Want to know what makes copywriting so stinking difficult?
There are 100 different ways to write the same marketing piece.
With copy, there is no right and wrong. No black and white. And absolutely no guarantee the approach you take will get the response you want.
Let me show you what we were up against last week.
I tasked one of my writers with creating direct mail templates. The first piece being a sponsorship letter. Basically, it’s a letter asking local businesses to support a community event.
Meghan, my writer, buried herself in research, and came back with this:
Your Organization’s Name
City, State, Zip]
Dear [CEO, Business Owner or other]
[Open with a very brief description of your organization, your mission, service to community and/or future goals]
[Organization Name] is hosting an event on [date] at [place]. [Event Name] is to [reason for event]. This event was a huge success last year and we hope you make it even better this time around! [Event Name] will feature: [list of amenities].
Our efforts to [reason for event] won’t reach their maximum effectiveness unless we have the backing of the entire community. That is why I’m writing to you! By giving to [Event Name], you’ll be able to help us [service to community and/or future goals]…
“This,” Meghan said, “Is what several different sources say is the “right” way to structure your letter.”
Well, my direct-response-copy mindset questioned it. It felt too formal. Too easy to throw in the trash. So I asked Meghan if a catchy headline might be more effective. For example, if you were hosting an event to increase teen suicide awareness, you might start your letter out with something like this:
Your Easy Donation Could Save 4.2 Teenage Lives This Month
Instead of being informative, your letter could pull on the heartstrings of your possible sponsors. And statistics show that millennials are more inclined to act when they’re involved in a good cause.
Then again, there’s no guarantee you’re going to reach someone charitable.
Maybe, what the letter needs is more emphasis on what the business owner gets from their sponsorship. For example, if you sent your letter to an insurance salesman, you might want it to read like this:
Get Your Name In Front of 56,000 Homeowners
See why writing copy is so tough? Which choice is the right choice?
Well, we decided they all have merit. Which is why we added all 3 versions of the same letter to our Portal.
That was an easy decision for us. But what can you do? What should you be learning from this?
First of all, don’t hesitate to write multiple versions of the same marketing piece. It’s what you SHOULD be doing.
Write multiple versions and split test your audience.
Or, you could send all 3 messages to your target. If you’re mailing them, try spacing them about a week apart. If you’re emailing the message to your target, every 3 days should work.
Second, get to know your audience. The more you know about them, the easier it is to write a message they’ll respond to.
Third, ask for feedback. Before you send out your letter or your email, show it to someone in your target market. Ask what they think and whether they would respond to your message. And then ask some of your prospects after you send it what they thought.
Finally, track everything you send. Our Content Creation System has a place for tracking the results of your marketing pieces. Because data is the most accurate way of deciding what messages work.
Again, there is no such thing as the “right” message. If you spend hours trying to make that one message perfect, you’re wasting time. All you can do is create, try again, create, and try again. Incrementally, you’ll get closer to the results you’re shooting for.