Copy + Design = Great Presentation

December 5th 2013       Sally Ormond       copywriter, design and copy, how to present your copy

This blog first appeared on our sister blog, Freelance Copywriter’s Blog


Ask any professional copywriter and they’ll tell you the power of persuasion lies within the copy of any piece of marketing material. Ask any designer and they’ll tell you it is the eye-catching design that will sway the reader.

So who’s right?

Well in a way they both are. Let me explain.

Your audience wants to be seduced; they want to be wooed by high quality sales messages that are not only engaging when read, but that also look the business.

Let’s face it, a glossy mailing that arouses curiosity is more likely to be read than a folded piece of A4 paper covered in Courier font that’s splattered with italics, bold words and underlining.

Admittedly, these letters do work in some markets, but personally I can’t stand the things and always launch them bin-wards when they arrive through my door (or if it’s on a website I navigate away faster than a fast thing).

But there’s no getting away from the fact that a quality mailing will give a better return.


Words and design go hand in hand

The main trick for any mailing is to ensure the copy and the design marry. For example, if you send out an elegant flyer that’s accompanied by text that’s very informal and more akin to something you’d expect to find in a text message (extreme example), it won’t work.

Or will it?

Perhaps that sort of disparity would work – it would certainly get your mailing noticed and talked about.

And, after all, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Getting noticed?

There’s a challenge for someone – to come up with an elegant ‘up market’ style flyer that contains text-speak language. I’d love to see the results.

The same goes for copy.

Why are there so many people out there who feel the desperate need to flag up the tiniest of errors just because they can? No one is perfect (nope, not even me) and errors do happen.

But there are some copywriters who will even – shock horror – make spelling or grammatical errors on purpose.

A well-placed typo can bring attention to a key point; flouting the rules of grammar can have the same effect – after all, rules are there to be broken aren’t they? And people have been breaking grammatical rules for centuries.

Of course there is a huge difference between a well-placed faux pas and an ignorant and careless mistake.


Your reputation in your hands

What it comes down to is your mailing, or whatever form of marketing you care to mention, holds the key to your customers’ perception of your company.

It’s human nature to judge ‘a book by its cover’ (please excuse the cliché) and however hard you try not to, you won’t be able to help yourself.

So one sloppy mistake, one misjudged mailing, one ill written letter, will tarnish your business forever (well, for quite a while anyway).


Tags: copywriter, design and copy, how to present your copy
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