Creating Marketing Copy That Gets Read
In Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy, founder of the highly regarded advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, wrote, “Ninety-nine percent of all advertising doesn’t sell a thing.” You don’t want your products to be in that 99%. How do you make sure you are in the coveted one percent?
You might say “personalization and relevance,” and it’s true. Personalization stops you, and relevance gets you reading further. But even the most personalized, relevant message won’t amount to much if it isn’t paired with good marketing copy. If the copy is not compelling, if it’s bland and uninformative, even the best personalization cannot carry the load. You need good, solid marketing copy that is interesting, engaging, and compelling.
To make the most of your marketing efforts, here are some fundamental principles for great copywriting you can follow.
- Be imaginative. Break out of the mold. Look for different or unconventional ways to say the same thing.
- Be a salesman. Cute and clever doesn’t get you anywhere if it doesn’t sell anything. Be creative, but also be clear. Sell benefits. Give an overt call to action. Balance creativity and salesmanship.
- Talk about your customers first. As one marketing communications site puts it, “Self-interest is the best hook.” Talk about customers’ problems, customers’ challenges, and customers’ bottlenecks. Then talk about how your products and services solve them.
- Be honest. Part of building a brand is maintaining customer loyalty and trust. That starts with honesty about the products and services you sell.
- Hire a professional editor, even if only on a freelance basis. An employee who is “good at grammar” isn’t good enough. When it comes to marketing, there are rules for punctuation, capitalization, and usage that only professionals know.
Of course, there are other elements to great print marketing, as well. Good layout. Interesting graphics. Compelling offer. But great copy ties it all together.