Edinburgh Web Development

Copywriting mistake No.1

Are you getting to the point early?

by Iain Wilson

22 June 2010

If you're writing copy for your web pages, mailer or brochure, make sure you get the key points out as early as you can. If you do this you will keep and interest your reader, otherwise you might lose them.

I've just been watching a video from Drayton Bird, and he is talking about the most common copywriting mistakes and it struck a chord with my experience.

In the 90's I worked in Australia as a product manager for a software company and any copy I wrote was checked out by the MD. Every time I showed it to him, he'd say 'Lose the first two paragraphs and get straight to the benefits'.

I used to explain that I was setting the scene in my introduction. I thought my introductions were pretty damn good.

In my mind I was a great introduction writer, but in reality my introductions were waffle and had no real value to the reader. Once I could acknowledge that, it gave me a guideline for the future - always get the main points out early.

In Drayton's video he tells you how you should 'start at paragraph four'. Get the waffle out of the way and get straight to the benefits that your reader wants to hear about.

Try this approach on your website and promotional materials and you give yourself a better chance of making conversions.

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