Adventures in Cataloging: The Vital Importance of Good Copy
3. Don’t fall for the absurd notion that catalog copy is a waste of good space that could be better devoted to bigger pictures.
If you feel this way, you’d do both your customers and yourself a favor by letting someone else review, or at least assist in reviewing, what your copywriter produces. Copy is important to your catalog, and little is more demoralizing to a good copywriter than to have everything he or she does get edited down to just product name, SKU, price and legally required notices.
4. Resist the urge to be utterly grammatical.
If you find yourself becoming a fifth grade English teacher whenever you review copy, remember that catalog copy isn’t only about correct grammar—it’s about clarity, appeal and persuasion.
A good copywriter will use punctuation first to maximize clarity, second to enhance readability and only last to adhere to the basic rules of grammar. Don’t hamstring a copywriter by insisting on rigid punctuation and grammatical rules.
Even the world’s great novelists play loosely with grammar—and you can, too, whenever it helps readability and clarity.
Susan McIntyre is president of McIntyre Direct, a catalog consulting company based in Portland, OR. She can be reached at (503) 735-9515.