How do you make people read your copy? | Communications No.2

Communications Tips 2, Banner image

This weeks communication tips I credit to my colleague and friend Abby Whitchurch who recently attended a Copy writing masterclass and blogged a fantastic article documenting all the great stuff she learnt. Having read through her post, I’ve picked out a few key things I wanted to share below;

1/ The science

If the reader doesn’t find something of interest in copy they’re reading, you’ll lose their interest in just 2 seconds. The human eye is only capable of focusing on a small area at a time as reading isn’t in our DNA. We skip read through things, and read a little to possible but enough to get an understanding. 
The reading process. Think through this process and determine how many points you have that capture attention straight away and do they work as a cohesive narrative (10 max per A4)?

Glance: key words in headline, sub-heads, logos, images etc
Scan: Whole headline, more copy, images, captions, signatory, P.S.
Read: skip read or read until interest is lost.

With so much content out there, what will make people read yours?

2/ Start your story with the end

Inductive (effective) vs Deductive (ineffective) Reasoning

The conclusion of a story should be at the beginning of your copy. This technique demonstrates persuasion by telling your audience what is in it for them straight away. At work we’re encouraged to tell stories in meetings, in our copy and presentations, but this technique flips that on it’s head. An example from Abby:
More and more people are getting fed up with receiving ever increasing emails. IBM Verse can help you prioritise your inbox. And give your employees more time to focus on projects that matter.
Inductive (lead with conclusion):
Give your employees their time back to spend on projects that matter. IBM Verse can help you priortise your email and workload. Solving the ever growing issue of unmanageable inboxs.

3/ Ways to Write Killer Headlines/Subject Lines (no pressure for this post then) 

“When you’ve written the headline, you’ve spent 70% of the clients budget” David Ogilvy
1) Start with YOU, Your, You’re
2) Direct Approach – State the Offer
3) Ask a question
4) Identify the problem
5) Give them reasons why i.e 3 reasons how, 1 way you can help etc….
6) Make an announcement (not a chest thumping one)
7) Write peer to peer
8) Use a provocative quotation
9) Start with a verb (reveal, end, restore, discover, stop, save, find etc)

10) Make it timely i.e You have just 24 hours

1 Comment

  1. Vikki Bradney-Spencer
    July 24, 2015 / 4:15 pm

    Some great points in here. I like the "inductive v deductive" – clever – and what a difference it makes. Would be good to take the "killer headline" points and see how we do on our pieces….?

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