Copywriting is a combination of art and science that takes years to master – and even then, good copywriters are always learning. But sometimes there isn’t time to have a copywriter create your words, or even review what you’ve written. That’s where these tips come in. This collection of ideas will help you write clearer, more compelling copy and prevent some of the most common mistake people make when they write.
Articulate the benefits people get from working with your business
To successfully convey your message you must communicate how you can help. By identifying readers’ needs and showing how you can meet them, you’ll give your clients and potential clients a real reason to get in touch with you and use your products or services.
Keep in mind that features are descriptors – fast, new, long-lasting – while benefits are emotional elements – save time, get more done, increase revenue. Every feature should have a corresponding benefit; to find it add “so that” at the end of the feature: This pen is red so that you can find it quickly on your desk.
People read when it’s easy to read
No one looks at a solid page of text and thinks, “Oh goody, tons to read!” Make your piece scanable so readers can give it a quick once-over and decide which sections are applicable to them. To do this use headlines, subheads, graphics, and bulleted lists to separate your main points and add visual interest.
The psychology of reading
Since everyone is busy you have to appeal to their self-interest to capture attention. You can do this by tying your content into current events – “Rebounding Market Snaps Up Latest Jaguar” – or leading with a question. “Here’s one question you should never ask your CEO” is good, but “Here’s one question you should never ask your CEO before you get a raise” is better because it stimulates curiosity and offers a benefit.
Next, be sure to add a post script if at all possible. The P. S. is the second most read part of a letter after the headline, so use it to reiterate your offer – “Call us within 10 days to receive a 25% discount.”
Revisit the basics
It seems like it goes without saying, but proofread. Losing a prospect to a spelling error would be silly, so make sure you review your content before you print or publish it. A good way to do this is read backwards from the end of the piece; this helps errors stand out. Once you’ve done that, proofread again. Then have someone else proofread.
Also remember that the most common mistake in copywriting is using too many words. People want to read without effort, so use the fewest number of words that can clearly explain your point.
I hope you’ll keep this guide handy and use it as a reference when you sit down to create your marketing copy. If you have a piece you’ve written and would like me to review – no cost or obligation – just email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to answer your copy questions and look over your writing!
About the author: Mandy Minor
Mandy is an expert executive resume writer and B2B marketing strategist with a flair for marketing communications and design. Whether you’re a professional seeking your next opportunity or a company trying to convey a compelling message, Mandy ensures your branding efforts remain cohesive and aligned with your goals and vision.