How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

of 106 /106
How to Write Powerful Copy for Newsletters, Information Leaflets & Posters 30 January 2013

description

How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Transcript of How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Page 1: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

How to Write Powerful Copy for Newsletters,

Information Leaflets & Posters

30 January 2013

Page 2: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Agenda

• Overview of newsletters

• Planning your newsletter article

• Writing copy that works

• Questions

Page 3: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

How to write things that people will read and act upon

• Can anyone do it?

• Unless you have some basic skills – NO

• Grammar, spelling, punctuation – all are necessary

• Even if you have these you may never be a great writer

• BUT

Page 4: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

How to write things that people will read and act upon

• If you follow the tips and techniques I talk about today you will be as good as many people who make their living as reporters and feature writers

• I will show you some of the techniques and processes that are used by professional journalists

• I’ll cover layout and formatting too because these are also very important

Page 5: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

How do you start?

• Draw up some guidelines

• Make it ‘reader friendly’

• Think about type faces

• Assemble pictures and caption copy

• Think about how to get your readers involved

Page 6: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Basics of a newsletter

1. A set of rules (guidelines) that builds continuity of style and layout – readers start to feel comfortable and know where to find their favourite things

2. Understand your audience – not just levels of English to aim for, but what topics will interest and involve them

3. Layout must be ‘reader friendly’ – right typefaces, column widths and so on

Page 7: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 8: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Basics of a newsletter

4. Make it look friendly – lots of pictures and captions

5. Encourage involvement with interesting competitions, prize draws, questionnaires and so on

Let’s examine each of these in more detail

Page 9: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Editorial Guidelines

• You want to inspire, explain, engage, motivate

• You must talk their language / make them feel comfortable / encourage involvement & response

• Take notice of response and develop regular features that truly reflect reader feedback

• You want them to feel that this is their paper and you are merely the provider

Page 10: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Understand your readers

• No one should be permitted to write an article about any aspect of the community until they have spent some time meeting and talking with members of that community

• Not just the natural leaders and spokespersons but the everyday people who do not normally speak out

• In commercial advertising we would not permit any writer to write to customers until he/she had spent some time talking to them

Page 11: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Don’t overwork your thesaurus

• There are around 500,000 words in the English language

• The average UK adult has a few thousand at most

• Even articles in The Times and Daily Telegraph are written to a reading age of around 18 years

Page 12: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Reader friendly layouts

• Study any major newspaper

• See the columns and their widths

• All newspapers print in narrow columns – why?

• Because 300 years experience shows that narrow columns communicate better

Page 13: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Reader friendly layouts

Narrow columns

Every picture has a detailed

caption

Only Roman

type

Page 14: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

It shouldn’t just be interesting..

• It should look easy to read as well

• Compare the following two slides where the same text is laid out in two different ways:

Page 15: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Repeat your winners. We don’t run our best print advertisements often enough. God knows, it is hard enough to create a good advertisement. When we succeed, it is downright asinine to run it only once. Starch has demonstrated that readership holds up wonderfully when you re-run good ads. Ditto Gallup & Robinson. In the early days of Instant Maxwell House, when the brand was climbing at a steep angle, Benton & Bowles repeated the same ad without change for five years. A profitable time was had by all. Mail-order people, who know their results, repeat their winners. The Sherman Cody School of English repeated the same ad at intervals over forty years; it continued to pull. The audiences of magazines rotate - like TV audiences. We repeat commercials. We should repeat our ads. Some agency people worry that their clients will think them lazy if they recommend re-running ads. But most clients are savvy enough to understand that it takes more work to produce one superb ad than to crank out dozens of lesser ones. Re-running the best ads can give our clients more advertising power for their money - and as a bonus it can save them thousands of pounds in production costs. Waste not, want not.

Compare the following – written by David Ogilvy

Page 16: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Repeat Your Winners We don’t run our best print advertisements often enough. God knows, it is hard enough to create a good advertisement. When we succeed, it is downright asinine to run it only once. Starch has demonstrated that readership holds up wonderfully when you re-run good ads. Ditto Gallup & Robinson. In the early days of Instant Maxwell House, when the brand was climbing at a steep angle, Benton & Bowles repeated the same ad without change for five years. A profitable time was had by all Mail Order people, who know their results, repeat their winners. The Sherman Cody School of English repeated the same ad at intervals over forty years; it continued to pull. The audiences of magazines rotate - like TV audiences. We repeat our commercials. We should repeat our ads Some agency people worry that their clients will think them lazy if they recommend re-running ads. But most clients are savvy enough to understand that it takes more work to produce one superb ad than to crank out dozens of lesser ones. Re-running the best ads give our clients more advertising power for their money - and as a bonus it can save them thousands of pounds in production. Waste not, want not

