Magnetize Your Marketing Materials

BY AMY SORKIN KURLAND

CHECKLIST

Looking for more clients? Attractive artwork may draw some people in—but it’s good copy that will win them over. Before your brochure goes out, consider these tips for writing copy that sells.

Look at what your competitors have done. Read your competitors’ marketing materials and analyze the strengths and weaknesses. Do they offer specific benefits? Do they provide the information one needs? How can you make your firm look better than theirs?

Forget what you learned in school. Take liberties with style to keep your audience’s attention. Maintain your readers’ interest by writing in a fun and entertaining manner.

Make a consistent and cohesive presentation. Don’t let inconsistencies in writing style and organization distract readers and dilute your message. Organize your piece by first creating an outline from which to work. Use the same general voice and tone throughout.

Write concisely. Wordiness never works. Get rid of unnecessary phrases. Remember: Readers are in a hurry.

Write effective headlines. The point of a headline is to catch people’s attention and give them a reason to keep reading. Good ones have selling power. What’s the biggest benefit you’re offering? Build your headline around that.

Write to your audience. Readers care only about how the information presented affects their own lives. How can you solve their problems? What measurable results can you deliver? Address your readers’ needs and desires, and explain how your services will help them.

Speak directly to your reader. Writing in the third person makes your audience seem far removed. Don’t be afraid to use the word you in your copy.

Lay out the problem, then offer a solution. To sell through words, you need to identify and appeal to your readers’ needs and then offer them a solution. Making your readers feel understood makes them more likely to trust that the solution you’re offering is sound.

Set up emotional triggers. What makes your target customers tick? Which worries and desires keep them up at night? What are the benefits they hope to attain by using your services? Answer these questions with copy that details the advantages of your services.

Source: Amy Sorkin Kurland, an advertising and marketing collateral specialist in Venice, Calif., www.amyswords.com , 2006.

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