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Combining Direct Marketing Strategies with Web Copywriting For Maximum Impact

Aug 20, 2008
There is often a disconnect between what a business says in its marketing material and what a person understands the business to say. This is a result of several issues, including:

1. The business owner or marketing personnel using language or buzz words related to their industry that an outsider may not understand;

2. The business not taking time to carefully think through its marketing copy; and/or

3. The business overestimating the intelligence of its customers.

Assuming the least common denominator when writing your web copy (or copy for any other marketing piece) does not insult anyone. It simply means that you care enough about your customers or prospects to provide them with clear, understandable explanations. You do a service to the world if you write about your business in such a way that anyone can understand what you do or what you sell. Connect the dots.

The Web is a medium built for short bursts of communication for several reasons:

1. It is difficult to read on-screen. Staring at a computer screen is hard on the eyes and it is often difficult to follow long lines of text or passages. Breaking your copy into smaller chunks makes it a much easier reading experience.

2. People have different levels of bandwidth available to them. Some people surf the Web at the office on high speed networks, some surf from home on high-speed cable connections. Some people use DSL, which is much slower. Some people use satellite Internet connections, which are much slower than cable-based connections. Some people are still on dial-up. Short bursts of information do better at accommodating the different speeds at which your customer can access information.

3. This is the digital age. People expect information to be generated quickly and get to the point. Chunks of information better accommodate peoples' short attention span.

As far as the content of the actual copy, assuming you keep the above points in mind, that is where you can go old school. With regards to commerce, the Web is simply a digital direct marketing platform. For years, companies have compiled mailing lists of potential prospects and used sales letters to close business. It's a tried and true method, and for businesses that hire strong copywriters, very prosperous.

The Web takes direct marketing to a new level by giving the advertiser much greater ability to target his message, and the ability to deliver that message almost instantly. Web marketers can do things classic direct marketers could only dream about.

Web site owners must go through the pain of fine-tuning copy. Although it is still a laborious process, the Web makes it much easier to generate the data you need to create profitable copy. Classic direct marketers would take a mailing list and divide it into two or three or more groupings, and then send a different letter or offer to each grouping. The orders generated from each group would then be tallied, with the letter or offer that generated the most sales considered the winner. On the Web, you can do the exact same thing by split-testing ads and landing page copy in a paid search campaign.

Combining direct marketing strategies with the advantages the Web offers makes it much easier for business owners to write compelling, profitable copy. It is still work, but the businesses that are serious about maximizing the profitability of their online marketing will do whatever it takes to see results.
About the Author
Jerry Work is president of Work Media, LLC, http://workmedia.net, a search engine marketing firm based in Nashville, and author of Scientific Search Engine Marketing: Maximizing Your Pay per Click Return on Investment.
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