Are You Responding Usefully to Your Customers?

So yesterday was one of those days….

You know the type; all day you spin and in the end you’re dizzy but not much else.

The day concluded around 7:30pm as we sat down for dinner and before taking one bite of his meal my partner, Dan, exclaims:  “all day you work your ass off and rather than get ahead you just fall farther behind…I think I’m done, I’m not sure I can do this anymore….”

Okay it wasn’t the best day, we had a few setbacks, mistakes were made that will end up costing money but I was kind of surprised by his admission; then I got a little angry, here’s why….

It’s Never As Bad As You Think It Is

Seriously, I’m not an eternal optimist.  I don’t walk around telling people to smile.  Usually folks tell me I ought to be smiling!

What I am is forward-thinking and when I hear someone say they are done, they feel like throwing in the towel, I get hyper-sensitive.

The world is a challenge, life is a challenge and add to that work challenges and family challenges it can feel overwhelming at times.  But it’s just a feeling.  Sure I was pretty upset with some of the issues that had come up during the day and it would be wrong to assume that anyone can shut off the emotional curb-feelers but my emotional reactions are just that…reactions.

Once you get the emotion out in the open the next steps are to regroup, consider, be grateful and work on the solution.  The absolute worst thing you can do is stew on it.  This goes back to one of my personal philosophies, ‘Shoulda Coulda Woulda’.

Should we have done a few things differently during the day?  YES.  Could we have prevented some of what happened during the day?  YES.  Do we wish we would have done things another way?  YES.

And recognizing that is good but dwelling on it is very, very bad.  You can’t go back.  You can only go forward.

When the crap hits the fan talking about it incessantly will certainly help one thing…keeping your emotions high and in control of your actions.

Taking steps to become forward thinking can not only solve your challenges, it can help you feel better faster.

NEXT STEPS

So let’s go over the next steps I’ve outlined and we’ll work through them using a hypothetical example.  For the example let’s say that we were scheduled to repair a computer, the part for the repair work came in but no one opened the box.  The customer arrived as scheduled to drop off her computer.  We promised it would be ready by 3:pm.  The computer sat on the counter until Noon when someone finally began work on it.  They opened the delivered parts box only to discover that what was in the box was the wrong part.  The vendor had sent the wrong thing.  Now we have a job that won’t get done on time, let alone done that day and we are going to have a really unhappy customer.

REGROUP

This is the first step.  The time when you step back and look at the events or circumstances.  This is a quick step.  You simply want to say here’s what went wrong.  You can voice your feelings over it but keep it simple.  For example:  “We screwed up by not checking in the shipment, now we’re gonna have a pissed off customer.”

CONSIDER

Next, we’ve already stated what went wrong, we know we can’t go back so let’s look at the options.  It would be bad to overlook the obvious…the need to implement a process so that all inventory is checked and confirmed instead of assuming.  I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me.  And sadly it’s happened more than once.

Then, let’s consider the fact that it could be worse.  Seriously.  Really look at the situation and consider the worst case.  I like to spend just a minute to remember that most of the time things could have been far worse.  At this point we still have an unhappy situation but there’s no reason to lose a customer over it.

Stopping to recognize that it’s not as bad as it could be helps to diffuse some of the negative emotional energy.

GRATITUDE

Ah yes, my favorite one.  Hey, at least we have a customer right? Right!  Time to take a second to appreciate what you do have, what is working and that mistakes happen.  This is a critical step; especially if you feel like throwing in the towel.

Usually one mistake does not create irreversible circumstances.  Be grateful.  Look around at what is good, you’ll get past the bad emotions so much faster and begin to look forward to the last step.

SOLUTION

Here is the most important step.  Fix it.  We can’t go back and reverse what has happened so why not spend some of that emotional energy on finding the best solution you can.  How can you turn the situation around?  How can you make it work out in your favor?

You might consider offering an extra service for the delay or perhaps a discount.  The worst phone call to a customer is the one where you have to tell them things aren’t going like they were supposed to.  Most of the time, if you are forthright and honest, customers will understand.  We’ve all been in situations where things don’t go as planned.

Do you have to offer something?  Nope.  But to offer something in return for the error just gives you an opportunity to be a superhero.  And in today’s economic climate when more and more businesses are pulling back from doing extra, you will definitely stand out.

In the end…

So I basically walked Dan through the steps.  Reminded him that yes, our mistake would cost some money but not our reputation.  That the issue could have been far worse.  That we need to find a way to prevent it from happening again, and that we should be grateful every single day because we’ve got such awesome customers and that the whole thing will likely not affect them at all.

