Tip of the Month for March: Copywriting Tips

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Taken from:

This is just a short synopsis of some of the ideas contained in the first half of the book Write to Sell by Andy Maslen – so if you’re interested in finding out more I can’t recommend buying a copy highly enough.

When writing an email campaign to attract new customers, get more subscribers, make an impression or any other purpose, the language and structure you use is extremely important. It’s all well and good having a lovely looking, perfectly rendering email, but if it misses the point then prospects will reach for the delete button.

Below are

some extremely helpful copywriting tips to ensure your emails have the impact you need.

Basics

Your reader always wants to know: WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

Focus on your readers’ FEAR and GREED. B2B still means selling to people, not faceless corporations. Tap into their emotions as well as their reason.

Always talk to your audience as one single person, a typical individual, not a group of people.

Be relevant – not brief. People are busy but will read on if your emails are appropriate for them.

Promote benefits not features.

i.e.

  • Save time
  • Save money
  • Give peace of mind
  • Make bigger profits
  • Reduce staff turnover
  • Improve productivity
  • Make money go further

Read your copy. If your reader might ask “so what?” after a benefit, it isn’t a benefit.

Use plain English. Distinguish technical language from threadbare clichés.

Paint your reader a picture.

 

Planning

Before you start writing follow these steps to ensure when you put your fingers to the keyboard you’ve got the right aim in mind.

What am I trying to achieve?

Who am I writing to and what do I know about them?

What do I want to say? Concentrate on their needs not your own.

Think about word limit and deadline.

Set the goals you want to achieve:

  • Make more sales
  • Encourage trials
  • Spend more money with you
  • Connect on social media

Think of the consequences for your reader: what WILL happen if they use your product and what WON’T happen? If they don’t use your product what WILL happen and what WON’T happen?

Start at the back; write your call to action first.

AIDCA

Finally, AIDCA. No, it’s not a multinational conglomerate’s abbreviated name, but five points to concentrate on throughout your writing.

Attention: Get their attention with your headline.

Interest: Interest them in what you’re selling. By explaining how it will benefit them.

“How will my readers’ life be improved if they do what I want them to?”

Desire: Encourage desire (beyond just interest) by encouraging a sense of exclusivity, that only you can offer these benefits, that they’ll lose out to a competitor by not buying, supply is restricted, your offer is better than any others or you’ve made it really easy for them.

Conviction: We have to convince that the risks of not buying outweigh the risks of buying. Use techniques like testimonials, free samples/trial (freemium), reliability/performance statistics, third party endorsements or a money-back guarantee for instance.

Action: Call to action. Don’t be vague, don’t have ambiguity and don’t make it too wordy. Make it short, simple, direct and clear. And make it a command.

Forfront have been creating incredible campaigns for over fifteen years. We’re experts in everything from email design to copywriting to deliverability.

Give us a call on 0203 320 8777 to learn more about how our range of marketing services will generate you a staggering ROI.

Super Bowl Ads 2014

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After our look at some of the best Super Bowl adverts of all time recently, we thought it was only right to return to the subject again, this time documenting the successes and failures in the multi-million dollar 2014 market.

The Seattle Seahawks weren’t the only winners at the Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2nd, while some brands lost almost as badly as the Broncos.

To kick thingsoff on a Seahawks-style positive note, Radio Shack’s effort is entertaining, self-aware and packed with great references, and it made me chuckle which is a good way to start.

From all of the adverts I’ve trawled through, I’d say this T-Mobile entry is hands down the most inventive and tongue-in-cheek. Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow didn’t get a new contract this year, but in this ad he showed he has a sense of humour about it…

However, my ultimate Super Bowl advertising champion goes to Bud Light. Mainly because of Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a mullet wig, playing “tiny tennis”. But also as there’s a ridiculous amount of other odd, expensive, candid-camera style gimmicks in there too.

On the other hand, it’s hard to say where Bob Dylan comes on the winner/loser scale.

He was a winner for featuring in the 2014 Super Bowl adverts twice, but it might not have done his waning musical credibility the world of good. The ex-folk singer lent his 1966 single I Want You to this advert for Chobani Yogurt, while he also appeared in, and narrated, the most American advert of all time. Seriously. It asks, “Is there anything more American than America?”

As we mentioned in our first article on Super Bowl ads, Budweiser seem to try to dominate the American Football event simply by overwhelming us with so many adverts. The beer brand tried this again in 2014 with not one, but two entries. They’re both a bit cheesy and over-earnest to be honest.

Predictably, considering how much the thirty second ad spots cost, lots of other big, universal brands all gave it a shot. Microsoft’s is touching, Coca-Cola’s strives for American patriotism as well as embracing diversity, Audi’s is plain awful and Maserati’s seems like it’s selling perfume rather than cars.

In fact, very few of the ads seem particularly entertaining, noteworthy or inventive. Chevy go for the comedy aspect but to be honest it just isn’t very good, and while the Toyota ad features The Muppets it still seems a bit phoned-in.

Of course, we won’t know for some time how successful these ads really are. Until sales figures are in plus social media shares and YouTube views slow down and can start to be totted up.

But in terms of their quality, a lot of money is thrown at the ads – on their stars, their soundtracks, their production values and their TV placement – but there’s an incredible lack of inspiration for the most part.

Certainly nothing close to Volkswagen’s The Force commercial from 2011.

Café Rouge are Going Underground

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The day before London experienced two days of commuting misery while tube workers held a 48 hour strike, this email from Café Rouge popped into my inbox.

We’ve looked at brilliant reactive email marketing on the e-shot blog before. However, this great example by B&Q was reactive in the truest sense of the term; it appeared in the aftermath of extremely bad storms in the UK.

Café Rouge have gone one step further.

The tube strike was announced well in advance, so they had time to plan and arrange their topical email promotion to arrive in inboxes the day before the transport closures in England’s capital.

So when subscribers opened the message it couldn’t have been any more up-to-date and relevant.

As tempting as it is to swap my dull sandwiches for their moules marinières, my commute doesn’t involve taking the tube – so asking my boss to work from a French restaurant is probably not going to happen.

I’d imagine that’s the same for a lot of people.

Yet while people might not follow the “try working from Café Rouge this week” suggestion in their droves, the email succeeds because it puts the restaurant right into subscribers’ minds with a great offer.

When lunchtime comes around, the “delay free” set menu might be too difficult to resist. Especially if your commute took twice as long as usual (and you had to skip breakfast).

Another company trying to use the strike for their benefit is Innocent Drinks who posted this picture on their Twitter feed (twice within two hours). The problem with Innocent’s tactic is that is seems entirely motivated to gain internet attention, without offering any sort of valuable promotion like Café Rouge’s two-course discount.

Innocent’s “London Transport Options” picture is overbearingly twee and whimsical, as if the whole tube strike was some sort of childhood adventure. Nevertheless, they know their followers well as the tone of the image has definitely worked from a social media standpoint – gaining a combined total of almost 5,000 retweets at the time of writing.

Clearly, reactive marketing can be an extremely worthwhile exercise, whether by email or social media. But only if it’s carried out as expertly as in these two examples.

 

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