Copy used to be the most powerful tool for any communication professional. Designed to specifically persuade users to take action, copy is a fantastic way to get your point across when you’re selling or promoting based on price or scarcity. It’s often clever, sometimes a bit misleading, and usually elicits groans from those who have seen a bit too much.
I propose we try something else. I propose we stop treating websites like advertisements and more like the interactive environments they really are. I say we stop talking to people, and start sharing stories with them.
Many of the better PR professionals already know and practice this, but we still have far too many writing boring press releases, relying on flash instead of substance and neglecting to listen to the very audience we’re all trying to attract.
Don’t ask question, give answers. Don’t give generic reason, share personal (customer) stories. Don’t be afraid to be a little human.
For those that already understand what I’m talking about, I have a favor to ask of you: show those that do not. While that may seem ridiculous to “help” your competition, I’ve noticed that industries are often judged by the worst they have to offer, so spreading knowledge around can only help.
Do you have any examples where you’ve changed sales copy into more interactive forms of communication and found success?
May I add a gigantic AMEN, to this post?! As a matter of fact, just reading it and considering its promise put a smile on my lips and a warmth in my heart. This is our goal, people, to connect with others through our common – or at least relatable – experiences… You know, that word-of-mouth sharing thing. It’s what people (i.e. “customers”) connect with emotionally which, in turn, moves them to take action. Make “tell stories” your new mantra for 2011 and beyond!
Hi: I read your posts with great interest and have learned a lot, especially this post.
I am sure you would also like to know when you make grammatical errors so that you can avoid making the same mistake.
“For those that already understand what I’m talking about,….” Correct grammar. “For those who already….” Use who when referring to people. Use that when referring to places, things, animals and creatures.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
I get a little lazy with grammar when I blog. Thanks for the reminder.
Ad copy is only dead for those that think “copy” means inauthentic communication.
Copy means…wait for it…words.
Yes, Tyler, I so agree with you that copy should have substance. Message to market match will only work if you connect the suspect to the content. At my company, we call that an initial handshake. I create sales websites that do just that. They are developed to engage the visitor. And it is the most successful online experience I have seen so far. Thank you Tyler for sharing your insight on this matter.