5 Ways to Avoid Hype in Your Copy

My friend Lorrie recently had this great article on writing good copy in her ezine and I wanted to share it with you.

To find out more about Lorrie and Red Hot Copy go to www.redhotcopy.com and her newest project "The She Factor."

5 Ways to Avoid Hype in Your Copy
  
Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, Copywriting Strategist
 
Copy is salesmanship in print, but does it have to be a greasy used-car salesman? The answer is, "No!" Follow these 5 tips and watch your prospects’ trust level rise.
 
1.     Make it believable. Face it – we are just smarter nowadays than we were several decades ago. In fact, we’re jaded. We’ve seen it all. Bought the miracle pills (and felt stupid for believing the charlatans). We all know it’s impossible to lose 25 pounds over night. So why even go there? Once you lose credibility, you’ve lost your prospect’s attention too. Respect your prospect with honesty and you have a much better chance of doing business together. (Psst. A great way to build trust is to actually reveal a flaw in your product. We all know nothing is perfect – so show us where it’s not and we believe in you.)
2.      Easy on the adjectives. Great copy is "verb-heavy," not laden with adjectives. In fact ad man great, Leo Burnet (of Green Giant ad fame, among others) wanted to discover why 62 of his ads failed. So he had his staff separate out the parts of speech. Here’s what he found – of the 12,758 words in the 62 failed ads, 24.1% were verbs. His conclusion – if the failed ads had more verbs, they probably would have done better. Take my advice. If you haven’t already, go to Amazon and buy Richard Bayan’s copywriting thesaurus, Words that Sell. And keep it by your desk when writing.
 
3.     Write in your prospect’s language. Make sure you understand their particular jargon. For example, in general chiropractors have a bit of a rivalry with medical doctors. But chiropractors are "real" doctors. If you slip up and say otherwise, you have alienated them. But you would only know that by deeply studying your target market. An excellent resource to learn more about various inner languages is at www.thewordsthatsell.com. They have special reports on markets from real estate agents to radiologists to attorneys.
 
4.      Write to one person with the "tarketing" technique. To really sound sincere and empathetic,do what I call "tarketing". That’s taking your target market’s demographics down so far that you’re actually referring to just one person. (See, a target market is a mob or plural while a "tarket" is ONE PERSON or singular.) Corporations take this approach all the time. For example, Volvo’s tarket is a 35 year old mother of two. (Does that mean men don’t buy Volvo’s? Of course not!) When you use the tarketing technique, not only is your writing more concise, but your reader connects with you on a very deep level.After all, you’re talking directly to him or her.(The most comprehensive guide to prewriting research I’ve ever seen is my workbook, "Red Hot Copy to Woo Your Target Market". www.red-hot-copy.com/copy3.html)
 
5.      Think from the prospect’s point of view. You have to do your due diligence if you want to avoid the hype. This is where summoning up a little creativity goes a long way. Once you’ve got your tarketing technique in place, really drill it down. Get deep inside your prospect’s head and ask yourself some of these questions:
·          What magazines does he or she read?
·          What restaurants does he or she go to?
·          Does your prospect take vacations?
·         Who did your prospect vote for for president?
·         How would your prospect describe his or her life if they ran into a childhood friend they haven’t seen for 10 years?
 
Are you beginning to see just how deep you can start to go? These questions are a nick on the surface. I go on for pages in my workbook, *Red Hot Copy to Woo Your Target Market*,  but you get the idea.
 
The best way to avoid hype is to genuinely connect with your prospect through prewriting research AND respect. You’ll be rewarded with customer loyalty and many more sales.
 
Thanks Lorrie, good advice.
Have a great day whatever your adventure
Sharon
 

Leave your mark on the world one comment at a time

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *