4 Cross-Channel Copywriting Tips from the Master
"Cross-channel copywriting." Not that long ago, hardly any of us would really know what those words were doing together. Both companies and their copywriters were far more likely to silo themselves in direct mail, while email campaigns and website copy were afterthoughts at best.
Now, of course, it's a hot webinar topic — "Cross-Channel Copywriting: Best Practices in Email, Mobile and Direct Mail," sponsored by Silverpop — and our featured speaker, the legendary copywriter Herschell Gordon Lewis, is now a cross-channel copywriting expert after flourishing for decades in the direct mail field.
While the creative best practices of conventional media like direct mail haven't changed that much, it no longer exists in a vacuum, as the practices of new media are changing all the time. In fact, the integration of all these channels — direct mail, telemarketing, email, web, mobile, social media, etc. — is a constantly evolving challenge for direct marketers, and for the creative folks, the key is finding ways to simplify the creative demands so the creative team can produce a perfectly integrated, effective campaign.
In the hour, that's exactly what Herschell Gordon Lewis discussed. Author of the just-published book "Internet Marketing: Tips, Tricks, and Tactics," and over 30 books about copywriting, here are four (out of dozens) Herschell specials:
1. Emphasis on imperative: Imperative outpulls declarative.
If you don't immediately understand the difference between those two words, Google it ... or go old-school and get out your dictionary. Imperative copy means its "crucial," it's of "vital importance," it's an "essential or urgent thing." In other words, it should prompt pretty quick action.
Declarative? "Making a declaration" is a "formal or explicit announcement or statement." Snore. "The formal announcement of the beginning of a state or condition." Double snore. "A listing of goods." Zzzzz.
2. Immediate promise of recognizable benefit
There shouldn't be any head-scratching going on after reading your copy about the question, "What's in it for me?" whether it's a direct mail letter or email. The benefit should hit them in the face and they should be thankful for the knowledge.
3. Recommendations on high
A recommendation by a known, trusted source ... individual or business ... can overcome the implicit skepticism and wariness of both consumer and business targets in this post-email/Facebook/Twitter era.
4. Web abuse and overuse are heavy contributors to the renaissance of direct mail
In fact, Herschell says there are three simple rules that will maximize response to a direct mail presentation:
i) The sole selling function of the carrier envelope: to get itself opened.
ii) In any direct mail sales letter: fire your biggest gun first.
iii) Make response easy: the operative word is "rapport."
Ethan Boldt is the Chief Content Officer of DirectMarketingIQ. To register for this webinar, available in the on-demand environment, click here.