Best Practices For Copywriting


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Best Practices For Copywriting

  1. 1. Best practices for copywriting Marina Mathews Marketing Communications Manager Vocus, Inc.
  2. 2. First things first! <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writers usually spend 80% of their time researching before they begin writing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Goal of the email </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What has worked in the past? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outline message </li></ul></ul></ul>&quot;On average, only 20 percent is spent writing; the other 80 percent is research. I go deep into the product or service I'm writing about, as well as the audience I'm writing to. I look at current e-mails that are working for the client, as well as competitive information. ” Pat Friesen, Target Marketing
  3. 3. Anatomy of an e-mail <ul><li>Headline </li></ul><ul><li>Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Call to action </li></ul><ul><li>Testimonial </li></ul>
  4. 4. Headline best practices <ul><li>Short and succinct (3 to 5 words) </li></ul><ul><li>Attention-grabbing </li></ul><ul><li>Honest </li></ul><ul><li>Blah: &quot;Nonprofit Leadership Center Offers Unique New Accounting Training Program.&quot; Better: &quot;Turn Your Nonprofit's Finances Around in 60 Days!&quot; </li></ul>
  5. 5. Copy tips and hints <ul><li>1. Begin with &quot;Introducing&quot; or &quot;Announcing.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing a high-performance modem for just $49.95! </li></ul><ul><li>Announcing a whole new way to edit color images! </li></ul><ul><li>2. Start with &quot;Now.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Now the hottest spreadsheet on the market is yours at half </li></ul><ul><li>price! Now you can try our brand new management tools risk </li></ul><ul><li>free! </li></ul><ul><li>3. Start with &quot;At last&quot; or &quot;Finally.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>At last! A presentation graphics program with all the features </li></ul><ul><li>you've been looking for! Finally, remote access that actually </li></ul><ul><li>works! </li></ul><ul><li>4. Start with &quot;How to.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>How to back up your hard disk in half the time. </li></ul><ul><li>How to slash the cost of managing your network. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Start with &quot;Why.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Why you should call for a free Virus Alert Report. </li></ul><ul><li>Why our new software can double battery life! </li></ul><ul><li>6. Start with &quot;Which.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Which monitor is really the best buy? </li></ul><ul><li>Which of these uninstallers can you trust with your precious </li></ul><ul><li>data? </li></ul><ul><li>7. Start with &quot;This.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>This tiny chip can turn your 486 into a powerful Pentium. </li></ul><ul><li>This half-price upgrade is for DataKeep customers only! </li></ul><ul><li>8. Make a free offer. </li></ul><ul><li>FREE! A CD-ROM with over 650 typefaces! </li></ul><ul><li>Call now for free CAD software worth over $100! </li></ul><ul><li>9. Ask a question. </li></ul><ul><li>Are you making these five data storage mistakes? </li></ul><ul><li>Want to stop software pirates once and for all? </li></ul>
  6. 6. WIIFM <ul><li>Relate your product to your audience. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Write for an audience of one. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use common conversation, and avoid formal speech. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Active vs. passive <ul><li>Use the active voice </li></ul><ul><li>The most effective way to communicate a message or idea is to use the active voice. The active voice focuses on the subject rather than how the subject is being acted upon, creating a more powerful image or idea. </li></ul><ul><li>Below are some examples of the active and passive voice: </li></ul><ul><li>Passive </li></ul><ul><li>We're happy to announce that there are now over 20 new product categories on our site. Best of all, more categories are still being added every day. </li></ul><ul><li>Active </li></ul><ul><li>We're happy to announce that you can now shop in over 20 new product categories -- and we're adding more products every day. </li></ul><ul><li>Passive </li></ul><ul><li>You've been selected for a special discount on any of the following products: </li></ul><ul><li>Active </li></ul><ul><li>Buy any of the below products at a special discount: </li></ul>
  8. 8. Examples <ul><li>Make your copy more benefit </li></ul><ul><li>oriented and tell your recipients </li></ul><ul><li>why they'd want your widget, not </li></ul><ul><li>just how cool your widget is. </li></ul><ul><li>People are emotional, they buy </li></ul><ul><li>because they want to know how </li></ul><ul><li>your product or service will benefit </li></ul><ul><li>them first, features are secondary. </li></ul><ul><li>When you're writing your copy and </li></ul><ul><li>you list a feature, always pay off </li></ul><ul><li>the feature with what goes after </li></ul><ul><li>&quot; now you can...&quot;  or &quot;...for </li></ul><ul><li>better...&quot; in your copy. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Example #2 - Dell does a great job here with three features and benefits related to them. They list a few of their popular cool features and the reasons why they are actually cool. Kudos to Dell.
  10. 10. Making our case <ul><li>Tweeting? Facebooking? You-Tubing? Still trying to figure out how to put it all together for your organization? </li></ul><ul><li>Believe it or not, making social media work for you isn’t rocket science. It’s all about having a conversation, and </li></ul><ul><li>in many ways reflects the same basic tenants of traditional PR strategy and outreach. </li></ul><ul><li>Take a demo of Vocus’ PR software and learn how to use the same principles of traditional PR to engage, </li></ul><ul><li>monitor, measure and analyze your way to social media success. Vocus shows you how you can: </li></ul><ul><li>Target key journalists, bloggers, analysts and more </li></ul><ul><li>Engage, monitor and analyze social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and more </li></ul><ul><li>Automatically post a “tweet” when your press releases is distributed, making it easier to share your content with your social media network. </li></ul><ul><li>Compile mentions from various social media sites to simplify the monitoring process and get a full view of your online reputation and that of your competitors </li></ul>
  11. 11. With emphasis … <ul><li>Tweeting? Facebooking? You-Tubing? Still trying to figure out how to put it all together for </li></ul><ul><li>your organization? </li></ul><ul><li>Believe it or not, making social media work for you isn’t rocket science. It’s all about having a </li></ul><ul><li>conversation, and in many ways reflects the same basic tenants of traditional PR strategy and </li></ul><ul><li>outreach. </li></ul><ul><li>Register today for a free demo of Vocus software and learn how you can: </li></ul><ul><li>Have access to over 800,000 key journalists and bloggers for better targeting of your press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Get the most from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr by engaging with your audiences and potential customers! </li></ul><ul><li>Easily share your press release the minute they’re distributed with an automatic news “tweet” to your social media network </li></ul><ul><li>Use a comprehensive media monitoring solution that provides a 360 degree view of all of your news results from print, broadcast and the web! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Call to action – early and often! Preview of what you’ll get
  13. 13. Pitching tips
  14. 14. Measuring email