One of the first lessons I learned as a direct marketer was also one of the most basic: “People won’t do anything if it feels like work.”
This is even more true today – as the demands on our time have increased – than it was nearly 20 years ago when I first learned it.
But let’s face it – our lives are more hectic today than they’ve ever been. Our attention spans are constantly being tested by the distraction of technology…and as a society, we’ve becoming increasingly impatient.
Whereas a decade ago, we’d patiently wait for a family photo to download via a dial-up internet connection…now we’re annoyed it the picture doesn’t come up instantly. After all – who has the time to sit and wait, right?
The same thing goes for your readers. I hate to break this to you, but it’s very likely that reading your sales copy wasn’t at the top of your prospect’s “to-do” list when the day started.
So right away…you’re fighting for a few moments of this person’s otherwise busy day.
Once you’ve grabbed your reader’s attention – thanks to that blockbuster headline you wrote after reading the previous secret – you need to make sure you don’t lose the reader’s attention.
That means more strong copy – and all the other elements of a successful marketing campaign, obviously. But it also means not losing the reader’s attention with too much copy in too small a space.
Think about it – when you sit down to read a memo, a magazine article or even a book…it’s always a bit discouraging when you see a large block of text with very little “white space” on the page.
You’ve got to make your copy easy to read from a visual perspective – or else the reader will glance at the page and say, “I don’t have time for this…it feels like work.” And when that happens…you’re as good as dead.
So after you’ve written your copy, take a look at it without actually reading it. Does it look like one intimidating mass of boring words…or is it broken up with bullet points, short paragraphs and lots of white space?
This same concept – making things easy for the reader – also applies to the act of asking for the sale. I can’t tell you how many strong promotions I’ve seen that move the reader quickly through the entire piece…only to get bogged down at the end with a mass of free bonuses and pricing options.
Including a few options – such as price, quantity or delivery method – is fine…so long as you make it easy for the customer to decide quickly on a course of action.
The worst possible scenario would be for you to do all the work of convincing the customer to buy your product…only to have him walk away at the very end because he was frustrated by seeing too many options – or a confusing order form.