When you're campaigning for new customers, the written word is almost always less expensive than other forms of advertising. I'm taking about brochures, letters, direct mail – yes, even blog posts. How often do you say, 'Put it in writing,' when dealing with a vendor's sales pitch? That's because we inherently trust the permanency of print. Here are five quick tips for making sure your giving the best effort to any written campaign.
1) Test everything. See how a brochure folds and what that does to your message visually. Sending an Every Door Direct Mailer or a newsletter? Send one to yourself first to see how and when it gets delivered.
2) Respect your reader. We all think every single word we utter or print is valuable. However, readers have a notoriously short attention span. Give them short bursts of text, intriguing images, and plenty of white space. (White space is the part of the letter where you see nothing but the white paper.) Too busy is bad business.3) Always get a second set of eyes. Even newspaper editors have editors. When you write something, often you've written and rewritten it so many times your mind inserts thoughts/words/transitions you cut in your own editing.
4) Do not borrow. Imitation is the best form of flattery, but cutting and pasting from a website or someone's mailer is plagiarism. This often isn't prosecuted in court, but it plays out at your empty customer counter when they know you've stolen. So just don't steel.
5) Be correct. You know your brain went bonkers when you just read steel instead of steal. Spellcheck programs don't catch the error: It's spelled correctly. Using incorrect words or dysfunctional grammar will do three things: It WILL cost you business, It WILL make you a star of someone's typo Hall of Fame on the web… and you just might have to redo an entire print job or campaign.
Photo by Luca Bertolli, used with permission.