Don’t Be Afraid to Write as You Speak!

February 6, 2012

Don’t Be Afraid to Write as You Speak!

I often find it amusing when I read my emails.

It almost always starts off with “Dear Marc”, and then goes on with “Please find herewith…” or “Kindly be advised..”

I find that amusing because not only does it sound old-fashioned and boring, they are just not written in the language that people speak.

Do you feel the same way too?

In modern sales writing, it is important that your messages are the same as what you would say to your readers if you were speaking to them face-to-face. If you were talking to somebody in person, you wouldn’t use words like “Dear Sir” or “Please be advised” would you?

Let’s say you want to invite somebody out on a date. Can you imagine going up to that person and saying “Dear Michelle, I would kindly like to invite you to a seafood restaurant tonight. It is a very famous restaurant located in town. Please kindly RSVP. ”

You wouldn’t say it would you?

In fact, you are far more likely to say something like this, “Hey Michelle, there’s this new restaurant in town that’s famous for its amazing seafood! Why don’t we go try it out?”

See the difference in the emotions? One is written in the way that WE would speak, while the other is written in the way that our great-grandparents were taught to write in school.

In copywriting, it’s all about the results. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter if you write in perfect English or grammar as long as you achieve these 3 things:

  • Did you get your intended message across?
  • Was it interesting (and FUN) for other people to read?
  • Was it written in a conversational tone that you would normally say face-to-face with a friend?
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How to Increase Readers’ Response in Any Sales Copy: Speak Your Audience’s Language

January 21, 2011

How to Increase Readers’ Response in Any Sales Copy: Speak Your Audience’s Language

When you are writing to elicit a response from a particular type of reader, it doesn’t always have to be in perfect, polished English. It depends on whom you are writing for.

If your readers belong to a specific group of people who understand only basic English, then keep the style of your writing as simple as possible. It wouldn’t make sense to use writing devices like metaphors or similes or clever wordplay, which would confuse your readers even more.

The best way to increase the number of responses to your ads is to understand what a certain market segment want to hear and say it to them.

What is the ideal tone of voice you should use to motivate health buffs? What sort of language would appeal to teenage rock music fans? What would move die-hard romantics to tears?

You can apply this writing technique, among a string of other response-pulling strategies as taught in the QuickStart Copywriter eBook, to any form of sales copy. It can be anything, from a Facebook Fan Page wall post or even a script for face-to-face selling.


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1-Minute Learning for Busy Copywriters: How a Simple Writing Technique Can Make a Powerful Impact on Your Readers

January 18, 2011

How a Simple Writing Technique Can Make a Powerful Impact on Your Readers

Whether it is for a speech, sales letter or email, pay attention to the final word in your sentence.

In copywriting, we call it the “hot spot” – the word that makes the biggest impact on readers. So keep it for powerful words.

Instead of:

You will feel refreshed when you use XYZ brand of body foam.

Say:

XYZ brand of body foam leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed!

Instead of:

You’ll learn how to dress to impress when you read this article

Say:

This article will teach you how to dress to impress!


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Advanced Copywriting Secrets: How to Bring Your Writing to Life!

June 17, 2010

A lot of readers have asked me if there’s a secret copywriting technique to adding more texture and dimension to the general message of what they would like to write. And my answer is “yes”!

More often than not, people provide just the mere facts in their writing, often forgetting to include emotive and sensory words that give readers a true picture of what they’re reading. It is very important to paint a picture of what you are trying to communicate because this makes it easier for your readers to “see” the image you’re trying to create.

Therefore as you write, try to visualize the message of what you want to convey. If you are writing about a product, or anything at all, one of the most important copywriting skills you have to learn is thinking in pictures!

Describe your product in vivid detail, right down to its textures and colors. There is no limit to your imagination and  you may even add interesting details such as whether there are other characters in the scene you’re trying to visualize. What are their expressions? How they are feeling? Whatever your imagination may be, the key thing is to share with your readers what they will see, hear, feel, taste or even smell when they use your product – any product – be it a meat patty maker or a hamburger!

With that in mind, let’s play a visualisation game to help you improve the clarity and control of your mental imagery. Picture the sequence of events as your readers use or consume these common objects. How would your scene unfold?

  • An electric fruit juicer
  • A bar of chocolate
  • A bottle of wine
  • A mountain bike
  • An electronic gadget such as a smartphone
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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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Use Provocation As a New Source of Ideas for Your Ad Campaign

May 12, 2010

Recall an ad that you last saw. It could be an ad about that new beauty salon in town or the latest hair treatment solution for men above 60.

Chances are, the ideas would all start to look the same.

The good news is, there is a powerful advertising technique that allows you to discover new sources of ideas and draw attention in a stimulating way to your next ad campaign. This is where provocation can make a whole world of difference between an impactful campaign and a mediocre one.

When brainstorming thought-provoking ideas with your team, think about all the negative things about your product. Do your consumers have doubts, frustration or anger that they want to release? What are some of the unthinkable things that people would say about your product? The goal of this exercise is to drum up emotions which would help engage your team into a heated debate using provocation as a basis for new ideas.

Here’s a checklist of questions that will give you and your team the right foundation to stir up some controversy and thus paving the way for new, innovative ideas:

  1. What would be shocking, surprising or humorous in association with your product or ad campaign?
  2. How could you make your ideas controversial (Could it be breaking a taboo? Or addressing a social issue)?
  3. What would a child think or feel about the ideas in your ad?
  4. What unthinkable things would you not do with your product?
  5. Who might be offended or horrified by your ideas? How would people react?
  6. How would your product cause damage, and to what extent?
  7. If you could break a rule in the words you use, what would you say (E.g. Shit! Darn! Son-of-a-Gun! etc.)?

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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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