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10 Things To Consider When Writing Effective Promotional Copy

The UBM marketing teams had a training session dedicated to writing effective promotional copy. Sure, anyone can write promo copy - but is it effective?

For example, would you consider this email effective in motivating the recipient to register for the online event?  Granted the email was personalized; it used bullet points; there's a call to, why am I completely unmotivated to register?

Whereas this email had me at hello. I admit I giggled when I opened the email (really, we're still referencing Jerry Maguire?), but it worked.  The headline caught my attention; the purpose of the email was easy to understand; I was motivated to register right away.

So what makes one promo email better than another?  How can you check to see if your promo email (or landing page or any other promo copy) is going to be effective?  Go through the following checklist the next time you're writing promotional copy and I'll guarantee you will see a major improvement.  (Sorry, no money back guarantees available)

In fact, I've printed and posted this list on my wall next to edit calendars, my favorite Excel formulas and pictures of loved ones, with hope that the list will be subconsciously engrained into my brain (and for easy reference).

Good luck!

  1. Define whom you’re writing this for and what they would want to know about it:
    • Do I know who my audience is and why this matters to them?
    • Have I taken their immediate concerns into account?
    • Am I adopting their mindset?
  2. Make this an urgent and important matter:
    • Have I emphasized the impact on their jobs and their businesses?
    • Do I relate this to important industry and business trends?
    • Am I relating to their emotions as well as their intellects?
  3.  Tell a story:
    • Does my message have a beginning, a middle and an end?
    • Does the end circle back to the beginning?
  4. Give your audience reasons to be interested:
    • Do I do this in the headline?
    • Do I do it again in the lead?
    • Do I do it again in the nut graph? Do I have a nut graph?
    • Do I do it once more in the conclusion?
  5. Make it credible:
    • Does this come from a trustworthy source?
    • Do I cite any experts?
    • Do I have my facts straight?
  6. Keep it simple:
    • Do I make 3 main points?
    • Could someone read this and easily say what it’s about?
  7. Keep it short:
    • Is my message under 300 words?
    • Is my headline under 10 words?
    • Are my paragraphs two sentences or less?
  8. Keep it interesting:
    • Do I use bullet points?
    • Do I cite any statistics?
    • Am I avoiding trite phrases,  corporate buzz words and clichés?
    • Do I vary my language and sentence structure?
    • Do I use stimulating adjectives and action verbs?
  9. Keep it lively:
    • Am I using a colorful metaphor?
    • Am I being surprising—or even a little bit outrageous?
  10. Have some fun with it! Even busy executives like to be amused and entertained!


Originally posted in 2010, hence the outdated email examples. Advice remains relevant! 

content marketing, digital marketing, Email Marketing, marketing best practices, Tech Marketing Smarts Blog