The point is to keep looking forward and not back.  Things happen, sometimes within our control and sometimes not.  The most successful business folks know that solving problems quickly and moving on will reap the biggest rewards.

Choosing The Right Personality For Your Marketing Campaign

When thinking about adding personality to your marketing campaign there is really only one rule you need to follow, it is simply asking ‘who is my customer?’

Customer demographics or target market information is the key to understanding what will and won’t appeal to the customers you intend to target.  You must have a solid understanding of your main customer target.  Certainly we all have customers that fall outside of our defined market but what we want to target are those customers who are good buyers, our best customers.

Take a look at your client list, you’ll spot your best customers right away.  These people are loyal, they spend money with you and you enjoy working with them.  Now, who are they?  If necessary, refine your target market description to include these customers.

Aside from regular demographic info such as age, income, ethnicity, education and single vs. married, you’ll want to dig deeper and consider the psychographic elements of your customer as well.  Psychographic indicators are different from demograhic indicators in that they include things like consumer attitude and values as well as activities and interests.  Knowing and understanding these factors can greatly enhance your ability to reach your target customers.

Let’s use Porsche owners as an example.  Porsche North America uses psychographics to define its customers.  It breaks them into five different groups.  Two of those groups include the ‘driven, ambitious, want to be noticed’ owner and the ‘pride of ownership’ owner.  Two very different types of consumers buying the same product.  Now let’s assume I’m an aftermarket business selling ‘go fast’ chips for Porsche’s. The chips are priced at $699 each. Which personality campaign is going to work better for me?  Using Sally from the movie Cars as my main character selling ‘go fast’ chips.  Or using Angelina Jolie behind the wheel of a black Porsche?

The answer is…. it depends on which psychographic target you’re after.  We can safely assume that Angelina is gonna win especially with the ‘driven, ambitious’ owners who want to be noticed.  Going fast gets you noticed.  As for the other group, ‘pride of ownership’ owners tend to be very happy with their Porsche just as it because they’ve worked so hard to have it.  In this case, the Sally campaign will be more appealing. So our demographic profile doesn’t differentiate between our two different Porsche buyers but the psychographic profile does.

When it comes to adding personality to your marketing, it order for it to be effective, you must understand your customer on a greater level.  You need to dig a little deeper.  It’s worth the effort.  As we have previously discussed, finding a way to connect with your customer enhances their experience and increases their response to your message.

When thinking about adding personality to your marketing campaign there is really only one rule you need to follow, it is simply asking ‘who is my customer?’

Customer demographics or target market information is the key to understanding what will and won’t appeal to the customers you intend to target.  You must have a solid understanding of your main customer target. Certainly we all have customers that fall outside of our defined market but what we want to target are those customers who are good buyers; our best customers.

Take a look at your client list, you’ll spot your best customers right away. These people are loyal, they spend money with you and you enjoy working with them.  Now, who are they?  If necessary, refine your target market description to include these customers.

Aside from regular demographic info such as age, income, ethnicity, education and single vs. married, you’ll want to dig deeper and consider the psychographic elements of your customer as well.  Psychographic indicators are different from demographic indicators in that they include things like consumer attitude and values as well as activities and interests.  Knowing and understanding these factors can greatly enhance your ability to reach your target customers.

Let’s use Porsche owners as an example.  Porsche North America uses psychographics to define its customers.  It breaks them into five different groups.  Two of those groups include the ‘driven, ambitious, want to be noticed’ owner and the ‘pride of ownership’ owner.  Two very different types of consumers buying the same product.  Now let’s assume I’m an aftermarket business selling ‘go fast’ chips for Porsche’s. The chips are priced at $699 each. Which personality campaign is going to work better for me?  Using Sally from the movie Cars as my main character selling ‘go fast’ chips.  Or using Angelina Jolie behind the wheel of a black Porsche?

The answer is…. it depends on which psychographic target you’re after.  We can safely assume that Angelina is going to win especially with the ‘driven, ambitious’ owners who want to be noticed.  Going fast gets you noticed.  As for the other group, ‘pride of ownership’ owners tend to be very happy with their Porsche just as it is because they’ve worked so hard to have it.  In this case, the Sally campaign will be more appealing. So our demographic profile doesn’t differentiate between our two different Porsche buyers but the psychographic profile does.

When it comes to adding personality to your marketing, in order for it to be effective, you must understand your customer on a deeper level.  You need to dig a little deeper.  It’s worth the effort.  Finding a way to connect with your customer enhances their experience and increases their response to your message.

