What is Tight Copy?

June 21st 2012       Sally Ormond       copywriter, copywriting tips, freelance copywriter, marketing tips

Tight copy?

Does that mean writing:


Tight copy is a way of writing a clear sales message that’s to the point – i.e. no superfluous waffle.

If you fill your copy with unnecessary adjectives and go round the houses before getting to the point (i.e. selling the product/service you’re writing about), your copy isn’t going to be very effective.

That’s why, before you get started, you need to plan what you’re going to write. Consider:

  • What you’re selling
  • To whom you’re selling
  • Why you’re selling it
  • What you want your reader to do

Once you have that straight, you can start to write.


Keeping your copy tight

As a copywriter I spend most of my time creating tight copy, so here are a few tips to bear in mind before you start writing.

1. Declutter

Everyone adds in unnecessary words when they write. But you’re unlikely to spot them until you read your copy back to yourself. Watch out for words like these:

  • Great
  • Some
  • Many
  • Right
  • Quite
  • Only
  • Even
  • Such
  • The
  • Got
  • That
  • Really
  • To
  • Actually

There are many others, but all can usually be cut from a sentence without distorting its meaning.

2. Three part lists

Rhetorical three part lists are a great way to drive your point home. Remember Tony Blair’s ‘Education, education, education’?

3. Second person

Using ‘you’ and ‘your’ in your copy makes it more personal and builds rapport with your reader, resulting in trust.

4. Features and benefits

You can waste a lot of time talking about the features of the product or service you’re trying to sell. But if you concentrate on the benefits, you’ll build a much stronger case encouraging the reader to buy.

5. Bullets

That’s as in bulleted lists, which draw the readers’ eye. So, if you place important information in a list (or in bold text) they are more likely to take it in.

6. Paragraphs

Short paragraphs are ideal. Long ones look boring, so usually get overlooked. Make your copy look easy to read and it will be read.

7. Read aloud

This a great way to spot errors and make sure your copy flows well.

Powerful, readable copy is all about keeping is simple, short and to the point.

Tags: copywriter, copywriting tips, freelance copywriter, marketing tips
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