Always lead with the most important, interesting, or relevant information, using sentences no longer than about 20 words and paragraphs with no more than three or four sentences.
If you don’t get noticed, you don’t have anything. You just have to be noticed, but the art is in getting noticed naturally, without screaming or without tricks.
There are two media types:
1) Lean forward refers to readers who are seeking out information about your client – often online. They want to know, so tell them.
2) Lean back are more passive, watching TV, sitting on the train, or listening to the radio in the car. You have to create interest.
The bulk of copywriting is targeted at lean forward.
No matter how good it is, edit it down. You have a split second to catch the attention of a newspaper reader flicking though its pages, and your creative concept has to hit home quickly. However, one you have the reader’s attention, you can work with it and can present your story.
Writing is a very high-pressure job, made easier by the precise audience profile, which gives you plenty to work with in terms of establishing a relationship with the reader. This low-volume, high-quality list gives you a clearly defined target audience to whom you can speak in their own voice, and use examples directly relevant to their lives.
Remember that the design has to sell the message. Every element of the direct marketing design should push readers to the end sell, so the designer should read the copy fully and understand exactly what it is that they are selling.
Relationship marketing focuses on retaining existing customers and building stronger relationships with them, and direct marketing – particularly with targeted mailers – is an excellent tool for developing existing customer relationships and increasing customer loyalty.
Our words actually change the chemistry of our readers’ brain. Those changes are filed away as bits of memory. The longevity of each bit of memory depends on the vividness of the experience being recorded.
I read the brief, turn it over so that I can’t look at it, and then summarize it in one sentence, no matter how clunky or unworkable that sentence is. Then I write it large on a big sheet of paper and stick this on the wall (this is how I get past the blank page). Then I think to myself, ‘it’s easy to do something better than that.’
Make sure your blog has a single author or voice, which will help to foster familiarity with your readers.
There’s a lot of information on our website, so it’s essential to organize it carefully to create the best possible experience for our customers.
Once your reader has picked up and opened your catalog you’re talking to a different audience. You now have to deliver the promise you made on the cover.
Overstretching for colorful words can damage reader empathy.
Always use the same number of bullet points for each product, and present information in the same order to allow for easy comparison.
Resist the temptation to repeat common phrases and reuse the best descriptive words.
Journalism is all about reporting the story as objectively as possible, while copywriting requires the writer to tell the story on behalf of the client. This is usually an objective and unbiased stance (any over-promotion within an article will result in loss of credibility), but you are always in the service of the person briefing you and your editorial will therefore be biased toward the marketing objectives of the client.
The fundamental role of a regular publication is to build a relationship with an audience, establishing rapport, trust, dialogue, interaction, and, in extreme cases, friendship. Your editorial content has to relate to the audience, and a good way to achieve this is to find out what they are like by creating two-way communication: invite them to write in, take part in competitions, fill in questionnaires, or comment on your website.
Is there a better way to say 3 for 2? Should the message be ‘Buy two and get one free!’ or ‘Three for the price of two!’ or ‘Save 33% when you buy three!’
My advice to young writers is to listen to your own voice even when working for a client – it may have been the spark that got you the job in the first place.
Copywriters usually influence the planning and structuring of a website (which is separate from actually building a site) because the content has to be linked together carefully so that visitors can navigate in whichever way they choose.