Micro Niche Finder Review – Micro Niche Finder Bonus

Mar

28

Micro Niche Finder Review – Micro Niche Finder Bonus

By

wizard

Micro Niche Finder Review

Have you been thinking about getting the Micro Niche Finder keyword tool? If so then you will definitely want to read this Micro Niche Finder review that will help you understand what you can expect when you get your hands on this amazing tool.

Micro Niche Finder Review – What Is Micro Niche Finder?

Micro Niche Finder which is also referred to as MNF is a complete all-in-one keyword tool that will help any internet marketer with their keyword and niche research. One of the great things about this tool is that it will help speed up the process of uncovering profitable and untapped niche markets and keywords that you can begin targetting.

The software was created by James J. Jones and has become extremely popular among several SEO marketers and webmasters. If you are tired of doing your keyword research the old fashioned way using the free Google keyword tool and want to speed things up by using the Micro Niche Finder keyword tool; then you will love this software. However if you have been told that it is a must have for you to succeed online; then people are lying to you. It is possible to uncover some great keywords using the free Google Keyword tool; however be prepared to spend an afternoon searching for your keywords and niches.

How To Use Micro Niche Finder

Learning how to use Micro is extremely easy and the best part is that it comes with video tutorials that will walk you through the entire process if you get confused. When you open up the software you will be able to enter your seed keyword that you want to do some research on.

MNF will go out and dig the search engines based on the keyword that you entered. When the results come back it will come back with related search terms and keywords based on the keyword that you entered into the search box. You will see several stats such as competition strength (SOC) as well as the commercial value of the word.

One of the best features is the SOC feature which is used to show you how much competition that particular keyword has; this can cut down your time on trying to go after keywords or niches that have way too much competition. If the competition is too strong then it will show up as red; however a green mark may be prove that you just found an easy keyword that you can rank for.

Another great statistic that you will get when you use this keyword tool is the number of searches that the word gets in Google per month. This alone will help you determine if it is worth your time.

Micro Niche Finder Review Other Great Features

While MNF is known to be able to uncover some amazing golden nuggets that you can begin building profitable sites from; it is also known for its capability of being able to
find affiliate programs that you can begin marketing for the keywords that you just uncovered.

This means that you will not have to struggle to find affiliate products that you can promote. You will also love the fact that it comes with lifetime updates and support.

Micro Niche Finder Review My Conclusion

Micro Niche Finder is an invaluable keyword tool if you have the money to invest in a keyword tool. If you are not ready to invest in this type of product; then we suggest that you use the free Google keyword tool to help you continue your online marketing strategies. It has been one of the best purchases that I have made that has helped me save a lot of time in my internet marketing journey.

So if you have been wondering how much Micro Niche Finder costs; then you should know that it is going to cost you $99 to get lifetime access to it. Remember the great thing is that once you purchase the software you will own it forever without ever having to spend anything else. Do not forget that when you get the software from this site; I am offering some great bonuses that you can use anyway that you want that are worth way more than this software.

Micro Niche Finder Vs Market Samurai

So many people want to know what the difference is between Micro Niche Finder and Market Samurai. Both are great tools to have; however if you do not have the money to invest in both; then you may need to do your due diligence on both before you invest your hard earned money. The best thing that we can tell you to do is to read this Market Samurai review to find out everything that this amazing all in one tool does.

Micro Niche Finder Bonus

Just like anything else that you purchase from my site; you will be happy to know that I am offering a great Micro Niche Finder bonus that will help you grow your online business.

How To Qualify For The Micro Niche Finder Bonus

Qualifying for the Killer Micro Niche Finder Bonus is extremely easy! All you have to do is order from my affiliate link; before you place your order you will want to clear your cookies. To find out how to clear your cookies read this. After you make your purchase you will want to Forward your receipt of purchase or receipt number via the contact form on this site. With the subject “Product Name Order Number” Bonus. I will then check the completed order against my records and then send you all the information and download links for your bonuses; after your Micro Niche Finder purchase through my link.

Visit Official Micro Niche Finder Site

Categories : SEO Marketing

Feel Like Throwing in the Towel? 4 Steps for Pulling It Back Out!

So yesterday was one of those days….

You know the type; all day you spin and in the end you’re dizzy but not much else.

The day concluded around 7:30pm as we sat down for dinner and before taking one bite of his meal my partner, Dan, exclaims:  “all day you work your ass off and rather than get ahead you just fall farther behind…I think I’m done, I’m not sure I can do this anymore….”

Okay it wasn’t the best day, we had a few setbacks, mistakes were made that will end up costing money but I was kind of surprised by his admission; then I got a little angry, here’s why….

It’s Never As Bad As You Think It Is

Seriously, I’m not an eternal optimist.  I don’t walk around telling people to smile.  Usually folks tell me I ought to be smiling!

