Stop shouting, eradicate doubts and make the sale

The natural inclination when writing marketing copy is often to leap straight into how unbelievably great the product or service is, and how the reader simply can’t live without it. Shout about the thing long enough and loud enough and people will pay attention, yes? Well… no… not really. The market is flooded with this kind of ‘shouty’ copy and a lot people are just immune to it now.

So, what can a copywriter do to make an impression, and better yet, a sale?

An effective way of writing marketing copy is to assume that the reader doesn’t want to buy what you’re selling them. This way you’re forced to tackle their doubts head-on with your copy and, in the process, answer their concerns one by one until they’ve got no excuses left not to make the purchase. If your copy is engaging enough then it’s simply a case of reassuring the reader into making a buying decision, or at least to seriously consider your offering.

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Bad Copy: “…as individual as you are”

I’m completely sick of hearing and seeing the tagline “as individual as you are”.

I don’t know when it was used first, but that must have been the last time it had any impact whatsoever. It was quite possibly pretty good to begin with, before it started appearing on every other advertisement. I imagine the poor copywriter who originally coined the term will be turning in his grave, otherwise he’ll be really, really old and quite angry about how many people have stolen his idea.

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Good Copy: howies

howies* is a Wales-based clothing manufacturer, and as well as great gear they’ve got great copy.

I’m not a surfer, mountain biker or a cool recreational adventure bloke. Apart from walking the dog or a twice-annual (at best) attempt at “running” I genuinely don’t take part in any active pursuits whatsoever. So I’m not exactly the howies target prospect if I’m honest. However, the way they present themselves and their products – primarily through their copy – makes me take notice of them and get into what they’re talking about.

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5 easy wins with Google Adwords

Google Adwords – the pay per click (PPC) system – is great search engine marketing option that’s applicable for anyone trying to make it online. It can be a helpful bridging technique to be used before your organic SEO kicks in, and when used properly can become the centre of your paid-for marketing ongoing.

Here are five easily implemented things that I’ve found in my years of using the Adwords system that might help turn a slumbering campaign into a success.

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The perils of the copywriting comfort zone

Most copywriters have a style that they’re proficient in, that can be turned on at will when required on a copy job. While this is highly beneficial in most cases – as it means that quality copy can be written quickly and efficiently – it can sometimes result in copy that looks good on the face of it but is unproductive and performs badly in practice. This ‘comfort zone’ mentality, if allowed to take hold job after job, can turn a good copywriter into a repetitive drone with a steadily decreasing success rate.

Besides the commercial performance issue, automatically falling into a default copy style takes the fun out of writing, and changes it from the creative process that it should be into a boring, repetitive exercise without any artistic integrity. It’s a pale and unconvincing imitation of what writing should be about – and it shows.

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Keeping SEO copywriting simple

While there’s no silver bullet to getting where you need to be on search engines (at least legally or with any sort of longevity) there are a few very simple things you should be incorporating into your copywriting that can make a real and lasting difference.

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The value of quadruple checking your copy

You’ve just finished a copywriting job where the words flowed brilliantly, ideas were non-stop and you fulfilled the brief in the most creative and exciting way possible.

Job done and time to put your feet up? Unfortunately not… it’s time to start proof reading.

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