Different Strokes for Different Channels
Copywriting is often treated like “copy on the go.” That is, it’s treated more like picking up fast food than relaxing over a well-balanced meal.
But when you drag copy to a Web site from the original catalog, or use it almost verbatim in an e-mail, there’s bound to be something missing — including lost sales.
Consider writing to “fit” the media. The very aspects that make each different selling channel so vital provide clues for writing more powerful copy.
Regardless of the media, the name of the game is selling. Keep your voice consistent for all media, and remember the following essentials are shared by catalog, e-mail and Web copy:
• don’t wait too long to start selling;
• avoid hyperbole;
• present benefits first;
• keep the language comfortable to gain customers’ trust;
• tell a compelling story; and
• present a special offer as early as possible.
The Differences: Catalogs
1. Catalogs are written in spreads, so you can present an entire story across two pages. This can lead to upsells and cross-sells, plus subheads let customers find spots they’re interested in quickly and easily.
2. A catalog’s real estate is much more constrained. There’s only so much detail you can write before it no longer pays off. Recognize that limit and point your prospect to the Web or customer service to learn more.
3. Larger images mean writers don’t need to work quite so hard to describe products’ physical aspects in a catalog. Technology allows larger images on the Web now, but most sites haven’t caught up to print.
The Differences: E-Mail
1. There’s a single-mindedness to successful e-mail that’s a little more like direct mail. Write messages simple and tight since the total e-mail should be above the fold.
2. As soon as you try to tell too much, or have too complicated an offer, the e-mail loses its potency. Too much hype, and readers will bow out in a hurry.