Making the Write Impression?

21st May 2015

It’s said that when you meet and have a conversation with someone that 93% of the impression they give you comes from the way they look, their clothes, tone of voice, manner and actions, and only 7% comes from the words they speak. To some degree one can understand this, we all remember the impression someone makes long after we ‘ve forgotten what they’ve said, but without wanting to argue the exact numbers it’s certainly true that it’s far harder to convey the meaning of words on a page or screen than it is when they’re spoken.

 

In marketing terms this means that an awful lot of information, meaning, emotion and tone of voice has to be articulated in as few words as possible. Brevity is at the heart of all good writing. It’s far harder to cover a subject in 100 words than in 1000, especially if you feel there’s a lot to be said.

 

Having mentioned Brevity, let’s add Accuracy and Clarity to make the ABC…Accuracy because you can’t afford mistakes of any sort and Clarity because the clearer the message the more likely it is that you’ll get the response you’re looking for.

 

Having said all that, here are some of our top tips to great copywriting:

 

1. Know your audience. What do they look like? What are their needs? What will make them take notice? What’s important to them? The more you understand your potential buyer, the easier it is to talk their language.

 

2. Know your product or service. What are you selling? It’s not a hammer, it’s a hole in the wall…in other words be aware of the benefits. And why yours over the competition?

 

3. Know what you want. What’s the purpose of this copy? Is it to inform, to persuade, to apologise, to differentiate? To sell? Your style will change accordingly.

 

4. Know who you are. Your writing represents your business. Your business has a brand. Your brand represents your vision, values and character. It has a voice represented by a style of writing.

 

5. Speak across. Never be condescending or over humble, speak across to your audience as person to person, not child to adult or adult to child.

 

6. Active voice. Speak in terms of “we”, not ”the company”.

 

7. Catch them quick. Catchy headlines, engaging first sentence, short sentences, short paragraphs.

 

8. Know your punctuation. Most people don’t really know what a ; does, or even a :. Punctuation acts as a signpost, you needto get it right.

 

9. Know your spelling. Mistakes make you look amateur

 

10. Check, then check again. Get someone else to read your copy for Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity. Don’t try and do this on the screen, print it out…and if there’s no-one else to check, leave it over night. Tomorrow you’ll read it with new eyes!

 

 


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