Whether you’re writing content for your Web site or putting together a brochure to be handed out at a tradeshow, you need to get your message across quickly and concisely, and of course, with one objective in mind – and that is for the reader (your prospect) to take action.
Everything you write must have a purpose. What do you want to accomplish? Follow these five steps to ensure you attract the “right” audience and motivate them to take action.
Step 1: Know Your Audience
Who is reading your message? It should be your ideal client – your target market. Make sure you understand who they are, what their problems are, and what solutions you have that match those issues.
When you know your audience and write directly to them (in the first person), they’ll know they’re in the right place and continue reading.
Step 2: What’s the Point?
I encourage you to write a clear statement of why you are writing or the outcome you hope to achieve.
At times, you may want to share good information – be the “go-to” person for expert advice so others know you know your stuff (that’s article marketing). Most often, you’ll want to motivate action. There’s no use writing a marketing piece if you don’t tell the reader to do something.
Step 3: Be Clear
Be aware of any questions, which can arise and explain the issue or situation clearly. Supply the answers so they aren’t left confused. It may help to write out all the questions you hear from your customers before you write the first word.
Do you write things like “the report looks at content“? What report? What content? Does the report evaluate or compare one writing style to another or to other reports?
By writing “Our in-depth report clearly demonstrates how writing for the Web differs from writing content for a brochure” you have real meaning – and real interest. In fact, you’ve hooked the reader to keep on reading.
Step 4: What’s the Call to Action?
What is the expectation for your message? What happens next? Be clear and let readers know the next step.
Consider this…you’ve put together a great marketing campaign that includes an enticing-looking brochure, a well-worded direct mail package, and a Web site that wraps everything up in a neat package. You haven’t scrimped on production…but you aren’t getting results. So what’s the problem?
Go back and read your content. Did you include a call to action? What are you offering? If you don’t provide an enticing offer or ask for a response, why do you think you will get one?
For example, let’s say you’re promoting a new workshop and want to hand out postcards at various networking events. First of all, remember that each marketing piece should have one focus only. Know what it is before you begin to write. In this example, is it to:
- Subscribe to your ezine to download a free guide?
- Register for the workshop by calling you, emailing you, or buying online?
- Go to a Web site for more information?
- Decide between the workshop you’re offering, an ebook on your Web site, or hiring you for a one hour coaching consultation?
If your goal is to get them to register for your workshop, make it simple. Give them a direct link to the exact page on your Web site where they can “buy now.” Don’t attempt to get them to sign up for your ezine or buy your ebook as well…too many options can be confusing. And as you know, “a confused mind always says no.”
Step 5: Review & Revise
If you miss this step, you will lose opportunities.
- Does your message connect with your audience? Keep it conversational and speak directly to the reader – one person.
- Are your words clear and concise?
- Have you answered any lingering questions?
- Check for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
- Read your work out loud to make sure it flows naturally.
Before sending out any marketing piece, know what results you want to achieve – and then take the time to measure those results. It may be necessary, to go back to Step 5 if you aren’t getting the results you wanted.