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Where random ramblings run wild and radical journeys are stumbled upon, read the latest musings of a Digital Copywriter who isn't afraid of the dark...

Holy C!

C is also for.... CHOCOLATE! Smartie, anyone?

No, I’m not referring to Christmas. IT’S ONLY MOVEMBER. Crumbs. I am in fact about to reveal how the letter C is both a curse and a cure for creative copywriters.

So, you want creative copywriting?

An ever-growing number of curious folk (okay, prospective clients – but I promise this isn’t a self-promoting brag) have been approaching me lately to: 1) Offer cheek-blushing praise on how much they enjoyed cartwheeling through this copywriting playground and 2) Ask me to create the kind of experience that will make their readers go all silly (but not so silly that they forget to do the right thing, of course).

So, here are my observations on how to turn your readers off (*not ideal) and how to intensify their crush on your brand (*-* now we’re talking).

The copywriters’ curse

Try not to be…

Contrived. If you’re constantly thinking “This e-shot MUST generate a trillion billion conversions before midnight”, the chances are it’ll barely provoke a single click-through.

Imagine your reader. Say, for example, it’s Gill sat in her lovely grey office. And up pops your going-for-the-hard-sell-mail. Now imagine her (literal) nauseating delight at your gold medallion wearin’, used car floggin’, cigar puffin’, brazen sales pitchin’.

Getting inside (and onside with) your readers’ mindset is a much better approach… even if it means pointing out the obvious and having a good giggle at your own brand. Who says marketing communications have to be serious or arrogant? Since you’re feeling so brave, try not to be…

Controlled by what everyone else says. Just because @Recycled_Ruth says all commas should be banned, doesn’t mean you should follow the herd. You might just find yourself headfirst in the mud. It’s more important to stay true to your passion, because if you’re lacking lust in your own creations, trust me, it’ll show. As will being…

Condescending. On the flip side, while it’s super to believe in your brand so heartily, you must avoid being preachy. I know best, because I’m the COPYWRITER, after all, so YOU MUST. (Annoying, isn’t it? I want to bite my own fingers off.) At least you haven’t been…

Caught napping. YOUR HAIR’S ON FIRE! Not really, but now you’re WIDE awake, didn’t you forget something? Yes, the whole point of the message – the call-to-action, which is so hidden or sedate, the reader’s fallen asleep.

C is also for.... CHOCOLATE CAKE! Fancy a bite?

C is also for…. CHOCOLATE CAKE! Fancy a bite?

The copywriters’ cure

It’s far better to be…

Conscious. Naturally, you need to be alive when you write (unless you believe all those vicious rumours about robocopiers). I’m talking about being conscious of your readers’ situation.

Y’know – bored Gill looking for distraction after another day of office drudgery. She might not just be bored and sceptical, but also ravenous. So she quickly opens your e-shot because the subject line presents a bite-sized appetiser and now she’s hungry for more… What have you prepared for her next course; how do you want her to feel? You don’t want her to get food rage, do you? Or go on hunger strike? Wouldn’t you rather she gorged on your offer? So, be…

Confident. If you don’t believe in what you’re saying, who will? Be brave. Be confident, dammit. Talk tall. Because you were born…

Creative. While most people can write, it’s better to leave the creative to the creatives. This usually involves cake, coffee and all the space in the wide open field to think, think… think… and play. It’s like giving birth. The labour is often painful, and who knows how long it’ll take, but it’ll be worth it in the end, because your produce will be…

Credible. A stat makes it a fact no one can argue with, so bowl over more fans and silence your critics by pushing real results to the fore. Or at least be…

Caring. Even if you haven’t something tangible to offer, there must be something in it for the reader, so what is it? And for C’s sake, be…

Consistent. In what you say and how you say it. Otherwise, who will trust you? Even though you’re…

Crafty. Say what your reader wants to hear (firstly) in a way that benefits your offering (secondly). Lastly, copywriters should always be…

Curious. Question the unknown, dare to deviate and refresh your reader with new ideas. We’re all desperate to hear something different, so what do you have to say?

If all else fails…

CAKE. I thought you’d never ask. Big, fat, lardy lashings of the moistest pleasure you can sink your sticky fingers into. Chocolate-y, cake-y, briber-y NEVER fails.

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