by Nancy J. Wagner
Good writing requires more than just putting words, sentences and paragraphs together.
A good writer must also be marketing-savvy and know how to speak to your target audience. When our clients give us a copywriting project, we request as much information as we can to we can provide effective, sales-oriented copy that makes people want to read and buy. Give your writer as much of the following information as you can, and you’re bound to get copy that not only meets your expectations, but you’ll have content that is truly compelling!
Company information – Provide your writer with copies of your past and current marketing materials such as brochures, sales pieces, ads, and articles. Give her your Web site address and copies of testimonials from your customers. Not only will this provide background information on and the history of your company, but you can also explain which previous marketing efforts have and haven’t worked.
Competitor materials – Give your writer as much information as you can about your competitors, including samples of their sales and marketing materials. Tell her what you like and dislike about this information, and explain what sets your company apart from your competition.
Samples of style and tone you like – Read an interesting brochure lately? Liked the way an ad was written? If you want your materials to be written in a similar style, give your writer samples of these pieces so she has a place to start. If you don’t have a preference, ask to see samples of your writer’s past work so you can indicate which styles you’d like to emulate.
Purpose of your materials – Tell your writer about the outcome you want from the materials. Do you want to encourage prospects to call, let them know you’ll be contacting them, or want them to request more information? Do you want them to visit your Web site for further details or do you want to make an immediate sale or introduce another product? When your writer knows the final objective of the piece, she can make every word count towards that end.
Benefits – Explain to your writer the benefits of the products and services as the customer sees them.
Market Characteristics – Provide your writer with your target market’s characteristics, including their likes and dislikes, age, sex, marital status, level of education, interests, and income level. You’ll likely have additional characteristics that your writer should know about to further refine the writing of your materials.