The Skill of Copy
In the game of baseball, I asked a newcomer, “How fast can you make it from first to third on a single?”
If you write the marketing copy in the present tense, then you are likely to get a better response. By that I mean your direct-marketing copy will fall short of the mark you aimed at by making far off, distant promises.
For example –
- Our product will make your cookies taste sweeter.
- Our concept will make you sell more.
- Our program will make you move up the corporate ladder.
When you use the present tense, you keep the promise and the payoff close to the reader – right here, right now, and get it today!
My colleagues in direct marketing always look for words that work for dollars. The present tense offers the reader immediate satisfaction now and not in the future.
Look at the simple corrections made to the three previous sentences.
- Our product makes your cookies sweeter.
- Our concept makes you richer.
- Our program makes you reach that promotion.
Tomorrow always seems to be here before you know it. The present tense has the most direct marketing potential for record-breaking sales because it is here today, ready to sell and to deliver on every promise.
Remember, direct marketing copy pulls the reader in and makes an offer to get the sale now.
Getting Close to Home
I hope you made sense out of my little play upon the word tense. Because the alternative might be a double play! That is the skill of attraction.
I know some marketers say having many people on the fence waiting to buy would call that a success. That is not the right way of using direct marketing. Why wait when you can have the present tense working for you every day?
Another change of writing helps if you know how to go from first to third.
If you like posting testimonials supporting your product, go from the first person to the third person.
Writing in the first-person narrative means copy from the “I” point of view. For example, “I use product X every day and never miss another appointment.”
Writing in the first person is more personal sounding, but if nobody knows the person making that statement, it is boring.
Let us look at writing as the third person. This form of writing stems from the well-informed point of view.
“My name is John Smith, President of XYZ Company, and 99.5% who have purchased Product X, make more in sales than all the other products combined.”
The third person is more authoritative by mentioning the person by name, his or her position and further, by building a clearer brand image for company X.
When writing marketing copy, such as a testimonial, test it on other people, some you know, to see if the copy meets your objectives.
It is always helpful to remember. Direct to customers!
Please share with others–except your competition!
Direct marketing copy is like a puzzle.
Sharing my time with you is not over at the end of a post. There are many ideas I experienced in owning a small business. My ideas about using and writing direct marketing and customer-centric copy are intertwined in the marketing, advertising, and selling content, articles, reports based on my philosophy of people learn by reading, then learn by doing.
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Thanks again for reading. Questions?
Mdoc@direct2customers.com or 800-251-3608