This year, when marketing budgets are tight, it's more important than ever to handle your direct mail, email, and Web copywriting, correctly.
Sure, there are a whole bunch of rules to remember next time you sit down at the computer to write or review a sales letter or email. But I'm going to boil it all down to just five basic principles. Keep them in mind and you won't go far wrong this year.
#1. Keep it simple.
Your prospects don't want to ponder your message. They want to understand, quickly, exactly what your product or service can do for them. So don't use long sentences when short ones will do. Don't use long words when short ones will do. Explain benefits clearly. Strip off the verbal fat and write straightforward prose that gets results!
#2. Keep it short.
Some years ago I used to write long selling-letters for clients. "The more you tell, the more you sell" was my watchword. And the long stuff pulled just great. Now, things are different. Thanks to texting, readers are less patient. Their attention spans are shorter. Which means that the sales letters, email, etc. that I write are getting shorter too. Does this move to a shorter format bother me? Absolutely not! The only thing that any direct response copywriter should care about is what works.
#3. Keep it lively.
Hey, it isn't a crime yet in this country to have a little enthusiasm or a sense of humor. If your marketing materials are flat or boring, bring a little personality to the party. You see, your sales letters, email, Web copy, etc., need to communicate more than features and benefits. They have to truly engage the reader and connect at some emotional level. So don't be afraid to write with a little punch. The spark you or your writer brings to a project can make all the difference!
#4. Keep it real.
"Creative" advertising agencies -- the ones with the hip bubble-gum machines and barber chairs -- are often into puns, jokes, double meanings, metaphors, cleverness, and hilarity of all kinds. The ads and commercials they create are meant to be fun. Chances are, though, you will do much better being direct and down to earth. If you're selling just about any product or service, resist the urge to get "creative." Keep your feet on the ground, be direct, sell with conviction, and all will be well!
#5. Keep it persuasive.
As I've said before in The Levison Letter, we must never forget that, regardless of the product or service we're providing, we must remember that we're salespeople who motivate prospects to act. Look at it this way . . . what's the best way to sell someone something? The answer is face-to-face, one-on-one. When you're right there with a prospect, you can "read" them, answer their questions, overcome resistance, and perhaps most important, close the sale. But we can't be everywhere, selling in person. This means our emails, sales letters, Web copy and the like, are proxies for us. They are, as someone once said, "salesmanship in print." Make sure that all your sales materials are selling hard and the coming year will be profitable indeed!
Want me to create some "salesmanship in print" for you? Give me a call and let's talk. If you need me to write lead-generation letters, emails, ads, landing pages, whatever, please get in touch anytime.