Most copywriting courses and books describe only how to persuade people in ads and sales letters. Yet the scope of persuasive copy includes bios that may accompany project proposals, offers in newsletters, case studies designed for prospective clients, tweets and pitches to investors. Equip yourself with copywriting techniques that cover a broad swath of settings, from tag lines and article titles to business plans and fundraising appeals, as well as for ads, web sites and sales letters.

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Words are such versatile tools and important ingredients in promotional pitches that it’s a shame to overlook those less-often-discussed contexts for copywriting. Many of the principles are the same, but each format or purpose may require distinct sensitivities and constraints. For example, abbreviating like a teenager is a temptation on Twitter but not so much in an ezine offer or magazine ad.

Here’s a sampling of pointers that can help you with some of the copywriting challenges ignored by teaching tools that cover only ads and sales letters.

More imaginative ingredients for a web site or business plan bio.

Spice up a bio or “About” page with your personal motto, a phrase clients or an authority figure use about you, fanciful or unexpected language, concrete details, vivid extremes or contrasts, tantalizing numbers or a fact that humbles you, like being kicked off the air to make way for a superstar.

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* Tactics for punchy, differentiating business names and tag lines.

Try playing off a common saying, as in A Stitch in Time, for a custom dressmaker. Consider homonyms (words that sound alike with different meanings) and puns. Use a phrase that telegraphs your appeal to members of a certain in-group, like Bon Santé, for a French-run health spa. Or create a paradox, such as Earth Angel, for a garden designer.

* Ideas for making fundraising copy fun and involving.

Caroline Jordan created the character of Perley, the church mouse, to raise funds for a new steeple for the South Bridgton Congregational Church in Maine. Perley was such a hit with both children and adults, he’s now the star of several published or forthcoming books.

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Six-week self-study course teaches you to wow people into buying through the power of well-chosen words.  Includes challenging and varied assignments to practice on, with answers from the instructor and participants.  Replace incomprehensible jargon with reader-friendly, motivating content. Copywriting course.

* Components to add

when you’re trying to convince buyers you truly adhere to green guidelines. To show that you’re not just pretending to jump on today’s greenwagon, incorporate into your marketing copy: hard facts (what you’ve done), not commitments (what you say you’ll do); substantiation for your claims; third-party green certifications, with links that show what they mean; and advice for readers on how they too can follow suit.

* Techniques for conveying a full-bodied idea

in a tiny amount of space, especially on Twitter. With a little practice, you can use real words in a concise style consistent with a respectable business image. Use short, vivid words, such as “ups” or “boosts.” Prune multiple-word verbs, like changing “make an arrangement” to “arrange.” Use a colon to replace wordy transitions, as in “Recycling technique: Save used frying oil for friends with biodiesel cars.” And create compound adjectives, which eliminate a word or two: “biodiesel-car friends” instead of “friends with biodiesel cars.”

About the author: Marcia Yudkin

marcia - profile picMaster marketer Marcia Yudkin is a leading advocate of no-hype copywriting and the author of 17 books, including Meatier Marketing Copy and Persuading People to Buy. She mentors people with good writing skills who want to set themselves up successfully as freelance copywriters/marketing consultants, as well as introverts who want to know how to use their talents and strengths in business to attract clients without exaggeration, manipulation or lying.

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This article was first published by Marcia Yudkin