Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Who are You Calling a Moron

A recent confabulate with a friend reminded me of a copywriting lesson I learned long ago, in a topographic point far-far manner (Philly): Never affront your audience. Easier said than done? Perhaps. We cognize there's a mulct line between abusive your audience and completely alienating them. Thank Supreme Being there's a solution:

Give your transcript the "moron" test. I learned this during my years at a big business-to-business newsletter publication company. We'd give our newspaper headlines a diagnostic test to see if we could set an abusive name at the end of them - in bend violent death off the headline.

Here's an example:

Have You Complied with hour 1091?

Try adding "moron" to the end of that question. Flows pretty nicely doesn't it? It's almost like you're a school instructor with a ruler standing over the reader.

You can change it to:

HR 1091 Requires Conformity by Jan. 1

Using this fact-based attack allows the reader inquire his or her ain conformity questions. Give the information or the source of an thought and let the reader to follow up on his or her own. We desire to animate thought and then subtly direct action.

Though I gave a newspaper headline as an example, you can use the "moron" diagnostic test to any portion of your copy, especially any questions.

What's the difference between an abuse and a gentle jog in your merchandise or service's direction? I've seen a few political campaigns (via e-mail) where it's obvious the end is to shame the reader into action. An e-mail Iodine recently received from expert e-mail marketer, Sir Leslie Stephen Franklin Pierce of the Whole Truth read, "Have you done this yet?"

Moron could easily be added to the end of that question. And though he didn't desire to insult, he did desire to acquire the reader's attending - and that's just what he did. The well-written letter that accompanied that subject line was a gemstone - no uncertainty winning Sir Leslie Stephen dozens of sign-ups for his tele-seminar.

The Bottom Line

You'll have got to weigh whether your audience have no scruples about being called a idiot (or a silent person as the lawsuit may be). So measurement your audience's reaction to different tones of voice of voice and approaches. Use these stairway to make a diagnostic test grouping of endorsers to seek out your more than originative e-mail newsletters and campaigns:

1. Randomly garner 15 to 20 name calling from your listing and only direct them your more than option political campaigns while sending the remainder of your listing more traditional information.

2. Ask you prove grouping for feedback on the campaigns.

3. Monitor the group's actions. Bash they unsubscribe, chink through, or just unfastened your e-mails?

4. Integrate some of your more than successful thoughts into the traditional information you give the remainder of your list.

This manner you have got a relatively safe topographic point to prove out your tones of voice of voice. With this technique you can happen out whether your listing loves - or detests - the whole moron/dummy attack to marketing.

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