Marketers need to be awesome writers in order to get their message communicated. Whether you are doing traditional marketing like print brochures or direct mail, or online marketing like blogging or tweeting, compelling writing is essential.
The good news? With practice, great copywriting can also be easy. Here are some no-nonsense rules of writing for marketers:
Write with purpose
To connect with your readers, know who they are and what they want from you.
- Who is your audience – Not just their demographics, but what motivates them?
- What is the purpose of writing? To educate, persuade, sell, remind, promote? Have a clear purpose and call to action.
- Why do your customers care about the benefits? Know the features and sell the benefits, but have proof that your customers care about the benefits you are writing about.
- Be emotional, but rational too. Connect with your readers through personal insight or describing how your product will make them feel. People make decisions based on feelings, but need facts to back it up.
Say it with Less
Write at a 5th or 6th grade level, not because your readers are unintelligent, but because it saves them time.
Use fewer words, especially for the web. The experts say:
- 50% of the words in printed copy, should be online
- 10% of your readers stop reading for every word over 20 in a sentence
- Headlines should be 8 words or less
(There are always exceptions but you get the idea)
Look at it again tomorrow
Give yourself time to absorb it before everyone else. Then add your final touches.
- Do ideas come to you when you are not at your computer? As you are having a conversation, in the shower, or in bed, you may get the perfect idea on how to tweak your writing. Give yourself time to work ideas in.
- Ask someone else review your article or read it aloud to you. Different eyes and ears will pick up new things. Be open to how it flows or how ideas are perceived by others.
“Now that you are done, you have just begun.” – My High School English Teacher
Are you a writing at a 5th grade level? This article is at 5.3 grade level! Find out your article’s readability stats in Microsoft Word. Go to spelling and grammar, choose options, and put a check mark in the box that says “Show readability stats”.
P.S. In direct mail, 80% of people read a PS, and 60% of people read a PS before anything else. Did you read this PS? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts on copywriting.
Photo Credit: Rennett Stowe