How To Know Whether Your Copy Is Too Creative - Deliberate Ink

Can your audience spell it? I visit chief wordworker (and she really is a chief!) Nancy Friedman’s blog frequently, mainly to laugh at the gaffes other creative decision-makers have made in naming and marketing their businesses. Because I’ve never made a mistake like that, ever.

One of the most frequent elements Nancy calls out is spelling. Is it too much to ask that it not be so korny we don’t remember it’s spelled that way? Deformed syllables that you want to be pronounced as if they’re normal can easily send a Google search down the rabbit hole (“Saf” pronounced “Safe” just isn’t–not for your brand, anyway). 

Can your audience tell it’s meant for them? Lululemon added a quotation from Atlas Shrugged to its shopping bag in November. I probably would never have thought twice about it, because although I’m familiar with Ayn Rand’s philosophy, I’ve never read the book. But those who did got the message instantly, and I’m sure they spread the word just as fast.

It really doesn’t matter what I thought or didn’t think. I don’t buy $150 sweats.

Does it leave out the important parts? Your audience might be delighted by the tone and delivery of your copy–and then be irritated by a fruitless search for the nuts and bolts. Make sure you don’t overlook your contact information, an instruction manual, or something else essential to extending your relationship with an interested reader in your rush to make them happy.

Are readers reading but not acting? Copy that flows beautifully is fun to read, but that’s about all your customers will get from it if you don’t remember to reach deeper into their emotions for the button that gives them the urge to do something you want them to do.

What else can indicate copy is more play than work?

Photo credit: Eli Christman, courtesy Flickr, CC 2.0.

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