This is the heart of any business. Without effective communication nothing happens.
Copywriting can and often is misunderstood. Through my 25+ years of being in marketing this has to be proven as the make or break skill-set. Words that get cash is the simplest way to define good business copywriting. If you are non-profit then we can say it is words that persuade an action.
Take a look at the Wikipedia definition for “Copywriting”: “Copywriting is writing copy for the purpose of advertising or marketing…”
Copywriting is not literature of the highest order. It’s not read for pleasure. For those of us who write advertising and sales copy our challenge is more immediate.
The aim is to compel a person (usually lots of people) to reach for their debit card. I said “person” in the singular because when we construct our sentences and paragraphs it’s to be done in the voice of talking one to one over coffee.
Getting a relationship built with trust is the aim. We need to know what our reader is conversing about in their head before we assemble our copy. This is the way to select the proper words in order to spin them and create the style that suits their liking.
Style demands both imagination and discipline. We are planting a garden that shifts colors and patterns along with the seasons.
Most think it can be created overnight but many never understand how to craft style during their lifetime. But that’s why top level copywriting is a paid skill.
Here are a few guidelines that can give you an idea of how to get started:
Put an emphasis on clarity. Readers can’t act on an offer if they don’t understand it. Clarity beats too much creative expression. What’s good I’m a novel can ruin copywriting.
Use colorful words that energize. Short and gritty native English words will pack this punch. Words that derive from Greek and Latin herbs to sound more abstract and cerebral.
Go with the native English vocabulary when you want to create the dramatic impression. Turn to the Greco-Latin style of writing when you want precision and showing of great knowledge.
Be aware of the rhythm. Varying the structure of sentences will create a lovely movement that will move the reader’s mind effortlessly. Put dashes in your writing occasionally to bring exciting turns, twists, and shifts. Following long sentences with short ones brings dramatic impact.
Observe for “stoppers.” These are words that make the reader hesitant and ponder. They make the reader backtrack and retreat from the intended message.
Be more specific than general. This makes the language have more impact. It alludes to creating sharp and well-defined images in the reader’s mind.
Adapt the voice of the piece to the product and audience. If you’re selling fine jewelry then use a traditional upscale voice. Use a warm and empathizing tone when promoting a charity. Always put yourself in the shoes of one of your audience members and bend the writing to appeal to their desires.
Maintain the consistency of voice within the entire piece of copywriting. Funny start with folksy talk and switch to sternness and rigid boredom later. Keep in mind copywriting is about writing a salesletter, which is more direct than a newsletter.
A salesletter shouldn’t sound like a brochure either. You will shift your voice in long salesletter however, and when you do try to sound like the same person in a different mood.
Go to sites like Bloomberg and get a free education. Look at headlines and find advertorials to glean from. Read them like a consumer, and see if you’re tempted to buy.
Read a wide range of material. Don’t limit your analytical reading to ads and professional literature. Read corrected works of great essayists and journalists.
Look at high end magazines at the bookstore or digital versions noticing differences in style. Read an occasional novel or short story looking for compelling chunks of writing.
An action could be as small as filling in a simple form to purchasing a high end product. We will do this through writing what’s called ‘direct response’ copywriting in the form of a sales letter, video sales letter, and print ads. Each of these must be engineered with an artistic and structured flow that leads the prospect to take a firm action.
In direct response copywriting we eliminate the decision to buy and replace it with the DESIRE to buy. They need to be thinking “I need it now because it’s going to make my life happier.” “Because it’s going to give me _____, _____, and _____, and that makes me happy. They need to feel they’re going to get their investment money back ten fold. Investment not expense. It’s about being happier and making their lives better and more enjoyable.
I want your business to get referrals and lots of them. Contact MAH Digital Marketing because I want your business to succeed.