Copywriting Information

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.

  • Be reader-centered, not writer-centered.

    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.


  • Focus on the benefits - not just the features.

    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.)


  • Draw them in with a killer headline.

    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!"


  • Use engaging subheads.

    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."


  • Be conversational.

    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.


  • Nix the jargon.

    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!)


  • Keep it brief and digestible.

    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.


  • Use testimonials when possible.

    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.


  • Ask for the order!

    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.


  • Have your copy proofread!

    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/


    MORE RESOURCES:

    Entrepreneur

    5 Ways Professional Copywriting Elevates Your Website and Your Bottom Line
    Entrepreneur
    This scenario is a testament to the importance of investing in professional copywriting on your own company website. It's often a prospective customer's first interaction with your brand, so it needs to impress. It's no place to cut corners with ...

    and more »


    On copywriting, cakes and overpromising creative agencies
    Brisbane Times
    Years ago I worked in a marketing department where I spent many hours standing in the background trying to bring attention to myself. "Excuse me?" I would meekly call out as, right in front of me, my bosses flung many thousands of dollars a day at ...

    and more »


    TNW

    Craft the words to send your business soaring with these copywriting courses — and YOU decide the price
    TNW
    Effective Copywriting Principles help you identify what makes good copy along with exercises to help you create your own. With Intro to Marketing Analytics, you'll uncover the secrets of data analysis, using SQL (Structured Query Language) to crunch ...



    HuffPost

    5 Copywriting Articles That Will Change How You Write
    HuffPost
    If you work in marketing or communications, you know the importance of making sure your copy stands out and is persuasive. There's a lot of information on the web about what constitutes good copywriting but it's likely that much of this you already ...



    Business 2 Community (blog)

    Website Copywriting That Sells
    Business 2 Community (blog)
    Good Grammar – When it comes to website copywriting that sells, this matters more than you would think. A web page riddled in grammar and spelling errors distracts from your point. Pretty soon people are splitting their attention, and that won't help ...



    Media Update

    Ten tips for excellent copywriting
    Media Update
    An effective content strategy begins and ends with excellent copy, says Lauren Crooks, copywriter at Condriac. She says that it doesn't matter what your goal is, whether it is lead generation, sales conversion, or brand-building, what you say and how ...

    and more »


    The Drum

    The rules of copywriting. And why they suck
    The Drum
    Andy Maslen has been persuading people to think, feel and act differently since 1986, when he first started working as an in-house copywriter. He is managing director and head copywriter at Sunfish, the writing agency he founded with creative director ...



    Search Engine Land

    10 AdWords copywriting hacks
    Search Engine Land
    The holiday season is quickly approaching, and competition for ad clicks gets more competitive each day leading up to Black Friday. Even the most seasoned advertisers know that small improvements to ad copy can make a big difference in performance.



    MuMbrella

    The key to good copywriting? Jettison the jargon and keep it simple
    MuMbrella
    Words have incredible power in marketing. If you're trying to inform or persuade an audience, great copywriting skills are essential. Not all marketing managers are natural wordsmiths, but there are a few tips and tricks that I have learnt since ...



    Business 2 Community

    4 Ways to Make Your Copywriting Super Persuasive
    Business 2 Community
    Good online copywriting does more than just fill up the page, or offer fodder to the search engine algorithms. It also persuades. It encourages the reader to travel further down the sales path, either signing up for an email list, buying a product, or ...


    Google News

    home | site map
    © 2006