The Art of Making Copy Just Right

Maybe you write your own copy. Or maybe you hire a professional. Either way, it’s valuable and smart to learn about what makes copy effective. Tips for how to write results-oriented copy abound and could fill the space on this blog indefinitely. We will explore many of them in future posts, but for today, let’s focus on a couple of big-picture considerations before we start getting a little more into the weeds.

First, you must ask yourself two key questions that will guide your copy content:

Whom are you trying to sell to?
Knowing who your audience is and always keeping that in mind are critical to writing effective copy. Audience awareness should guide the tone, vocabulary, detail and pretty much everything about your message. Is your audience other businesses in your industry? Then they will be familiar with industry-specific terms. Speak to them in their language. Is your audience consumers? If so, they may know little to nothing about you. Educate them in a way that is consumer-friendly and engaging. Avoid jargon and industry-specific terms that may be confusing and a turnoff. But – and this is an important but – don’t talk down to them. Didactic lecturing is unlikely to win over potential customers.

What is your product or service you are trying to sell?
Seems obvious, right? But if you don’t take a good hard look at what you’re selling, you are likely to end up with copy that lacks a clear message. Research, research, research. Then hone your messaging and details down to the essentials. Knowing what you are talking about and presenting it in an educated way will build trust with your customers. They will have confidence in you and want to do business with you. You’ll build relationships.

Regardless of who your audience is or what you are trying sell, it’s important to not make assumptions about what people may or may not know. Find the balance between making your copy too technical and too generic and between being too formal and too casual. Above all, make your message clear and concise so your target audience can understand your offer and benefits quickly and easily. Some examples:

Business to Business
Too technical: Get the most ROI by populating segmentation data from your CRM fields.
Too generic: Use information about your customers to make more money.
Just right: Optimize conversions for your campaigns by using targeted customer data.

Business to Consumer
Too detailed: Mark your calendars for March Madness on Saturday March 3 from 9 am – 1:30 pm to save 10% on your entire order of qualifying merchandise from our casual women’s apparel department.
Too vague: Save big on March 3.
Just right: Save 10% during March Madness on Saturday March 3.

Oh, and don’t forget proofreading. Ever. You don’t want to tarnish your message and offer with a glaring typo or lousy grammar. Ideally, have your copy edited and proofread by someone who is familiar with your industry and someone who is not. You’ll get a clearer idea of where you are hitting and missing the mark.


Jenny Lassi • February 28, 2018

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