19 Ways to Punch Up Your Creative
8. Start with strong verbs. Use active verbs to start bullets, subject lines, sentences and headlines. Examples:
- Double your investment in 30 days.
- Whiten you smile in seconds.
- Grab this discount before it disappears.
9. Bullet proof. There's no law that says a bullet has to be a predictable dot, square or circle. Draw attention to yours using a logo element, unique dingbat, bold color or unexpected shape.
10. Sincerely yours. People, not companies, write letters. Close your personal messages with a person's name and signature. The reader's eye is drawn to the signature because it's personal and looks different than typical typography.
11. Land here. Landing pages play a key role in the clickthrough process; don't take yours for granted. Make fill-in boxes stand out by putting a light background behind them. Reduce user frustration by using standard conventions like a red asterisk to highlight mandatory fill-ins. Draw the eye to your call to action by putting the text in a bright (even obnoxious) colored button.
12. Psssst. Add a P.S. Direct mail letters should (almost) always have a P.S. (Emails can, too.) Here's why. Over 30 percent of those scanning a letter will read the P.S. first.
13. Short 'n' sweet. Make paragraphs inviting to scanners by keeping them no more than five to six lines deep. This is best addressed by having a designer and writer work together from the start and, certainly, once copy is in place.
14. Words as eye magnets. Draw attention to important copy in an email or direct mail piece using highlighting, underlining, circles or notes that look like they are handwritten.
15. Read on! Avoid using a period at the end of headlines and subheads. A period is a stop sign. In marketing and sales copy you want headlines and subheads to create momentum to draw your reader into your message.
Patrick Fultz is the President/CCO of DM Creative Group, a creative marketing firm producing work across all media. He’s an art-side creative, marketing strategist, designer and lover of all things type. His credentials include a degree from Parsons School of Design with 15 years of teaching at his alma mater, over 40 industry creative awards, and he previously served as President of the John Caples International Awards. Always an innovator, Fultz was credited with creating the first 4-color variable data direct mail piece ever produced. He continues to look for innovative ways to tap the powerful synergy of direct mail, the web, digital and social media.