Writing better copy

As a writer, you are  removed from the consumer and you have only one chance to present your message.  If your copy is obscure or uncertain, you don’t have a chance to clarify your meaning.

The good copywriter surrounds a possibly ambiguous term with its intended meaning.  So, instead of just saying “The car can be leased very easily,” explain that the car can be leased from the XYZ Company.  List available car makes.  Show how freedom from paperwork makes leasing from the XYZ Company so easy.

By using concrete words, you yield more information and accu­racy, carefully moving your prospect over to your way of thinking by sharing facts.  Use descriptive verbs.

Avoid unfamiliar words if possible; they convey no information.  However, if you do need to use an unfamiliar word, define it carefully, thus giving the prospect a sense of instant expertise.

Write to your audience

Make sure your style is appropriate to your readership, your product and the occasion.

If your prospects don’t feel at home with your language, they’re not going to buy.  Avoid technical words if possible. (Unless its a technical audience)

Don’t use scientific terms unless they’re absolutely necessary.  Use a conversational tone, the kind that a farmer (not an agricultural engineer) might use when talking with a neighbour.  But stay away from localisms or slang unless you-and your audience-are at home with them.

Be Vivid

Evocative and vivid language frames whatever you’re talking about in a fresh way.  Strive for metaphors that work extra hard.   Why not make your readers respond with their sensory apparatus, as though they saw the object you’re referring to? Actually, you can convey seven different types of sense impressions:

1.  Tactile (those you feel)

2.  Olfactory (those you smell)

3.  Gustatory (those you taste)

4.  Visual (those you see)

5.  Auditory (those you hear)

6. Motor (those you feel through movement)

7. Kinaesthetic (those you feel through muscle sense)

Armed with all these images, you don’t have to be content with flat language.  You can make your readers active participants in the selling process by asking them to be just a little imaginative.

There are three more points to consider.

A selling style should be quickly understandable.

That doesn’t mean you are restricted to using only very simple words.  However, you should stick to language your readers are likely to know and use.

A selling style should be more direct and imperative than regular messages.

Addressing your prospects directly calls for  a heavy use of personal pronouns.  Both ‘you’ and  ‘I’ should play important roles in your sales material.  You have a one-to-one relationship with your reader, which can be very advantageous.  Don’t walk away from it by being cold and impersonal.

A selling style should contain more restatement than regular correspondence does.

Sometimes in print or broadcast advertising, because of the constraints of design or time, even very important parts of the sale message can be mentioned only once or briefly alluded to and then must be set aside.  In a mailing, though, you are in complete control of time and space.  Feel free to bring up basic sales points several times if necessary; it can ensure compre­hension and a sense of reassurance.  But instead of just repeating it, try to restate the point in slightly different language!


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