Starts with a short

sentence

Indented paragraph

‘Bite size’ paragraphs

Short sentences

Page 17: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Repeat Your Winners We don’t run our best print advertisements often enough. God knows, it is hard enough to create a good advertisement. When we succeed, it is downright asinine to run it only once. Starch has demonstrated that readership holds up wonderfully when you re-run good ads. Ditto Gallup & Robinson. In the early days of Instant Maxwell House, when the brand was climbing at a steep angle, Benton & Bowles repeated the same ad without change for five years. A profitable time was had by all Mail Order people, who know their results, repeat their winners. The Sherman Cody School of English repeated the same ad at intervals over forty years; it continued to pull.

60 characters

Page 18: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Reader friendly layouts

• Note the typefaces – newspapers do not use sans serif faces for main news articles

• They use Roman type – again because many research studies have confirmed this is better

Page 19: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

This is Roman (or serif) type

• With only one or two exceptions all research done into the efficacy of type styles has come down on the side of Roman or serif faces

• I am aware that some studies have claimed the opposite but as I have not seen this research I can only urge you to check that the methodology was the same as for the marketing research studies

Page 20: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

This is sans-serif type

• What I mean is that, even in the marketing research, when people were asked which type face they found easier to read they overwhelming opted for this kind of type

• However, when comprehension was tested using a questionnaire about an article they had just read the statistics proved the exact opposite

Page 21: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

How type style affects comprehension of magazine articles

Page 22: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

The research process

• Journalist Colin Wheildon did a 7 year study from 1984 to 1991

• Because some designers took the view that in year 2000 this was out-dated , Wheildon and his research partner repeated the study between 2000 and 2004

• The results were the same and they published their findings in 2005 in a book called ‘Type and Layout”

• Their methodology was very thorough

Page 23: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

The research process

• On dozens of occasions they found large audiences of people all in the same room – university students, theatre audiences and so on

• Every person was give the same A4 magazine article to read

• One half got it in Roman (serif) type like this

• The other half in sans serif type like this

Page 24: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

The research process

• They could read for as long as they wanted but once they were finished they held up their hands and a researcher took the article away and gave them a questionnaire with 10 questions about what they had just read

• Their questionnaires were then scored for comprehension

Page 25: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

The research process

• 7 out of 10 correct answers was considered Good comprehension

• 4 to 6 correct was Fair

• 0 to 3 correct was Poor

• Here are the results:

Page 26: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Serif vs Sans Serif

Comprehension levels

Sample Good Fair Poor

Serif body type 67% 19% 14%

sans serif type 12% 23% 65%

Page 27: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

What can you do when your house style is sans serif?

Many art directors prefer using a sans serif type such as this. Because there are no serifs to hold the eye while reading, there is a tendency to slip from line to line unless additional space is used between lines to create a line of white space

Many art directors prefer using

a sans serif type such as this.

Because there are no serifs to

hold the eye while reading,

there is a tendency to slip from

line to line unless additional

space is used between lines to

create a line of white space.

Source: Research by Dartnell Corporation (USA)

Page 28: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Don’t try this with a Roman face

Most people learned to read using a ‘crutch’ – the serifs on Roman types like this. Because the serifs provide a base line, there is no tendency for the eye to slip from one line to the next while reading. When additional space is used between lines, copy in Roman type is more difficult to read

Most people learned to read

using a ‘crutch’ – the serifs on

Roman types like this.

Because the serifs provide a

base line, there is no

tendency for the eye to slip

from one line to the next

while reading.

When additional space is

used between lines in Roman

type, copy is more difficult

to read

Source: Research by Dartnell Corporation (USA)

Page 29: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Reversed-out’ text

Beware of blocks of type reversed out of dark colours.

It’s even worse out of light colours of course, but even

when reversed out of black or dark blue comprehension

is drastically reduced. In one recent study good

comprehension dropped from 70% to 0% when the same

text was printed white on black rather than black on white.

Page 30: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Comprehension levels

Sample Good Fair Poor

Black on white 70% 19% 11%

White on black 0% 12% 88%

White on deep purple

2% 16% 82%

White on Strong blue

0% 4% 96%

Here are Wheildon’s statistics

Page 31: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 32: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 33: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

ISBN 1 875750 22 3

A similar study was carried out at Princeton University in the US in mid-2010 – their conclusion?

