Revisiting Clear and Simple Copywriting

Kids and great copywriters have something in common: they both understand the power of clear and simple communication. Getting their point across loud and clear is a definite skill that kids possess when they want something “right now!” For a more effective message, apply some of these same principles to your next marketing campaign.

I recall a family vacation in Florida where I listened as my two eldest children were bickering. My oldest child, Morgan, kept telling my second oldest, Mason, “Stop copying everything I say!” (You know how kids play this “game” to annoy each other.)

Mason chimed back, “Stop mimicking everything I say.”

Morgan responded back, “Huh, mimicking is not the same as copying.”

I interrupted, “Yes, in this case it is.”

Upon which Mason said, “See Morgan, it IS the same. ‘Mimicking’ is just an adult word that they say instead of ‘copying.’”

Selecting Just the Right Words
Which brings me to the subject at hand, the power of words, specifically, the right words and how they can profoundly impact your marketing success.

For instance, there is a big difference in the following phrases:

Learn how to become wealthy beyond your dreams.

Or…

Discover how to become wealthy beyond your dreams.

Learning implies work and a degree of difficulty. To discover is to come upon something by accident, to be lucky, and implies ease and no work at all.

And that’s just a single word. Great communicators understand and know that even changing one word can strengthen your prose dramatically, and have a positive impact on results. They understand the power of compelling, benefit driven headlines and how to craft copy that stops you and gets you to read on and—more importantly—respond and act quickly. This is especially critical with e-communications where attention spans are short at best.

A great writer understands that today, more than ever, you sell the offer, not the product or service while simultaneously building credibility and asking for the order. They understand that their job is to sell and understand the psychology of human behavior.

Consider the following headlines:

Protect your family for $25 yearly.
(This is not a mistake, read on to find out how.)

Or…

Protect your family for $25 yearly.

While both are compelling, the first headline addresses the question in our prospects mind “This sounds too good to be true,” eliminating doubt and reinforcing that it is indeed true, establishing credibility and subconsciously getting the reader to read on further for more information.

More readers will want to know “how can I protect my family for such a small amount of money.” In this case, adding a simple phrase makes a big difference. A logolept (word maniac) knows the power of clear and simple communication.

They do not tire of words like “free”, “new”, “now” or “you.” They wield this clout in each piece of mail they write to grab new leads…every site they help build to get hits on the Web…each ad they send to pull in new sales. Read these words over, and you should know what we mean when we say that they like to put their skill to the test.

In fact, the paragraph you just read is created from single syllable words. (Is that cool or what?). Clear communication should not be complex.

They know and understand that we need to tell the prospects/customers what to do:

Respond by June 13th
by completing the enclosed reply card
or dialing, toll-free, 1-800-YOU-RULE
to receive your 10% discount.

Professional communicators also know the power of testing and analyzing results. Make no mistake, you can be a great writer, but that does not make you a great direct response writer. And today, those who can get results are in even higher demand. By combining the right offer, with the right words, adding some psychological principles, and understanding selling and the sales process, you can help your clients and companies succeed.

So, the next time you’re out and about town, listen to the kids as they talk to each other.

We’d be wise to copy – that is, mimic the way they interact from time to time.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

1 Comment

  1. I’m always amazed how my little angels/urchins have something to teach me. And I particularly love it when it validates what I do. Great article!

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