June 01, 2010

Words That Work

One of the most critical aspects of any marketing material is the words.

Unfortunately, advertising copy is all to often an annoying afterthought that gets cranked out at the 11th hour.

Below I give a few tips on ensuring your ads, websites, flyers, etc. have effective copy. But first, a bit of background...

As website designers, one of the most frustrating things is when we work together with the client to come up with a brilliant site, only to see the site get filled with ineffective text. (This, of course, was the genesis of our website copywriting products).

A recent example of text we wrote for a customer is "Toowoomba's best kept dining secret."

We were designing new signage for a Toowoomba restaurant and convinced the business owner to allow us to stray from the traditional "Business Name, Phone Number, Opening Hours" sign to having "Toowoomba's best kept dining secret" in big maroon letters.

The response has been beyond imaginable. By chance, my partner and I were having dinner there the first weekend after the signs were put up and it was packed. We wrote this off to it being a long weekend, but asked the business owner to quizz people "where did you hear of our restaurant" when they came in.

The increased volume at the restaurant has been sustained, and the impromptu survey confirms that the signage is the source.

Out of curiosity, if you have seen these signs, put a comment on this article. Did you know of the restaurant beforehand? Have you gone there since seeing the signs?

Tips for effective copy
  1. Keep it short and sweet -- less is more.
  2. Include a benefit of one of your points of difference and a call to action -- why are you better, and what do you want me to do about it?
  3. Focus on one point per marketing piece.
  4. Use color, font,     spacing    , bold, italics, etc. to control the reader's focus.
  5. Choose synonyms wisely -- which do you support, the proposed "huge mining profits tax" or the proposed "resource tax restructuring?" Two different news publications referred to the same taxation changes in these two ways.
  6. Always triple-check spelling, grammar, and make sure web links work.

James Deck
1300 Web Pro
Web: www.1300webpro.com.au
Facebook: facebook.com/1300webpro