The Demanding Approach That Delivers Concise Copy
Whether you’re writing long or short copy, you must demand that it be concise, with every word justifying its existence. An approach that delivers concise copy requires reading aloud every word you have written. Voice it. Hear it. Chop and rewrite if needed.
Composing concise copy is tough. But you must demand it from your copywriter. Whether writing for any print or digital channel, you must challenge the need for every idea, thought, and word. When copy becomes boring, awkward or confusing, in a click or a toss you’ve lost your sales opportunity, perhaps forever.
Because I record voice-over for client videos, I often read aloud the copy I’ve written to the client. We’ve found voicing copy to be an effective approach toward making it concise.
The best online tool I’ve found for a team to review copy is Skype. Everyone is called and I share my screen with the copy viewable for everyone to see. Then I voice it. It’s never a dry read through. But filled with energy and emphasis on keywords. For a video voice-over, it’s how the message can be conveyed. For the written word in email or print, the naturally voiced and emphasized words are either shown bolded or in italics.
While this approach is time-consuming, it’s effective, eliminates extra words, and identifies redundant thoughts or the same words used too close together. It’s a process that exposes needless concepts and words that don’t advance the story.
My Tips for Concise Copy
- The copywriter drafts copy as tightly and concisely as possible.
- On a Skype call with the client or creative team, share the screen and voice the entirety of the copy aloud.
- Don’t be afraid to delete copy — potentially lots of copy when it doesn’t advance your story. Remove copy that’s confusing, boring or awkward. Start over if the copy isn’t working.
With concise copy, you have a greater likelihood that your reader (or listener) will focus on your story, minimizing the chance of distraction or disinterest.
Reinventing Direct is for the direct marketer seeking guidance in the evolving world of online marketing. Gary Hennerberg is a mind code marketing strategist, based on the template from his new book, "Crack the Customer Mind Code." He is recognized as a leading direct marketing consultant and copywriter. He weaves in how to identify a unique selling proposition to position, or reposition, products and services using online and offline marketing approaches, and copywriting sales techniques. He is sought-after for his integration of direct mail, catalogs, email marketing, websites, content marketing, search marketing, retargeting and more. His identification of USPs and copywriting for clients has resulted in sales increases of 15 percent, 35 percent, and even as high as 60 percent. Today he integrates both online and offline media strategies, and proven copywriting techniques, to get clients results. Email him or follow Gary on LinkedIn. Co-authoring this blog is Perry Alexander of ACM Initiatives. Follow Perry on LinkedIn.