What I am is forward-thinking and when I hear someone say they are done, they feel like throwing in the towel, I get hyper-sensitive.

The world is a challenge, life is a challenge and add to that work challenges and family challenges it can feel overwhelming at times.  But it’s just a feeling.  Sure I was pretty upset with some of the issues that had come up during the day and it would be wrong to assume that anyone can shut off the emotional curb-feelers but my emotional reactions are just that…reactions.

Once you get the emotion out in the open the next steps are to regroup, consider, be grateful and work on the solution.  The absolute worst thing you can do is stew on it.  This goes back to one of my personal philosophies, ‘Shoulda Coulda Woulda’.

Should we have done a few things differently during the day?  YES.  Could we have prevented some of what happened during the day?  YES.  Do we wish we would have done things another way?  YES.

And recognizing that is good but dwelling on it is very, very bad.  You can’t go back.  You can only go forward.

When the crap hits the fan talking about it incessantly will certainly help one thing…keeping your emotions high and in control of your actions.

Taking steps to become forward thinking can not only solve your challenges, it can help you feel better faster.

NEXT STEPS

So let’s go over the next steps I’ve outlined and we’ll work through them using a hypothetical example.  For the example let’s say that we were scheduled to repair a computer, the part for the repair work came in but no one opened the box.  The customer arrived as scheduled to drop off her computer.  We promised it would be ready by 3:pm.  The computer sat on the counter until Noon when someone finally began work on it.  They opened the delivered parts box only to discover that what was in the box was the wrong part.  The vendor had sent the wrong thing.  Now we have a job that won’t get done on time, let alone done that day and we are going to have a really unhappy customer.

REGROUP

This is the first step.  The time when you step back and look at the events or circumstances.  This is a quick step.  You simply want to say here’s what went wrong.  You can voice your feelings over it but keep it simple.  For example:  “We screwed up by not checking in the shipment, now we’re gonna have a pissed off customer.”

CONSIDER

Next, we’ve already stated what went wrong, we know we can’t go back so let’s look at the options.  It would be bad to overlook the obvious…the need to implement a process so that all inventory is checked and confirmed instead of assuming.  I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me.  And sadly it’s happened more than once.

Then, let’s consider the fact that it could be worse.  Seriously.  Really look at the situation and consider the worst case.  I like to spend just a minute to remember that most of the time things could have been far worse.  At this point we still have an unhappy situation but there’s no reason to lose a customer over it.

Stopping to recognize that it’s not as bad as it could be helps to diffuse some of the negative emotional energy.

GRATITUDE

Ah yes, my favorite one.  Hey, at least we have a customer right? Right!  Time to take a second to appreciate what you do have, what is working and that mistakes happen.  This is a critical step; especially if you feel like throwing in the towel.

Usually one mistake does not create irreversible circumstances.  Be grateful.  Look around at what is good, you’ll get past the bad emotions so much faster and begin to look forward to the last step.

SOLUTION

Here is the most important step.  Fix it.  We can’t go back and reverse what has happened so why not spend some of that emotional energy on finding the best solution you can.  How can you turn the situation around?  How can you make it work out in your favor?

You might consider offering an extra service for the delay or perhaps a discount.  The worst phone call to a customer is the one where you have to tell them things aren’t going like they were supposed to.  Most of the time, if you are forthright and honest, customers will understand.  We’ve all been in situations where things don’t go as planned.

Do you have to offer something?  Nope.  But to offer something in return for the error just gives you an opportunity to be a superhero.  And in today’s economic climate when more and more businesses are pulling back from doing extra, you will definitely stand out.

In the end…

So I basically walked Dan through the steps.  Reminded him that yes, our mistake would cost some money but not our reputation.  That the issue could have been far worse.  That we need to find a way to prevent it from happening again, and that we should be grateful every single day because we’ve got such awesome customers and that the whole thing will likely not affect them at all.

The point is to keep looking forward and not back.  Things happen, sometimes within our control and sometimes not.  The most successful business folks know that solving problems quickly and moving on will reap the biggest rewards.

Blogging for a Living | Online Copywriting

Learn how to earn a living as a blogger with this indepth practical course.

This is a comprehensive online course during which your expert tutor will guide you through the process of planning, designing and launching a professional blog. You’ll also learn how to market your blog effectively. During the second half of the course you’ll focus on building traffic, promoting and monetizing your blog. You’ll have access to the latest research, techniques and ideas, as well as an expert blogging tutor who you can contact at any time.

Your tutor will review your blog and look indepth at some of your posts, so you can be sure that you on the right track and producing writing of the required standard.

