Tweaking (Not Twerking) for Response
Effective copy/content is more than stringing words together and cutting-and-pasting from other sources. Good copy/content that does its job — engaging readers and motivating them to take action — is the product of good writing and good editing (aka tweaking).
Writing and editing for response is part art, part science, and a whole lot of bending the rules I taught as an instructor of compulsory English composition, delivered to college freshmen at 7:30 in the morning. It’s also about bending — maybe even ignoring — rules found in the AP Style Book. (Gasp.)
Whether you’re a writer, editor, creative director or content manager, here are 15 tweaking tips to increase clicks, calls and visits to your store or website.
1. Move your call to action to the head of the line. Don’t make people scroll down to see it or bury it in the second to last paragraph of a letter. When you’re writing for response, CTAs belong where they can be seen easily.
2. Short and succinct is good when you’re writing for response. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of advertising messages daily, which means they rarely read ANY of them. Write for the scanner.
Before: You can now save 25%
After: Save 25% now
3. Hot spots are eye magnets. Move your most powerful words and benefits into hot spots (e.g., the beginning of a sentence, subject line, headline, etc.) where they’ll be seen first.
Before: Share this free game with your friends!
After: FREE game – share it with your friends!
4. Lead with the benefit, then let the feature follow as supporting detail.
Before: Our 100% money back guarantee (feature) means you risk nothing (benefit).
After: You risk nothing with our 100% money back guarantee.
5. When it’s appropriate, use bullets to summarize and draw the reader’s eye to key selling points.