Pat Friesen

Pat Friesen

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer and creative strategist. She is also the author of “The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook,” published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

55 Words That Convert

You don't have to be a word nerd — or a writer — to appreciate the power of a well-chosen verb to increase opens, clickthroughs and conversions that lead to more sales. With most of today's digital and ink-on-paper marketing including at least one call to action, verbs are more valuable than ever.

15 Marketing Opportunities You're Missing

This isn't about writing blah-blah-blah copy that just fills space or makes a search engine happy. It's about seizing under-utilized, often ignored, and unexpected opportunities to present marketing messages that 1) get noticed, 2) delight readers, and/or 3) separate you from the competition.

Marketing Guru Wanted

What your customers really want to know is “What can you do for me?” They are looking for reliable assistance in making smarter buying decisions and finding solutions to their problems. Experts (AKA gurus) are generous, genuine and germane in what they offer. They demonstrate their authority in all they say and do. It’s a strategy, not a copy tactic.

A Readability Checklist for Writers, Designers and Approving Managers

Because improved readability leads to more reader engagement, which, in return, generates more response (aka opens, clicks, calls, shares, retweets, leads, orders and dollars), we're doing a follow-up to our recent article on encouraging cross-channel reader engagement. The following do's and don'ts checklist provides tips for increasing readability from both a writer's and a designer's perspective. Feel free to share and let us know what you think. (We love response!)

Who's Got Your Number?

Numbers (Arabic numerals such as 2, 15 and 783) are powerful fuel for copy and content writers. They can grab a scanner's attention; make your case faster with analytical-types drawn to numbers; and support benefit statements with credible detail. Here are 14 quick tips for how to use numbers as a marketing tool. (Note: These tips probably don't follow the AP Stylebook or your company's style manual. Remember, they are from a marketer and for marketers.

13 Tactics to Get Your Marketing Messages Read

Are your marketing messages viewed on screen, on paper or both? Wherever they're seen, the No. 1 goal of your writer-designer team should be to snag the scanner's s attention and create immediate engagement while realizing few people read every word. Try these tips to increase engagement — aka response, sales, donations, clickthroughs or whatever other measure you use.

Making Headlines. Literally.

Headlines are the one copy element almost every ad, email, brochure, blog post, whitepaper, landing page, self-mailer, postcard and Web page have in common. An irresistible headline is the lure that hooks your reader.

This One's for YOU

Here's a writing tip you can use instantly. It's easy and it's guaranteed to make whatever you write—email, direct mail, web content—more engaging and reader-friendly. (Hint: I've already applied this tip three times to what you just read.)

Riddle Me This

Most of you reading this probably aren't copywriters. Instead you're the people who provide input to writers; the professionals tasked with creating marketing messages that generate clicks, calls or trips to a store or an event. So, while you're most likely not a writer, you play a major role in the writing process because of one or more of the following:

6 Tips to Transform Ordinary Sales Copy Into an Extraordinary Sales Story

When your assignment is to write email, direct mail, ad or collateral copy for a "commodity" product or service, look for ways to help your customer think differently about what you're selling. Often the ammunition you need is not that hard to find. Here are six tips for turning ordinary copy into an extraordinary sales story.

19 Creative Tests to Schedule Right NOW!

Creative testing may sound like an oxymoron, but it's not when you're a direct marketing writer or designer. Testing creative elements, such as headlines, subject lines and format, is an effective strategy for improving results—both B-to-B and B-to-C. And the res

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). 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.

7+ Cross-Channel Copywriting Tips to Use IMMEDIATELY!

Last month's Direct Marketing IQ Brunch & Learn webinar "Cross-Channel Copywriting Tips You Can Use NOW!" attracted a motivated crowd of inquisitive writers. Many thanks to those who attended and asked such great questions. What follows are seven questions we didn't have time to answer.

What I Learned From P.O. Box 1857

Opening envelopes and unzipping direct mail snap packs provides cross-channel marketers with the chance to lurk-and-learn from their direct mail marketing colleagues. I speak from experience. Lurking, learning and confirming is what I've been doing for more than a year as I saved a stack of mail pieces I received from P.O. Box 1857 in Alpharetta, Ga. Sometimes I received two or three pieces a month from this address. You probably did, too, if you're an AT&T customer. P.O. Box 1857 is the home address for AT&T Customer Care. Here's what I learned