What is the point of your writing?

March 22, 2012 by

What do you want your HVAC Newsletter to Do for You?

What is your goal?  Do you want customers to like you better?  Do you want them to be entertained?  Do you want them to call you when they have heating or cooling problems and recommend you to their friends?  Do you want them to buy something-- filters, humidifiers, EVR's?

Before you start writing, have a goal in mind.

Goal Oriented Writing

I wrote a home page for an attorney recently.  He was new to copywriters… and took the copy to his staff meeting for review. That wanted to revise it and make the tone more academic and informational.  But the goal was to get readers to call in and be helped.  I was reminded anew how each kind of writing has its own feel and own goals.

With each form, you need to begin with the end in mind.  What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?  Do you want people to be informed?  Do you want them to laugh? Do you want them to make a decision to change their lives?

Until you know what you hope to achieve… you won't succeed.

Once you know what you want, every word you write needs to evoke images, promises, benefits, and emotions to accomplish that goal.  And each type of writing has written and unwritten rules to help you do that.  If you write to educate, you tell the facts up front.  If you do that with a murder mystery… you may have it solved by the second page.

You likely write academic literature with long words and complex phrases.  If you write web pages the same way… you’ll lose your reader in a nanosecond.

As you write articles for your HVAC newsletter or website you are a word artist.  Know your canvas-- the size and length of your piece.  Know your paints or medium—the kind of writing you are doing… and its purpose.  And finally, know your brush strokes—the word choices that create the masterpiece.

If you choose to write copy that invites readers to decide—at that moment—to make a change in their lives, that copy draws on certain words and rules.

You paint a picture of where they are now and where they want to be.   You show them how what you’re offering will perform that change for them.  And you promise benefits.  And… you use vivid imagery.

Look at these choices.  Decide which is more powerful A. or B?

A. Each time Sally got her energy bill she cringed.  Then she turned the heat down another degree.  She couldn't afford the heat and she didn't want to freeze.  What could she do? Maybe it was time to learn more about Energy Star rebates.

B.  Take a look at these six options for reducing your electric bill.

A. What will you do when the power goes out?  You're left in the cold and the dark!

B. Here is a report that evaluates the features and benefits of  back-up generators.

A. Is the air we breathe killing us? A new study shows most people breath in 43 cancer causing chemicals, 157 pollutants, and as many as 10 million pollen spores—with every breath!

B. The air we breathe is loaded with pollens, pollutants, and cancer causing chemicals.

Which is the stronger choice?  A or B?  Often the best choice is specific, focused, and tells a story.  It may also use shorter sentences or shorter words making it easy for busy readers to capture the information.

As you think about your articles and stories in your newsletter, know your goals.  Consider the “so what?” factor.  Why will readers want to read this… or to know this?

Honor your readers.  Write what matters to them.  Use the words, the information, and the format that will resonate with them.  Then they will like you, trust you, and buy from you.

If you need help making your words powerful, let me help you.

 

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