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Words Sell: Copy Tweaks That Attract More Qualified Leads

Messages that make ’em sit up and listen

Copywriting is the single most important element of any successful campaign. Better copy leads to big results. Here are six keys to writing copy prospects want to read:

1. Ditch the welcome mat. Few things bore prospects more than welcome paragraphs and company histories.

2. Ensure benefits-first approach has the human touch. No one wants to read: “The X51 features an impact-resistant case that surrounds the components and LCD with shock-absorbing materials.” Tip: Cut the robo-speak: “Drop the X51 off a table? No problem. It’s built to take a fall.”

3. Create white space. Prospects gravitate to bite-size, bulleted highlights – without lots of text (25 words or less to a sentence). Tip: When online, design copy to fit in a typical browser window (no scrolling is a big plus).

4. Catch the eye with ellipses. They create space in paragraphs, making them easier to scan. Example: “Acme helps to lower costs…reduce cycle time…and generate more revenue.”

5. Remove doubt. It’s human nature: As soon as prospects hear of a new product or service, they think of reasons not to buy. Tip: List what those reasons might be and ways to respond. Example: If competitors offer similar goods at a lower price, prepare a counter statement like, “For a few dollars more, ours will last twice as long.”

6. Simplify testimonials. Prospects won’t relate to a “provider of talent management solutions” or an “information distribution company.” What are they, anyway? Tip: “Recruiter” or “magazine” help prospects understand who the testimonials are from.

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Source: The Marketing Report, January 21, 2009

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