I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but…
When it comes to direct marketing, there’s a good chance your reader won’t devour every single word on the page that you’ve written.
I know that may be difficult to hear – after all, you’ve agonized over every word, phrase and semi-colon – but it’s the truth…and your sales copy needs to take this into account.
That means you’ll need to repeat some of the more basic ideas throughout your promotion from time to time.
Without question, the “big idea” you’ve featured as part of your headline and lead is something that needs to be referenced often.
But even beyond that, some of the other points you make in the course of your promotion – including elements of proof – should be revisited from time to time.
Depending on the format of your marketing piece, this might be best done with the use of sidebars. In many of today’s most successful direct mail promotions, sidebars appear on virtually every page…and in most cases they reinforce the points made in the body copy.
This idea of repetitiveness becomes increasingly important the further along you go in your promotion. Your prospect is likely very busy – so there’s a chance that he’s become distracted at least once while reading your promotion.
So as you move closer to the point where you’re ready to ask for the sale…it’s important to remind the reader of all those wonderful points you made way back at the start of your letter.
Now as you might expect…this is a bit of a tightrope walk. After all, you don’t want to insult your reader’s intelligence – or have him become bored by what he feels is the same idea being repeated over and over again.
So you’ve got to be creative with it. Obviously, you can’t simply repeat the same headlines and phrases throughout your letter. But what you can do is subtly acknowledge them – through the use of a phrase or “tag- line” associated with the product.
The way to think of it is…you want your reader to continue nodding his head “yes” as he turns each page. To do that, you’ve got to keep him actively engaged – but you also make sure that he never loses touch with the big idea that got him started in the first place.
And clearly – at the time you close your letter and send the reader off to an order mechanism – you want to re-state your position in a way that makes him feel like the most important thing he can do at this very moment is to go ahead and place an order.
As I said, the idea is to subtly remind your reader of the “big idea” throughout the piece – in both the body copy and via sidebars – in a way that doesn’t feel redundant.
Jody Madron is a results-oriented copywriter with more than 20 years of breakthrough marketing experience. To learn how Jody can deliver results-boosting copy — ahead of your deadline — visit www.MadronMarketing.com.