During the course you will also have the opportunity to guest blog on other sites – this is a great way to build traffic to your website, and expand your experience as a blogger.

The course includes 6 modules and 6 tutor-marked assignments.

Qualification

  • Certificate in Blogging for a Living

Detailed Outline

The course is divided into six 40-page workbooks and 6 tutor-marked assignments.

Course Outline

Module 1: Blogging 101. The Basics. Getting started. Exploring key ingredients of some of the world’s most successful blogs. Finding your niche. Naming your blog. Market research (including key word research). Getting to know your target readers. Selecting the right blogging platform.

Module 2: Getting Your Blog Online. Design basics: typefaces, site navigation, color schemes and the importance of readability. Working with your chosen platform. Introduction to monetization strategies.

Module 3: Writing for an online audience. Critical posts and pages. Adding Image, Audio & Video Content. Building a loyal audience. Creating a sense of community among readers. Find your voice as a blogger.

Module 4: Creating and maintaining a social media presence. The art of guest blogging. The role of forums. Optimising your blog for search engines (SEO). Building backlinks. Using paid advertising and ppc.

Module 5: Monetizing Your Blog. Exploring revenue streams. Introducing text-based advertising, banner ads, and Adsense. Exploring affiliate programs and advertising networks. Creating your own information products.

Module 6: Taking Your Blog To The Next Level. Planning, branding, self-promotion and creating a devoted blogging community. Research basics, laws and ethics. Identifying reliable sources, attributing quotes properly and avoiding plagiarism. Conducting a successful interview.

Winter Offers extended to 31st March: £295. Now only £179!

Or pay by 6 Instalments: 6 x £29.83

Add Printed notes

Your course material is delivered in a .pdf format directly to your inbox. You can then save the modules to your computer, so you can study when offline. You can also print your course material off if you wish.

If you prefer, you can order a printed copy of the course notes. These are despatched in large, A4 binders and delivered by courier. The cost is £60 including courier fees.

You will be offered the option to purchase a printed copy of the course notes after enrolment, but you can order them at any time during your course. This offer is only available to students currently enrolled on the course.

Powerful Copywriting 2: Ensure Every Word is Working Hard

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

William Strunk, Jr.

Unnecessary words can easily clutter up our writing. This ‘clutter’ is sometimes referred to as fog or even windy-foggery, because it obscures the meaning of the writing and makes it much less accessible for readers. Clutter is a problem in all types of writing, but is a death knell for effective copy.

A key point in advertising copy, in particular, is that images play a key role. The copy should work with the image, perhaps enhancing the message or adding something new, but never simply repeating it or contradicting it.

A picture really is worth a thousand words, especially in advertising. It draws the eye in. People’s emotions are released by pictures. Good photography sells by association. It transfers feelings – for instance, for home, comfort, relationships, motherhood, family – to your goods or services.

Andrew Sellers, Copywriter.

When writing articles or sales letters, your text does not need to be quite so concise, but clear, focused language can still greatly improve the quality of your writing.

Edit your work with a critical eye and remove excess words, such as those in the examples below. As a guide, if a word is not essential to express your meaning then it should be removed. Economical use of language can add considerable extra impact to your writing. For example, the following phrases are hardly ever necessary:

in relation to

with reference to

in respect of

it is appreciated that.

Similarly, look out for places where you use three, four or even more words to express an idea when just one would do. For instance:

in spite of the fact that – although

in advance of – before

in the event that – if

is indicative of – indicates

put in an appearance – appeared.

This sort of writing is sometimes known as businessese – language we use not because it is clear or effective, but because we get into the habit of using it. Businessese promotes lazy, self-important writing. Here are some more examples:

use find out instead of ascertain

use send out instead of disseminate

use instead of utilise

use plan instead of strategise

use best instead of optimum.

Be a ruthless gardener when it comes to weeding words!

In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigour it will give to your style.

Sydney Smith.

Phrases such as the following are also good examples here; as both words express roughly the same meaning, you only need one, not both:

may possibly completely unanimous

temporary reprieve small in size

absolutely essential spell out in detail

These latter examples illustrate another common problem – repetition. It is important to look out for repetition when editing your work, as it can easily slip in without you even being aware of it. Repetition clutters up your writing and can greatly reduce its impact.

Wishy-Washy Words

(With thanks to Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree.)

Along the same lines look out for ‘wishy-washy’ words that drain power from your writing. Examples of ‘wishy-washy’ words include quite, possibly, maybe, seemed, fairly.

I felt quite devastated by the news – I was devastated by the news

he seemed fairly furious – he was furious

The mood among the crowd was possibly the worst she had ever seen – the mood among the crowd was the worst she had ever seen.

