MUST-READ for Copywriters and Marcom People: Fast and Easy Way to Make Your Copy Easier to Read

April 19, 2015

ID-100121549

It doesn’t matter if you’re a sales copywriter or a Marcom person, one of the most important things to do is to check your writing for readability.

You may have spent countless hours fine-tuning and editing your work but does it necessarily mean your readers can understand you?

So before you send your press release or sales brochure for print, make sure you understand this rule-of-thumb: the more readable your text is, the higher the chance you’ll get a response.

Before you go, “What?! Does that mean I have to proof-read my document again?” Here’s the GOOD NEWS: Checking for readability is as easy as a click of the button. It only takes a minute and involves very little work on your part.

Here’s what you should do:

Copy and paste your text into Microsoft Office Word 2010. If you’re not using Microsoft Word, you can use an online readability tool such as http://www.readability-score.com

In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on Review.

Next, click on Spelling and Grammar:

Spelling and Grammar

In the window that pops up, click on Options:

PopupTick the little check-box that says Show Readability Statistics, then click on OK:

Show readability statsWhenever you run a spell-check on your document, you’ll get a summary of the readability statistics:

readability stats

Right up to this point, you’ll see several sets of figures. Don’t let them frustrate you. I hate numbers myself! But what we’re really interested in are the bottom 3 sets of scores

1. Passive Sentences is the percentage of your text using passive voice. The lower the percentage, the better.

Here’s why you should minimize the use of passive voice in your writing

2. Flesch Reading Ease is a highly accurate formula developed by world leading readability expert Dr. Rudolph Flesch. As the name suggests, the formula is based on the number of long words you use, and tells you how easy a text is to read. The higher the score, the better.

3. Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level relates to US Grade School reading ages. For example, a score of 8.0 means that an 8th grader can understand the document.

Now this doesn’t mean your reader has to be an 8th grader!

Bear in mind that your reader, who is very likely a busy person, has very little time (and patience!) in reading your copy. Asian readers, especially, hate to read something that is difficult to understand, or as they often say, “bombastic”.  It is very unlikely that he or she will give it full attention if they have to check the dictionary each time they encounter a difficult word (e.g. “tenacious”, “exacerbate”, “scintillating”, “collegial”).

You get the idea.

So always make your text easy for busy (and impatient) people to understand what you’re trying to say – without them having to check the dictionary.

If your Flesch Reading Ease score is low (e.g. 50 or below), it’s mostly due to sentence length. Proof-read your document again and pick out any long sentences. Could you reduce them? Or split them in two, even three? Check for any unnecessarily long words and use an online thesaurus such as http://www.wordreference.com for a simpler meaning of that word.

For example, could you say “co-operative” instead of “collegial”, or “lucky”, instead of “auspicious”?

Remember, the more easy your copy is to read, the higher the chance you’ll get a response!


Supercharge your sales writing skills in 7 days! Click here to get started!

Find this blog post helpful? Buy me coffee or send me a tip!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

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.


Supercharge your sales writing skills in 7 days! Click here to get started!

Find this blog post helpful? Buy me coffee or send me a tip!

Like This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


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!


Supercharge your sales writing skills in 7 days! Click here to get started!

Find this blog post helpful? Buy me coffee or send me a tip!

Like This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Copywriting Technique that Hooks Readers into Your Sales Copy: Use Positive Language

December 7, 2010

Here’s a sample of just one of the many advanced writing techniques from the QuickStart Copywriter ebook.

Everyone loves good news, whether it is an email informing you about a pay raise, or a special someone telling you that he or she loves you.

The same applies in sales writing. People typically find it more enjoyable to read something that sounds positive than negative. Using positive language makes your sales writing sound pleasing to the ears and it increases the likelihood of your readers reading it to the end.

So instead of:

Don’t forget

Say:

Remember

Instead of:

Don’t delay

Say:

Hurry

Instead of:

There’s never been a better time to…

Say:

Now’s the best time to…


Supercharge your sales writing skills in 7 days! Click here to get started!

Find this blog post helpful? Buy me coffee or send me a tip!

Like This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Common Copywriting Mistakes: Showy Writing that Serves No Meaning to Your Readers

November 15, 2010

Ever heard of the phrase “It’s all show and no substance”?

