In school, our teachers work hard to make sure we become grammatically correct through proper use of punctuation and styles of writing when we write essays and other articles. But what may not have been realized then is that these rules may not apply to a copywriter and thus, abiding by these rules for writing marketing materials, ads, and commercial copies will not work in reality.
Why School Learning Doesn’t Apply to Copywriting?
This is because marketing materials and business copies are not aimed at showing a high standard of writing skills, but to help market a business and its products or services. In order to do this, a connection must be made with everyday people who, more often than not, don’t speak and write with proper English. Thus, for copywriters to put out good marketing material, they have to speak the language of the people and connect with them on a level that they are comfortable with. That is, copywriters should be willing to stray from the hard rules of correct English writing and concentrate more on effective marketing pieces rather than correct ones.
Tips for Copywriting that Bend the Rules
1) Write In Third Person?
It is a highly-regarded trait to write articles in third person, especially for professional writing; but ditch this standard rule, as it should not be used in copywriting if you want to be successful at it. Think of yourself as more of a salesperson when writing a marketing material, and write in second person so you will be talking directly to the person reading the material; because, in essence, you really do fit that role as you are trying to persuade people to buy the target business’ products or services.
Use words like you, your, yourself and even write in first person where appropriate, keeping away from third person writing style, unless you believe it is absolutely essential for the particular article.
2) Get To The Point!
Another deviation from proper English writing is to use command language and not worry about hinting or implying things. Get straight to the point and give out instructions, orders and persuasive wording to get the readers to do what you want them to. For example, you can use teasers like ‘look inside’, ‘read immediately’ or ‘be quick’ to make them curious. Also, try commands like ‘read on’, ‘turn to the next page’ or ‘complete and mail today’ for order forms. This is crucial because people do not have the time to read carefully and figure out what you are trying to get at, so getting directly to the point and telling them what needs to be done is the best way to go about it.
We are told that using complex sentences that connect two or more sentences should be used often in articles. However, research has found that readers cannot grasp the full idea of long sentences in one go if it is too long. Usually a sentence should be less than 16 words long and not have too many points in it.
3) Keep Short Paragraphs In Mind
Another great tip is to stay away from long paragraphs. It is acceptable for educational articles and professional ones, but for marketing pieces, sticking to short paragraphs is the way to go. Short paragraphs are more attractive and will not discourage the readers from continuing on. To add more flare to the article, add a one-sentence paragraph every now and then. Have a look at some newspapers to get an idea as they also use this tactic to get readers interested on newspaper clips.
4) Advisable Prepositions
Preposition usage is another area that deviates clearly from proper English usage, but one that works for copywriters. The idea behind this is that copywriters must write in a more freestyle way, like the way people normally talk. It is advisable to write as if you are having a conversation with some people and not adhere strictly to written language. In doing so, incorporate words that people use often when talking such as ‘sure thing’ or OK for example.
5) Using Redundancy Effectively
Use of intelligent redundancy is also something that would be frowned upon by English teachers. For example, keeping it simple with phrases like “call anytime for a free booking”, “get a free quote today”, etc., will not go down well with proper English users, but it does work with the average person who reads the article.
6) Writing Headlines
Headlines are very important for an article or blog. In fact, it has been found that it is the most important part of a marketing piece as readers are attracted to read the rest of the article based on how persuasive the heading is. Using punctuation on headlines is not advisable, as it commands the reader to pause and in this little time, the reader could be dissuaded from reading on. Grammar should not be strictly adhered to, but it does have to make sense nonetheless.
7) Learning The Arts
Finally, keep in mind that copywriting is an art form and like any other art, it requires free will and creativity and should not be bound by standards. You do not have to be a good writer and adhere to the laws and norms taught to you in English class, but should have the basic writing skills which are more than enough. What you must have is creativity and be able to think like a salesman, communicating on the same level as the target audience for your marketing material.
More Information and Assistance
For more great tips on copywriting and improving your skills in this area, visit the very popular Copyblogger site. If you are in need of a professional copywriter’ assistance in brewing up your next marketing plan through some quality material for your website. A guide to copywriting in 10 slides is a great place to start. To check how well your articles or any other marketing material work for your business by the amount of traffic it brings to your website, get the right analytical tools from Moz. They are experienced in handling this sort of thing, so you are sure to get the great information from them.