Note that the amended versions make a much stronger statement.

Some writers get into the habit of using ‘wishy-washy’ words because they have been trained to write certain types of document. For instance, scientific papers are often intentionally tentative and researchers would be considered unprofessional if they did not take this approach. There are also some forms of business writing where you might feel it is important to take a tentative approach – for instance, in a preliminary report. However, in normal writing such a cautious style can seem apprehensive and lacking in confidence, even ‘apologetic’. It might result in your communication being dismissed as unimportant.

Ambiguity in Copywriting | Online Copywriting

An ambiguous phrase is one that can be read in two different ways, so the reader may not be clear about the author’s meaning. Sometimes, as in the examples belw, ambiguity is intentional. It is used to make a phrase memorable and attract the reader’s attention.

Ambiguity should be used carefully in commercial messages, as advertising slogans must conform to the code of commercial practice. Ambiguous messages can lead to legal challenges. The trick is to use ambiguity only when you intend to do so!

Language and Advertising

Advertisers often come under fire from grammarians for their lack of regard for the normal rules of written language. Copywriters are accused of being more concerned with capturing people’s attention and ensuring their advertisement is noticed than with abiding by grammatical rules.

Advertisements use language in the way they do partly because they are working within very tight limits: a copywriter will have little time and space in which to get an advertising message across to readers. Such constraints favour copy that mimics spoken language, using sentence fragments, colloquialisms, and other verbal shortcuts.

One common device used in advertisements is to jump into a sequence in mid-action. That way, readers feel they are chance observers of something that is already occurring. Text built in such a way acquires an independent existence and assumes the status of ‘reality’. It creates a desire in the reader to catch up and be informed.

For example, a Volkswagon advertisement stated ‘Somewhere between tuxedo and birthday suit’. This sentence fragment does not specifically state the product and so feels incomplete. It invites the reader to reconstruct the thought and thereby participate in the sales message.

The following examples all provoked a huge response from people concerned by their poor use of grammar:

‘Toyota. Everyday.’ The company claimed its word usage was deliberate and the two-word every day looked awkward with the space in the middle.

Apple Computer’s ‘Think different’ campaign. Again, the company defended its choice, saying that differently would tell a person how to think. They wanted to suggest different as the thing to think about.

You write to make life easier for readers. Ambiguity makes life harder. It causes hesitation, doubt, and frustration. It slows down the read.

Sophie Coutts.

Interestingly, the word ambiguity from the Latin ambigere, which means ‘to wander’, is awarded two meanings in many dictionaries. Not only does it mean ‘having two or more meanings’, it also means ‘doubtfulness or uncertainty as regards interpretation’.

Ambiguity forces readers to stop and think. It asks them to determine the meaning of sentence based on insufficient evidence. And when they don’t get it right, they ‘wander’ off the point and lose interest.

Clarity requires more than simply an absence of ambiguity, but this remains an important element.

Writing clearly is a little like testifying under oath. You have to tell the truth (write unambiguously and accurately), the whole truth (include enough information), and nothing but the truth (include no unnecessary words).

Simon Henderson

Ambiguity has a way of creeping into the most unlikely places, when the author is least suspecting. Here are some ambiguous headlines that made it past the editor’s desk:

Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents

British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands

Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms

Eye Drops off Shelf

Teacher Strikes Idle Kids

Here is an example of unintentional ambiguity:

About 15 per cent of kidney transplants in Britain are now provided by living donors, although the level is only half that in Scandinavia and the United States.

Here the sentence could be interpreted in two quite different ways. It is interesting to note that if the sentence is spoken the author can use intonation and emphasis to make their meaning clear, but when the sentence is written down this interpretation is lost. The sentence could thus mean:

1.that the level of transplants from living donors is twice as high in Scandinavia and in the United States as in Britain.

2.The level of transplants from living donors is twice as high in Britain as in Scandinavia and the United States.

An ambiguous phrase is one that can be read in two different ways, so There are a number of solutions here, just one of which is shown below:

About 15 per cent of kidney transplants in Britain are now provided by living donors, although this is only half the level that is found in Scandinavia and the United States.

Word Manipulation in Copywriting

As noted above, ambiguity is often used deliberately by advertisers to capture the reader’s interest and draw them into an advertisement. Copywriters may also use an array of other techniques to create strong, engaging text, some of which are discussed below:

  • Weasel words are often used. These are words which suggest a meaning without actually being specific. One type is the open comparative: ‘Weston’s sausages are better’ – which immediately poses the question ‘better than what?’; another type is the bogus superlative: ‘ Weston’s sausages are best’. Look out for the following weasel words:

    ~ helps
    ~ like
    ~ virtually
    ~ enriched
    ~ worth
    ~ fresh
    ~ tested
    ~ guaranteed
    ~ scientific
    ~ traditional
    ~ home-made
    ~ organic.

