Recently, I heard a news report about “Artic goo.” Apparently there is some nasty, algae-type material floating around the North Pole. As the camera panned the ocean, this goo was floating on the water’s surface, leaving a disfiguring wound on an otherwise pristine natural setting.
Being a copy cosmetic geek, I couldn’t help making the mental connection of how many people add a similar type of nasty goo to their copywriting and marketing design, in an effort to grab attention or even worse, make a half-hearted attempt to copy somebody else’s work.
The copywriting “goo” I am talking about is a misuse of the copy cosmetic techniques I teach and similar to the Artic goo, it takes away rather than adds to the effort. Whenever I speak or coach a mastermind member, I always go back to what I call “functional design.”
This means every copy cosmetic technique used has a specific and functional purpose in mind. Everything is done with intention and careful thought. Nothing is done haphazardly.
Here’s a perfect example of what I am talking about. Since I created CopyDoodles®, people all over the world have grasped the power of how adding handwritten notes and doodles to your marketing materials can boost response. However, too often I see what I consider a misuse of CopyDoodles, which I believe can result in decreased response rather than a boost!
Here’s the three biggest blunders I see:
1) Using too many CopyDoodles! The big benefit of CopyDoodles® is to create “eye stops”, grab attention and cause the reader to pause at particular locations within your copy. When too many CopyDoodles are used, it only confuses the reader. I always say “overuse = abuse” ; when everything is emphasized, nothing stands out.
2) Using too many styles of CopyDoodles at one time! Currently there are five different styles of CopyDoodles found on the CopyBoosters membership site. This means, if one so desired, five different looking handwriting styles could be used on one piece or web site.
BIG MISTAKE! Again I go back to one of the reasons I created CopyDoodles®, which is to help people create their own “handwritten notes and doodles” quickly and easily and most importantly realistically! This is a key point – realism.
If you were actually adding your own handwritten notes, you wouldn’t be writing in different styles and handwriting – would you? This would make it appear as if multiple people are adding a note, which doesn’t make sense, therefore why do it with CopyDoodles? I highly suggest you use one style of CopyDoodles within a particular marketing piece.
3) Using too many colors! Much like mistake #2, using too many colors is often distracting and unnecessary. It creates the false illusion you picked up different colored pens to make your notes.
I don’t know about you, but the thought of picking up different pens to add notes to a letter I am writing to a friend doesn’t make sense. If it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t seem real.
This brings me to my final point. Effective copywriters understand one of their main missions is to connect with the reader in a personal, 1:1 way. I often teach it’s similar to writing a friend.
Might you add a doodle here and there to draw attention to areas within your copy? Absolutely!
Would you make your letter look like a wall of graffiti, with different handwriting and different colors and way too much goo? I think not.
Keep these principles in mind when you craft your next marketing piece and watch your response rates soar!