VR Retention Marketing Specialist, Amber Ricchetti, recently attended a DMA copywriting seminar in NYC. She came back with a ton of great insight, ideas and tips on how to improve our email and online copy. They’re too good to be kept secret, so I wanted to pass them along to you, too.
Here are Amber’s top 13 picks from the seminar to help you instantly improve your email copy:
- Ask the 4 Key Questions: Before you begin to write, ask yourself these four key questions.
- What am I selling (at emotional level)?
- To whom am I selling?
- Why am I selling this now (will it make sense to the customer)?
- What do I want my reader to do (Calls to Action)?
- Consider Your Font Style: Sans-serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana and Helvetica, are easier to read online than serif. If people find it difficult to read your copy, they won’t!
- Read Your Copy Out Loud: This will help you hear what your readers hear.
- Cut the Clutter: William Zinsser wrote that “clutter is the disease of American writing.” The quickest way to improve your copy is by removing any unnecessary words such as “that”or “to.”
- Use the Rhythm of 3: List your examples in groups of three. The Rhythm gives a great cadence to your copy.
- Use Bucket Brigade Words: Bucket brigade words help you move your copy forward. They include remember, and, but, consider, however, for example..and more!
- Vary Sentence Length: It is important to vary your sentence length to hold your reader’s attention. And don’t be afraid to use sentence fragments – this isn’t your college English class!
- Differentiate Between Features vs. Benefits: Features are what the product has. Benefits are what it will provide the customers. The customer will always ask, “What’s in it for me?” Be sure you tell them.
- Write In the Second Person: Focus on one person (you/your) rather than a group (our customers). This makes your reader feel special and highlights how the product can benefit them.
- Write Less Copy: People read 25% slower online than offline, so you need to write less copy so they will read it.
- Don’t Hide Your Key Points: Keep your most important points at the beginning of paragraphs, bullets and lists.
- Keep Paragraphs Short: Make sure your paragraphs are no more than 3 lines long. Otherwise you might lose your reader’s attention.
- Remember Odd vs. Even: Odd numbers are easier to remember than even, so use an odd number whenever possible.
Do you have any copywriting tips that you find useful and want to share? I’d love to hear them!
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