James E. Laero marketing / communications / business development

ARTICLE: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword - or Not

Good copy writing leads the reader to take immediate action.

The pen can be mighty in the hands of a pro or useless in the hands of an inexperienced copy writer.

Have you ever picked up a beautifully designed brochure but felt confused or alienated by its message?

Have you ever opened a direct mail piece that was just useless when it came to motivating you to act on an offer?

Have you every passed a roadside billboard and just shook your head in disbelief over the message on it?

That is poor copy writing.

Good copy writing leads reader to take immediate action. Good copy writing integrates proper hot-buttons and triggers to move readers, or listeners, to make productive choices, motivating customers to respond favorably. Whether you are reading a speech at a business conference or asking potential customers to move on a special sale offer, good copy writing should get the response you need.

Communicating - Emotions & Intellect

People make quick decisions with their emotions and intellect. This applies to general consumers and B2B consumers. Good copy writing moves the heart and convinces the head to act. Good copy writing delivers the hearts and minds of your audience by integrating the essentials of good copy into every sentence. You copy should answer all of these questions and initiate action:
• Are you trustworthy?
• What exactly are you selling?
• Who are you selling to?
• Why should anyone listen to you?
• How are you better than your competitor?
• What value will the buyer get from your product or service?
• How will buying your product or service make your customer’s life better?
• What makes your product or service safe to invest in?
• Exactly what action do you want your potential customer to take now?
• What exactly is going to happen after your potential customer responds?

And...You have only 3 seconds

Sad to report, but very few people these days read any more than they need to. In most marketing opportunities you will have about three seconds to captivate your audience. Most people reading direct mail never get past the envelope. Internet users will depart from a poorly done web site in three seconds, and never return. Your copy must do its job quickly. It must first grab the attention of the viewer and then strategically move them from one point to the next. Words can lead readers to action. In today’s society the process requires much more attention to short, precise and dynamic copy.

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