Monthly Archives: January 2010

Easy to understand product and user manuals

“10 good reasons why your product or user manual should not be written by you!”

Many people think that because they know their product inside out that they, or one of their employees, are the best person to write the user manual. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here are 10 good reasons why you should not write your own product or user manual:
  1. You know your product too well. This causes you to assume a certain base line knowledge which others may not have.
  2. You tend to think in terms of features not benefits and although this is not a sales pitch you need to come from the same headspace as your customer and they want to implement the benefits your product offers.
  3. You see the bigger picture and not the smaller steps that may be needed.
  4. It’s difficult for you to be objective about your product the way your customer will be.
  5. A professionally written manual will save you money due to a reduction in customer help enquiries
  6. A well-written, easy to understand manual can reduce warranty claims due to the fact that your customers, use, store and maintain the product correctly.
  7. Great product manuals yield satisfied customers because they don’t get frustrated trying to use the product…
  8. … and that leads to valuable word-of-mouth product endorsements and the likelihood of increased sales.
  9. A well-written, authoritative manual adds to the status of your product as a professionally produced product that can be trusted.
  10. A well-written manual enhances customer satisfaction and promotes brand loyalty.
Save money on reduced enquiries and warranty claims and let The Copywriter Online write your next product or user manual.

Contact us for a quote.

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Noticeable Newsletters

Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your customers and stay “top-of-mind”.

All savvy marketers use newsletters. Why? Because they can help to build relationships with customers and potential customers. A regular newsletter from you will keep your business in the mind of the customer so that when they come to the part of the buying cycle where they’re ready to buy, they’ll think of you.

What’s more, because all newsletter lists have to be “opt-in” lists, all of your subscribers are qualified leads so you can target your message more easily.

The down side

There is a down side to sending regular newsletters. In fact there are two. The first is that they are labour intensive. Someone has to spend the time thinking of something to write and then they have to write it.

The second is that if the content is not relevant, clearly written and interesting, it won’t get read. It’s a real challenge to send a regular newsletter with fresh, interesting content.

The solution

The solution is to engage a professional copywriter to write the copy and to advise on new and interesting topics to include in the newsletter. Newsletters are wonderful marketing tools so don’t throw away your investment in managing your list by sending out a humdrum publication that no one is going to read. Make the most of this opportunity to speak to your target audience. Contact The Copywriter Online to talk about your newsletter today.

Paper vs email newsletters

There are pros and cons to both. On the pro side, e-newsletters are cheap to send and cheap to put together; the major con being that they won’t reach customers who don’t have email.

The pro side of paper newsletters is that you can reach people who don’t use the internet and paper is easier to read than a computer screen. The major con here is cost. They can be very costly to produce and also to send.

A few e-newsletter tips

Make sure you have a great phrase for the subject line. “My company newsletter Issue No 4” just won’t cut it. Take the lead story and use that in your subject line. If you don’t, your newsletter may just go straight to the recycle bin!

Don’t make your newsletter too long. People don’t mind scrolling a bit but don’t make it longer than a full screen page and a half and don’t send it too often. We’ve received many interesting newsletters. Some which we really like to read but they come everyday or every week and we don’t have the time. In our view once every 3-4 weeks is an ideal frequency.

A few paper newsletter tips

Don’t make it too thick. People don’t have time to read another magazine. Many businesses think they are “adding value” by putting irrelevant, general interest items in their newsletters. They’re not. What are they are doing is making the relevant information harder to find and increasing the likelihood that it won’t be read.

Put an easy-to-follow table of contents on the right of the first page. Put some advertisements in for your own products or services as well as the articles and include response devices in them.

Take the pain out of your next newsletter and improve its response rate by letting The Copywriter Online write it for you. Contact us today!

Telling it like it is – the art of public speaking

Everyone knows that speaking in public is challenging…

Some people find it exhilarating and others just want to curl up and die. Either way, it is easier to do if you have a well-written, well-rehearsed speech.

As a past president of a Toastmaster’s International branch,  I am well-placed to help you, not only with your speech but also with a few tips and tricks to overcome nerves and increase your confidence.

The audience wants to hear what you have to say

Unless you’re on the hustings or you’re a PR Manager in damage control then it is important to realise that most of the audience starts off by wanting to hear what you have to say.

Engage their interest

If you can engage their interest and a build a rapport with them in the first few minutes then the rest should be plain sailing. This is where a good speech writer can be invaluable. A strong opening to your speech will set the tone for the rest of the delivery.

What makes a good speech?

