Network Nugget: Red Ink Test

red inkHow many times have you started to read a company’s brochure, website or other printed medium and lost interest within seconds? This is likely because what is printed is all about the company and not about what the company or product can do for you. So I’d like to share a little trick I learned a number of years ago that helped me rethink what I was writing.

Before I get into the “how to” of writing copy that will engage your readers I’d like you to answer the following questions:

  • What are my product/business features?
  • What are the benefits of these features for my client/consumer?

Example:  One feature of a new golf club might be that it is titanium. The benefit to the buyer is that it is lighter, will improve their golf swing and enhance the distance they can hit on the fairway. Keep this in mind as you write copy because the buyer wants to know the benefits not just the features. Answering “what’s in it for me,” (also known as WIFM) is very important when you create copy for your website, brochure or other printed material.

So now that you understand the importance of answering “what’s in it” for your buyer, I challenge you to pull out your brochure, print off a couple of pages from your website or gather up some ads you’ve created. Grab a red pen and a blue pen and circle every “you or your” in red and every company name, our, or we in blue. When you are done, count how many red circle you have and how many blue circles you have. Engaging copy has more red than blue because “benefits” typically follow the word “you” or “your.”

Brenda Smith
Edmonton & Area Manager
CBWN YEG