Creative: Multichannel Copywriting

DLA website copy includes generous use of subheads, numbered bullets and charts to help the reader absorb a complex message.

The email had a 47 percent open rate from the very first effort, due to an urgent subject line.

Social media messaging is short, encouraging the reader to learn more.

Tactics that work across direct mail, email, Web and social media

The principles and foundation of direct marketing copywriting are timeless. But the copywriting styles used to market the same offer across various media aren’t always the same.

While the tactics differ, one principle is constant: At the moment your prospective customer is consuming your message, you need to build motivation to take action now.

Direct Mail vs. Digital Media
Direct mail is often written in a formula—a framework—with a call to action. Direct mail affords flexibility in copywriting style because a letter can be two, four or even 16 pages long (depending upon budget and the category of product being offered).

One of the classic direct mail formulas, identified generations ago, is AIDA: attention, interest, desire and action. When this formula was first envisioned, it was obviously with the notion that all four processes would unfold while the reader was reading a letter. But now, because there are so many media options, and a shortened attention span from readers, this formula can unfold over a number of touchpoints. Moreover, the medium that gets the prospect’s attention and brings them into your sales funnel can be virtually any vehicle: direct mail, email, Web landing pages, social media, content marketing and more.

Some media choices are designed for long copy, others for short copy. The environment your prospective customer is in while consuming your message can reveal what your prospect’s mindset is at that point in time. Our challenge as marketers is to identify the best copywriting approach for each vehicle.

Putting It Together
To illustrate differences between vehicles, let’s examine how the Digital Learning Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to improving economic growth by advocating for personalized education through the use of digital learning technologies, used multiple vehicles to reach technology companies. DLA has a list of educational issues that dozens of state legislators in about 35 states are attempting to solve through legislation and funding of initiatives.

Reinventing Direct is for the direct marketer seeking guidance in the evolving world of online marketing. Long-time traditional direct marketer, Gary Hennerberg, has reinvented his skills multiple times in his career. As a former marketing and product manager, agency executive, and now a sought-after consultant and creative director, Hennerberg has successfully transferred traditional direct marketing principles to online media. An author, speaker, strategist, copywriter, and analytics pro, he founded Hennerberg Group, Inc., in 1992. Email him using the link below or follow Gary on LinkedIn.Co-authoring this blog is Perry Alexander of ACM Initiatives. Alexander’s passion is conveying information clearly and compellingly. He is a veteran marketing strategist, copy editor, design pro and video producer. Hennerberg and Alexander have worked together since 1996. They integrate direct marketing methodology in cross-channel marketing applications for end-to-end, strategy-to-roll-out initiatives that drive people to action. Follow Perry on LinkedIn.
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