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Make Every Word Count: 9 Ways to Boost Response and Sales

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Ignite your content, convert more prospects.

With prospects making the decision to read on, throw it away or hit “delete” within four seconds, a lot is riding on the first words of any marketing collateral.

It can’t be stressed enough: Great copywriting is the most important skill set marketers can master. Strong copy tune-ups improve the stickiness and usability (which is needed to engage and convert prospects) of all content.

Rethink, revisit, revise
That means multiple drafts are a must. Thinking the first draft is the big event and revisions are just cleaning up afterward leads to poor results.

If the first draft sets up the decorations, the revision process isn’t cleaning up after the party – it is the party. Even the shortest notes sent to prospects benefit from an extra pass or two.

What to look for
Here’s a checklist to consider when making necessary revisions:

  1. Delete redundancies. The first time a message repeats itself prospects will stop reading and start skimming.
  2. Ditch adverbs and adjectives for numbers and specifics. “We can deliver big results very quickly” is not as strong as “We’ll reduce labor costs 27% in three weeks.” Even if you don’t have specific numbers, consider getting rid of the adverbs and adjectives anyway.
  3. Pump up the offer. Prospects are on the lookout for offers that have immediate payoff. Which offer is closest to yours?

    Offer A: Sign up for our newsletter.

    Offer B: Sign up to receive “Today’s 7 Best Cost-Saving Strategies for Your Company” and get bright business ideas sent to you each week.

  4. Add something unique. What short statement (no more than two sentences) tells prospects yours is the only company for them?What one thing (selection, customer services, etc.) is so compelling that a prospect would buy something from you anyway even if the product they were looking for was out of stock?

    If you are unsure of what that something is, consider asking existing customers. The response could even make a great testimonial.

  5. Delete off-topic material. Prospects remember messages that say only one thing. What point do you really want to get across? Anything that doesn’t help make that point just muddies the water.
  6. Kill clever. Chances are what was funny and amusing when the text first hit the paper probably won’t be that funny when it hits a prospect’s desk or inbox.
  7. Cut anything written in the heat of the moment. Excited that a prediction your company made just came true? It’s worth mentioning, but bear in mind: There’s a fine line between enthusiasm and gloating.
  8. Remove “sales blockers.” Canshouldcouldmightpotential. Circle every one of these words that appears in copy, along with we thinkyou might findappears and may be. These doubt-laden words steal the thunder from copy.Example:

    Dangerous: We believe this might be the best purchase you can make.

    Powerful: It is the best purchase you’ll ever make for your business.

  9. Sit on it for a day. What seems so urgent today may be old news by tomorrow. Plus, stepping away from copy for 24 hours – before working on the final draft – gets you to look at it from a fresh perspective and helps reveal if anything’s missing.

Reprinted with permission from The Marketing Report, 370 Technology Drive, Malvern, PA 19355, 800-220-5000.