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Copywriting Case Study.

29 May

Improving content improves your marketing message.

Copywriters don’t invent every word. But copywriters wrestle content into submission as they consider your goals, your audience, the timbre of your message and the type of document they are creating.

Done poorly, content can have the following effects on your readers:

  • Disinterest
  • Confusion
  • Unfavorable assumptions of professionalism
  • Total turn off
  • No action
It’s that last one that really hurts. Because isn’t that what your content strategy is all about? Getting results?
How you communicate your message can mean the difference between having an opportunity to move a prospect to the next step in the sales chain or not.
A good copywriter helps you understand your objective, considers your current content and suggests or rewrites copy to achieve your goals.

A copywriting project unpacked

The best way to show you how the copywriter I know best (me) works is to, well, show you.

For this copywriting project, my client needed help with a funding packet that would, hopefully, attract significant donations of $1 to $12 million.

The packet I received was a cobbled collection of informational content, all important, but written by numerous committee members and laid down with no particular sense of order. They needed help organizing their document, adding clarity and making it more persuasive.

Here is a sample of what I received from them. A few things stood out to me immediately:

  • It doesn’t create a story for me–a reason that I, as a funder, might want to be emotionally or financially connected to the project.
  • The blocked paragraphs are hard to read.
  • There were few, if any, subheadings throughout the document. This audience is comprised of busy people who won’t want to comb through blocks of copy to discover what it is this foundation is asking.
  • Passive voice dominates the paragraphs which adds a slogging, flat rhythm. Passive voice robs sentences of any hope of excitement.

Revised draft adds persuasion and ease of reading.

I didn’t have to write from scratch but it is often more of a challenge to use and transform copy that is already written. It’s akin to deconstructing a poorly spun spider web and reweaving it to resemble something worthy of Charlotte’s Web.

To accomplish this client’s copywriting objectives, I worked with their document and mine, side by side in Scrivener (my favorite writing program), where I mined their details, grouped them, summarized where needed and determined an effective way of ordering their case for $12 million. I also chose stronger verbs, attempted to build their story and offered compelling reasons for this project in an easily digestible format. When they print this document, I will recommend they use schematic drawings as graphic alongside their content to build the visual piece of the story.

Here is what I delivered:

 

It might all be there, but it might not be good. But that is Okay.

Often clients know what they need to say, they just need help saying it. A good copywriter will never laugh at you for not waxing eloquent. We understand that not everyone dreams in word pictures and plays Words with Friends with relentless vigor.

There is nothing we love more than a good challenge such as this, where we peel away the extraneous and help clients find the gems within. Then, like an artist, we brush at our keyboards with generous doses of deletions and copy and pastes to, ultimately, present you with a shiny new brand that sounds way more bitchin’ than you ever thought possible.

It would be my pleasure to help you say what needs to be said. If you have one of “those projects” hanging around, please contact me using the button on the side of this page or by calling me at 530.638.3580. Let’s talk.

 

 

 

About Carrie Schmeck

When Carrie isn't encouraging conversation between educators, community and business people, she writes web content copy and communication collateral for businesses; as well as shorts, profiles and service pieces for publications such as QSR, USATodayCollege, NextStepU and Enjoy magazine, among others. Email carrie@bizziwriter.com or call 530.638.3580 to discuss your next writing project.

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