    Weasel words can be useful, but don’t use them just because they are a safe option. They tend to be overused and as a result can lose much of their meaning.

Homonyms also sneak in quite often too.

  • Two or more words that are spelled differently but pronounced the same are generally referred to as Homophones. Familiar examples include: bare and bear, sea and see, pray and prey, and site, cite and sight.
  • Two or more words that are spelled exactly the same but have different origins and meanings are referred to as Homographs. Hence, row (the argument), row (the group of objects arranged in a line) and row (the boating activity) are homographs. Homographs may not have the same pronunciation as each other.
  • Two or more words which are either spelled the same or pronounced the same or both are referred to as Homonyms. So, any word pair or group that are homophones or homographs are also homonyms.

Homonyms are widely used in slogans and business names. Leafing through any copy of the yellow pages will reveal just how common they are – for example, you are likely to find a number of fish and chip shops with the word Plaice above the door (‘Nice Plaice’, ‘The Frying Plaice’, ‘Fish Plaice’, etc).

The fact that words with completely different meanings can be pronounced in the same way is sometimes also exploited in literature, particularly in poetry. John Donne, in A Hymn to God the Father uses homophony to pun on the word pair son and sun and on the word done and his own surname:

But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, thou has done;
I fear no more.

Homophones can cause problems for copywriters. They are, for example, a common cause of spelling errors. Some of the most commonly confused pairs include:

stationary ~ stationery
discreet ~ discrete
elicit ~ illicit
canvas ~ canvass
breech ~ breach
compliment ~ complement
dessert ~ desert

A little absent-mindedness on the part of an author can even lead to mistakes with more everyday word pairs such as affect and effect, course and coarse, die and dye, break and brake. An electronic spellchecker does not help in this context because the words are spelled correctly only used in the wrong context.

Interestingly there is some research to suggest that homophones are among the most likely errors to be missed by proofreaders. The most commonly missed are everyday words such as their, there and they’re or too and to.

Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms are words which have the same, or nearly the same meaning, for example: dirty and unclean, sad and unhappy.

Antonyms are words which mean the opposite of each other, for instance, dark and light, strong and weak.

Authors often use synonyms to great effect, using them to add extra interest and colour to their writing. However, they can sometimes get a little carried away. Work cluttered with synonyms can seem careless and ineffectual.

Imagine a World without Internet

Imagine a World without Internet

The Internet or also known as the World
Wide Web was created 20 years ago for military purposes. It had developed so
fast that we are surprise on how dependent we are towards the Internet.  Almost 87% of internet users worldwide would
be checking their email daily and the Internet had become a medium and keep
everyone in touch and connected. No doubt that we might enjoy having a day or
two of an
unplug holiday but what
might happen if the duration prolong to one month, one year or it disappears
forever.

Without the internet, we would be going
back to a world where the snail mail takes place. Internet allows quicker
communication but without any access to the internet, we would need to reverse back
to the time where we would need to wait at least 3 days for any updates or
news.
Internet also allows the ease for
information and research sharing, for example, Wikipedia is where one can find
various of useful information. Nevertheless, when the internet goes down, none
of the above would be possible and you might need to refer back to books and
any other printed materials to gather the information needed.
Businesses would also be much harder
without the help of internet as they might not be able to alliance and would
face difficulties to obtain foreign clients living in the other side of the
country. Online shopping sites such as Ebay and Amazon would just be a myth
while music and video download would never be as easy as it is now.
Currently, there are more than 550 million
of useful websites available on the World Wide Web but this would not mean
anything if internet access is no longer available. This would mean that Google
would no longer be able to help you in completing your assignment and school
projects and the only choice is left is to refer to the information in the
library.
It is undeniable that internet had created many
job opportunities as Facebook alone had created a 450,000 jobs. Job-hunting
could never be any easier with Jobstreet, which is made available as a platform
for employees to find their potential candidates as their future employees.
On the other hand, there would are also
some benefit for not having the internet because children would go and venture
in the outdoor and to play in the sun and the rain instead of staying indoor
playing computer games.
Although online banking brings ease to our
daily tasks, without the access of internet, personal and credit card
information would also be more protected as hackers would not find any access
or alternative to hack into your account to hack any of your personal account.
In other words, this would simply mean that crime rates would decrease.
Whether you agree or not, the internet had
played an important aspect in the part of our life and sometimes, we might feel
surprise on how much we rely on internet to get our daily task done. Whether
internet is for the good or for the bad, it is merely depends on how make the
best out of it.