Sans serif type reduces comprehension dramatically

Page 34: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 35: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 36: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 37: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Size of type

• Don’t print your text too small - make sure it is readable

• Many people aged over 40 find it hard to read text printed in less than 12 point

onsider using a dropped initial capital at the start of your first paragraph. Many magazine editors find this increases readership of an article C

Page 38: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Pictures and captions

• The most common error – the isolated picture

• Many readers prefer the pictures and captions to the body text

• Check out the section headed ‘Graphic Novels’ next time you are in a book shop!

Page 39: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Pictures and captions

• Again a study of any national newspaper will demonstrate this point

• The fact that it is all explained in the text is not a good argument for dispensing with captions

• Make your captions work

Page 40: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 41: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 42: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 43: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 44: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Make your captions work

The Brazilian rain forest The Brazilian rain forest – an area the size of Reading

disappears every week

Page 45: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Pictures

• Show the writer too – if you want someone to respond show the person they are to call –don’t let corporate stuffiness or petty politics prevent this – photos always increase interest and response

“Write to me at..”

“Call me on..”

Page 46: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Size, paper and use of colour

• Print to a format no larger than a tabloid newspaper – ideally smaller

• But large enough to enable good sized pictures to be used

• Ideally paper should be matt rather than glossy – a surprising number of people have trouble reading on glossy paper – especially in artificial light

Page 47: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Size, paper and use of colour

• Use colour where possible - BUT

• Don’t print text over strong background colours – designers think it’s attractive – but it’s very hard to read

• Don’t print text over strong background colours – designers think it’s attractive – but it’s very hard to read

Page 48: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 49: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 50: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Encourage involvement

• Every edition should include at least two involvement features – ideally one for adults and one for children

• Quizzes

• Prize Draws or competitions

• Not only are they involving but they also encourage people to give you feedback

Page 51: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 52: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 53: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 54: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 55: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Planning your Article

• Develop your plan using a visual device such as pattern notes, which I’ll show you in a moment

Page 56: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Ideally your article will:

• Grab attention with a powerful headline

• Be easy to read – i.e. flow easily and naturally from one paragraph to the next

• Be believable – without exaggerated claims

• Be a true and accurate description of the facts

Page 57: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Ideally your article will:

• Engage and involve the reader

• Avoid using unnecessary words or thoughts

• Maintain interest using change of pace

• Include an element of surprise

Page 58: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 59: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters
Page 60: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Planning your Article

• So let’s see how pattern notes can help

• Rod sent you the Shude Hill brief – now if I want to turn that information into a readable article I need to break it down into usable parts

• This is how I have laid out the points and developed them in my pattern notes

Page 61: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

The Brief

Shude Hill – Background Information

The Shude Hill Redevelopment project is about to be started and the Greater Manchester Planning Board has hired consultants to help them get it right.

The consultants have suggested that a series of meetings be held to identify what needs to be changed and then a series of Public Workshops to discuss and argue the various cases so that the final agreements can be reached regarding what needs to be done and what is feasible given constraints of time and funds.

Once the plan is finalised it is proposed to stage an exhibition showing what the redeveloped site will look like.

You need to write an article to inform local people and get them involved.

The first thing you need to do is develop a plan for the article and to help you do this you can use a process called pattern notes.

This will help you prioritise the information and decide how to start, develop and close your article. It will also highlight areas where you need to do some further research.

Page 62: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Consultants --- Who / Where / Credentials?

Meetings --- What purpose? When? How many?

Residents can input their ideas and concerns

--- quality of life –bad things---good things --worries

Shude Hill BluePrint

Workshops

– how many? - how will they work? - when?

Workshop Objectives

– good, bad and ugly

– what can be changed

– getting it right (final agreements)

Exhibition

- timing - what will it show - where held - when open - who present to answer questions

Opportunities for change for the future

Quotes – start collecting

- how used

- where

- permission

- elaboration?

Shude Hill Redevelopment Project

“How you can have your say”

Partnership with GMPB

League table???– get them to respond right away?

1

2

3

4

5

6 7

Page 63: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Planning your Article

If you now look at the draft article I wrote following my pattern notes you can see how it works

Page 64: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Using a graphic or visual format helps in several ways…

1. Frees you from linear thinking – opens your mind by removing the ‘tramlines’

2. Makes it easy to develop each strand or idea and develop sub-headings (in effect paragraph titles) before you start writing

3. You can easily see if you have forgotten anything

4. Easier to prioritise so you get things in the best order

Page 65: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Planning your Article

• Make sure you leave enough time to review, edit and rewrite

• This is a vital step – I never sign off any copy that I have not reviewed and reworked at least 5 times

• Don’t be afraid to show others your work – they will see it when it’s in print anyway – better to get their comments before it’s too late!

