4. Is simpler better? I have a hard time working with my corporate marketing and they are so wordy. Any stats or recommendations to have them make it simple?
Friesen: Simple is good. But how "wordy" you get may also depend on your audience. Certain audiences (e.g., older readers) like more detail, more words. I'm not sure what kind of stats you're looking for but here are some readability "rules" that may be of help:
- For maximum readability, 75 percent to 80 percent or your words should be 5 characters or less;
- Sentences should be 1-1/2 lines or less; and
- Paragraphs in a letter should rarely exceed 6 lines.
5. Is "join our program" or "become a member" a strong call to action, or does it put people off?
Friesen: "Join" is typically a strong word, as is "member." Why do you think these may put off people? Remember what people want to know is WIIFM? What's in it for me? So, are you telling them WIIFM: if they "join our program" or "Become a member." If so, it probably isn't a put off. But when in doubt ... test!
6. What do you think about expiration dates on call to action coupons?
Friesen: Deadlnes are powerful. I try to include them in most of what I write. But they have to be credible. They give procrastinators a reason to stop procrastinating.
7. Are there any good copy writing books that you would recommend?
Friesen: Yes. Many. Look for books by any of these fine direct response writers: Bob (Robert) Stone, Joan Throckmorton, Denny Hatch, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Bob Bly, Donna Baier-Stein.
To listen to Pat Friesen's session, or any of the other sessions recorded last week, register for Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk, which is free to view on-demand now.