Why your copy may fail in 2020

Have you heard the bad news?

A few years ago it was discovered that most people have the attention span of a goldfish.

But that’s no longer true!

According to a new study done by Microsoft, the goldfish now have us beat by a second.

That’s right, the study concluded that the attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds – while people generally lose concentration after only 8 seconds. And it’s getting worse.

(Have I lost you yet?)

Distractions. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it’s a huge problem that will make more copy fail in 2020 than any other time in history.

But isn’t it kind of fishy that people today gladly devote hours of their attention to binge-watching TV shows and checking in with social media to keep up with who’s doing what?

What causes us to vastly exceed our piscine attention spans? Entertainment!

Does your copy entertain? Does it GET attention and HOLD attention?

If it doesn’t, it’s no wonder your copy isn’t converting as well as it could be.

Positioning, salesmanship, features and benefits, which hot new copy formula to use… these all become irrelevant if you can’t get and keep your prospect’s interest long enough to ask for the order.

In short, to come out on top in 2019 and beyond: Stop being so darned BORING!

How do you make copy more interesting so it gets read and acted on?

One way is to use the mother of all make-copy-more-interesting techniques.

It’s called a “snowclone,” and I just created one in the previous sentence.

It’s where you take a recognizable phrase (“the mother of all battles”) and change it slightly (“the mother of all make-copy-more-interesting techniques”).

Here’s another: To bore or not to bore, that is the question. (Thanks, Shakespeare.)

Or: Getting attention is the new selling. (A play on “gray is the new black,” “50 is the new 40,” etc.)

And: The only good promotion is a read promotion. (TIP: It’s even more fun when you substitute word rhymes with the original. In this case, “read” substituted for “dead” as in “the only good X is a dead X.”)

Because writers gonna write but readers gonna bail. (Plays on: “Haters gonna hate.”)

So keep calm and carry your reader on. (Based on the famous English WWII poster.)

Can you see how, in smaller doses, pulling this technique out of your secret stash every now and then could make your copy more interesting to read?

And it’s only one of literally hundreds of techniques I’ve collected over the years – many of which go back to the Romans and Greeks. And those ancient fellows left no rhetorical stone untermed. (See what I did there?)

P.S. Why is it called a “snowclone”?

“Clone” of course comes from cloning (with slight modification) an existing expression.

“Snow” comes from a common basis for a snowclone – the widespread belief that “Eskimos have 100 different words for snow.”

Which snowcloned might be: “Readers have 100 different words for: ‘You’re boring me to death.’”

2019-08-27T11:27:50+00:00Categories: Blog, Copywriting|Comments Off on Why your copy may fail in 2020