And why does it affect your profits?
You may consider that first question – about moving your lips – insulting. You probably think I’m referring to folks who aren’t too smart.
If you’re thin-skinned you may even think it’s a crude way of implying YOU’RE not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.
But if you write copy – or content, as people have begun calling it – it really matters.
That’s because when we read – whether we are highly educated or totally uneducated – we “play” the words back to ourselves in our minds. And so do our readers.
What does this imply for your writing and your profits?
Well, here’s what a great advertising man – Fairfax Cone, co-founder of giant agency Foote, Cone & Belding – used to say when a writer showed him copy he didn’t care for:
“Would you say that to someone you know?”
And one of the great comic novelists of the 20th century, Evelyn Waugh, said:
“A good letter is like a conversation”
So let me ask you:
Is your writing conversational?
Or is it full of stuffy corporate jargon?
Formal and pretentious, striving to be literary?
Does it get people to act – or bore them to tears?
If your copy is like that – if it isn’t conversational – it won’t be read. And it won’t sell.
As Winston Churchill, whose persuasive powers moved an entire nation to beat Hitler said:
“Use simple words everyone knows, then everyone will understand.”
And as my old boss David Ogilvy noted:
“You cannot BORE people into buying.”
Well: are they buying?
Or are you boring them?
It costs no more to run copy that makes them buy – conversational copy – than guff that puts them to sleep.
How do you do it? Nick Usborne knows.
And who am I to talk?
You can see more about all of this at AskDrayton.com
P.S. I originally wrote this blog for Nick Usborne at Conversational Copywriting.