Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How to Break A Few Rules in Your Direct Marketing Copywriting…

Contributing Solution Provider

More than likely, your teachers drilled you on avoiding various “mistakes,” such as ending your sentences with prepositions.

These are valuable lessons. However, in the real world, people tend to respond to writing that is less formal and more like ordinary conversation. Being persuasive often means breaking a few rules such as:

Avoid anything that makes the eye stop.

Weird type or extreme letter spacing creates “fixations” where you don’t want them. This slows reading and interferes with comprehension.

On the other hand, you may want to make people pause for a split second on key words or an 800 number. Italics, underlines, bold, and large type will make the eye stop where you want it to.

Use fragments.

This adds excitement. Urgency. Keeps the pace brisk. Just don't go overboard with fragments or you’ll risk sounding affected and artsy.

Use standard type and layouts.

That doesn’t sound very creative, but for easy reading you shouldn’t get too creative. In most cases, a simple Roman or serif typeface is best for body copy.

Roman typefaces have features that make them easier to recognize than sans serif or odd typefaces. In other words, the less attention you call to the type, the easier the copy is to read.

Keep sentences short.

A good school essay may benefit from complex sentence structure, but persuasive writing requires short, easy-to-read sentences. As a rule, the average sentence length should be 16 words with 32 words as the approximate upper limit. If you have long sentences, break them into two or more shorter ones

Speaking about short, try one-sentence paragraphs.

They stand out and add drama.

Begin sentences with conjunctions.

Words such as “and,” “also,” “besides,” “furthermore,” “but,” “however,” and “so” are frowned upon in standard written English. “But” they help you break long sentences into shorter ones to make your copy flow smoothly.

Use familiar expressions.

“A sure thing,” “awesome,” and “O.K.” are all familiar and informal. Contractions such as “they're,” “you're,” “it's,” and “here's” also give your writing a relaxed tone.

Be redundant.

A “free gift” is redundant, but far more powerful than just “gift.” “Call anytime 24-hours a day” says the same thing twice, but that's okay be-cause you want to emphasize and clarify your meaning.

Let me know what you think.DMS-LOGOV3_Red.png

The articles in each issue of Direct Marketing Success are ready to help you acquire new customers, and get your existing customers to buy more. Click to get your FREE copy today.


Sign up for more #SmallBiz success articles in our monthly email newsletter now!

Thanks for reading. Any questions please post them below.

Coaching and Marketing Analysis – It’s what I do.









Mike Deuerling 800.251.3608


© 2017 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot, PhotoPin, DepositPhotos, Solid Stock, Unsplash or John Deuerling.



I have owned and operated a variety of businesses during my thirty plus years as an entrepreneur. Being a SMB, I have engaged with others to learn and understand how each one was operated. I have had an inquisitive mind my whole life. I have an associate degree in science, completed an apprentice program in carpentry, studied design at another college and received a four year degree in Marketing, and added a few post graduate classes as well. SMB's have used direct marketing and mail as their main channel of communications for many years. Now the swing of the pendulum of marketing has led many to the latest trends in digital marketing. Data drives all forms of marketing communication. However, raw data must be analyzed, segmented, profiled, measured and tested to make the data useful to marketing. Great direct marketing mail processing is like peeling an onion. There are many layers you unfold to get your desired results. The process is easy to understand, and once you learn it, you’ll see what the phrase, “a labor of love” really means. If you have a goal to learn more about your customers from each communication, you will see positive results stemming from each subsequent mailing. The people who complain the loudest about their results when using direct marketing mail is usually those that did not follow the process. Not following the process is like the baker who missed using the correct amount of yeast in a recipe for bread. She wasted a lot of dough. Learning and having the techniques and fundamentals of direct marketing is a valuable skill to have today. Direct marketing mail helps a SMB focus more on results while listening and learning what their customers want. What makes me different? I’m motivated to help every one of my customers use the right tools to meet their goals. In the present digital age, marketing coupled with technology is a skill set now in high demand. I have always embraced the use of technology with marketing.