I get a lot of emails. One reason I don’t mind is that many of these messages can be used as a lesson in copywriting – a “do” or a “don’t.
Here are a couple of examples from a recent day’s mail.
First, from a marketer promoting traffic generation software, these bullets appeared:
• Drive 1000’s of high paying customers to your sites quickly
• Open flood gates to oceans of buy-ready traffic that’s ripe for the taking
• Make bucket loads of money from sites that are overflowing with desired traffic
• Drive tons of targeted traffic on demand to any offer in any niche
• Add new traffic campaigns in no time and see profits growing by leaps and bounds
These bullets might work for a hard-sell item targeting a certain segment of the online marketing world. They work really well for the celebrity archetype.
But for many markets, they’d be a disaster. This copy contains:
… references to extremes (“bucket loads” and “tons”)
… vague promises that hundreds of other marketers might make
… empty cliches like “leaps and bounds” and “to the next level
Of course we’re not seeing these bullets in isolation. The marketers include diagrams, screen shots purporting to be sales reports, and more. But they’re not good models, especially for “conscious” copywriting or fields like coaching, consulting and most professional services.
In contrast, let’s look at some really good copy from Karon Thackston. She’s a copywriter so we shouldn’t be surprised.
Karon’s promoting a new product, Short Copy To Success Secrets – a guide to writing micro-copy (she just calls it “short copy”). This copy is the hidden hero of persuasive content: headlines, bullets, emails and media posts. Compare these bullets to those above:
- Magic words that make your tweets, PPC ads & more ultra-clickable.You
- Sure-fire ways to build curiosity in only a few words.
- What the whole point of short copy really is.
- Who or what the focus should always be. (It’s not what you think.).
- What the unexpected goal of all your short copy should be.
If these bullets seem simple, you’re absolutely right. The writing doesn’t call attention to itself. The tone is conversational. If you’re looking for ways to write shorter copy, you’ll know right away if this product is for you.
Visit Karon’s page to see some good copywriting in action. Notice her cool headlines.
Best of all, this guide to micro copy has a micro price, now through August 22nd. It’s a chance to learn about a critical part of your copy that few people talk about.
And if you’d like to work with me on copywriting to strengthen your story and your message, let’s start with a Strategic Intensive.