Most small business owners don’t employ their own copywriters, but they are responsible for a lot of writing. If you are one of these folks, a strong marketing plan requires that you do a lot more of it! From sales letters to blog posts, direct mail to newsletters, today’s successful entrepreneur knows that you have to reach out to your market continually-or be lost in a sea of others who will reach them. There are ways to make your business writing more powerful.
Be brief, especially in headlines and greetings. Tell your reader, up front, what you are writing about.
Robert Bly and Michael Masterson, expert copywriters recommend that your headlines be useful, unique, ultra specific and urgent.
Avoid the passive tense!!! Not only does the passive tense break the “be brief” rule, it also is, well, passive-not powerful! Here’s an example:
PASSIVE: The bar exam was failed by nearly half of the candidates.
ACTIVE: Nearly half of the candidates failed the bar exam.
Repeat important points, but word them differently. “Our retail store offers a 100% money back guarantee.”, “Feel secure because we guarantee your satisfaction 100% -or we’ll refund your purchase price!”
Use words that convey emotion. Need help? Google “list of emotional words” and you will find several, one of which is over 3000 entries long! Are you a plumbing contractor trying to grow your business?Imagine approaching builders with the following question:
“Are you apprehensive (hesitant, worried, bewildered, dismayed) about choosing a plumbing partner for your building business?
versus “Are you looking for a new plumbing contractor?”
Use storytelling. There are whole books about how storytelling is impacting business marketing these days. Examine your business for YOUR story and integrate it whenever you can. The above plumbing contractor is much more intriguing when you find that they also play country music on the weekends or are a fourth generation plumber! Let readers know who you are.
Use bullets, bold type, italics, indents, borders, white space, color, and other graphic effects to break up your writing. Long paragraphs of text bore readers whose attention spans are shorter than ever. Set off important points with these features.
These are easy tips to incorporate into your business writing that will catch your potential customers eye and help you stand out from the competition. Please feel free to share others with me here or on Twitter: @stevenschlagel.
If you liked this post, you might also like:
Writing Great Sales Letters!
by Steven Schlagel