And no, I don’t really know what that means either, it just sounds cool so I just thought I’d throw it out there to show people cuzin Andy still has a few grains of clever left in him.
And now the awkward silence.
I have this habit of mousing around the internet, dropping in on blogs and reading a few posts here and there. I do this because the creative writing ability of people never ceases to amaze me, plus there is always something to learn from these things. Once in a while I’d get hooked reading the content of some sites that are actually trying to sell you stuff, but the way they say it, you wouldn’t notice you’re being led to an offer, but you’d probably be a believer later on.
In my book, THAT’s what I’d call an effective marketer. These people have taken their copywriting skills to a level that they do not OVERTLY appear to be selling you something, but later on they have you so stoked that you’re just about ready to buy anything. Put a fork in this one, it’s done!
If you could bottle what they write, compile it and print it, who needs books on copywriting?
But let me tell you something here, cuz, and this is the honest truth here: you can write like that too. Yes, you can. If you were to pay close attention to the writing of these enticing copywriters, you’d see that they seem to have a vague commonality about their writing which seems to be the source of their success.
I will NOT tell you the practices you should NOT do, because I’ve gone through some of the content in sites that really put me off and I found out that they actually followed what would best be described as textbook copywriting, and yet they still FAILED to hook me in to continue reading.
What I will share are some practices that play on practicality, knowledge of the human behavior, and simple common sense. It sounds simple enough, but executed properly in your writing, these are certain to keep your readers focused, engaged, and ready to be sold to.
Write about what you know, not what you think
This is a very common mistake for many writers. If you think a brand or type of pen is like all others in the sense that it writes, there’s probably no need to write sales copy for any pen in the world. Then again, that’s not really the case, is it? Every product must have at least one quality that sets it apart from the rest, and you will only know this is you know your product inside out. Find out everything that you can about your product, otherwise your writing will definitely show just how much – or little — you know.
Write for who you know, not whom you think
Once you get to know the product up close, it’s time to get to know the people you want to sell it to. Who’s your ideal customer? What are his needs and wants? What are his preferences and what will he use it for? Going back to the pen example, what industries, age groups and locations do your prospects belong to? What type of paper are they likely to write on? These are some of the questions that you need to find answers for so you can anticipate the reader’s mindset and empathize with him or her better with your copy. The more that you’re able to make your audience feel that you can relate to their needs, the more effective your copy will be.
Write like you know the person, not like it’s just a generality
“People who like clean, blot-free pens will like this” is okay, but it talks to both everyone and no one at the same time, so it doesn’t really CONNECT with the reader. If you wrote “are you tired of messy, blotting pens? Want to keep your writing clean, crisp, and clear?” It would seem like you already know the troubles of the person you’re marketing to, and readers will feel this. By taking effort to “extend” your writing to touch your readers, you increase chances of building that vaunted rapport with them, giving your writing that quality of empathy and caring, which are the two things you need to remember if want any sort of human connection at all.
Write like you want them to know everything, not like you’re hiding something
Of course putting in technical details is necessary. How else would people know about the particulars of what you’re writing about? There are just two problems with the technical details: (1) they are TECHICAL, and sometime too much so, and they are also (2) boring to read at times. You can fix this by toning down the technicality a bit. Including a point of comparison to something that’s generally familiar with your readers will help a lot. Another way to do so is to write the technical details in short, crisp points bullet points so that most of the details can be read in one sweep. Easy to read means easy to absorb, and easy to absorb means easy to recall. As you may guess, product recall and persuasive power is precisely why you’re writing your copy in the first place.
These are four points that are quite simple to pick up, yet very effective when applied properly. Fancy writing can only get you so far. Consumers get smarter every day and fluff won’t help you in the long run. In the end, product knowledge, discipline and a sincere desire to help consumers are the keys to the creation of outstanding and highly converting copy.
This post will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck. (cue Mission Impossible theme music)
Andy “impossible-is-nothing” Jenkins