NOVEMBER 2018 2
From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.
The Power of Clarity
Ask a bunch of direct marketers and direct response copywriters, “what’s the most important thing in direct marketing?” and you’ll get a lot of different answers.
The list. The offer. Proof. Testing. Headlines.
And so on …
All of the above must be there.
But here’s something you rarely hear. THE POWER OF CLARITY.
In the branding world, obtuse and obscure ads are still popular. I’m certain you can think of examples. These ads are clever and super-intelligent and there’s no way to determine their success or otherwise. That's exactly how people in branding want it. These ads often win prizes handed out by people are interested in producing obtuse and obscure ads.
But in direct marketing, we’re all about clarity … or we should be.
I routinely see direct marketing advertising where the benefits, features, and the offer are not totally clear. I work extremely hard on making sure my copy is totally clear.
The reader must INSTANTLY understand exactly what’s going on, and, most importantly, what’s in it for them when it comes to the product or service.
Look at my work for my clients and it might seem overly simplistic. I keep the headline clean and clear. I organize the copy so the scanner “gets” what is happening right away. And in the body of the copy, I make totally certain the reader fully understands what he/she will get in return for their money and/or information.
I get this desire for clarity from the work of Gary Bencivenga and Clayton Makepeace. Their copy is always crystal clear. You can easily find examples of their work online.
The next time you’re watching network TV, pay attention to the clever, obtuse, and obscure ads. You’ll see plenty of them. Then switch to QVC and you’ll see total clarity. At QVC, they measure their annual revenue in the BILLIONS. Look at other ads, direct or branding. Is everything extremely easy to understand?
Here’s a reason my copy resonates with potential customers and motivates them to try a product or service. CLARITY.
Before your ad goes live, ask yourself, “is everything totally clear?”
All the best,