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The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 08, 2015 • Issue 15:06:01

Boost Your Biz: Who cares?

You, as payments entrepreneurs, are often called upon to write or review copy for numerous reasons: company brochures and data sheets; website home, product, news and bio pages; blog posts, for both in-house and partner websites; and much more.

It's important to have a clean design, of course, and to use correct grammar and punctuation. Cluttered pages riddled with errors can cause potential customers to write off your company within seconds. Maybe grammar isn't your strong suit. If so, hire a proofreader. This will prevent folks from bailing due to shoddy copy.

Grab 'em, engage 'em

However, some companies create flawless documents. They also do an excellent job of outreach. But their materials receive no more than a quick scan from recipients, despite their professional appearance. To help ensure this doesn't happen to you, here are several tips for writing content that will grab and engage prospects:

  1. Know your audience. This applies for each document you write. Gear the text and examples to each market you're targeting. This means that if you are taking materials to a tradeshow for beauty salons, don't describe how well your products and services have improved efficiencies in medical offices. This seems obvious, but it's easy to overlook in the rush to prepare documents for the exhibit floor.
  2. Focus on what's in it for prospects. Your copy can go into superb detail about your cutting-edge technology, for example, but if you don't state exactly what problem your technology will solve or what need it will fill for your prospects, they will likely shrug and ask themselves, Who cares?
  3. Avoid too much detail. For instance, most merchants don't care about how encryption works. If you get into the nuts and bolts of public and private keys and Triple DES, even folks who like math are likely to bail on you. Keep it simple. If you don't, you'll risk boring or frustrating your readers. This can lead them to conclude that your company is boring, as well.
  4. Dispense with large blocks of text. Keep readers engaged; don't lull them to sleep. Write short paragraphs. Vary sentence length. And use graphics or headers to illustrate concepts, emphasize important points and further break up text.
  5. Create a sense of urgency. Describe a compelling threat you can thwart (fraud, for example); offer a significant discount for a limited time; offer a valuable, free report to people who sign up for your newsletter; to name just a few examples.
  6. Include calls to action. At minimum, prominently display current contact information. And ask people to call, email or connect on social media. A phone number should swiftly direct people to someone who will help them. If callers encounter an array of voicemail options, or if they get stuck on hold, you'll end up with frustrated people who may hang up before speaking with anyone. In the online realm, provide buttons to press for live chat, more information, special offers, freebies and newsletters.
end of article

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