Blogging / Internet Website Design / Technology

4 Rules for Effective Online Copy

By Mary Agnes Antonopoulos

womanwritingonthewebThere are many ingredients that go into the perfect recipe for online copy and email marketing. Some of them, like all great recipes, can be adjusted by a good cook. A discerning chef (or writer) can adjust their dish to their own tastes. But remember that there are some ingredients that are simply too basic to be left out or used in wrong proportions. After all, the one thing a great chocolate cake has to have is…  okay, you get my point.

Rule #1. The Package. The most important rule is actually the last thing you should do:  proofread. The impact of a poorly copyedited page or newsletter is huge, especially if it’s a marketing campaign. Your words can be brilliant and your message perfect, and you will still lose potential clients if you trap them in typo terror and semi-colon hell. (And believe me, they’ll all write to point it out.)  

Even if you send your pieces to your dear Aunt Sally who used to work in the typing pool way back when, do it. Don’t let anything leave your desk without a clean eye to look it over. Remember, spell check can’t find a word that is ridiculous and misused, only one that is mis-spelled. Use a person for this important “package” to carry your message to the world.

Rule #2. Pump up the volume!  Spend an extra hour to be entertaining, informative and even fun. Nobody wants to read an email that puts them to sleep half way through it. Put some pizzazz in your paragraphs and sparkle in your sentences. Use creative alliteration and wow your audience from the first word to the “yours truly.” 

Rule #3. Speed it up. In today’s world of “click-on-peas-to-get-to-carrots,” nobody has time to read five pages of appetizers before you get to your point. You have to share the meat of your message the minute someone clicks on your page or opens your email. Then you can get a little bit creative and add more detail, some supporting commentary, and circle back to the main topic again to reinforce it. Remember, if it’s the most important thing to say, say it first!

Rule #4. SHORT copy your sales pages.  Yes, I know, I’m bucking all known media guru’s.  But aren’t you just a LITTLE tired of landing pages that roll out for days, like toilet paper????  (I won’t make the obvious connection here.)  Take a huge risk, fellow women, just tell them what it is and how much it costs.  We are WOMEN.  We know what sings to us – and 95% of the time, the disqualifier is financial.  So let’s not torture each other.  And if you want to get AROUND the money thing, offer payments of the opportunity for a half scholarship.  I had NINETEEN women take my last class on half scholarship.  I scaled down some of the mentoring, and I asked them all for a little JV swap, but that was it.  I was HAPPY to help them, and the good will returns are exponential. 

That’s it from me!  Write on fellow female entrepreneurs – write on!  And happy holidays.

Mary Agnes Antonopoulos ~ Freelance Writer and Social Media Trainer ~ www.RockawayWriter.com

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