Good speeches have several features in common. These are:

  • They are not overlong
  • They establish a rapport with the audience quickly
  • They are not read
  • They have been well-rehearsed
  • They are interesting
  • They use language the audience can understand – this means that for a generalist audience you would not use jargon or technical terms without explanation.
  • They have a beginning, a middle, and an end
  • They leave the audience with something to ponder – it could be a challenge, a joke or a new way of looking at something.
Make a memorable speech

Whatever the occasion, make your next speech memorable and ask The Copywriter Online to write it for you. We can help you with Business Presentations, Luncheon or After Dinner Speeches and Information Events. Contact The Copywriter Online to talk about your next speech.

Add a blog to your site

Bring your website “alive” with a blog

Blogs are great for keeping your site up-to-date and as a tool for regularly communicating with your target audience. They don’t have to be lengthy, even a couple of paragraphs once a week is sufficient to maintain the relationship with your customers and potential customers.

What is a blog anyway? OK, I know by now most people know but just in case you don’t…

A blog is an online journal. It’s what you’re reading now. The name derived from web log. Blogs make your website interactive and interesting instead of just a series of electronic brochures. You get to hear what your customers like and dislike. You get to respond and you get sales leads. Technorati – a site devoted to publishing the latest blog contents as they hit cyber space – currently tracks 112.8 million blogs! So you can see that if you’re not blogging then you’re conceding the ground to your competitors.

The pros and cons of blogs

As with anything there are pros and cons to incorporating a blog onto your site. Here is a list to help you evaluate their usefulness to your business:

Pros
  • they make your site more interesting
  • they allow you to interact with your customers
  • they let you react to things quickly
  • they have an immediacy that a static site doesn’t have
  • they provide you with sales leads
  • they let you see into the minds of your customers allowing to you develop products and services that they really want
Cons
  • they take time to research
  • they take time to write
  • they make your site look dated if you don’t post regularly
The Copywriter Online can blog for you

Most business people are time poor and a blog comes a long way down their priority list. We like to make life easy for our customers and that’s why we offer a blogging service. We can write – and research too, if required – your blog for you. Call us today for a quote on your blog and bring your website up-to-date.

You can choose to have a well-written website…

or you can choose one that ranks well with search engines…

or one that sells…

If you want all three we can help you, but it’s your choice.

There are several factors that decide how well your site ranks with the search engines. One of them is search engine optimised (seo) copy. So, if you’re looking for well-written copy that assists with search engine ranking AND that sells, then we can help.

1. Don’t sacrifice effective selling copy in order to rank well – you need both!

Some seo copywriters sacrifice the selling effectiveness and communication component of their copy just to get a good search engine ranking. Don’t do it! It’s a waste of time and money. There’s no point having thousands of visitors to your site if you can’t convert any of them into customers. Make sure you hire an seo copywriter who can write to sell as well.

2. Get ahead of your competition

With professional seo copywriting your website can be an effective tool for gaining more business; for communicating with your existing and potential customers; and for selling more of your products and services.

3. Ask us about other seo strategies…

At The Copywriter Online we can advise you on other techniques and strategies that you can employ to legitimately raise your search engine profile. Contact us today and ask us for a quote to write seo copy and web content for your website. Read our testimonials to see what our customers think of us.

Is your website actively selling your products or services?

The content of your website is more important than the way it looks!

Don’t get me wrong! It is important that your website looks professional and attracts your target audience. However, it’s even more important that your message is clear, interesting and persuasive. The New Year is a great time to take a look at your site and see if it’s really performing the way you would like it to.
Many businesses spend thousands of dollars on fancy looking sites that don’t sell well. Why? Because the content is poor. It doesn’t engage with the website visitor. It doesn’t interest them, it doesn’t tell them what they want to know and it doesn’t encourage them to stay.

Amateur vs Professional

No company would pay thousands of dollars for a double page spread in a glossy magazine and then let an amateur come up with the concept, the copy and the design. So why do they do that very same thing with their websites? Writing copy for the web is an art and a science. I have done a lot of research into what works and what doesn’t and I can help you to make the most of your investment in your site.

Your website is a promotional tool

A website is a promotional tool. It shouldn’t just be a “presence”. Most businesses invest large sums of money in their sites and they don’t see a return on that investment. Let me help you to communicate with your customers by writing web content that is clear, easy-to-read and relevant.

Don’t throw thousands of dollars of web investment away for the want of a few hundred dollars worth of professionally written content.

Know when and where to spend your business dollars

There are places where you can save money by doing things yourself and there are others where you need to call in the professionals. Make sure you know which is which. If dollars are tight but you know that you need professional copywriting then do some of the legwork yourself to reduce your costs. If the copywriter has to do a lot of research then the job is obviously going to be more expensive than if you give them a full, properly written brief. (If you don’t know how to brief a copywriter click here for details.)

Happy New Year! Make it prosperous with a website that really works!