Copywriting 101: Tips to Writing Effective Copy Presented by Amber Cleave (@Gldnamby) and Jill Bastian (@Jillieb3) #VRWebinar
Agenda Getting started Features vs. Benefits The Human Element Structure & Style Writing for Email, Social Media and Blogs Repurposing Content Checking It Twice Helpful Resources
Getting Started: The 4 Key Questions Ask these 4 Key Questions before you begin to write What am I selling? To whom am I selling? Why am I selling this now? What do I want my reader to do?
Getting Started: Finding Copy Ideas What’s New? Any Advice? Stories to Tell? Exclusive Content? Killer offer? Read the news and headlines See what’s happening on social
Getting Started: Brainstorming Review background info Make a list Write a friend Cluster writing Venn Diagram Mind Map Free-write
Features vs. Benefits Features are what a product has Benefits are what it provides the customer – What’s in it for me? Made of steel (feature) vs. You never have to replace it (benefit) Home delivered (feature) vs. Save time and money (benefit) VS.
The Human Element Think AIDA: Grab their Attention Hold Interest Invoke Desire Cause Action
Structure and Style Think Less Is More Put Key Points Up Front Keep It Short Remember Odd vs. Even Don’t Get Too Salesy
Structure and Style The Rhythm of 3 Cut the Clutter Vary Sentence Length Utilize Bucket Brigade Words Consider Your Font Style Think Pictures vs. Text
Structure and Style “Voice” should reflect your company Show some personality Write for your audience – industry, business or consumer? Personalize If you have a story, share it!
Writing for Email From the Inbox From Label (how audience recognizes you) Subject Line (compels people to open) Preheader text (supports subject line)
Writing for Email Preview Pane
Writing for Email Fully Opened Email Body Copy Calls to Action (buttons) Side Bars
How to Write a Subject Line Keep it short and sweet: Optimum SL length is 30-50 letters , or 5-8 words Consider your “from label” – If your from label is your company name (recommended), there’s no need to repeat it in the SL Put the most valuable information up front (don’t be too generic) Make sure your SL won’t truncate or get cut off on an important word, such as a date or discount Test often: There is no sure-fire SL formula Offer a benefit: 50% off now. NO lines! Mention offers and incentives Be timely Create a sense of urgency Stand out Get (positive) attention Keep promises (The CAN SPAM ruling states that for any commercial email, you must have your subject line relate to the content of the email)
Writing for Social Media - Twitter “Tweeting” might be shorter (140 character limitation), but that doesn’t mean easier! Leave room for others to retweet and perhaps use a #hashtag (if you use the full 140 characters, they have to edit in order to retweet you) Shorten URLs (e.g. bit.ly or owl.ly) so they don’t hog characters Retweet (RT) – it says a lot about you, both from the content you share and the fact that you are doing it at all. Teach: Teach others something new or hand out a tip Compliment: Send someone a compliment about a tweet they posted or their service or an article or blog post Refer: If you have learned about a good deal or service or sale - tell others about it. Share: Share good news or a funny story or an inspirational quote Help: Think “Pay It Forward” Create a community
Writing for Social Media - Facebook Keep it to no more than 4 lines, and 1-2 is better Phrase it so it is “Like” – able. There is no “Dislike” option yet. Include links, photos, or videos that fans might want to share Develop a personal style on Facebook: A great connector or way to start is to write the same way you speak. Show some of your personality. Make your information sizzle: Give lots of valuable information, and don’t hold back
Writing for Blogs Value to reader Entertain Increase natural search Create business/sales Marketing your biz Dialogue with readers Provide expertise, leadership, educate
Headlines Write your blog post titles with Twitter in mind A descriptive, enticing, and short post title helps out folks who want to tweet and retweet it Titles should be captivating and search engine spiders should be able to find them Brevity (same as subject lines) Make a promise OK to write like you talk OK to ask questions Capture attention Writing for Blogs
Repurposing Content You don’t need to recreate the wheel every time Repurpose & Share Content – Email, website, blog, social (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn) People prefer longer updates in email newsletters Save Facebook, Twitter and similar micro-communication for information snacks – link back to your blog or website Grab these “snacks” from newsletters *According to Sticky Communication: http://www.stickycommunication.ca/2010/12/email-newsletters-go-mobile-social/
Check It Twice Spell check Proof read Read copy out loud (this will help you hear what your readers hear) Show it to someone else
Copywriting Resources The VR Marketing Blog: http://blog.verticalresponse.com/ The Lounge: http://lounge.verticalresponse.com/group/copywritingtips How To Do Everything: http://help.verticalresponse.com/ Copyblogger: http://www.copyblogger.com/ Current copywriters/Direct marketers: Donna Baier Stein: @donnabaierstein, Brian Clark: @Copyblogger Chris Brogan: @chrisbrogan www.verticalresponse.com/education-support/guides