I was recently asked for tips for print copywriters interested in writing for digital media. The timing was perfect because I was working concurrently on a direct-mail letter for life insurance, a blog post on veterans’ issues and SEO content for an apparel website. As I wrote, I had the chance to stop and think about the similarities and differences across the copy, as well as how much they matter (if at all).
No matter what media you’re writing for, it all begins with your audience. You need to recognize what motivates your reader. Being able to attract the reader’s attention is key, and understanding your targets provides you with an easy path for taking action. While the desired action may differ — a phone call, mailed-in application, a click — the ultimate goal is the same.
Here are a some tips to consider when writing your copy:
Print and digital have unique characteristics. Tap into them. For example, direct mail is three-dimensional, tactile and retainable. As a result, it’s difficult to ignore and even more difficult to “delete.” This means print messages have a longer shelf-life than most digital messages. Use these qualities to your advantage as you create solo mailings, postcards and self-mailers. On the other hand, digital media makes it quick and easy for readers to watch a video, link to valuable resources, share relevant content, network with others of like interest and respond on the spot. Use these differences to your marketing advantage and reader’s benefit.