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The Online Marketing Process for Copywriters

Unlike the interruption marketing techniques that dominate so much off-line advertising, online marketing is a more subtle and engaged process. Online marketers attempt to build relationships with potential customers long before attempting to make a sale, often by providing valuable information or by creating conversations.

Building trust, credibility and a sense of connection is central to this approach, and should inform your writing, just as it informs website design and every other aspect of the marketing process.

While online businesses vary a good deal in the way they engage customers, it is possible to identify three key stages in the online marketing process that are almost always present.

Stage 1: The Initial Contact

In this stage the customer does not know anything about the product or service. Online businesses work hard to create visibility – to reach out to potential customers and attract them to their website or social media presence, where they can learn more and the process of relationship building can begin.

Initial contact may take place off-line, through traditional advertising such as billboards or direct mail, or online through social media, banner advertising, forums, Google adwords, organic search, affiliate marketing, and many other avenues. As a copywriter you may be involved in creating material for all of these channels. Before beginning to write it’s important to be clear on the action you wish the potential customer to take – to visit the website, to become a Facebook follower, to make a purchase, to read an article?

Stage 2: On The Website

Once people reach the website, relationship building can begin in earnest. Many online companies will use a landing page – carefully written and designed to guide the visitor to take a particular action, for instance, to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or join an email list.

The most successful online businesses recognise that visitors often do not purchase a product or service on their first visit. Typically they will visit 4 or 5 times before making the purchase. This is one reason for the growing use of email lists, for example, because they provide a way for the business to stay in touch with a prospective customer and continue to build the relationship. Email lists only work, of course, if the business is providing relevant and useful information to readers. If emails consist only of sales messages the relationship will be destroyed before it is even begun.

Other businesses provide useful resources or information to tempt the potential customer to visit more than once. Examples include free ebooks and articles that speak directly to the customer’s needs, fears or worries.

The website should also work hard to build the visitor’s trust and confidence in the business.

Stage 3: Continuous Relationship Building

In stage 3, the business continues to build relationships and credibility with visitors – many of whom may be subscribers. Many of the tools discussed above such as email lists, ebooks and informational articles, continue to be important at this stage. Informing visitors about the product or service for sale – its benefits and advantages, for example – may make up only a very small part of the communication.

Brian Clark of Copyblogger notes:

Remember, content drives the Internet, and consumers are looking for information that solves a problem, not immediate sales pitches. The trust, credibility, and authority that content marketing creates knocks down sales resistance, all while providing a baseline introduction to the benefits of a particular product or service.

Dialogue is also key to this stage of the marketing process. For the business, it offers an ideal opportunity to start conversations with visitors, to learn more about their interests and needs. Such insights can be used to adapt content, products and services to more closely match visitors needs.

8 Steps to Capture Your Reader’s Interest

The following 8 steps will help you to create powerful writing that grips your reader until the very last line.

  1. Ensure that the purpose of your document is clear immediately. Use a clear, unambiguous title that tells the reader exactly what your document is about.
  2. Use descriptive headlines. These pull readers through your document and allow them to see key points at a glance. Avoid empty headlines, such as ‘introduction’ – this doesn’t tell your reader anything new. Lively, descriptive headlines are much better at drawing the reader in. They will also help you to focus and direct your writing. If you are not sure which headlines to choose, think about the questions the reader will have, or the points you most want to get across – these are your headlines.
  3. Use short sentences. These are easy for the reader to process and make your writing more accessible.
  4. Use a clean, airy layout, with plenty of white space. This is easy on the eye and draws the reader in.
  5. Consider the structure of your piece. Break your text up into clear, logical sections.
  6. Ensure your piece has downward flow. Where you have the option, arrange your text in narrow columns rather than wide ones.
  7. Create a focal point. Create a dominant area of interest that catches the eye.
  8. Consider the layout of your document. Layout is important in all kinds of document, not just annual reports and glossy brochures. Take the time and trouble to create a good layout in press releases, letters and everyday reports too, and your target readers are much more likely to read them.

Many documents fail because they are so ugly that no one will read them, or so confusing that no one can understand them.

Karen Schriver, Dynamics in Document Design.

  • Good design is not just a matter of aesthetics. A considerable amount of money is lost every business day because of poorly presented material. In one notorious 1983 case an American computer company had to withdraw a new home computer from the market after many users returned it, claiming they couldn’t understand the instruction manual.
  • For a layout to work, it must get your message across quickly… It must be organised so the reader can move smoothly and easily through the piece.

    Lori Siebert and Lisa Ballard, Making a Good Layout.