10 Keys to Writing Copy That Sells!

Written by Alexandria Brown

Continued from page 1

6. Nixrepparttar jargon.

Avoid industry jargon and buzzwords - stick torepparttar 129943 facts andrepparttar 129944 benefits. An easy way to weed out jargon is to think of dear old Mom reading your copy. Would she get it? If not, clarify and simplify. (This rule, of course, varies, depending on who your target audience is. For a B2B audience, you should upscale your words to what they're used to. In these cases buzzwords are often crucial. Just make sure your points don't get muddled in them!)

7. Keep it brief and digestible.

No one has time to weed through lengthy prose these days. The faster you convey your product or service's benefits torepparttar 129945 reader,repparttar 129946 more likely you'll keep her reading. Fire your "biggest gun" first by beginning with your biggest benefit - if you put it towardrepparttar 129947 end of your copy, you risk losingrepparttar 129948 reader before she gets to it. Aim for sentence lengths of less than 20 words. When possible, break up copy with subheads (see no. 4), bullets, numbers, or em dashes (likerepparttar 129949 one following this phrase) - these make your points easy to digest.

8. Use testimonials when possible.

Let your prospects know they won't berepparttar 129950 first to try you. Give results-oriented testimonials from customers who have benefited immensely from your product or service. Oh, and never give people's initials only - it reminds one of those ads inrepparttar 129951 back of magazines with headlines such as "Lose 50 Pounds in Three Days!" Give people's full names with their titles and companies (or towns and states of residence) - and be sure to get their permission first.

9. Ask forrepparttar 129952 order!

Tell your reader what you want her to do - don't leave her hanging. Do you want her to call you or e-mail you for more information? Order now? Call to schedule a free consultation? Complete a brief survey? Think about what you'd most like her to do, and then ask her. It's amazing how many marketing materials I come across every day that don't make it clear whatrepparttar 129953 reader should do. If you wrote interesting copy, your reader may forget you're trying to sell something! Tell her what to do, and she'll be more likely to do it.

10. Have your copy proofread!

Good. Now have it proofread again. Don't risk printing any typos, misspellings, or grammatical mistakes that will represent your company as amateurish. Hire a professional editor/proofreader to clean up your work and double-check your grammar. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impession! Oops -- *impression*.

Alexandria Brown's FREE biweekly e-zine gives "how-to" tips on writing compelling copy for Web sites, brochures, and e-zines. Learn how to ATTRACT NEW CLIENTS and strengthen your customer relationships! Subscribe today at http://www.akbwriting.com or via mailto:AKBMarCom-On@lists.webvalence.com

Style over content

Written by Alex Cruickshank

Continued from page 1

For small buttons, logos and other navigational icons, GIF is often preferable. It requires less processing power to decode, andrepparttar files are often smaller than JPEG where few colours are involved. Use an image editing program that allows you to setrepparttar 129940 number of colours as 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 or 256. Many programs only allow 4, 16 and 256, which will inevitably lead to waste. Experiment with colour reduction; in most cases you should be able to reduce your navigational buttons to 16 colours or fewer with no loss of image quality. If you find that you require at least 128 colours for a particular file, consider changing it to JPEG format, as this could save more space.

Other tips:

When shrinking images, resize first and reduce colour depth second, forrepparttar 129941 best anti-aliasing results.

Reduce colour depth in steps - 256 to 128 to 64 to 32 to 16 - as this will often produce better weighted colours than a jump from 256 to 16.

Whichever format you use, be sure to save images at a resolution of 72 dpi, as anything higher is a waste when images are displayed on screen.

HTML pages can also be pared down to a minimum. There's plenty of software around that will help with this task - a search on 'HTML optimisation' or 'HTML compression' will lead you inrepparttar 129942 right direction.

Include WIDTH, HEIGHT and ALT tags in all your image references, so that people can navigate your site whilerepparttar 129943 graphics are still loading.

Only use graphics where you need them. A good designer can produce a clean, attractive and easy-to-navigate site with just a few well-placed image files.

Above all, remember this: Web surfers have a very short attention span, so a fast site is a popular site.

Alex Cruickshank is a freelance IT journalist and contributor to the UK editions of PC Magazine, Mobile Computing and various other titles. He's also the Editor of IT Reviews (http://www.itreviews.com) and The Glass Belljar (http://www.belljar.co.uk). Perhaps not surprisingly, both sites make very careful use of graphics.

    <Back to Page 1
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use