How to Make Your Copy More Effective in 2015
The influence of written copy is powerful. Because of this, it is also a topic of much debate. In our ever-transforming world of digital versus print, the dispute over which copy works best for your needs changes from year to year. With so much controversy surrounding the topic, how can you decide what kind of copy will help your business succeed in 2015?
Copy That Resonates Well Online and Offline
You have to be mindful of the medium you're writing for. Although copy generally follows a similar formula across various channels, you wouldn't write the exact same way for an email as you would for other offline business promotions.
In email, you've got to get your readers' attention fast. Your chance to do that is through a well-worded subject line, followed by relevant messaging. For direct mail, you don't have the power of a subject line and will have to rely on design elements to get recipients to open the piece. After that, you have the opportunity to go in-depth with information.
On that note, you never want to write too much or too little in either situation. Long copy is good for answering possible objections and going into detail, while short copy is great for grabbing attention or maximizing limited space. The general rule of thumb is only to write as much as you need to. Ask yourself what purpose a set of copy has. Does it make your subject more persuasive, or does it drown out the original point you were trying to make? Once you know that, you're good to go.
Leveraging Copy to Increase Conversion
The reason we put so much emphasis on copy is the capability it has to make consumers act a certain way. Copywriting is a science, and if you want your customers to convert, you'll need to ensure a few things:
- Make sure you clarify your call to action. Be clear on what benefits are in it for the consumer (discounts, special services, etc.). It also helps to create a sense of urgency if you prompt your customers to react sooner rather than later ("Buy Now" versus "Add to Cart").
- Be personal in your writing, but don't ignore powerful words. If you know your subject well, you'll be able to write copy that is specifically tailored to their wants and needs. If you use words like "instantly," which tells the reader how much time they're committing (hint: zero to none) or "free," a go-getter in the majority of copy situations, your target will pay attention.
- Also keep it short, simple, and sweet. To supplement your words, optimize design elements that will make your mail stand out—both online and offline. Call-to-action buttons are just as important as the copy that goes in or around them. With our world relying more and more on visuals, your design and copy should coexist for maximum benefits.
If you implement these tips, along with A/B testing and other analysis methods, your conversion rates will increase in no time.
The Future of Email and Direct Mail
We know what you're thinking: print is dead, while digital is growing more and more every day. That is simply not the case. With more and more companies abandoning traditional forms of mass communication, it is easier to stand out and reach your target (whether young or old) with tangible promotions like direct mail.
Even fans of e-mail say that it is becoming dull to work with, but that does not mean its future is bleak. What marketers will have to worry about is the volume of digital messaging that an average individual receives every day. Cross-channel publicity, mobile responsive design, personalization, and inventive visual conception will be key for the prominence of your promotions.
In the future, traditional media will continue to merge with digital. QR Codes, augmented reality, databases, and other prospective technologies will continue to flourish, making mail of both realms a more versatile medium. The link between these channels will steadily meld until the difference between the two is hardly discussed at all.
As for the world of copy, some experts say that the integration of visuals, like infographics, is what lies ahead of us. Others say that we are headed for longer forms of copy, like in-depth articles and other content. No matter what the future holds for copywriters, data-driven insights that conform to a fragmented audience's tastes will never go away. Copy will only continue to advance and adapt.