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What does good writing look like?

In direct marketing, tests have shown that long copy outperforms short copy. But it isn’t the length of the copy that determines how effective it is.

To write good marketing copy, every sentence must mean something to the reader. How interesting what you have written is to the reader will determine how effective your copy is.

Editing is an important process of writing anything. Your first draft will never be good enough and you can cut out anything that doesn’t contribute to the original purpose of the writing.

In ‘Write to Sell. The Ultimate Guide To Great Copywriting’, Andy Malsen suggests five drafts:

  1. Initial attempt, warts and all
  2. Broad assessment against plan
  3. Check for structure, removing unnecessary sections and words
  4. Review for tone of voice, metaphors, style and punctuation
  5. Printed out, spell-checked and proof-read

You can think of it as starting your editing by taking a chainsaw to your first draft and becoming more precise and refined with each draft:

  1. Editing your first draft with a chainsaw
  2. Hedge trimmer
  3. Shears
  4. Scissors
  5. Scapel

To persuade someone to do something, whether that is buy, download a brochure or make an enquiry, using nothing but the written word is quite a challenge. As marketers we will use a graphic designer to design a leaflet but often don’t consider using a writer to produce the content. Maybe this is because we can all write to some degree.

The growth of ecommerce and digital marketing channels has arguably increased the importance of good writing. When you pick up your phone, you are more likely to be reading some form of marketing message or customer communications than typing.

Every email, social post or website page is creating an impression on a future customer.

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Twitter infographic what good writing looks like
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Instagram infographic good writing v bad writing styles
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These tips were inspired by lockdown reading book “Write to Sell. The Ultimate Guide To Great Copywriting” by Andy Malsen.

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