Top 7 Steps to Writing Effective, Attention Getting CopyBy Karla Benson Cook
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Whether you’re writing copy for a newsletter, a full blown website, or traditional newsprint ads, keeping certain key principles in mind will help you to appeal to the wary reader/consumer of today. In today’s world of information overload, people are becoming burned out on all the hype that’s presented to them on a daily basis, especially online. The old protocol of trying to establish trust with the reader is harder than ever to do. Today’s savvy web-surfer wants information presented in a succinct manner, with the big question being “In 2 seconds flat… what you can do for me?”
- Choose the single most important benefit of the service or product you provide. Highlight only one upfront. Is it the price, reliability, uniqueness? Listing too many things out of the gate tends to give the distinct impression of pushiness. If the most important thing you have to offer doesn’t catch their attention, chances are the rest of what you have to offer probably would not have been enough to keep them in the seats, either.
- Use attention-getting headlines, but make it approachable. Using too many capital letters for instance tends to “scream” at the reader, and looks too much like hype. If you want to draw their attention to a point, use bold letters, or underlining. Don’t overuse. Avoid the following: “It’s Hot!” or “Create Serious Wealth!” How many times have you seen these tag lines? And do you believe them? Exactly.
- Use bulleted lists to describe the features of your product or service:
· The eye naturally goes directly to lists
· Information tends to be provided in a more concise manner
· The reader doesn’t have to hunt for the important stuff (which many won’t take the time to do anyway)
- Make the reader/consumer “feel” the need for what you sell. Listing the inventory of features of your service or product won’t necessarily make anyone want to buy it. Which of these examples resonates more with you? “This product will help increase your productivity.” Doesn’t every product claim that? Or “You’ll cut out hours of tedious labor every week, simply by…” Less work? I’m in!
- Believable testimonials sell. Use real customers with their pictures, and provide their contact information if at all possible. Using photos that are a little grainy or off center actually lends to the credibility of the testimonial. Using slick or professional photos make people think “actor” or worse, “salesperson”.
- Write in a natural, conversational style. The best suggestion is to write your first draft, then read it aloud, preferably to another person. Does it make sense? Or sound too pretentious or hi-brow? Remember you must be able to appeal to a broad spectrum of people. Many of these people may not appreciate the “smart-alecky” humor of today, so leave that out. Keep it simple.
- Finally, if you want the reader/consumer to take some kind of action – ASK! Tell them very clearly what they need to do next. Adding a special deal within a short time frame (Get 1 free if you call in the next 24 hours!) will help create the urgency to act on your buy request.
Karla Benson-Cook is owner/operator of Light The Way Creations, which helps new business owners steer through the confusion of online marketing.
Her site http://www.lightthewaycreations.com offers low cost, easily run, startup business opportunities.
Article Submitted On: September 26, 2005