My friend, Karon Thackston, is one of the smartest copywriters I know. She's put together a new course, with Christine Cobb, about a very cool and timely topic.
How to Get the Attention of your Target Audience
through Short Copy (when you have only a moment to do so).
Because most social media posts are considered short copy and also because email marketing has never been more competitive to get the person to open your email, I wanted to ask her to share her smarts with you.
So, in the video (and transcript) below, she answers the following questions.
1. What do you mean exactly when you say “Short Copy?”
2. Why is it important to have short copy that works better?
3. What is one tip that people watching this can take immediately and walk away with.
4. Why does everyone watching this need your product?
You can check out her new course here:
If you prefer to read the interview, you can do that here:
Hi Nicole. It’s Karon Thackston. I got your email and I thought it would be way easier to answer the questions that you had about short copy. This way is whole lot more fun too, than just sending an email. I printed out all of your questions and want to take a few minutes to go over them. In your message you’re talking about the new Short Copy Success Secrets product that Christine Cobb and I developed.
What do you mean exactly when you say short copy?
Our definition of short copy is little tiny snippets of text that hold a lot of weight and power.
They don’t work by themselves. They are the first step in kicking off some important process.
Included in the short copy category would be
- blog post title,
- article titles,
- tweets or other types of social posts,
- bullet points within copy,
- email subject lines,
- PPC ads,
- Pinterest pins,
- and all sorts of different tiny little snippets of text.
These snippets aren’t very long but they are all important because of their place in the process. Short copy doesn’t work alone.
When you have a blog post, that title can literally make or break the success of the post. When people see the title that you’ve posted all around the net, they read it on your blog, or if you send out an email announcing that there is a new post on your blog the title is all they are going by. Nine times out of ten even if you include a snippet of text or a paragraph or two from the blog post that doesn’t get read. Your visitors or perspective visitors will read the title and that’s all they’re going to read.
The same goes for email subject lines. If you are sending out email campaigns your email subject line is make or break. That is what people will read and they’ll decide whether or not to open your email or trash it.
PPC ads are the same type of thing. You get this little tiny bit of text that can’t possibly sell on its own. Its goal is to drive traffic to a landing page that converts visitors into paying customers.
The same goes for everything else such as bullet points inside copy. Bullet points are extremely important because they are very scannable for one thing. Due to the difference in the formatting they immediately draw the eye to that one particular section. If you blow it in your bullet points people probably aren’t going to read too much further.
All of these different things are included in the short copy. Any tiny snippet of text that is responsible for driving visitors to a next step would be included in the short copy.
Why is it important to have short copy that works better?
In the many years that I’ve been writing business copy for all sorts of different clients through Marketing Words which is my copywriting services company, I have seen that you have to pay as much attention or more to the short copy that’s involved in any type of marketing campaign.
We talked about emails and the importance of the email subject line, and we talked about blog posts and PPC ads and how vital those are. If you are doing a social media campaign, especially if you are auto-posting you’re going to have to learn how to master the 140 characters or less post. If you post longer than something on Twitter and you’re also including Facebook or Linked in, writing your posts for those type of websites which are much longer is not going to come across well on Twitter. If you are doing multiple posts on multiple different social media sites you might as well just be writing at that 140 character mark, which is Twitter’s limit, so that it sounds right on all of them.
There are some tricks and techniques to getting a point across. You want to compel people to click on your post and engage them or build curiosity and make them wonder, “What in the world is that? Let me click on over there and see what that is.” There are lots of different ideas and strategies for being able to create social media posts that actually get some engagement. It’s wonderful if you are growing your following and you have 1000 or 10000 followers on Facebook or LinkedIn. However if you can’t get those people off the social media site and into whatever it is that you’re doing they don’t do you a whole lot of good.
Mastering how to write short copy for social media can really propel the rest of your marketing activities through the roof. You can then move people off Twitter and onto your list so you can communicate with them without limitations. You move them from LinkedIn over to your free offer or the start of some marketing funnel that can eventually lead them away from just being a connection on LinkedIn and being a paid client. All of these things are included in that.
What is one tip that people can take immediately and walk away with and use right now?
One thing that I like to do, especially with social media but it works well with any short copy is to leave out important information. This is sort of like real estate agents do. They are taught, when they are creating their home listings to leave out the price or location or how many bedrooms it has. They leave out a vital piece of information that someone would have to have in order to make a decision. The reason for that is because then people have to act. They have to email you, they have to contact you, they have to call you, or they have to do something to get the rest of the information. The same holds true when you’re writing short copy.
You can replace vital pieces of information with “this,” “these,” and “it.” When you do that, instead of saying something to the effect of, “Seven Marketing Strategies that Show you How to Make More Money” you can say, “These Seven Strategies Show you How to Make More Money.” These particular strategies mean that it’s specific to you and also it’s peaking curiosity because people don’t know what “these” seven strategies are. You haven’t named them yet.
You can do it with “it” as well. “It’s the one thing all Six Figure Money Makers have in Common.” What is it? That makes you want to click and find out what they are talking about. Leave out some vital information and don’t give it all away when you’re writing short copy. Instead substitute some of those words that I mentioned so that you can get people interested in what you are saying.
Why does everyone need this particular product?
It doesn’t really matter what industry you’re in. Everyone who has any play in marketing will write subject lines for email at one point or another. You’ll write headlines for your website copy. If you’re into online marketing chances are you have a website. Social media is a huge player right now. Everyone needs to know how to compel people to engage with those posts not just read them and shuffle off. We want them to share them and like them and comment on them and most importantly to click to whatever it is that you want them to click to.
All of this information that’s included in Short Copy Success Secrets goes into a lot of detail and walks you through step by step on how to use these strategies to improve all of short copy that you are writing. When you kick off your marketing process with a killer email subject line, an exceptional social post, or a blog post title that captures people’s attention and gets them to want to read the rest of it then everything flows through the rest of the process faster and smoother because you’ve captured attention right up front. You got noticed online, which is huge. Today there are email boxes that are flooded with email messages. There are thousands and thousands of them coming through every single day.
In social media you have newsfeeds on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest that are going by in real time. People don’t usually stop for an hour and say, “You know, I haven’t heard from Nicole Dean in awhile. Let me just click over to her Facebook page and see what’s been going on.” If you don’t get their attention right that minute they aren’t going to go backwards looking for you. You have to be right there and grab their eye right on the spot in order to get them interested in what you have to say.
I hope this helps Nicole. Let me know if you have any other questions. I’m always here to help. Hope you have a great day.
I hope you enjoyed this. Even if you don't plan on buying Karon's course, do click over and watch her video and read up on her sales page. You'll gain a new perspective on your Short Copy for sure.
PS. If you love Karon as much as I do, be sure to check out these other posts from my archives.