Red moon shines on a burning tree
Someone is taking my life from me
Where is my family, the light of my day
Someone has taken them all away
These words were penned by master songwriter, musician, and record producer Michael Omartian. (The song is “White Horse”, from the mid-70’s album of the same name.)
Great writers will often drop the reader right in the middle of action, or in this case, drama.
Some of the world’s most effective copywriters use the same technique. Here’s a representative example:
They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano, But When I Sat Down To Play…
In both cases, the writer goes on to engage the reader into the story. It’s almost like using a time machine to simply drop another person at a specific place at a certain point in time.
We often have a tendency to want to give all the background first, and then get on with the story… but in so doing, the reader often goes on to something else.
One issue that beginning copywriters often struggle with is realizing that good copy does not always need to follow the rules of grammar. Now there are always differing opinions on this issue, however the fact remains that effective copy often breaks the rules of grammar.
This is true because copy mirrors actual speech, and people do not always speak the way they write. In effective copy, we often see one-sentence paragraphs. We see sentences that omit the subject. Sentences sometimes begin with the word ‘AND’. The best copywriters will even frequently employ one-word sentences, or even one-word paragraphs.
Now when we point out these facts, it should not be assumed that copywriting can be sloppy. The exact opposite is true. Again, the best copywriters are careful with their grammar. They only break the rules for specific reasons, usually for emphasis. Copywriters at the top of their craft routinely study the standard works on writing, from Elements of Style by Strunk and White to On Writing by Stephen King. A good copywriter will pay attention to word selection, alliteration, and all the other elements associated with good writing. The very best copywriters read their copy out loud, usually several times, to ensure the smooth flow of words.
An appropriate comparison can be made to a professional athlete. Whether a baseball, football, or basketball player, the pro will often have his or her own style. Be that as it may, they first learned how to execute techniques by the book.
Ultimately, as a copywriter the only rule is whether the copy effectively generates the desired effect or not (leads or sales).
Email marketers, like every other types of marketers, are continually looking for ways to increase the profitability of their marketing campaigns. Here’s a simple method of doing that.
Many email or autoresponder management services have a special feature, namely, a warning screen a reader is taken to if they try to subscribe to your list twice.
Why would someone try to subscribe twice? The most common reason is… they are highly interested not only in the topic, but they are furthermore interested in what YOU have to say, and on top of that, they’re already signed up previously (but forgot).
Someone that has previously signed up and is wanting to sign up for your list again is very likely a good prospect. So, why not take advantage of an opportunity?
Besides, the warning screen is often rather foreboding and the reader is easily “put off” by it. Why create a problem where there doesn’t need to be one? Why not take lemons and make lemonade? Here’s a solution that will fix that problem and additionally increase your profits.
All you have to do is replace the default warning screen with an offer to buy something! You might even offer them a special deal, pointing out the fact they are already a subscriber. If you don’t want to sell them something at this point, offer a bonus or send them to your blog. Whatever you do, use the opportunity to promote your products and your websites.
Following these hints will explode your autoresponder and email marketing profits!
Anyone who writes copy, either for their own products or services or for clients, should want their copy to be more effective. This means more satisfied customers and more sales. How do you increase the effectiveness of your copy?
Before you write one word, fix in your mind what you want to achieve with your sales letter or other promotional piece. Be specific. Don’t just say to yourself, “I want the reader to buy my product”. Instead, outline in detail what you want your reader to feel, experience, and ultimately gain from buying your product. You can even go further and put some kind of number on your desired outcome… how many sales do you want to make.
With this approach, you don’t have to concern yourself with sounding cool or making funny jokes in your copy. Imitating other sales letters is not your goal either. None of that is relevant to your goal! Everything you say and demonstrate is now focused on persuading the reader to buy your product.
For example, let’s say you are selling an information product on how to raise chickens. Should you include pictures of your children or grandchildren in your sales letter? Only if it helps persuade the reader to buy your product. Likewise, should you include fancy “Web 2.0” graphics and “involvement devices”? If you determine that it will help you sell more product, then you should do so.
Do you research and test everything, always with your end goal in mind. This rule will help you decide what to do, and more importantly, what not to do in your sales copy.
One of the most important aspects to any email is the subject line. If it is not done right, you negate the whole reason for sending the email in the first place. In other words, you should spend as much time crafting a good subject line as writing the email itself, if you want the email to actually get opened, read, and acted upon.
Having a well-thought out subject line for your email is more important than ever. Here’s why.
First, people are wary of spam. Spam filters clear out most, but not all, spam. So as a legitimate email marketer, you want to avoid all appearances of a “spammy” email, and this begins, not surprisingly, at the very beginning.
Second, every good email begins with a promise… implying that the email is worth the reader’s time to invest a few minutes in reading. You may not know this, but most people scan through their email inbox and decide what looks most important. Most people never read all the emails they receive. By crafting a compelling subject line, you increase the chances your email will be read.
Third, even legitimate email marketers have resorted to “tricks” to get emails opened. While these may work in the short-term, in certain fields they have been used so often that readers tire of them. One approach that always works is to give the reader a taste of what they will get inside. There should be congruity between the email subject line and the body of the email, in the same way that a newspaper story headline should have continuity with the actual story. By avoiding “tricks”, you will stand out from all the other short-term minded marketers who use tactics without considering the long-terms effects of burning out their readers.
Email marketing can be a very effective medium for getting the word out to your prospects and customers, and the care with which you craft your email subject lines can make or break your email marketing campaigns.