• Be prepared for criticism – I welcome it providing it is constructive

Page 66: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

How professional copywriters divide their time

• Research 30%

• ‘Idea development’ 15% Simply jot down ideas

• Writing first draft copy 20% This is just a ‘brain dump’

• Revising and improving 35%

• Two-thirds of their time is not spent writing but planning and improving

Page 67: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Revise, revise, revise

• Most top writers rework their copy at least 5 times

“I'm sorry this letter is so long, I didn't have time to make it shorter.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Page 68: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Sources of information

• A good article is based on careful research – possible sources include:

• Your own experience, ideas and notes

• Information from colleagues / other departments / outside experts / public reference sources

• The Internet – you can often find entire articles that can give you lots of ideas

Page 69: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Getting Started

• Stick with your pattern notes – don’t stop until you have:

• Completed your thinking

• Written all subheadings (paragraph titles)

• Prioritised each thought or section

• Done a brief synopsis (one-liner) of each section

Page 70: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Getting Started

• You should have the essential sequence worked out from your pattern notes

• But if you don’t know how to start any particular section or paragraph don’t sit and agonise – brain dump

• On your very first review you will see more easily how it should be sequenced

• Drop in quotes, dialogue, picture references as you go along but simply add a note about each – don’t stop the writing process if it’s flowing

Page 71: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Getting Started

• In your plan you should have identified anything in your story that is news or can be presented as news

• You want to disseminate information – it’s more interesting if you can make it ‘newsy’

• What do we mean by this?

Page 72: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Say you want to tell them…

“New scheme to help single parents who want to work”

It’s OK but neither specific nor newsworthy

A little research may help you develop something better

Page 73: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

A more interesting intro…

“New study shows that 3 out of 4 single parents of under 4’s would get a job if they had affordable child minders.

Now the new XYZ Childshare Scheme can fill this gap”

Here by simply reading the background to the scheme

you have been able to find an ‘angle’

The result is more explicit, more involving

Qualifying parents can identify with it immediately

Page 74: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Sometimes a bit of imagination helps..

“Stephen Hawking is acknowledged as one of the leading theoretical physicists of the day”

Yawn!

How could we make this more interesting?

Page 75: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Sometimes a bit of imagination helps..

Perhaps..

“When they assemble the charts of who did most to help us understand our universe, Stephen Hawking will be

right up there in the Top 10”

Page 76: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Work hard on your intro..

• Studies show that 80% of people looking at articles do not read beyond the headline

• So your headline or intro is the key to getting your article read

• Some headline ideas…

Page 77: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Headline ideas..

• A surprising statistic - “Did you know that 4 out of 5…”

• A thought provoking question – “What would you do if…?”

• A problem – “Can you help us solve this…?”

• Involvement – “Make sure you have your say about this…”

Page 78: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

This is the key message

£2,500 for

local charities

Page 79: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Short sentences..

• Your first one should always be short

• Sometimes a whole series of short sentences can make a very dramatic opening:

• The entire street is in turmoil. Confidence has gone. Nobody feels comfortable going out at night.

• This intro is very dramatic – would be even more so as a quote with a picture of the person speaking

Page 80: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Vary the length of your sentences..

“In the early days of Maxwell House, when the brand was climbing at a steep angle, Benton and Bowles repeated the same ad without change for five years. A profitable time was had by all.”

Or this extract from a story in The Times:

“Schools have begun to realise that giving a half-fees scholarship to a rich child is hardly a charitable act, and are now increasing the number of bursaries for poorer bright children. But they could do more.”

Page 81: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Cut out extraneous words..

“Speaking at the meeting the consultant said”

“The consultant told the meeting”

Page 82: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

But don’t chase brevity to the exclusion of interest..

“Understanding the new tenancy regulations”

“How the new tenancy regulations will affect residents of Pembroke Villas”

Page 83: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Be positive, vigorous, direct..

“Paradoxically, once the results of the study were analysed, they exceeded all previously forecast expectations”

“The results were surprising, exceeding all expectations”

Page 84: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Dramatise..

“1 in 10 people....”

“One of your neighbours....”

“Someone in your street”

Page 85: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Don’t insult your reader..

“Are you up to date..?”

“How can a busy parent like you find time....”

Page 86: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Let’s consider ‘angles’..

If your story needs one to increase interest value then don’t hesitate – BUT BEWARE

It is surprising how easy it is to slant a story – sometimes unwittingly by the wrong choice of a single adjective

An event can be ‘expected’; ‘astonishing’; ‘amazing’ - each of these puts a slightly different slant on the same fact

Page 87: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Changing the angle..

