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!