Tag Archives: guides

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!

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.

Commonsense Marketing

Despite what some people will tell you, marketing isn’t rocket science! If you use commonsense, perseverance and diligence then you can implement a marketing system that will work for your business.

Target, measure, evaluate and refine. The four most important words in marketing!

Do you know which of your marketing initiatives work and which don’t? Do you know how well they work and do you know how to capitalise on them?

Too much to do, too little time!

This is the problem most businesses face these days. They are so busy running their businesses that they don’t have the time to market their businesses well or consistently. That’s why it’s often useful to employ a professional marketing communications consultant to do the work for you.

Targeting

Many small businesses have a hit and miss approach to marketing. They spend time, money and effort on direct mail and other marketing campaigns yet they don’t put enough care into targeting them properly. Consequently they experience poor to indifferent results.

Measuring

There are several ways of measuring the success of a marketing or advertising campaign but they should all involve the dollar value received vs the dollars outlaid. Many businesses will just note how many enquiries they got from a particular campaign rather than how much revenue the campaign generated. This information is vital because it tells you how accurately you are targeting your communications.

Evaluating and refining

Evaluating a campaign is important to allow for fine tuning. It is important to refine either the message, the medium or the offer in light of what your evaluation reveals.

Follow up

This is an area where many businesses fall down. They go to a lot of expense and effort and then they don’t follow up their leads properly or enough. There are lots of examples where companies have run campaigns, people have responded asking for sales information and yet they never receive it!

Marketing system

This marketing system is based on the perpetual feedback loop of target, measure, evaluate and refine. At The Copywriter Online we can help you to implement it, or we can implement it for you. You are in control at all times.

Well-written material adds value

If you export or import into English speaking countries and the written material supporting your product or services is written by non-native English speakers, then chances are that you are not realising the full potential of your business. If the quality of the written English is poor then your products or services are perceived as being inferior even though they may not be.

Increase the price potential of your product

If you want to increase your sales and the price you can ask for your products then you need good quality, English written materials. A good quality product with a poorly written English manual will never achieve its price potential.

Cost/benefit analysis

It’s tempting to say that price is king and that by employing a copywriter you’ll be increasing your overheads. That’s not the whole truth though. A poorly written manual can result in many more support calls and product returns than a clearly written one with easy-to-follow instructions. A copywriting fee is a one-off investment; support calls and product returns are ongoing burdens on your business.

This article was written by Munaiba Khan of The Copywriter Online, an online business that offers professional copywriting by native English speakers.

How to get the best from your copywriter

The best way to get the best work from your copywriter is to give her or him a complete, well-documented and detailed brief. I know this sounds obvious but so many times it doesn’t happen.

Copywriters are a bit like computers in one way…

Well I know that’s a bit tongue in cheek but they say of computers that if you put garbage in you get garbage out and something similar happens with copywriters. If you don’t tell them who your audience is; what your product or service is; what your competitive edge is, and in a fair amount of detail, then you’ll get a half-baked job.

Just stating the obvious?

Well you might think so, but so many times I get asked to write content for websites from a half-page email. I had one recently which I should have turned down from the start. I had a bad feeling about it but because I like to help people and also because this person had trouble expressing themselves in English, I tried to coax information from the prospective client. Eventually I got the half page email plus what was already on the site. I quoted and it was accepted but because of my instincts I said I would only write a small part to begin with to ensure that we understood the project. You know what happened. It all fell apart…

What to tell a copywriter

Because of this latest experience of wasting time and money I have decided to publish on my blog a detailed list of what you need to tell your copywriter to get the best from them. And other copywriters out there, feel free to add your comments to it, or use it as part of your brief requirements. I’ll try to make this list my next post on my return from a bit of well-earned R&R.

How to manage your blog content

In my preceding post – “Blogs – why you need one” – I said I’d address how to make sure you have adequate content for your blog. So here are my tips.

Tips for managing your blog content

You need to make sure that you add posts frequently or regularly (at least once per week). Here are some ideas:

  • Before you even start a blog, write down at least 30 topics you can write about – preferably perennial subjects that won’t date.
  • Once every month replace the number of topics you have used plus two more.
  • If topical material presents itself grab it and run with it.
  • Write decent length articles and then split them into two or three blog posts.
  • Check out other blogs in your area of interest and participate in any debates they have started – giving due credit of course.