Why is it so easy to gradually slide away from following the basic rules of good marketing copy?
I don't know the answer, but know that it's true. So today's message is a return to a few of the fundamentals of good marketing copy – be it for real estate or anything else.
First and foremost: Remember that it's not about you. It's always about your prospect.
So never, ever begin a marketing message with the words "I" or "we." And then, as you get into the body of your copy, strive to use those words sparingly. A good rule of thumb to follow is to use some version of "You" at least 3 or 4 times as often as any version of "I."
Your software should have a "find" feature. Use it to find and count each version of both words.
If you find you've gotten focused on you rather than your reader, turn some sentences around.
Just to give you an example, here's a headline from a marketing piece that was sent to me for revision:
"What We Want Our Clients to Know About Selling Their Home"
There are two things wrong with this headline:
- It's about the agency and what the agency wants
- It de-personalizes the message to the reader
The message is about the agency and some unknown clients called "they" - rather than the reader.
Here's a better headline:
"What You Need to Know About Selling Your Home"
The best part – turning it around is easy.
Next – Forget about approval from your high school English teacher.
"Proper" grammar has no place in marketing copy.
Marketing copy has to sound like a conversation, and we simply don't speak according to the rules of grammar. Among other things we begin sentences with "and" or "but," and we speak in sentence fragments.
What is important is communication. Don't become so proper that communication gets lost.
Note: This doesn't mean it's OK to write "there" when you mean "their," to say "like" every few words, or to include curse words, texting abbreviations, or street slang. You DO need to follow some of the basics of grammar – just don't get hung up on it.
Third – Make your real estate marketing copy easy to read.
Break your copy into paragraphs of no more than 7 lines. Insert a blank line between paragraphs. Add interest by writing a one sentence paragraph now and then. Keep your sentences short and to the point, and use words that an average 7th grader can comprehend.
To emphasize your main points, do use:
- bullet points