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What Creates Compelling Copy?

 

Whether you’re writing copy for a short PR piece or want to create an email campaign that packs a punch - here are a few great tips to engage your audience.

Put yourself in the shoes of your audience.
 

A golden rule for a good reason. Think about what makes them tick and what will excite them. Think about how you can make your copy ‘as sexy as possible’ without any obvious signs of seduction. Impress me. Always focus on points that reflect innovation, thought leadership, status, originality, etc. Write from the heart for emotional matters and write with the brain when it comes to business or logical matters. Sometimes a mix of the two can work well.

 

Always keep in mind whether any of your content makes assumptions that might put your audience offside.
 

This can create a juncture in the flow of the copy and may change the level of acceptance from your reader. You really don’t want that.

 

Use simple graphic techniques.
 

Make your copy easy to read, so that readers can scan sub-headings or bold text and grab your key messages. Think about it this way: if your audience could only take away with them headings or text that have been highlighted - would they get everything you wanted to get across? Write for the ear but design for the eye.

 

Make punctuation your friend.
 

Using punctuation can be a powerful tool and you should always be challenging yourself when using it in your copy. While it’s important that your punctuation is correct there are lots of ways to maximise its power. Using capitals, dashes, colons, semi-colons or text layout will have impact on the strength of your message. Also, for the effusive individuals amongst us - try to not use more than one exclamation in an email or article. It will make your message look over-enthusiastic and will water down the desired impact.

 

Don’t make your copy too long or too clunky.


If there’s too much text, slash and burn. A good rule of thumb is to remove any extra words you can without damaging the message or sentence. Always keep in mind the rhythm of your sentence. Cast your mind back to learning about poetry in secondary school. (Yes, that’s way back for some of us.) Clean, succinct sentences work; long, boring sentences don’t. Try and vary your sentence structure to keep it fresh and interesting.

Finally, relax and have fun.


Your readers will pick up on the tone of your writing. Try and start any new writing project when you’re feeling inspired, energised and upbeat. First thing in the morning with few distractions is always good - it will save you many re-writes down the track.


Claire Chandler is a Senior Marketing Consultant and the newest recruit to the Australian Business Consulting & Solutions Marketing team. If you have any questions, please contact her on 02 9458 7785 or via email

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