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3 Ways Your Copy Can Work Harder

There’s always plenty of good-natured ribbing between copywriters and designers. One old standby goes something like: “Nobody reads the copy anyway, remember?”

As a copywriter, I certainly hope that’s not true — but if the copy isn’t working as hard as it should, you couldn’t blame folks for skipping the words and simply admiring the pictures. Here are three ways that every piece of marketing or promotional copy can work harder to engage readers and turn prospects into customers:

Lead with the benefit.

You’ve been working on your new product for years. You assume everybody is just as excited as you are to see the big reveal. Heck, it’ll practically sell itself, right? Not exactly. A laundry list of features might hook a few people who are looking for something specific, but in the end, it’s just that — a list. Communicate the real-world benefit of each major feature and help your audience make a stronger personal connection with your product from the start.

Transport your audience.

Once you’ve communicated the benefit, don’t stop there. Take it further by putting readers in the middle of the action. Paint a picture that allows them to imagine using your product or enjoying your event or experience firsthand. Now you haven’t merely told them what the benefits are, you’ve shown them how their work and life will be measurably better as a result.

Leave them hanging.

You’ve demonstrated the benefit. You’ve shown them why their life will be better. Now it’s time to leave them wanting more. The perfect call to action is disruptive, decisive and direct — and if you’ve successfully created this need within your audience, they will act on it. But don’t give them 100% of the story — stop at 90% and let them complete the picture by scheduling a demonstration, asking questions, trying a sample or even making a purchase.

For more copywriting tips, check out the first rule of copywriting.

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