Copywriting For Your Small Business: Lesson One | MODsocket

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Copywriting For Your Small Business: Lesson One

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Copywriting For Your Small Business: Lesson One

by Donovan Dillon Contributor

Posted on June 30, 2015 17:23 PM

Small business owners and entrepreneurs consider marketing one of the Top 3 areas where they most need help when it comes to managing their business. And when it comes to creating that marketing, copywriting is one of the most intimidating tasks they face. So, rather than dump a litany of copywriting rules on you in one felled swoop, over the next several weeks, we’re going to serve up tips in short bursts that you can easily digest in your quest to write more effective sales copy for your business. We will begin with three of the most basic must-dos.

1). Focus On A Compelling Headline

David Ogilvy, a famous advertising legend from the “Mad Men” era, said that 5 times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. That means, 80% of your copywriting investment is spent on the headline. Protect that investment by making an effort to write short, clear and concise headlines that will grab your readers’ attention. In virtually every medium, from print ads, to outdoor boards, to web banners, you have mere seconds in which to capture your audience’s interest. If you don’t, they’re gone. They’ve turned the page, driven past, or clicked away to a new webpage. So, keep it short, keep it simple, and give it some punch. Don't try to say everything in your headline, you want the message to be single-minded and clear.

2). Include A Call To Action In The Copy

A call to action is your direct request for your readers to act and is intended to convey a sense of urgency. Virtually all calls to action include active verbs like, “Hurry”, “Call”, “Request” or “Visit”. Familiar examples include lines like, “Act now”, “Come in today”, and “Stop in while supplies last”. Always end your body copy with a call to action. And don't forget to include your contact information. Your address, phone number, email address and website address. Also include your hours of operation.

3). Proofread, Don’t Forget To Proofread

Nothing compromises your credibility more than sending out a marketing piece, whether it's an ad, a flyer, or a brochure, that contains typos and grammatical errors. Even one typo in an ad can leave the wrong impression that you are not conscientious. A general rule in the advertising agency world is that the writer should never proofread his or her own work. Writers will often read past their own mistakes because, already knowing what they mean to say, their brain reads past the error. Instead, ask a coworker, friend or family member to proof your copy for you. They'll most likely catch the mistakes you've overlooked. One other trick is to proofread backwards. First, proofread it slowly from beginning to end. Then, reverse that step and read it one word at a time from end to beginning. This is especially helpful for finding misspellings because you are reading each word independently instead of in the context of a written thought.

These are just three of the most basic copywriting tips. Intermittently, over the course of the next few months, we'll share additional tips that you can add to these to help master your writing prowess. Copywriting is part art, part craft, and part commerce. If you need additional help with copywriting for your small business, MODsocket has a stable of professional copywriters ready to assist. Our writers come from advertising agencies and corporate marketing departments; they have years of practical, well-honed experience writing for both B2B and B2C brands. To learn more about how MODsocket can help take your small business marketing efforts to the next level, visit us online at www.modsocket.com. 


About the Author

Donovan Dillon is President of Ad Giants - a Next Generation Marketing Services company specializing in software-as-a-service and creative solutions that improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Donovan has over 25 years of marketing, product management and technology planning experience. He was previously head of Marketing for Broadwing Communications, and has held senior marketing and technical positions with Level 3, XO Communications, and ATT.