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6. Nix jargon.
Avoid industry jargon and buzzwords - stick to facts and 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 to reader, more likely you'll keep her reading. Fire your "biggest gun" first by beginning with your biggest benefit - if you put it toward end of your copy, you risk losing 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 (like one following this phrase) - these make your points easy to digest.
8. Use testimonials when possible.
Let your prospects know they won't be 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 in 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 for 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 what 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*.
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