Whether you’re writing blog posts, email autoreponders, websites, or sales letters, you must draw the reader in and keep her wanting more– or you’ll lose her (and her customer potential) forever.
But mediocre writing just won’t cut it. In fact, in order to do this successfully, your writing must be compelling, interesting, and exceptional.
If you don’t consider yourself a great writer, this may seem daunting. But the good news is that it only takes a few tweaks to take your writing up a notch.
Here are five tips to help you write more exceptionally:
1. Speak directly to the reader
One of the worst mistakes marketers make when writing copy is that they talk all about themselves.
But it’s not about you and your company. It’s about your customer.
Always make your copy seem personal, like you’re talking to a friend. And always use “you” and “I” (but mostly “you”).
2. Have a standout headline
These days, nearly 80% of readers never get past the headline. People have shorter attention spans than ever, and if your headline doesn’t instantly grab them and urge them to read now, you’ve lost your reader for good.
To really make your headline stand out, you’ll need to focus on what’s known in the copywriting world as the four U’s. Your headline should be:
If you use these effectively, you’ll get a much greater response than you could ever hope to get with a mediocre headline.
3. Make it readable
People are easily scared off by long, wordy paragraphs and pages. If your webpage or marketing email seems difficult to read, your reader will most likely click right on to the next thing.
To avoid this, always use short sentences and paragraphs to make your copy seem effortless to read.
And always break up your copy by using subheads, lists, and bullet points to make it easier to scan.
4. Use simple language
You may have graduated college with an English degree, but over 80 % of U.S. adults read at a 7th or 8th grade level. So to guarantee you get your point across, always use simple, easy-to-understand language.
To test the readability of your writing, try using either the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level or Reading Ease score, included in most word processing software.
5. Include a call to action
What do you want your readers to do when they finish reading your sales copy? Visit your website? Call your business line? Buy your product? Be sure to make this clear and don’t tiptoe around it.
For instance, if you want them to visit your website, say it outright, like this: Visit our website here.
Failure to do this will result in no action taken by your reader. And that’s not your goal, is it?
It’s all in the writing
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice writer just starting out, these five tips can always improve your copy.
By speaking directly to the reader, making the effort to create a standout headline, making your copy readable, using simple language, and including a call to action, you can keep your reader engaged and increase your sales as a result.