Whether youre 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 todays world of information overload, people are becoming burned out on all the hype thats 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. Todays 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?
1) 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 doesnt 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.
2) 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. Dont overuse. Avoid the following: Its Hot! or Create Serious Wealth! How many times have you seen these tag lines? And do you believe them? Exactly.
3) 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 doesnt have to hunt for the important stuff (which many wont take the time to do anyway)
4) Make the reader/consumer feel the need for what you sell. Listing the inventory of features of your service or product wont necessarily make anyone want to buy it. Which of these examples resonates more with you? This product will help increase your productivity. Doesnt every product claim that? Or Youll cut out hours of tedious labor every week, simply by Less work? Im in!
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
Remember, most people get bombarded by information; especially flashy ads; all day long. If your reader can see fairly quickly that you are simply trying to help them, whether with products you offer or information, and not trying to sell them, they will be more likely to stick around and read what you have to say.