Taunton Press’ Jane Weber on Integrating Offline/Online Creative
TM: How does writing copy for online promotions differ from how you approach print promotions?
JW: The essential elements of the product remain the same whether they are in a print ad or on the Web. The messaging may be tweaked depending on the list segment or on how things are batched with related products, such as a grilling book with a special interest publication on outdoor kitchens. We can be much more specific on the Web using different e-mail segments than we can in print, when the ad goes to both subscribers and newsstand buyers.
Copy for the Web is typically very streamlined. Banners that need more copy are broken into frames and animated. We really want to say only enough to get them to click to a product page or a special landing page where they can find the rest of the information. As I mentioned above, urgency is something that is much easier to accomplish on the Web than in print.
TM: And how do design elements translate from offline to online?
JW: Clearly, a full-page ad or a spread allows for much more information. Designing for the Web typically strips out any nonessential elements. The goal is always to give just enough information, either through imagery or copy, to get them to more detailed product information or, better still, to just buy the product.
We haven’t found much of a difference between showing book covers versus images relating to the publications [being promoted].
Overall, our customers really love our products and don’t seem to be overly sensitive to minor changes in design or copy. Our e-mail lists are extremely responsive.