General Marketing Copywriting
The most important copy is your sales literature and there are a number of very simple but vital rules and guidelines you should always bear in mind.
The heading must be immediately appealing
This is your most important goal. Always assume that your reader is just scanning and your headline has to stop them in their tracks.
The benefits must be attractive and realistic
Build on your headline. The first two or three words are critical. There can sometimes be a case for headline poppers such as: FREE; AMAZING; ATTRACTIVE; EASY; GUARANTEE; WIN etc. Always bear in mind that you have only a few seconds to grab your reader. Now you've got them, keep them. Your copy needs to follow on the promise of the headline.
Keep your message clear.
It must be straightforward and easily understood. There should be no doubt about what your message is. Don't use a long word where a short one will do. Don't try to impress with your knowledge. Bear in mind, not everyone is blessed with good reading skills. At the same time don't dumb it down so that your readers get bored.
Keep your message short
You may think your product or service is wonderful and you could think of a thousand things to say about it – but your reader may not feel the same. Tell them what they need to know, then stop.
Focus on the benefits
Copy often neglects to mention how the features of a product or service will benefit customers.
- A feature is a function of your product or service. You sell digital cameras that come packaged with a set of free batteries - that's a feature.
- A benefit is the thing that your product or service will do for your buyer to somehow offer a solution to a problem. Your cameras come with free batteries, making it easier and more convenient for your buyers to use their cameras immediately without any additional purchase, that’sa benefit.
Target your Audience
Your product or service is never going to appeal to everyone. In fact, if you try to market it to everyone, you will end up with a less well-defined product and therefore fewer sales. So take the time to ensure that you are targeting the correct audience, and then create copy that will be attractive and appealing to them. Different customers may require the information to be pitched differently, so you might have two leaflets selling exactly the same product, but targeting two quite different customer segments.
Include a Call to Action
This seems fairly obvious – Buy Now - a call to action.
Oh, if only it were that simple; we’d all be rich! There are two things that you must remember when putting together a call to action:
- What action you want people to take
- Why they should take this action
Think carefully about exactly what you are trying to do. Are you trying to generate leads? Do you want people to sign up for your free newsletter? Are you trying to attract a specific audience and hoping to convert as many of those people as possible into sales?
It is vitally important to understand that all copy, should, if possible, contain a call to action that clearly identifies what action is desired.
Plan your layout carefully
Making the most of your layout is especially important when you're writing short copy. The right blend of emphasis and information is the best way to attract viewers.
Too much information can appear unattractive, unappealing, and unprofessional—and the clutter will detract from the meaning of your message.
On the other hand, too little emphasis leaves you in danger of never catching anyone's eye. If your ad is totally boring, no one will ever even see it—and if they somehow do, they probably won't look at it long enough to find out what it's about.
It is important to find the balance. A strong message that is clear and easily readable, and also aesthetically appealing with a good blend of colours.
Check spelling and grammar
Spelling and grammar should be checked and re-checked, and then checked again.
Other business copywriting
Never under-estimate the value of good copy in other business literature. Attention to content is often overlooked in the myriad of other things involved in running a business, but its importance cannot be over-emphasised.
So, whether it is a marketing message or administrative correspondence, a well-written document will convey your message in a powerful and effective manner.
Well-written business literature should not only convey your message, but also be appealing and informative. It should be immediately clear and engaging, and reflect your knowledge, skills and professional attitude.