Nine Ways to Write More Persuasive Marketing Copy

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Effective marketing copy must be customized for the intended consumer. Use these nine tips to help you write persuasive marketing copy when you promote your books.

The average person sends about 40,000 words by email every year. For reference, that’s nearly equivalent to the word count of The Great Gatsby. Are your words effective in persuading people to buy your books? If not, keep reading.

Do you think people actually read every word in every email or press release you send, or on every page of your website? Not likely. Most people do not read marketing copy word-for-word, but rather scan the page looking for information that is helpful and important to them.

People look at your promotional copy with an expectation of some possible benefit, and if they find it, they will continue to read. A recent study found that 79 percent of test users scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-for-word. They are looking for words that are pertinent to their needs that might provide some sort of benefit.

Therefore, you are more likely to communicate with readers if you write copy that is scannable. It should quickly communicate a reason why someone should purchase your book. In most cases, readers dislike copy that is too promotional, i.e. without substance, benefit, or validity. People are busy and they want to quickly get facts that are important to them. Some techniques you can use to increase the persuasiveness of your marketing copy include:

  1. Highlight keywords that are important to your reader. You might use colors, boldface type, italics, or even hypertext links to serve as highlighting.
  2. Break up copy with functional (rather than “cute”) subheads that communicate a benefit to the reader, rather than an attempt to amuse or entertain.
  3. Number or bullet your lists to set them apart from the text.
  4. Make certain your copy is complete while also being concise and clear.
  5. Get the readers’ attention quickly and give them a reason to continue reading. Apply the AIDA formula for writing promotional copy: get their Attention; pique their Interest; provide something they Desire; provide a clear call to Action.
  6. Follow the adage, “Tell me quick and tell me true, or else, my friend, the heck with you.”
  7. Keep your copy straightforward and simple (KISS), using short text to draw readers in. Less is more.
  8. Use graphics that are professionally produced.
  9. Use testimonials and endorsements from well-known people to build your credibility.

These points recognize that people do not want to sift through “hype” to find out if an offer, product, or service will benefit them in some way. These points also demonstrate that marketing copy must be customized for the intended reader, offering them specific benefits. For example, an email directed to a buyer at a retail store might convey that your book’s sales history and your book promotion efforts could increase store traffic and inventory turns. However, this same copy would be of no interest to librarians looking to provide useful information to their patrons.

Stop selling your books. Instead, concisely communicate — with clear, scannable and objective copy and layout — ways in which the people who buy your books will benefit. You may sell more books as a result.

The End

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