Writing effective copy for ads, web pages, sales letters and other marketing communications isn't difficult when you know what works. After many years of trial and error I developed a checklist of 7 "rules" I follow to create successful advertising copy. These rules apply to writing copy for any type of marketing communication.
1. DEFINE THE GOAL OF YOUR MESSAGE
Define what you want your message to accomplish before you begin writing. Do you want to generate inquiries (leads)? Do you want to get orders? What action do you want readers to take? How do you want them to respond? Put your goal in writing and refer to it often as you develop your message. Everything you write should directly support this goal. Get rid of anything that doesn't.
2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE AND WHAT THEY WANT
Maybe everybody CAN use what you sell. But one targeted group WILL be most likely to buy it. You can discover that group by defining characteristics of your best customers. Once you know your audience and what they want you can personalize your writing to appeal to their specific interests.
TIP: Advertising copy produces biggest response when each reader can believe message was written specifically for them. As you write, visualize you're writing to one person instead of to a large group of people. This will help you write in a less formal and more personal style.
3. APPEAL TO THEIR SELF-INTEREST, NOT YOURS
Customers don't care about you, your product, your company, or your professional qualifications. They only care about benefit they get from buying your product or service. The only thing a customer wants to know about your 1/2 inch drill is that it's guaranteed to give them a 1/2 inch hole. Keep your ad copy focused on benefits you provide.
4. MAKE AN EMOTIONAL APPEAL, NOT A LOGICAL ONE
Your ad copy should dramatize feeling your customers get while enjoying benefits provided by your product or service. Get them emotionally involved so they want to start enjoying those benefits immediately. Use word pictures and real life stories to draw readers into your message.