Archive for January, 2012
Sure. Not all business communication is a piece of marketing. You may not think of an account control letter or appointment reminder as needing a deft copywriter’s touch.
But consider why you’re putting the message out there in the first place. You want the reader to DO SOMETHING. That means you need to provide some compelling reason why they should.
That’s the best reason to use a copywriter. Because they write business communication that propels readers into action.
Copywriters structure your communication and choose words or language to motivate. Some of the key elements business writers use include:
- Sure fire winners
Some words and phrases just work better. Even everyday business writing can harnesses emotive language for better results. Take the proven performer, How to, for example.
Account activation … or How to activate your account
- The right offer
Yep. What’s in it for me … again. Any business writing can be couched in the context of a reader benefit:
Now you can forget about those dirty floors. Your Clean-A-Carpet booking is confirmed.
- Call to action
Every business letter has a purpose. If your business writing is up to speed, this can also be an opportunity.
Finished a job? Get referrals.
Spur the reader on to act. That’s the purpose of nearly every piece of business communication you will ever publish. Well written communication not improves your message quality and response level. It’s good business practice.
3 take away tips
- The purpose of most business communication is to get the reader to act.
- Even everyday business communication can benefit from a copywriter’s touch.
- Well written communication reflects positively on you and your business.
OK, so headlines are critical to your marketing communication. Whether that’s advertising, web content, brochures, direct mail … the list goes on. But what happens when you sit down to write, and draw a blank?
The thing is, some days top headlines fairly jump onto your screen. Then there are those other times. A bit of inspiration goes a long way toward writing power headlines.
Online news is a highly competitive space. Writers need to engage visitors within seconds. Most news sites feature a timeline where you’ll find catchy headlines and strong breakout text.
Newsmakers write this copy to grab attention and generate story click through. And they’re darn good at it. Great places to get some headline inspiration of your own include:
Check sites like Digg, Alltop and even Twitter for trending stories … and sharp headlines. These sites are rich pickings for content writers. Not only because they’re great for headline inspiration. Likes, shares and voting put them on the pulse of what’s popular too.
Think about it. Some clever copywriter created those subject lines. Something has to make readers open that e-marketing. Writing email headlines is art in itself. Compelling, benefit driven … AND character limited. Talk about short and sweet! Here’s a few samples:
- Is your video ready for prime time?
- Aussie backyard breaks from $99
- A double whammy for maximum website exposure
Sometimes factual, other times fantastic … it’s headlines that make magazines sell. In the cut-throat world of advertising by circulation, writers can’t afford to get it wrong. The great thing about magazines is their target audience orientation. Which means they’re not only a good place to find writing inspiration. The new ideas you come up with are market tested, like these:
100 perfect outfits that are already in your wardrobe ”
Blogging against the machine ”
More energy instantly! Your secret source ”
The ideas box
Mostly, there’s more junk than mail in my letterbox. But that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes there’s a kooky or really cool flyer that gets my attention. Other times it’s a newspaper insert, or maybe and ad.
I save the best ones. They’re a great resource when it comes to coming up with headline ideas. Here’s a sample:
Hot, steamy and ready to be picked up. You guessed it, pizza!
3 take away tips
- Getting in the right headspace for writing headlines needs some inspiration.
- Don’t discount news services. They’ve been writing winning headlines for years.
- For short and punchy headline inspiration, try checking your inbox.
Headlines with stopping power flag down readers with a simple, benefit driven message. Writing headlines isn’t about reducing your business to a one liner. Great headlines reach out to capture audience interest. For maximum effect, copywriters use words and ideas proven to work.
Make it sound easy
We all love a short cut. If there’s a way to get there that costs less or happens sooner, who won’t be in that? Here’s an example where the copywriter worked in a number to draw readers right into the middle of the headline:
Learn how to read a 180 page book in just ten minutes
And how easy does this sound? Sign me up!
Prepare a fully blown marketing plan in a tenth of the time
Share an experience
There’s a reason social media is huge. People love sharing and, as it turns out, they aren’t too shy about doing that with the whole world! In the right context, a shared experience can really personalise your headline, like this one:
Most women don’t feel relaxed about facial hair
Here, the copywriter has left the headline open to be resolved in the subhead or opening body content:
You’ve probably thought about growing your business
Ask a question
Questions and challenges fall into similar territory. Some of the best power headlines are questions. But writers always treat this territory with caution. Ask anything to which the reader can answer No and your communication dies there and then. Here’s a couple of well written examples:
How to you fare in this kitchen hygiene test?
Which one of these advertising mistakes do you make?
Solve a problem
I know, I know … it’s marketing 101. But so many businesses look past the customer need and write ‘all about me’ headlines. Customer is king (or queen). All your copywriting should reflect how your product or service fulfils customer needs.
These copywriters have tapped the target market psyche beautifully:
Great news for PMS sufferers
How to double your power to learn
Last … but not least, reassurance is a powerful motivator. Almost every buying decision is emotive. Connect with a desire to feel safe, healthy, clever, rich etc.
More beautiful than you ever imagined
Sales results guaranteed or your money back
3 take away tips
- Compelling headlines attract readers with powerful benefits.
- Some of the all time best headlines are questions.
- Always, always write communication that solves the readers need.