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The Secret of Action Verbs for More Sales
A strong and powerful copy (a term marketers and advertisers use to describe written sales messages) is one that captures your readers attention. Many business owners and advertisers make the common mistake thinking business writing is a form of writing that will help them increase sales and revenue.
They couldn't be more wrong. You see, business writing is what you learned when you were still in college, preparing for an examination or you were drafting up a business proposal. There are certain style and languages which you use that displays a level of professionalism. In such instances, business writing is important. A lawyer has to use this form of writing when preparing legal documents. A researcher will compile her findings and present it in a formal manner to add credibility to her work.
But don't start thinking that this form of writing applies in the sales and advertising environment.
This style of writing is risky and in many cases, ineffective in converting a reader into a potential customer. Mainly because it is too formal. And when you think of formal writing and formal speeches... you think of the word boring.
Remember, the goal of any sales message is to hook and draw your readers deeper and deeper into your marketing process. You want them to be excited about what you have to sell and present to them. The last thing you want to do is bore them half to death... the struggling to pay attention, much less feel compelled to buy what you have to offer. A good written copy takes advantage of the opportunity to present powerful and emotional facts. It gets them thinking about how different their lives will be once they start using your product. The earlier the better.
Don't Do This In Your Writing
1. Refrain from using the Passive Voice in your writing. We're going to have to go back to grammar 101 for this section but pay attention as it will transform the way you write your next copy and you'll see an instant difference in your communication.
Here's a powerful hub that dives deeply into the subject of passive voice, take some time to read it and really understand the content. But in simple terms, the subject of the sentence is passive, hence the term. This means instead of putting the subject in the foreground, we shift the emphasis to the object. So for instance, if we're talking about a boy (subject), a ball (object) and kick (action)...
In passive voice, it'll be written as the ball was kicked by the boy.
Active voice on the other hand will have it written as, the boy kicked the ball.
As you can see, the active voice implies an action that is happening (hence active) while the passive implies an action that had happened. Powerful sales messages understands the intricate act of making every event exciting to keep your readers hooked onto your sales message.
2. Let your copy become too boring. Sounds easy and rather straight forward yet so many advertisements suffer from this. Many a times, the question how long should a copy be is raised and asked by aspiring advertisers. A valid question, but when you bring this topic up to any professional copywriter, they'll tell you that there is no such thing as a copy that is too long. There is only a copy which is too boring.
Think about this...
You have movies which are an hour and a half long. And you also have movies which are almost 4 hours long. That's about half a working day, sitting in the cinema, staring at a screen without so much as a toilet break. Yet you have movie-goers flocking the cinema watching again and again. Without so much as a complain.
Was the movie too long?
Only when the story is dull, or repetitive, or boring. Likewise, for your advertising message. In fact in most cases, it is worse. You're fighting an uphill battle as you now need to first attract their attention. Once you've done that, you need to continue to sway them over to your side with engaging content.
3. Never sound too egoistical in your writing. A common mistake many business owners commit, it they sound egoistic in their ads. Here's a simple test you can conduct right not. Take out your latest ad, the one you're planning on running soon, and count the number of "I's" and the number of "We" or their variation. Now count the number of "You's".
When your reader is reading an ad, the only question they have on their minds is what will your product do for them. They want to know if you can solve a problem that has been plaguing them. When you focus on yourself in your copy, you're not assuring them that you have the answer they're searching for. One of the biggest No-no in writing.
Transform Boring 'O Text into Hot & Spicy Words
So how can you create ads your readers can't wait to devour?
It all goes back to basic grammar and what we know as Action Verbs. These aren't your regular old verbs. And they most definitely are not your adjectives. The kind people abuse thinking it makes their copy sound smarter when it really just does the complete opposite.
Nope. Action verbs are the words you use to describe the action that leads to a desired result. And in the case of writing copy, they make your words sound alive.
For instance, instead of saying they decided to give him a pill, use the word administer instead. So in this case, they administer the antidote that saved his life. Instead of he was in pain, he was in terrible agony. Instead of she overcame her many challenges, she conquered her fear of public speaking and discover the potential she had been trapping inside.
And the list goes on.
But I think you get the general picture here. With action verbs, your story is no longer static. It is given new life that locks your readers. They can't let go. They can't stop reading. They want to know what happens next. And at this point, you're free to teach them and persuade them about your product and services.
Sneaky? It does take practice to get good at it.