4 Ways to Make Your Sales Copy More Effective
Experienced direct response writers know every word counts and there are tricks for maximizing a single word's impact on the reader. Writers (and approvers) of catalog copy, email subject lines, blog and Twitter posts know how to keep it short, sweet and compelling by using these tips and techniques.
Choose Your Words Carefully
It's obvious, but true that some words draw more attention than others. These include free, thank you, save, you, discount, exclusive, please, act now, respond, deal, private, confidential, bonus, new, advanced, compare and my new favorite, gripping! There are hundreds of other words with powerful appeal for audiences you're targeting. (Note: in the sentence you just read, I originally had written special appeal, then changed it to powerful appeal. Do you sense the difference?)
Takeaway Tip No. 1: Get in the habit of paying attention to which words attract your own eye as you're scanning Starbuck's take-ones, checking email subject lines, even scrolling through text messages. You'll notice many of the most eye-catching words are short (five characters or less), one syllable (easy to process), and verbs (Find, Earn, Win!). No matter what part of speech they are, these are words that are connecting with you, the reader. Apply what you learn to what you write.
Right Word in the Right Place
Every headline, subject line, sentence and paragraph has hot spots where the eye goes first. You want to put your most potent words in these hot spots (e.g., at the beginning or end of a sentence or paragraph), not buried somewhere in the middle.
Takeaway Tip No. 2: Practice editing and rewriting headlines, subject lines, photo captions, envelope teasers, and the first sentence in your blog posts and letter to make the most of hot spots. Usually the fix is simple: Get Your FREE Gift Now becomes FREE GIFT—Get Yours Now! With only a few seconds to capture your scanner's eye and interest, you've got to have the right word in the right place.