Is it Time for a Copywriting Face Lift?

I just had to laugh! During a recent conversation about how often you should change your copy, I had one person tell me “Well, if there were any good copywriters out there, they’d be able to write it once, and it would work forever!” Oh really? Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is extremely rare for advertising copy to last for extended periods of time. Changing your copy is a given, the reason being that people and events change. Since we, as copywriters, are reaching our customers on an emotional level, we have to stay in tune with what’s going on in their lives and their worlds. Let’s look at an example.

Say you rent mailing lists. Your primary benefit might be that you have the largest lists available offering a minimum of 100,000 names per category. Things are going great, and you’re renting lists like wildfire. But then – right in the middle of your success – the postal service increases rates substantially.

All of a sudden, your rentals begin to drop dramatically. Here you are screaming about the largest lists available anywhere, and your customer is thinking about how much his postage expense is going to skyrocket.

The businesses you rent lists to are now very concerned. What *used* to be your biggest benefit is now your biggest deterrent. Your customers no longer want to rent lists that have a minimum of 100,000 names. Instead, they’d love to be able to rent much smaller lists – in the 5,000 to 10,000 quantity range. Yep! You guessed it. It’s time to change your copy, USP and all!

Any number of aspects can cause a change in focus for your target customer, and therefore a need to rewrite your copy. Here are some of the more common ones for businesses:

  • New tax laws
  • New mandatory expenses (such as a postage increase)
  • Starting a new business
  • Closing a business
  • Stock price increase
  • Stock price decrease

Business to consumer sales can be affected, too. Personal circumstances that change every day include:

  • Buying a new home
  • Retiring
  • Getting married
  • Getting divorced
  • Having a baby
  • Receiving a tax refund
  • Receiving an inheritance

What do I recommend? Twice a year, take a good, long look at your copy. What has changed in your marketplace? What laws, regulations, or events have been implemented or have taken place? Will these things have an impact on your customers? How will you respond to them?

Take that information and compare it to what your current copy says. Is your message clear? Are there benefits you need to update or change? Is your copy still making the most positive impact on your potential customers that it can?

If not, don’t hesitate to make changes. After all, your copy is your key to new customers and repeat customers. And, as I said in the beginning, hardly any copy will last forever. Eventually, everybody is due for a copy facelift.

Want a quick and easy way to learn web & SEO copywriting? Get Karon’s self-paced Step-by-Step Copywriting Course.  Lessons, examples and answers walk you through every aspect of writing expert-level copy for your site. Get details, watch videos & more at http://www.CopywritingCourse.com.

(c) 2011, Karon Thackston, All Rights Reserved

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About Karon Thackston

For over 25 years, web & SEO copywriter Karon Thackston has created optimized copy and content that has increased conversions & search rankings. Find out more about Karon on Google+.

Comments

  1. Yikes, you definitely have to account for changing market conditions when writing copy. Copy is written at one point in time, and market conditions change everyday!

    Great controls can last for many years. But there are all types of variables that can change that, like you pointed out. One of those things is your competition – if a new company comes out of nowhere to compete with your business, you may need new copy to differentiate.

    Just think Blockbuster Vs. Netflix or Redbox. Gotta change with the changing market conditions.

  2. Jamie Fairbairn says:

    This is a very good point you raise – I just wish it was easy to convince clients they need to do this regularly.

    There are so many sites out there that have been around for 10 years or so and haven’t changed a word.

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