7 rules of engagement

No, this post has nothing to do with Valentine’s day, engagement rings or marriage proposals. Engagement is what effective copy writing triggers in your potential customers. It engages them, it makes them relate, it helps them develop awareness, convictions, desires, decision-making processes and, finally, action. Or so it should. Engaging is what effective copy writing should be.

Thanks to the science of psychology we now know what goes on inside people’s heads and how to make them look favorably upon our products/services in an ethical way. Content that’s vivid, titillating, and relevant to the reader will always have an impact and stay with them longer. That is a general rule of thumb. Another thing you should always consider is who you’re writing for and what your purpose/goal/objective is. Are you merely trying to inform or are you looking to elicit a response (usually, a purchasing decision)?

If you are translating advertising copy, you have to keep in mind the following:

1. Number 1 rule in writing for advertising is FOLLOW THE “AIDA” PRINCIPLE.

This girl is your best friend. AIDA = Attention – Interest – Desire – Action.  Always organize your text so that you capture your audience’s attention, get them interested, stir desire and make them act upon it.

I bet you’re burning to find out what the remaining six are ;-).  As promised…

My six remaining rules have to do with the craft of writing per se:

2.  Use strong, tangible imagery (vivid, palpable words)

3.  Write in the affirmative (what springs to mind when I tell you to NOT think about a red balloon? Exactly. The red balloon itself. What concept takes shape in your brain when I mention that someone’s services are NOT expensive? That’s right. Expensive. So if you want people to remember what is truly great about you, avoid negations. Hey, whaddaya know, I just did 🙂 ).

4. Short and poignant writing (concise, clear and simple sentences; no longer than 10 words, with an average of 2 syllables/word – but be flexible and relaxed about this. Getting the right message across in an original and exciting fashion is paramount – Rules are for people, not the other way around.)

5.  Use action words (they’re dynamic and invite to action – action words impact people).

6.  Use specific and concrete wording, replete with positive associations (laws of association or conditioned response mean anything to you? Hit those Psych 101 books!).

7.  Structure your thinking and focus your writing in logical order (makes it easier to follow, interpret and understand).

Oh, and remember: always always check your spelling!  (which is what I’m going to do right now ;-)).

So if you’re in the market for deft translations and compelling copy, by all means get in touch with me!

Mitten ins Schwarze treffen mit gewandten Übersetzungen und raffinierten Texten. Kontaktieren Sie mich jetzt!

Have a nice day!

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