Posts Tagged 'Design'

Is Your Perfectionism Limiting Your Productivity?

It’s a strange marketing world we live in.

On the one hand, I see a lot of online marketing information that is clearly not well written or designed. I attribute that to the relentless need for new information and a lack of budget. When you see what many organizations want to pay for online copy, you know they are getting exactly what they paid for.

On the other hand, I’ve seen an equal amount of problems, especially on the print side, caused by an inability to pull the trigger on projects and approvals. Sometimes the projects never get off the ground because they seem so daunting (think identity brochures).

Other times, approvals go on forever with nothing ever seeming quite right. Countless images are reviewed with design and copy tweaks never ending. Pieces often lose some of their timeliness. But, by golly, they’re perfect when finally released.

So, What’s the Solution?

I think it’s a combination of tempering your personal instincts for perfection with the options new technologies provide. Start by getting a competent team together and trusting the members to do their best work within a reasonable time-frame – and stick to it. Don’t skimp on things like proofing, where errors reflect badly on you and your organization, but don’t be afraid to release a piece that may ultimately need more refinement.

The joy of digital technology is that you can make changes quickly and inexpensively. Even in print, it’s easy and affordable to use variable data digital presses to produce small quantities. Get your materials into the market and seek feedback. Or even release a few versions when appropriate.

Your sales force will appreciate having what will likely result in both more materials and better timeliness. And you’ll reap the benefits of greater marketing success along with a better story to tell.

For help getting your marketing program in high gear, contact me at 708-610-9914 or And put on some speed.

The Long and Short of Marketing Copy

person using laptop computer

The debate is hardly new in marketing circles: should you write long or short copy? Long-copy advocates, including many direct-mail writers, argue that long copy always works best. People read what interests them, and longer copy equals more sales.

Short-copy champions say that consumers don’t t like to read long copy because they’re bombarded with information and don’t have time.  This side goes for short copy accompanied by graphics, images and now video.

Both arguments have merit. But whether you use shorter or longer copy depends more on context than any school of thought.  Here are some tips for deciding whether to write long or short.

Write long when:

  • Your product is technical, expensive or unusual and needs more explanation.
  • You need to create trust and believability by including lots of testimonials.
  • You know there are typically a lot of objections that need to be answered.

Marketing and SEO copywriter Belinda Weaver suggests making your long copy more reader friendly by:

  •  Including great subheads.
  •  Incorporating lists and different formatting to break up copy.
  • Repeating your call to action so readers don’t need to skim or scroll through the copy to take the next step.

Write short when:

  • The format, such as postcards or signage, dictates shorter copy.
  • You’re selling a less expensive product or service.
  • Consumers know your product, service and perhaps even your offer so well that they don’t need a lot of explanation.
  • Images do the selling of your product or service.

But Never Use More Words Than You Need

Economy of words should apply to both long and short marketing copy. You need to make every word count. Well-chosen words make your writing clear and bring the reader more quickly to the point.  Make the copy interesting and conversational in tone but also remember that the objective of marketing copy is to sell.

Oh, And Don’t Forget to Test

You’ll never know for certain whether long or short copy works best without testing each approach. In many instances, the cost of testing is low, yet the payback can be very high.  And while you’re in test mode, consider mixing the two, say a postcard with a personalized URL (pURL) that sends the recipient to a landing page with greater detail vs. a longer, more all-inclusive initial message.

Need help with your copy strategy or writing? Contact me today. Websites, Email, Social Media, Public Relations, Thought Leadership Content (blogs, white papers, newsletters), Corporate Branding Materials, Direct Mail and Video Scripts

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