How to Keep Readers Glued to Your Sales Letters? Make Your Copy Easy to Read

September 24, 2010

Believe it or not, the easy access to technology today has made consumers lazier than ever.

They expect information to be delivered to them instantly and we, as sales writers, have to keep up with the times to meet our readers’ expectations.

To do this, you have to take great care in controlling the appearance of your ads and sales letters. You can achieve this by using graphic devices that make your copy (especially a long one) easier and faster to read.

Here’s a list of 10 effective graphic devices you can use to improve the readability of your sales letters:

  1. Subheads (they break up large blocks of text, making it easier to read)
  2. Bullets
  3. Numbered lists (like the one you see here)
  4. Underlining (use in moderation and on only the most important parts)
  5. Simulated handwriting (this makes your ads look personal and has been proven to increase sales response)
  6. Photographs and illustrations (remember to include a caption that makes a strong selling point)
  7. Boldfacing (use bold only to highlight key points)
  8. Screens (a light-colored background behind a paragraph)
  9. Yellow overprint (a feature in your word processing software that allows you to simulate markings made with a highlighter pen)
  10. Lines made of asterisks (this is especially useful in plain text emails)
Quoted from QuickStart Copywriter, “Day 7:  DRESSING UP YOUR SALES COPY“.

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Print Ad Layout Ideas: Insert Captions For Selling Below Every Image in Your Ad

May 27, 2010

Sales and Marketing studies have shown that the majority of people will first read the headline, followed by an image (or illustration), then the caption, then the body copy.

That’s why you should always insert a caption under every photo or picture you include in your sales product flyer or business brochure.

It has also been proven that captions which pull in the highest number of sales are ones that make a strong selling point. For example, let’s imagine you’re advertising a particular brand of facial cleanser. If your product helps consumers effectively remove blackheads and achieve better-looking skin faster than other brands, you could have a photo of an attractive model who has radiant complexion and include a before-and-after comparison of the amount of blackheads on the model’s nose.

To complete the photo, you might include an italicized caption in your sales ad that reads, “The ABC marvel gel helps you remove blackheads fast and achieve noticeably brighter skin after just 1 wash!” I personally recommend you to put your sales caption in italics because it makes it stand out from the rest of the copy around it.

In a nutshell, always remember to make your caption highlight the main selling benefit you’re trying to get across!

Learn everything you need to create killer ads and get real results from your copywriting campaign. Read more in QuickStart Copywriter.


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Layout for Flyers: Simple Design Tips that Deliver Better Results

April 30, 2010

When it comes to creating sales flyers, the rule of thumb is to Keep Things Simple!

Many people make the common mistake of adding too many shapes and elements that make their sales flyers hard to read. In general, people who read flyers scan from top to bottom. From my experience, I discovered that they look first at the headline, followed by the illustration, then at the body copy.

With that order in mind, design your layout in blocks. This means placing the headline, illustration and body copy in a blocked layout on the page. Start by putting your headline at the top, illustration under the headline and copy under the illustration. Remember to put a caption under the illustration as well. Write your caption in present tense and include your brand name and offer (“The Victorinox Huntsman Pocket Knife is available to you at greatly reduced prices when you shop at XYZ store”).  Wherever possible, maximize your layout and don’t leave too much empty space on the page.

If you don’t have good artistic ability, then I suggest that you hire a graphic designer to do it for you. You can hire a professional designer, which costs more, or pay a student who is willing to help you at an affordable rate. It’s up to you.


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Best Performing Ad Layouts: Vertical Ads

April 26, 2010

Did you know that “tall and skinny” vertical ads pull better response than horizontal ones?

There’s a reason for this and that’s because newspapers normally publish their articles in a vertical format. Readers who have become used to this format will be naturally attracted to ads that are oriented vertically.

Therefore, when you design your ad, always ensure that it is twice as high as it is wide. If you plan to run the ad in the papers, specifically request for this. Newspaper space is measured in column centimeters, which is the space that is 1 column wide (across) and 1 centimeter long (top to bottom). So if you plan to run an ad that’s 2 columns wide, the height should be least 5 centimeters. For an ad that is 3 columns wide, its height should ideally be 7 centimeters.


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Print Ad Layouts: Choosing the Right Font Size for Your Product Flyer or Brochure

January 4, 2010

Imagine with me a little scenario: It’s 7 pm in the evening and you’re just starting to check your mailbox. As you sieve through pile after pile of mail, a sales letter riddled with mismatching font sizes  – some big, some small, some even smaller – suddenly sticks out at you like the annoying ex you never hoped to see. How would you feel as a consumer? Would you read a piece of text that is barely legible? Would you buy the product that’s in the offer? I know I wouldn’t!

No matter how you see it, choosing the right font size can mean the difference between your ad getting read and ending up in the trash can. The font size is the size of the text that you use in your printed ad and it is measured in points. An example would be 12-point Arial or 10-point Times.  Arial and Times are different styles of font type.

As a good copywriter or even a business owner, you must always remember that the goal of a print ad, be it a product flyer or sales brochure, is to capture your reader’s attention and offer information. Marketing research has shown that anything that is visually hard to read will ultimately be chucked aside or get thrown away…and you don’t want to waste your advertising cost!

As a general rule, you should select your font size depending on how much space you have to fill and the number of words you want to fill the space with. Ads that pull the most number of responses normally don’t go under 10-point (smaller font sizes are difficult to read) or over 12 (larger fonts are exhausting to read because your eyes have to travel far to read a few lines of text) .  If you ask me what I think, I personally recommend 10 to 11 point Times (for body text) and 12 to 14 point Arial (for headlines).

While it is true that if people are interested in buying your product, they will read your ad regardless of the font size or type that you use, but you really can’t go wrong if you stick to these guidelines:

  • Vary your font size according the importance of your message and be consistent – if you decide that your body text should be kept at 10 point, then stick to it.
  • Only use bigger font sizes to create impact in important places such as your headline or cover page.
  • It also helps to ask your friends and family members (my mom, who is short-sighted, is an excellent judge!) to look over your ad to see if it’s legible to them or not.
For more tips to help you get the most out of your ad campaign and copywriting projects, download your copy of QuickStart Copywriter while it’s still available at the special introductory price!

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