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Copywriting Clangers 5 Common Mistakes You Need To Avoid
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Today's explosion in internet marketing, blogging and email means that more and more businesses rely on written communications to connect with their customers. You could say that copywriting techniques are now more important to a sales person than a good telephone manner. Check out these five basic copywriting mistakes, and make sure that no-one in your company is making them.
1. Poor Headline
It's said that good copywriters spend the same amount of time on the headline as they do on the body copy. Whereas you might not have the time for this, you should come up with at least 5 possible headlines before deciding on the right one. And remember, the subject line of an email is a headline. The purpose of the headline is to get the reader to read the next bit of your message. Use headlines that inspire interest or evoke emotion in your reader.
2. Stuffy Language
This is common with small businesses trying to appear larger or more impressive than they think they need to be. It's also prevalent in business to business communications. Don't produce something that's a challenge to wade through. You need to use a tone of voice in line with your business image, but within that framework - write as you speak. Don't use complex language when simple language is far better at getting your message across.
3. No Call to Action
Your sales force are probably not as bad at this as your technical department. Ask for the sale. Send a prospect to your website, ask them to call, or request a meeting. Your reason for contacting a customer needs to be as plain as a slap in the face (just not as painful). Leave them in no doubt on what they should be doing next. If they don't know, or you don't tell them, then you've wasted their time and yours.
4. Writing to 'you lot'
Don't write to a crowd.
Don't do this: "We at AB Associates would like to invite local businesses to our seminar on... ".
Instead, do this: "You are invited to a seminar on... ".
Even the managing director is a person, treat him or her as one. Send your letter, address your web copy and even write your blog posts to a single person. If you have an ideal customer in mind (and you should) then write to that person exclusively. Not only will your writing be more appealing, but you'll also help to qualify the prospects, as the ones who'll buy from you will warm to your writing style.
5. Poor Spelling and Grammar
It is true that many people don't care too much about the occasional typo. But lots of people do. The reason is to do with trust and confidence. They want to believe in your product and service. If you can't even get your spelling right, you give them the opportunity to judge you. It may be the case that rationally your poor spelling has nothing to do with your business, maybe you're a roofer, but with customers it comes down to overall competence. Or lack of it.
So, train yourself and your staff in these five copywriting basics and every time you communicate you'll be moving your company closer to that all important sale.
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