“Speeding motorist banned for 12 months” – FACT

“Speeding motorist banned for an entire year” - sympathetic to the motorist

“ Speeding motorist banned for a mere 12 months” - hostile to the motorist

Page 88: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Keep them involved..

• Every reader is looking for the exit

• Every full stop is an invitation to stop reading – why newspapers never put a full stop after a headline!

• If the end of a sentence is an invitation, the end of a paragraph shouts it loud and clear

• True or false it’s good policy to believe it

Page 89: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Practice linking your paragraphs..

• You have to find a way of getting them into the next paragraph

• Linking phrases

• “And that’s not all..”

• “A more serious problem is..”

• “But do you know why?”

Page 90: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Linking paragraphs..

How you can report a crime without fear Sometimes people who know they should, fail to report a crime they have witnessed. Why? Because quite simply they are frightened of being identified and victimised. And who can blame them? But now Crimestoppers can solve the dilemma. How?

With Crimestoppers you can do your public duty and remain completely anonymous. It’s a way of tipping off the police in complete secrecy – and you may even earn a reward. So how does it work?

Page 91: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Linking paragraphs..

Crimestoppers has been operating in the UK since 1988 when it started in London. It now operates nationwide, organised in the same regions as the TV stations. This works well because all TV stations publicise crimes where the police are looking for help. Here’s all you have to do.

You call the free 0800 number; you don’t have to give your name and if your information leads to an arrest and a charge (not necessarily a conviction) you could earn an anonymous cash reward.

Page 92: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

“Skating on the surface of

irrelevant brilliance”

David Ogilvy

Beware of ‘cleverness’!

Page 93: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

The makers of Weetabix have

bought a second mobile police

station for Northamptonshire

This is all the writer could come up with!

Page 94: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Write as you speak?

• However, it does depend on how you speak!

• Better advice may be..

Write as you would speak had you an excellent

command of simple, plain English

Page 95: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Don’t overwork your thesaurus..

• It can be very irritating for the reader when the spade in your introduction, becomes a gardening tool, then a digging device and finally a horticultural implement

• It’s not that important to come up with multiple ways of saying the same thing:

• “Mother of four Margaret Jones says, “I’m really worried the way the older kids ride their bikes on the pavement”

• Harassed mum Margaret Jones says, ...

Page 96: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Sussex Express 1st July 2011

• The story is that the RTTC National 24 hour Cycling Championship will be hosted this year by the East Sussex Cycling Association

• This will clearly require a huge amount of organising but the article doesn’t say this – it says:

• “the logistical acumen required to prepare for the event cannot be overstated”

• This is ‘thesaurus speak’ – if one person in your target audience doesn’t understand, the communication fails

Page 97: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

A majority of A percentage of Ameliorate At the present time At this moment in time By means of Consequently Furthermore

Most Some Improve (make better) Nowadays (these days) Now (today) By So Also (in addition)

Page 98: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

So that If If so Whether Ways Immediately (quickly) Please note Opportunity

In order to In the event that That being the case The question as to whether Ways and means With the minimum of delay Your attention is drawn Window of opportunity

Page 99: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Beware of tautologies..

The event was absolutely unique

The event was absolutely unique

As an added bonus

As an added bonus

The end result

The end result

It’s past history

It’s past history

Page 100: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Beware of tautologies..

A really excellent evening

An really excellent evening

Will be judged on it’s absolute merits

Will be judged on it’s absolute merits

The forward planning schedule

The forward planning schedule

His accent was quite distinct

His accent was quite distinct

Page 101: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

And please never say..

“Off of”

“For free”

Such abuses of the language will irritate many of your older readers

Page 102: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Asking for action..

• If you want them to do something as a result of having read your article, make sure you tell them exactly what you want, and how they should do it

• This is not ‘talking down’ – it’s common courtesy

Page 103: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Picture of Simon saying

“I’d really like to know what you

think. Call in for a chat or ring me on

023 8091 5486”

Page 104: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

It’s the same for leaflets and posters

• Look at the following leaflet

• The marketing manager of BACS attended one of my seminars and went away with the thought: ‘show people using your product’

• As the only visible part of his product is a form, he showed a hand filling it in - this increased his costs as the two colour leaflet was now a four colour leaflet

• What was the effect?

Page 105: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

He tested two

versions – one with the hand and form; the other without

The one with the

hand generated 20% more

replies

Page 106: How to write powerful copy for newsletters, leaflets and posters

Now – any questions?