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21 Business Writing Tactics

When buying things online, customers consider the benefits first not the features. The features help them justify the decision to make the purchase, but it's the benefits that convinces them to make the purchase in the first place.

For example, consider the number of instant coffees on the market. Most of these look the same. They might be packaged differently, but essentially their just lots of granules! But coffee manufacturers spend millions persuading you that their coffee is unique and that it's made just for You! Why do they do this?

They don't focus on the coffee; instead, they focus on savoring the "aromatic taste of hand-picked Columbian beans" ideal for starting your morning and so on. It's not the beans they're selling, it's the benefits.

In the sentence above, it reminds you how their exquisite coffee helps you start your morning - a nice touch (benefit) that we can all relate to.

So, with this in mind, lets look at some ways to convey those benefits.

1. Persuade use words, phrases, and expressions that persuade. Active verbs and short phrases carry a lot of punch.

Think of Just Do It, I'm Lovin it, or Coke Is It.

They're all easy to remember and roll off the tongue without any problem. No strange terms or buzzwords.

2. Product investigate the products your audience is interested in. You have to know your prospective consumer inside out; including their habits, new trends, and their dislikes.  

3. Incentive examine the triggers that make consumers want  one item over another.  An emotional trigger could be a bonus, incentive, or prestige.

4. Motivation what motivating factors drive consumers; for example, exclusivity is a strong driver for up-market products, as it implies that only a select band of people can afford/are worthy of the product.

5. Words sharpen your material until the benefits become very persuasive.

Once you have worked on these areas, ask yourself:

6. Who will benefit most from the message?

7. What are their basic needs?

8. Which is the most attractive benefit?

9. What is the key benefit in my message?

10. How can I write the key benefit in one sentence?

11. How can I 'sell' this benefit?

12. What will help illustrate this message?

Your next step is to write the "sales message" using words that will:

13. Demand complete attention.

14. Create intense interest.

15. Encourage the reader to act.

The three steps get attention, create interest, and call to action are the key ingredients of great sales copy.

But --- even the sharpest copy wont win customers if your product is poorly presented, confusing, or overpriced.

With that in mind, here are some final suggestions to get the most out of your words --- and turn passive readers into active consumers.

16. Define the Who, What, and Why before you start.

17. Gather all the collateral, documents, brochures etc that you need to write the copy.

18. Set a goal for yourself. Only sign-off on the final draft once you reached this objective.

19. Imagine that you are the consumer; write from his or her point of view.

20. Read your material aloud once you've finished it.

If you stumble over any section, or if something grates, revise it and try it out again.

21. Once finished, put is aside for 24 hours. When you write for long periods, you may get snow-blind; a 24-hour break will help you see if what you wrote makes the grade.

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