Beware the dark side of conversational copywriting.

Dark side of copywriting
This morning I received an email with this subject line:

“I woke up with this insane idea…”

It seems today is the final day for some killer deal being offered by that company.

Not a solo business. A medium-sized company. A big campaign.

And this morning’s email wasn’t a quick, personal note, dashed off at the last moment. It was a long promotional email, with tons of details and formatting, and a carefully constructed final offer.

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Do you move your lips when you read? And why does it affect your profits?

Churchill won the Nobel Prize for his writing.
This is a Guest Post by Drayton Bird. If you know who Drayton is, dive in. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, scroll to the end of this post right now and read the “About Drayton Bird” part. Then come back here and start reading. 

You may consider that first question – about moving your lips – insulting. You probably think I’m referring to folks who aren’t too smart.

If you’re thin-skinned you may even think it’s a crude way of implying YOU’RE not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

But if you write copy – or content, as people have begun calling it – it really matters.

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Adversarial copywriters not welcome here.

They don't like adversarial copywriting

For decades we’ve used military jargon as part and parcel of how we talk about our craft as copywriters.

Consider some of the language we use with our colleagues and clients.

Target audience. Overcoming resistance. Finding the right triggers. Killing the competition. Guerilla marketing.

Language matters. It makes a difference to how we think about our work. It makes a difference to how we think about the consumers we “target” with our writing.

There’s a them and us mentality. It’s still there. Copywriters on one side and consumers on the other.

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Is conversational copywriting JUST about taking the hype out of sales copy?

The future of sales is anti-hype

If I sometimes give the impression conversational copywriting is ONLY about taking the hype out of sales copy, that’s my bad.

Yes, cutting back on high-pressure sales copy is a big part of it. But that isn’t the only way conversational copywriting can improve results across all business communications.

Let’s look at the 4 top reasons, starting with hype…

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3 Pressing reasons for your clients to find their conversational voice.

A conversational voice for business.

As I wrote in a previous post, the Internet was conversational before the web as we know it even existed.

Since then many writers, myself included, have worked hard to persuade companies and organizations that writing for the web should, above all else, be conversational in tone.

Have we been successful in turning the tide against old-school promotional copywriting, and boring, stiff corporate writing?

I’d say our success rate has been spotty at best.

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Conversational voice search is the future of SEO.

Conversational voice search

I got an email recently from someone who told me that conversational copywriting was all very nice, but wouldn’t work for search engine optimization.

He told me that the unique structure of organic search terms would never be a good fit for conversational writing.


Well… he’s totally, absolutely wrong.

He clearly hasn’t heard of or given much thought to the meteoric growth of voice search.

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