A lot of writers often fall into the trap of bombarding their readers with meaningless, showy copy just to make their sentences sound impressive, or even worse, increase the word count!

Bear in mind that readers today are much more discerning and better educated than ever before. They are quick to recognize that they are being sold to and anything that reads and sounds like a blatant sales pitch would be thrown away.

Think of your writing like a window. You want your readers to see the view on the other side of the glass. You want them looking at the view, and not the window.

Here are some examples of showy, meaningless writing that you should avoid:

  • “We are the world’s leading IT solutions provider, with more than 20 years of professional experience. We are most happy to provide reliable and convenient service at your doorstep.” (So what?)
  • “We offer high quality and reliable services!” (So what?)
  • “We are the country’s most trusted plumbing service. We believe in our esteemed ability to solve all your plumbing problems.” (So what?)
  • “Powerful and cost efficient, our office printers are the best on the planet!” (SO WHAT?)

How many ads have you seen start like this?

This is just scratching the surface of some of the critical copywriting mistakes that most writers overlook. I strongly recommend that you get your copy of QuickStart Copywriter to learn in greater detail the style of writing that will get you results – get it immediately and delivered to your inbox.


Supercharge your sales writing skills in 7 days! Click here to get started!

Find this blog post helpful? Buy me coffee or send me a tip!

Like This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


How to Write Powerful Body Copy: Use Verbs, Not Nouns

September 16, 2010

The secret to writing good sales body copy is to use words that sound active and vigorous. Like a Hollywood blockbuster director, your aim is to entice, engage and keep your readers hooked to the plot of your story.

And the key to seducing your readers is to use words that convey action, also known as “verbs”. But many writers, presumably trying to sound more professional, tend to turn their verbs into nouns – big words that are used to name complicated ideas. This weakens the impact of your message and ultimately smothers the quality of your overall writing.

Here are some examples of nouns used in a few ads I’ve seen and how we can rewrite them into verbs:

Noun: We are one of the world’s fastest growing exotic car specialists, what’s special about us is our passion!

Verb: We are passionate about cars! And that’s what makes us one of the world’s fastest growing exotic car specialists.

Noun: Our specialization is web design and provision of IT solutions for your entire needs.

Verb: We specialize in web design and solving your IT problems.

Noun: We assist organizations and individuals to improve daily operations through the promotions of InfoComm & Security Technologies.

Verb: We offer InfoComm and Security Technologies that improve daily operations for organizations and people.

Learn more advanced copywriting secrets for writing effective body copy, download the QuickStart Copywriter ebook here.


Supercharge your sales writing skills in 7 days! Click here to get started!

Find this blog post helpful? Buy me coffee or send me a tip!

Like This!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine


Email Writing Case Example: Can You Spot the Errors?

March 11, 2010

Here’s a sample of an email I received a few minutes ago. I noticed that it was full of  long-winded writing, old-fashioned terminology and grammatical errors. Can you spot everything that’s wrong with it?

Dear Sir/Mdm,

We are in receipt of your feedback dated last week, 3 March 2010.

We are sorry that we have delayed the sending of your requested document due to some mistakes in the information presented in it. Please be informed that our marketing dept is in review of your complaint and will respond soonest with your revised document.

We seek your sincere understanding for the delay and we offer our sincerest apologies for any unneccesary incovenience caused. We look forward to send you the latest document at the soonest.

Kindly contact our cust serv dept if you need any assistance in the meantime. Have a G8 day!

Yours sincerely,

[Company Name omitted to protect privacy]

Here’s how I re-wrote the same letter in a modern, natural style:

Dear Mr. Wong,

Thank you for your feedback of 3 March.

I am very sorry to hear about the delay regarding your document. I have personally looked into this and learnt that some critical information is incorrect and needs to be updated. Our Marketing Team has been working on the neccessary updates to ensure that the document you’ll be receiving is accurate. I will have the document arranged to be sent to you tommorow morning.

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused. Meanwhile, please give me a call if you need my help.

Yours sincerely,


Supercharge your sales writing skills in 7 days! Click here to get started!

Find this blog post helpful? Buy me coffee or send me a tip!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine