Love ‘em or hate ‘em — for me it was a fun journey down memory lane with the gals who literally laid the soundtrack for the era of “girl power” (plus I’ll take anything that brings me back to the 90′s).
In honor of those brassy Brits, today I’m relating some advice on how to, ahem, “spice up” the writing in your marketing communications.
It comes from “copyblogger,” a favorite of the Marketing team here at TargetX. If you don’t already subscribe, you should. I mean it. Don’t even read the rest of this — go immediately to www.copyblogger.com/blog and sign up. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
The piece I’m recommending today is called “11 Ways to Bore the Boots Off Your Readers.” It’s a cautionary tale that anyone who so much as posts your Facebook updates should take to heart. Not to mention anyone writing web or print copy, promotional emails or any other communication from your office this year.
Now I know you’re smart, so I’ll let you read all 11 points by yourself. But since you’re also crazy-busy, I’ve trimmed it down to 3 of what I think are the most egregious errors committed by higher ed marketers specifically (I’ve taken the liberty to combine a few similar ones):
1. Breaking the “Rule of One.”
Far too often I see email messages reminding prospects of a hundred things they’re supposed to remember to do, read, sign up for, submit — you name it. It’s too much. Focus on one thing per message whenever possible.
2. Excessive wording and “over-design.”
Many of you know I come from higher ed, and man, do we love to talk. And write. And write some more. If you do anything this year, focus on making everything shorter and easier to digest. Don’t use 100 words when 50 will do just fine. Simple words, simple fonts. Your prospects will thank you for it.
3. “Sticking to high school rules.”
Listen, I get it. I too was taught how to formally write (though you and my writing teachers may disagree). Marketing copy is different and has different rules — and that’s ok. Break up paragraphs and large blocks of text as much as possible. Create white space that makes things easier on the eye (and easier for readers to skim). Don’t be afraid to “start a sentence with because, and, or but.” Because you’re speaking to human beings. And it’s ok to sound like one, too.
Hopefully I’ve inspired you to read the article and spice up your “Mar-Comm” efforts this year (that’s “Marketing Communications” if you’re not hip to the cool-kid speak).
When it comes down to it, these really are easy fixes that cost you nothing and will go a long way toward improving the effectiveness of your writing.
Speaking of your writing, I look forward to reading much less of it this year;)
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