Copy advice
Things you must know about your
ad copy and web content

Good copy and content is based on values. It’s
based on information content and usefulness.

It is
not based on “style guide” values or "copy
recipes". Nobody reads copy with a style guide in
one hand and a phone in the other, unless they have
no lives.  

The cutoff point for customers is where they're not
getting the
information values they want.

More to the point-

Your customers don’t read copy because they want
to become web copy editors.

They read to explore something of interest to them.

Let’s kill a few myths here:

Your customers will read anything, of any size, even
those huge direct marketing pages, if they’re
interested. Forget the “5 second attention span”.  

If you’re selling to technically-minded people, they
want more information, not less.

If you’re selling products, they need adequate
descriptions. Interestingly, even eBay has started
hiring people to improve product descriptions, no
mystery why.

If you’re selling services, they need prices and
descriptions of the service. I’ve written copy for
service providers which was very valuable for
readers simply
because it explained their extra
added values for customers. They provided a lot of
useful additional services.

If you’re selling anything, they need to know
how to
purchase, like credit cards, etc. Not knowing that,
and not being able to find information about
purchasing is a real own goal. It simply confuses,
and usually annoys, potential customers
.,

As you can see, the fact is that selling commercial
information isn’t necessarily simple to start with. The
customer’s demand for information, particularly
basic information, must be met, or the customers go
elsewhere, where they can find out what they need
to know.

You may not be exactly surprised to learn that
more
information also provides more selling points
. It’s not
good enough to say “We sell X”. People need to see
quality values, particularly for services and tech
products.

Web content values

Web content is trickier than ad copy in one way:

It creates its own information base.

It builds on the other information contained in your
site.

There are risks here:

Never ignore the very high values of basic entry level
information for customers. The more they know, the
better customers they'll be.  

Don’t give your readers a PhD thesis when they
need to see simpler, How To information.

Always start your website content with at least an
introductory “interpreter” page and build from there.

Link, link, link!

You need to make your site easy to work with for
your customers. Link to everything relevant on every
page, particularly your sales page/store and
supporting information relevant to your business.

Always include CRM!

Your contact page is free CRM, and it can be
priceless. Make sure someone in management is
keeping an eye on it. You’ll learn a lot from your
customers. Some customers are major assets.

This is an article of mine called
The Blue Chip
Customer, which explains the value of expert level
customers and how to structure CRM to get real
value out of your website in this regard.

Never send mixed messages!

Your content should never confuse or mislead your
customers. Make sure someone’s checking for any
sort of information which could be baffling or give
customers the wrong impression.

Make sure your information is an
asset, not a liability!

I spent 20 years in customer service, and in my
experience, most problems come simply because
customers have either been given the wrong
information, or misinterpreted available information.

Generally speaking, the customer is “right” 50% of
the time, and that’s why.

Remember that wrong or misleading information can
cost you a lot of time and in some cases money.

Always quality check any information provided for
customers, and
keep it straightforward.

I hope this has been of some use to you in clarifying
what’s involved when you’re creating advertising or
web copy.

This is what I do, and that’s how I do it. Ask me about
what you need, because I’ll definitely be able to help.
Working in the international
career and job market was a
real eye opener for me. This
is what I got out of it- A real
desire to help people.
All the stuff I wish someone had told
me when I started out as a writer.