Lively Writing Can Improve Response

In the January edition of The Levison Letter, direct-response copywriter Ivan Levison offers five tips for writing it right in 2009. All solid tips, one, in particular, caught my eye:

#3. Keep it lively.

Hey, it isn’t a crime yet in this country to have a little  enthusiasm or a sense of humor. If your marketing materials  are flat or boring, bring a little personality to the party. You  know, your sales letters, email, Web copy, etc., need to communicate more than features and benefits. They have to truly engage the reader and connect at some emotional level. So don’t  be afraid to write with a little punch. The spark you or your  writer brings to a project can make all the difference!

I agree. Obviously, you can’t get too wild, but most B2B audiences are just regular folks who will respond to some well-placed personality and enthusiasm. Try it and track the results.

It’s the Offer, Stupid

Sell the offer. Sell the offer. Sell the offer.

I am reminded of this on direct mail and other projects. If the list is solid, then the offer (and how it’s presented) will determine the level of success.

An example from the B2C world is Geico, which is constantly on TV, in print publications and elsewhere.

What’s their offer?

“Fifteen minutes could save you 15 percent or more on your car insurance.”

In other words, they’re offering a free estimate. But it’s presented in a clear, consistent and cut-to-the-quick way.

A West Coast direct-marketing agency says that direct-response pieces can easily turn into “product sheets in drag,” attempting to cover way too much. Don’t let this happen to you. Make it all about the offer.