by Karon Thackston © 2005 http://www.copywritingcourse.com
Only about 20% of your copy is going to get read. The rest will simply be scanned. I'm sure you've heard statistic before. It's nothing new. While it might sound frightening or frustrating, it's a fact of copywriting life. So what do you do next? Give up? What difference does it make if only about 20% will be read anyway?
It makes a world of difference. Especially if you understand that there are some sections of your copy that are practically guaranteed to get read. If you know what these are and work to reinforce them, you'll see your conversions increase dramatically whether your copy is geared toward online or offline promotions.
Headlines have always been and will always be most important section in any copy. They are first thing to get read and have greatest impact on whether any of other copy gets read. Those stories you've seen floating around Internet about marketers who have made minute changes to a headline and tripled their conversion rates are true. It happens all time. In fact, it's happened to me.
Headlines and sub-headlines can guide your visitors to read deeper into your copy. If you set up a structure of progressive headlines (http://www.marketingwords.com/articles/articles_progressheadlines.html), you'll have a better shot getting your point across. Pay a lot of attention to your headline. It's powerhouse of your copy.
Captions started with newspaper journalists. When they would run a picture with a story, they would add a few words underneath to explain what or who picture was of. People got into habit of looking for captions in order to relate importance of image with information they were receiving. This still holds true. Captions in advertising pieces are highly read. Don't waste space!
When you scan something -- an article, a book, a newspaper, a magazine, a website -- what do you read? Almost everyone reads first sentence of each paragraph. These sentences are vitally important in order to get your potential customers interested enough to keep reading. If you create exceptional first sentences, one of two things will happen. One: The prospect will be more likely to continue reading copy. Two: The first sentences in each paragraph will be enough to convince him/her to buy.