Thursday, June 22, 2017

Copywriting and Marketing

The very thought of writing often terrifies people. Why? One reason is the misconception writing takes talent. Quite the contrary, writing is a skill, and one can improve and hone skills. The desire to learn and a few tips can help anyone make their written online content look professional.

Short and Strong

Bigger is not always better. In truth, a short sentence is stronger than a long one. All one needs to create a complete sentence is a subject and a verb. Clear and concise is the motto.

Avoid the Unnecessary

Unnecessary words are unnecessary distractions. Extra words take away from the point of the sentence. For example, “He knew he was right,” is direct and powerful. “He knew that he was right,” is wordy and pointless.

Single Idea Paragraphs

Jumping from idea to idea in a paragraph is likely to jump a reader right off the page. The purpose of a paragraph is to focus on a single idea. When one shifts to a new idea one should shift to a new paragraph.

Active versus Passive

Write in an active voice to keep attention active. A passive voice resembling “I will be writing,” or “I am writing,” is weak and vague. An active voice like “I write,” is powerful and draws attention.

Write versus Writ-ing

Adding “-ing” does not add zing to writing. A noun with “-ing,” is perfectly acceptable. A verb with “-ing” leads to weak, passive sentences. Sometimes “-ing” is necessary, but when avoidable void “-ing.”

Read Out Loud

As embarrassing as reading out loud may seem, reading what one wrote helps a writer to “hear” how everything sounds. This improves the flow of sentences, sentence and paragraph transition and grammar. Not to mention, writers catch quite a few mistakes this way.

Edit Friends

People who are too close cannot see the details. Writers become protective over what they write and blind themselves to mistakes and rough edges. A fresh perspective from a friend brings misspelled words, grammatical errors, passive voices and rough edges into the light.

Walk Away

Writer’s block is as common as the everyday cold and as frustrating. Walk away. Writers who try to force their way past the block tend to make the problem worse and produce poorly written material. Take time to relax, find a distraction, and focus on something else. Relieve the pressure and the dammed up words will flow.

Writing is a great tool to have. Make sure that you take the time to cultivate this useful skill. Once you do, you will learn that there is nothing that you can’t write about. If you are thinking about entering the world of online marketing, if you are able to write, you can make good money.

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We all are aware that readers online are not interested in wordy and long articles. In fact most people do not even concentrate reading half of the articles and instead just skip to the highlighted bullets or headings. A lot of people call this speed reading but speed reading implies reading each and every sentence a bit faster by only reading two to three words in a sentence and understanding what it means. The F Pattern, however, is something a little different that has risen in recent research.

What is the F Pattern?

“F” stands for Fast Pattern which also happens to resemble the letter “F.” Recent researches have observed the eye movements of many readers that were attempting to read most of the articles online. The pattern that the eyes shaped was quite different than that of a school reader. Instead of concentrating on each and every word or sentence, a lot of the online readers seem to be concentrating on a fixed pattern.

The end result was that observers found that most of their subjects were reading the precious articles so fast that most of the eye contact and concentration was mostly in places on the page that seem to form a vague F shaped pattern. They determined that the pattern then included the following components:

  • Main Horizontal Movement – The top bar of the F shaped reading pattern as readers most commonly read it completely from left to right; correlates with the very first part of the article.
  • Secondary Horizontal Movement  Having a good idea of what the intro was about readers now skip to the middle of the article and start reading from left to right looking for important information, this movement is usually only half way through as readers tend to move to the next line whenever they found something wasn’t interesting.
  • Vertical Movement – Readers are normally skipping down to the next segments of the article but still give concentration to the very first few phrases of the articles. This is why this movement is very slow and often skips. However, it is still a significant movement and people are still attempting to read the content at the beginning in of each line.

Significance of the F Pattern

Knowing the F reading pattern, people can now come up with ways to format their articles to allow important and significant information only in the important areas. This also allows ad companies to place ads only in areas that receive the highest eye contact.

This finding also shows us that users won’t read long and wordy articles completely. They tend to tire themselves out so they only concentrate on the first few phrases of the articles and follow up only on the parts that interest them the most.

Secondly it tells us that the top part of the article must contain the most important information that is the two horizontal movements as this is where readers spend most of their time trying to understand the articles. Such information is significant to authors and writers, because only now can they put in the most significant information in the area which gets the most attention.

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Think of a marketing tool for your small business that’s simple, timely, eye-catching, two sided, multifaceted, budget-friendly and effective. Have you conjured up an image of a postcard? In this high-tech age, direct mail marketing campaigns may seem to be a remnant from the last century, but in actuality they can be exactly the right choice for a startup operation or one looking for an inexpensive way to get sales moving.

Direct mail is still a big media channel with businesses of all sizes, according to a report from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) that reveals that over 84 billion pieces were sent by businesses in 2011. The Magna Global U.S. Media Forecast from the same year reports that businesses spent over $21 billion on direct mail, representing 12 percent of all advertising spending.

But what makes the lowly postcard a particularly great direct marketing choice for small businesses? For one thing, your target audience can read it easier and quicker than a message in an envelope — and they’re more likely to pay attention to a card in their hand than an unsolicited email in their inbox. Postcards are simple to create and print, thanks in part to a plethora of highly-competitive printers who can deliver thousands of cards for just pennies each within a couple of days.

With postcards, you can choose the size, color, font style, graphics and finish you want from the printer, or use a free design service, and you can incorporate incentives like coupons and gift certificates right on the card itself. Postcards deliver your message succinctly and in a timely fashion, and you can mail them directly into potential customers’ homes for just 23 cents each.

Before you launch your postcard marketing campaign, here are a few ways you can help ensure that it will pay off big time for your business:

  • Be bold, not boring. Your message should be an attention grabber, timely and offer value to consumers. Otherwise they will relegate your card to the recycling bin.
  • Don’t be afraid of color and design. You want to attract the attention of potential customers, so focus on creating a postcard that’s eye catching. Use strong graphics and fonts, and don’t stint on color.
  • Keep your message simple. Don’t get too carried away with verbiage and make every word count. Postcards have always been the domain of the short message, so pack a punch with your headline and keep the rest of the copy on point.
  • Provide contact information. A phone number, email address and street address should suffice so customers can follow up with inquiries.
  • Use both sides of the card. The picture side is your billboard, so concentrate your boldest efforts there. Save your offer and contact info for the address side of the card.
  • Go as high quality as you can afford. Think in terms of full color and high gloss, both of which are sure to capture the attention of your audience. Supersize the card itself for greater impact and more room to get your message across.
  • Motivate customers to act now. Offer a bonus if they respond by a certain date.

Ready to get started? USPS can help with tips for a direct mail marketing campaign for your small business, including advice on budgeting and planning, finding your target audience, designing your postcard and other mailers, and working with a printer.

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