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If you’ve ever read a piece of junk mail, turned on the television, or opened a newspaper, you’re sure to have seen these sales techniques. Flashy fonts and proclamations sometimes work, but what really sets an ad campaign (or website) apart is its content: now what the words look like, but how you tell your story.
Susan Gunelius, a VIP contributor to Entrepreneur, nails it when she says:
Copywriting is about more than writing the hard sell sales letter that many short copywriting courses offer…Well-crafted copywriting doesn’t need to beat a person over the head. It doesn’t have to drown in bold typeface and capitalization. The message should stand on its own without an overabundance of heavy-handed sales language and design embellishments.
But how can you – an inexperienced copywriter – write that kind of content? Gunelius breaks it into ten easy-to-understand steps:
- Exploit your product’s benefits
- Exploit your competition’s weaknesses
- Know your audience
- Communicate W.I.I.F.M. (What’s In It For Me?)
- Focus on “you,” not “we”
- Understand your medium
- Avoid T.M.I. (Too Much Information)
- Include a call to action
- Y.A. (Cover Your Ass)
Even though she wrote this article in 2009, the same principles apply (and work!) today.
I encourage you to click on over and check it out. Even if you’re pretty sure you know what she’s referring to in each step, give it a read and refresh your memory – it’ll at least help you strengthen your copywriting foundation. At best, you’ll walk away with ten new tools to help you with your content-writing needs.
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