Tips, Tricks and Traps for Writing Copy
Remember when you learned those concepts in school on how to write persuasively? Here is a little update and refresher.
Rules for Headlines and Copy
1. Headlines should be at the top of the page
2. Sans Serif (without “tails”) fonts for Headlines. . . serif for Body
3. Write 15 different headlines and use the best one
4. 80% of the focus and attention for the eyes of your customer will be on the headline
5. Flag the Headline with your message subject – if you are selling Sales Training then “Sales” ought to be in the headline
6. Should have a “You Cans” or one of the benefit statements as part of the headline.
7. Words that sell (the “grand-daddy’s” are in bold type)
The truth about
8. Include the Brand Name in the headline (if possible)
9. Include selling promise (creates a long headline but that is OK)
10. Arouse curiosity
11. Don’t use negatives
Writing Copy Rules
1. If your customer (or woman at a dinner party) were to ask, “I am thinking of buying ____________ (your type product or service)? What would you recommend?
a. Go straight to the point. . don’t beat around the bush
b. No “Just as, so too”
c. Be specific, factual, enthusiastic, friendly and memorable
2. Length? If there is a lot to tell. . .the copy should be long
3. Include Testimonials – there is huge creditability in hearing what others think.
4. Give advice (“How to” . . .tips, tricks and traps, . . . )
5. Use simple language – 7th grade English
6. Make the first letter of the first paragraph oversized and dropped and it will increase readership by 13%
7. The first paragraph should be short . . . 15 words or less . . . to get people to start reading
8. Try to keep your column width 40 characters. People learn to read newspapers which have narrow columns
9. Every few inches of text insert a “divider” headline to break out the monotony of the text
10. Serif fonts (Times Roman) read easier than sans serif (Helvetica, Ariel)
11. Never reverse the type and background. Studies indicated that people read slower when reading white letters on a black background. This is especially true when you text will be electronic. If people print it out after it comes off a web site . . . it looks horrible.
12. Left justify the text. Unless you are a professional graphic artists, it is probably best to left justify your text. It is a lot easier to read.
Guidelines for Photographs and Pictures
1. You should consider a caption or point of interest below each picture since that is where the eye first gravitates.
2. If you sell to customers . . . you pictures should be of people.
3. The absolutely last thing you want on an advertisement is a picture of your factory, school, business building.
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