Effective Copywriting, as Learned from Adopting a Dog

Last week, I adopted a second dog. Her name is Piper. She’s a 6-year-old dog that looks like a Mountain Cur Mix.

And she needs a lot of stuff. So, my whole week has been browsing Amazon for dog dishes, harnesses, and collars.

What she really needed was a sweater. She’s lanky and has a short coat, so she gets cold easily.

So, I got on Amazon, where I’ve been living all week (or, it feels like it), and started searching for “dog sweater.” And then, “sweater for dogs” when dog sweater brought up people sweaters with pugs on them.

This was probably the most aggravating thing to find, since she’s a larger dog but super slim.

Finally, I found it. I quickly plugged in my credit card number and off it went to Prime delivery.

The description was simple. Red, wool-knit dog sweater. Prime 2 day eligible.  It wasn’t fancy, it was direct. And that’s my point.

Sometimes, in content creation and copywriting, some folks get a little carried away. I understand the excitement. I’m a marketing nerd. But too often, I see content that’s just…over the top. An attempt to be so creative and clever that the message gets lost.

We want to be creative in copywriting, when we can. But the most important thing in writing good copy is being clear and direct.

Like with the sweater. They didn’t say “Chic rouge sweater that will cleanse your dog’s aura and transport her mind to another place.” It just said wool-knit sweater that will keep your dog warm.

And that’s what I was looking for. And that’s what we’re all looking for, really. Not the dog sweater. But, can you fulfill their want or desire?

Today’s world is fast-moving. There’s endless amounts of content to consume. And that means lots of noise. Lots of (insert field) wizards, and magical, life-altering whatsits.

You don’t need all that fluff to write great copy. In fact, it’s better if you don’t.

To write great copy, remember this: clarity beats clever. Every. Time.

People are scanning and scrolling for someone that can fill their need or want, whatever that may be. They’re not looking to decode what you’re offering underneath the ultra-clever messaging.

If they can’t quickly figure it out, they move on.

It’s okay if your tagline for your business or product isn’t something ultra-cutesy. If it’s a “doughnut delivery service in Boston” or “24 Hour Pet Daycare for Busy Pawrents.” Or something else that quickly and clearly gets to the point.

Because, sometimes a sweater to keep your dog warm is just a sweater to keep your dog warm.

P.S, the photo is her. Probably what I call a salad-dog (a dog that’s 11 different breeds). She looks like a Black Mountain Cur to me. But feel free to share your thoughts.

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