7 Essential Tips for Reviewing and Approving Copy
Nothing can turn strong copy into a 97-pound weakling faster than a flawed review process. The result is severely handicapped marketing efforts and, alas, fewer sales.
How can you avoid this dire marketing situation?
By having a smart and consistent review process that preserves the selling power of your marketing communications. Following are 7 essential tips for reviewing and approving copy.
Tip #1: Review the copy from the customers' perspective.
On the first pass, read the copy (all of it) without your red pen in hand or editing hat on. That's how your customers or audience will read it. Now, what do you think? Does the concept work? Did the headline grab your attention? How was the tone? Does the copy flow? If you begin by editing the first sentence or sweating the details, you will do your clients or customers a disservice.
Tip #2: Don't get hung up on grammar and usage.
If you think the copywriter broke a writing rule, 9 times out of 10 there was an excellent reason. Copywriters are sales people in print, so if we take liberty with the English language, it's for effect. Plus, be aware that copywriters (and proofreaders) review and correct the copy before you see it. For example, I consider spelling, grammar, style issues, trademark usage, and more to ensure the quality control of every piece of copy I write.
Tip #3: Avoid copy by committee.
There's that old joke that says if you want to kill an idea or project, start a committee. Copy by committee is no different. Conflicting and misguided comments put the copywriter and creative team in the awkward position of trying to please everyone except who matters most -- the intended audience. One way around this is to circulate informational copies to people who would like to see the copy. They can make comments without being part of the formal approval process.
Tip #4: Minimize the rounds.
Provide complete feedback on the first round, forwarding all your comments, suggestions, and changes to the copywriter. That way the copywriter can consider everything when he or she rewrites the copy and you can shorten the review cycle. Copy is typically stronger when it's created in three or fewer rounds.
Tip #5: Provide specific comments.
When you provide specific comments, the chances of succeeding on the rewrite improve dramatically. For example, instead of saying, "This isn't strong enough," say, "The tone needs to be more authoritative" or "These are additional benefits the copy should cover." Often times putting your comments in writing will help you be more specific than if you just provide them orally.
Tip #6: Let the copywriter rewrite the copy.
Instead of trying to "write" the changes yourself to be incorporated, tell the copywriter your concerns and let him or her address them. The copy will benefit when the copywriter does the rewriting.
Tip #7: Judge the copy based upon your objectives.
In the end, the copy was written with particular objectives in mind: to build your brand, generate leads or sales, inform about your company, products, or services, and so on. Make sure the copy is technically accurate and factually correct. Then critique the copy based upon what you want it to accomplish, not on the number of superlatives, your competitor's latest ad campaign, or how it compares to your previous brochure.
(c) 2005 Neil Sagebiel
Neil Sagebiel is a veteran copywriter and publisher of "Headlines from Floyd," a FREE monthly ezine for those who want proven copywriting and marketing tips to generate more business. To sign up and also get a FREE bonus report, "Close More Sales with Testimonials," visit neilsagebiel.com.
Direct Mail Sales Letters Flow Better With Subheads
A subscriber to my newsletter asks: "Got any good pointers on writing great sub-heads?" Yes, I do. Here they are.
The Power of Saying You Can
If you have children, you will doubtless remember saying to them, "You can do it."It's what we say when our toddlers first struggle to their feet.
10 Tips for Aspiring Freelance Copywriters
Every week I receive a couple of emails from people seeking advice on how to get into freelance copywriting. While there's no simple answer, and no answer which applies to everyone, there are a few tips which I believe will help most people make the move into freelance copywriting, and survive the first few months at least.
Fundraising Letters: Where To Find Creative Ideas For Your Appeals
How do you make your fundraising letters creative and fresh year after year when your needs don't change all that much? I am not talking about new initiatives. I'm talking about the programs that you run year after year.
Freelance Copywriters on the Internet: How to Tell the Difference Between Heaven-sent and Hack
If you're hunting for a good freelance copywriter and have never done it before, or if you have but find yourself needing another for the first time in a while, I don't envy you. This "brave new" e-world has turned your once straightforward search of a neatly stacked file of brochures and introductory letters into a bothersome wade through a mucky world of half-baked online listings and search results which only seem to list those freelance copywriters who are experts in SEO, or at least know what the heck it means (search engine optimization).
3 Keys to Better Online Copywriting
Doing the copywriting for your own website without the proper knowledge and tools is pretty much like flying blind in a snowstorm without piloting experience or instruments.It doesn't work too well.
Freelance Business Writers - How To Get The Best From Your Writer
At times, it can be frustrating to find freelance business writers that are of good quality, dependable, and within your budget. The good news is that there are many people who can perform at the level you need.
Working With a Freelance Editor
If you are interested in creating information products, you will very likely deal with editors throughout your career. You may need someone to edit a book, review a special report, or tighten up a magazine article.
Its Time To Start That Swipe File
Just as great fiction is an art, so is great copywriting. Beneath the art, however, there's a foundation of basic knowledge and skills.
The Secret to Web Copywriting Gurudom
Have you seen those copywriting gurus, working it on the web? How'd they get so darned famous? How can YOU get what THEY have? Here are some creative ideas for you to kick around and use in your copywriting escapades.1.
Writing Copy for Voiceovers
As with any of the performing arts, an effective voiceover begins with a well-crafted script. You don't have to have many years of writing experience to create copy that is both effective and a pleasure for the voice actor to perform.
A Writers Secrets
Every person has secrets that only he or she knows, secrets that are not shared with anyone, not even the most intimate friends, partners, even soul mates. These secrets may be righteous or sinister, yet for reasons, often unknown, they are never revealed to any other person.
When Panic Attacks Writers
If you write for a living, you deal with deadlines. Sometimes you will have several jobs on your plate at the same time.
8 Reasons to Outsource Your Copywriting
Thinking of hiring a staff writer? Think again. Below, I will give you eight geat reasons to reconsider and outsource instead.
How To Write An Effective Ad
A letter or postcard allows you to "talk" one-on-one to your prospect. That means you should use "I" and "me" and "you" in your sales letter.
How to Develop a Killer News Hook
When you are going to write a press release probably the most important thing you can do is create a killer news hook. A press release without a news hook is just blatant advertising, plain and simple.
How to Make the Most of Your Website Copywriter
Many people feel uncertain when dealing with copywriters. Like any artform, writing is subjective; instead of black and white, most business owners and marketing managers see indistinguishable shades of grey.
Professional Writing: Six Great Reasons to Hire a Writer
Most people can write. Some can even write well.
5 Rules for Effective Written Sales Communications
Most salespeople have great ideas, but when it comes to putting those ideas on paper for their prospects, they ramble on for pages and quickly lose their readers' interest. Why do brilliant salespeople often have such a difficult time writing effective sales materials? Quite simply, these professionals haven't mastered the 5 rules of effective written business communications.
Why Is FREE The Most Powerful Marketing Word You Can Use?
As the famous cowboy Will Rogers once said, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there".So what does that have to do with "FREE"? Quite a lot really.
|home | site map|