1. Know your audience and write for them. It’s essential for the success of any text. Use the language they use, (fun, quirky, classy, Queen’s English – pick the one they prefer.) If you’re not sure how to define your customers, shoot me a message for a cheat sheet.
2. Set the end goal of your copy. Before starting to write anything, get a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your text – entertain, bring into action, educate, inform, give food for thoughts, create an intrigue, etc. When the end goal is defined, your writing process will be way more enjoyable and the results way more positive.
3. Create a clear text structure. Strong writing is not solely about finding the right words but also about arranging those words in the most visually appealing way. Craft your copy in a scannable/ easy to read way. Pay tons of attention to your headers, sub-headers and quotes. Structure the paragraphs clearly and mix sentences of different length. ALWAYS, always end your copy with a call to action.
4. CTA or Call To Action. Most of my clients made this mistake assuming that CTA is tacky. Well, it’s the opposite of a pushy (douchy marketing) salesy trick. It’s a courtesy. Your reader took his/her time to labour through your copy. Be polite enough to tell him/her why you wrote your piece and what you want your reader to do after finishing reading. Don’t leave them hanging & guessing what it was all about.
5. Be yourself. Your audience comes to your website & social media to hear what you have to say. Your customers buy your product for they share your brand’s vision, values and mission. Your clients hire you because they trust your opinion and expertise. Be authentically you.
Use this post as a checklist every time you start writing any copy.
Here is my curation of the biggest marketing trends according to Hubspot experts:
1. Short videos will prevail. The focus will be on “behind the scene” and educational content. Authenticity is central to customers in 2021, thus to marketing, too.
2. Customer-centricity will bring brands forward. Those who focus on the relationship with their customers, share their brand’s values and goals will propel forward. That’s why it’s crucial to have your brand’s pillars: voice, mission, vision, goals defined and set in stone. (DM me if you need help with this).
3. Content marketing will start with a conversation. Today’s audience wants to have an authentic experience with your brand. The way to create such is by starting an honest conversation.
4. Marketing circa 2021 is all about people, understanding their motives and talking to them in the right tone of voice using the right words.
5. The year 2021 will be the year of purposeful reinvention. If in 2020 we had to make a ‘panic pivot’, in 2021 those who aim to seize the opportunity will have to go through a reinvention and search for ways to engage even more with their core audience. And yes, the (written) content will be key.
6. Engagement. After the year of social distancing, working from home and lack of face-to-face contact, customers are looking for engagement. The brands that offer such will thrive the most. And, content is once again the key factor of success.
Think it through well, which marketing trends you need to follow to grow and prosper. But, whichever it is, it seems that engagement with your customer through the authentic and empathetic content is the crucial element.
Hate it or hate it, but cold pitching is an effective way to get new clients/ job/ hey, maybe even a partner.
But the same way as diving into a new relationship, cold pitching can be scary and require you to have some guts.
The secret here is not to take things personally. They said ‘no’ not because you suck, but because they are not looking for expanding their team. And talking about no’s, accept every ‘no’ as a new step on the ladder, which takes you closer to your goal. Because any failure is a learning curve that eventually leads you to success.
And who am I to talk about cold pitching? Well, I got two jobs by knocking on the closed doors. And I regularly approach and sign new clients this way.
I’ll talk in my next post about 5 essential parts of cold pitching. Meanwhile, comment below - do you like, hate or absolutely hate cold pitching?
Good writers are great readers. There, in the books, newspapers & magazines, lies an endless source of new words, intricate sentence structures, delicious word-plays, captivating metaphors, witty phrases, and so much more.
Besides books, check these tips that help you write more gracefully and build an impressive vocabulary.
Tip No 1
I do love the Saurus - a wonderful tool to fetch a synonym that’ll liven up your speech or writing.
Extra: The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has a subscription. After opting in, you'll daily receive a new word with an explanation. It's a great way to learn new words.
Tip No 2
Read a lot. And while doing so, make notes in mind or on paper of phrases, words, structures, use of tenses, sayings - anything that catches your eye.
I go a step further and write them all down in a notebook. So, when I have writer’s block, I flip through my notes to ignite my creative writing.
Tip No 3
Practice. The more you write, the better you become. At first, the whole process may seem horrible, stale, and utterly nerve-wracking. But writing is a muscle; the more you train it, the easier it goes.
Tip No 4
Use Grammarly. I've said it many times, but I won't get tired of repeating it - this writing app is amazing. Not only does it correct your punctuation and spelling, but it also suggests synonyms and better sentence structure. You can download it for free.
Do you love or hate writing? Comment below.
Does your copy represent your business in the right way? Get in touch (via message), and I'll check it & let you know.
1. Interlace sentences of different lengths. A general rule of copywriting - write your sentences clear and short. But there would be no rules without exceptions. Add an unexpected twist with a balanced mix of longer sentences, short sentences and very short ones. Like super short. Yes. One-word sentence.
2. Change passive voice structures into active voice. This small tweak will massively transform your copy. It’ll become punchy and irresistible. e.g. from my work: “The design of the cards has been thoughtfully created by J. P.” vs. “J.P. has thoughtfully created the design of the cards.”
3. Add verbs. Imagine you are looking at a still-life painting, and then you turn your head and catch a glance of an action film on the TV. Verbs ensure your copy is that action film, while a copy full of nouns and adjectives resembles that still-life painting. Verbs make you read further. You catch your breath. You bite on your lip. You wonder what will happen next. That’s what verbs do.
4. End your copy with a call to action (CTA). Give that courtesy to your readers. They took the time to go through your copy. Now, tell them why you wanted them to read it.
