail you for more information? Order now? Call to schedule a free consultation? Complete a brief survey? Think about what you'd most like her to do, and then ask her. It's amazing how many marketing materials I come across every day that don't make it clear what the reader should do. If you wrote interesting copy, your reader may forget you're trying to sell something. Tell her what to do, and she'll be more likely to do it.
Good. Now have it proofread again. Don't risk printing any typos, misspellings, or grammatical mistakes that will represent your company as amateurish. Hire a professional editor/proofreader to clean up your work and double-check your grammar. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impession! Oops - *impression*.
(c) 2002 Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://EzineQueenTutorial.com/
Can 97% Of Netpreneurs Be Wrong?
Why Some People's Ads Almost Always Make MoneyDiscover the Master Copywriter's Little-Known Secret of Locking in Profits!You don't know it yet, but in the next 5 minutes you are going to learntwo things that will enable you to command someone to do something anything ? and that person will do it without question. What's more, they'llthink it was their idea, not yours. Hypnotic Selling: Myth or Miracle?Dear unhappy business owner;Listen, we all know the key to success in any business is how well your message gets across. Do you know how to grab a visitor to your business and keep em? It's what they experience when they arrive that brings them back. And the biggest secret is-it's all in your writing!? Struggling with Your Marketing? Here's How to Fix That! (Read on!)? Who ...(related: Copywriting)
Sowing The Seeds Of Opportunity: How To Multiply Your Freelance (writing) Work
You can turn your $200 fee to write a press release into $2,000 to carry out an entire PR campaign...(related: Copywriting)
Lapsed Donors: How To Write A Fundraising Letter That Wins Them Back
Your definition may differ, but I define a lapsed donor as someone who has not donated to your organization within the last year, two years or three years. Donors who have not sent you a gift in over three years are not lapsed donors. They are former donors.Lapsed donors are valuable. Unlike strangers, they have supported you before. And they believe in your missio...(related: Copywriting)
Its Time To Start That Swipe File
Just as great fiction is an art, so is great copywriting. Beneath the art, however, there's a foundation of basic knowledge and skills. The craft that goes...(related: Copywriting)
Some Copy Tips From An Old Hand
I have been in the ad game for a long, long time. I have trained hundreds of writers, and I've been responsible for moving of millions £ & $ in product worldwide. Here are just a few tips that I hope will help you do a better job, and make a big...(related: Copywriting)
Cause And Effect
"Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect." Ralph Waldo EmersonWhat is the "unique selling position" in your market? Luck will not propel you to success. Understand the "cause" of your market's problem by k...(related: Copywriting)
Why Is Free The Most Powerful Marketing Word You Can Use?
As the famous cowboy Will Rogers once said, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there".So what does that have to do with "FREE"? Quite a lot really.Firstly, business is a constant evolution - a process, you simply cannot remain still even if you are in the lead. You need to be constantly improving, constantly evolving and constantly looking for ways to differentiate yourself from the other guy.Here's why:There are essentially three types of customers:? Type 1 was going to become your customer no matter what. ? Type 2 will never become your customer no matter what, ? And then there is Type 3...Type 3 customers are sitting in the middle, they're on the fence. They...(related: Copywriting)
How To Ethically Use A Swipe File For Your Ad Copy
Did you ever wish you could afford to hire one of thoseprofessional copy writers who charge $5000 or more to write asimple sales letter? Or worse, have you laid down yourhard-earned cash for a self-proclaimed "professional" writer, andgotten back something your 3rd grader could have written?If you spend countless hours staring at a blank page trying tocome up with compelling ad copy for that "killer" sales letter(you know, the one that's going to make you rich beyond yourwildest dreams?)... STOP!Why drive yourself nuts and give yourself a major headache tryingto train yourself to...(related: Copywriting)
How To Take Your Freelance Writing Chances
Your initial freelance writing assignments are the best way to present yourself to your client for repeated work. If you provide for them a good product, at a good price, they are likely to come back time and time again. The goal of any career, particularly as a freelancer, is to have steady business. Instead of continually needing new clients or another job to fill your day, why not utilize repeat business? When you make the most of your freelancing time you are helping yourself to gain more business and maintain that which you already have.For many people getting that first job is the key to success. It is the hardest part of working because more and more people want quality providers and want to use someone who is proven and worth the risk. You cannot get these jobs if you are new. But look at i...(related: Copywriting)
Copywriting 101: Exclamation Point, Friend Or Foe?
My name is Ann and I'm a grammar geek. There, it's out and I'm relieved. Does this mean my writing is perfect and consistently conforms to grammar rules? Heck, no. It does mean that I spend hours perseverating about serial commas, dangling participles, and feeling guilty if I end a sentence with a preposition. I worry endlessly about what I call the PowerPointification of America (i.e., the ...(related: Copywriting)
Dissolving Buyer Scepticisim ... A Lesson In Copywriting
When making a purchasing decision, people have their "rip off radars" on high beam. They're wary and so they should be -- after all, they're about to spend money so they want to be sure they're not going to get ripped off, AND they want to be sure they're going to get the absolute best return on their advertising dollar.Anyone can claim something generates great results. And they often do.Here are some ways to dissolve scepticism and prove your claims:1. Testimonials...(related: Copywriting)
Write Hard-hitting Headlines With Magic Words That Sell
Writing a killer headline for your copy is simple! You just need to follow simple dos and donts that make or break a headline respectively. If you think you have tried them all, check this out....TOP 9 POINTS TO FOLLOW:1. Stress on ADVANTAGE, RES...(related: Copywriting)