Writing Enticing Sales and Promotional Material

The other day I was proofing a winery holiday offerings printed piece for a graphic artist friend of mine.  It really was a lovely piece, attractive graphics, nice layout and the copy was good… except for a couple of little things in the copy, that could make a big difference.

After I read the copy I had some questions: for example one section offered me two bottles of wine in a gift box (so far so good). There were three options to choose from and it said, “Choose either,” which led me to believe that I should only buy one of them.

Perhaps I am nitpicking, but I want to make sure that everyone knows they can buy as many as they want, within reason, of course. Although if a customer does place a large, large order, that’s the time to give them that special pallet discount (3% discount if you buy two pallets of wine).

Here are a few things to look out for when you are writing sales copy:

– Keep your sentences short. The structure and length should vary for easy reading, but most of the sentences should be relatively short.
– Develop a writing vocabulary so that you are not using the same words all the time. I often come across promotional and sales pieces in which the same descriptive words are used multiple times or the sentences are repetitive, for example:  We had a great event at the winery, we had so much fun and the wine was great.
– Use terms that paint pictures for the reader. The words imagine or remember set the stage for them to start visualizing.
– Write to express your thoughts, not to try and impress your audience. Present ideas simply and directly.
– Avoid finishing off with a few of the things that are much overused and don’t create the impression that you want to create:

  • Very unique: Unique means one of a kind, and I have yet to come across anything that is very one of a kind.
  • Stay away from Come join, Come enjoy, Come… anything. It weakens the sentence, which is much stronger if you just say, Enjoy, or Join us.
  • Try not to start any sales copy with:  “We are proud to announce…” or “We are excited to announce…” This is all about you and not about the customer and how it will make them feel.

– Finally I am always coming across “We would like to invite you…” which always makes me say to myself…If you would like to invite me, why don’t you just invite me?

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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One comment on “Writing Enticing Sales and Promotional Material

  1. Karyn Howard says:

    Oh, Elizabeth, you just tickle me. I bet you have a copy of Truss’ “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” in your office.

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