Go ahead and comment below, do you agree or disagree.
You don’t want your hard work to be wasted. Get your clients' attention with a killer email subject. And here's how to.
For hours, you crafted that email to your subscribers. And they ended up never opening it! I’ve been in your shoes, and I know how horrible it is to hear crickets chirping instead of getting your orders coming.
In my last post, I shared a few tips to improve your email opening rate. Today, be ready for a new batch.
1.Get personal. A person’s name in your sender’s field can increase open rates by 35%. Ditch "info," "reception," "customer service," etc. and use your name. Who cares what an info@ blah-blah-blah.com has to say? But people may drop what they are doing and read YOUR email when it comes with YOUR NAME in the sender’s field.
2. Urgency plays the trick. By adding some urgency words into the subject line, e.g., last day, take action, now, open, etc., you boost the chances your email will be opened. The secret is to not overdo it with the urgency words. Spread them thin like the butter on your toast.
3. Play with capital letters and punctuation. Sometimes, breaking the rules is the best thing to do. Be creative (but precise!), add an unexpected twist to your subject line - capitalize letters in the middle of a sentence. Break your sentence. Add a question mark? Play around!
4. Avoid spam words. Those will kill your email before you even hit "send." Over 300 words trigger the spam filters. Stop! What?!?! Yes, that’s the sad truth. So I advise getting familiar with that 300 words and keep them out of your email subject & body. E.g., free, offer, last minute, buy, click here, exclusive, instant, results guaranteed, best deal, winning, increase sales, and mooore!
Apply these tips and the once I gave last week, and go, write the truly-loved-by-your-customers emails, and rule the world (of your business)!
Your average email open rate should be between 15-25%. And that’s the good one.
What?!?! You spend all that time, sweat, and tears on writing an email about your fantastic new product (service, launch, you name it) and ... and nobody opens it. It’s heartbreaking, to say the least.
But there is a way out.
And it starts with the subject.
1. Write a clear subject line. Those always work best. The line should explain in a few words what’s the email about. You can make it dead serious or inject some humor - it’s up to you.
2. But I like mixing things up and adding once in a while, something punchy and intriguing. I wrote an email sequence for a client of mine, a kids' apparel brand. They were launching a new collection called “Happy Days.” So, I crafted the subject for the first email: “Mark your calendar, the Happy Days are coming.” The opening rates were great. Customers didn’t know yet that the collection was called the Happy Days, and they were instantly intrigued. For another subject line, I used the prints of the collection: “The goose, the tractor and the rabbit.” Who will not be curious and not open an email to see what all those rabbits and tractors are about?
3. I get hooked when I receive emails with a hint or double meaning. e.g., “It’s getting personal” (jewelry personalization), “This is HUGE” (introduction of a new collection), “The French way to make love” (invitation to send postcards to the loved ones). Well, you got the idea.
4. Use brackets. They make your email stand out, especially when you put them around time-sensitive words (like alert, important, urgent) or words like a newsletter, special offer, sale, new in, launch, etc.
More tips in my next post. Meanwhile, comment below - do you often open non-personal emails (newsletters, announcements, promotions, etc.)?
Our personality is what sets us apart, makes us damn special. So why hide it?
In my opinion, the biggest mistake a business can make is to target everyone in its vision & campaigns. Why? Well, the modern consumer doesn’t buy 'just because the product is nice.' We got picky. We buy a certain product or service because we believe in the brand behind it and what that brand STANDS FOR. We like the brand, its personality, and its vision.
Ask yourself, why do you buy Nike, not Reebok (or vice versa)? Why do you ride Renault and not Peugeot? Why Glossier and not MAC? Why Apple but not Samsung? The list goes on.
So, coming back to personality, your customer will connect with your product through yours or your brand’s personality. Vanilla talk and selling-to-everyone philosophy WILL NOT work. Believe me; I’ve tried it.
I like language, intensive yoga, fashion, literature, bright colors, getting to know people, hand-written notes, Hitchcock’s movies, to swear once in a while, flowers, crafting a copy, setting the table, and translating books. I won’t trade this for pretending I am someone else. If a client doesn’t like my personality. Then he or she is not the right client for me. That’s it.
Ultimately, when you try to please everyone, you will inevitably end up alone. And if you try to market your product and address your copy to everyone, you will end up - you guessed it - with zero sales and no client.
Ensure your personality shines through your copy. But please do not make it all about you. Just give your customers enough of your awesomeness plus a solid reason to buy your product - and they will turn in a loyal crowd, your people.
Written by A. van Eck-Samarina
The traffic light technique is one of my favs, not for avoiding traffic but for editing texts like a boss.
I first read about this method at CopyBlogger and I have been using it religiously ever since.
Here are the steps:
1. Write your copy.
2. Start reading aloud and marking the sentences in three colors. If you are happy with how your sentence sounds, looks, and communicates your message - paint it green. If you doubt some words, a particular comma or structure - color it yellow. If your eyebrows are frowning - throw the sentence in red with no hesitation.
3. Start re-writing the yellow and red pieces.
4. Pat yourself on the shoulder when the whole text is green.
Editing is an essential part of any writing process. Ask someone to proof-read/edit your copy. Preferably, hire a pro. We, copywriters & editors, are trained for noticing tiniest mistakes, putting commas in place, and dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. But if you can’t get a professional to look through your text, ask a friend, your mom, or anyone who’s good with language. You will be amazed at the results! Your copy will be as delicious as your birthday cake. Now, off you go traffic light-ing your text.