Some copywriting advice for scribes everywhere: the devil is in the detail.
Squiggle brought to our notice the advertisement for New Scientist magazine on the left. He was half way through renewing his subscription when he noted something missing. It’s a fairly important detail for a prospective purchaser, canine or human: the number of issues one receives in exchange for one’s money. Is it monthly or weekly; meaning 12 or 52 editions a year? Thus the cost per edition could range 400% or so – not conducive to sealing deals and very off-putting. Confusion creates friction and friction kills conversion.
Unfortunately nonprofits perform far worse than corporates in this regard. We are constantly flabbergasted at how few nonprofits provide sufficient detail for prospective clients, customers, volunteers et al.
Here’s something you can do right now to assess your copywriting performance: look at the program / services pages of your website and see if readers told about:
Cost? (We constantly note that free services fail to mention that they are free!) How can I pay – upfront, installments? What about discounts?
Timings and structure of services. (Six 90m meetings with a maximum of 12 people over 10 weeks etc). We often see start times without a stated end time – this can be vital for those with other responsibilities or needing to arrange a lift. Simple concerns can be addressed via straightforward details.
Application process (do I need to be referred from my GP or do I just turn up?) How am I informed that I can attend / participate?
Who the service is designed for? (Is this something for unemployed men aged over 50 like me or is it for people I hate?)
The telephone number I need for more details?
Parking & transport details – how do I get there?
What exactly happens at the service? Will I be taken aside for a long induction process? Will I be introduced to anyone? How does this work? NEVER underestimate how introverted people are. We don’t put ourselves in strange situations willingly. Make your situation less strange via lot of detail.
Fill in these details and you’re on your way to a better website, better SEO and fewer grumpy, confused readers. Imagine how much better your copy could be if you attended Copy Savvy 101 June 17?
Find out how a guinea pig embodies good copywriting.