A copywriter charges as much to write a simple postcard as he or she charges to write a two-page letter. It doesn’t seem right, does it?
But there’s a reason for that. The reason is that it can sometimes take longer to write a postcard than it does to write a letter – even a very long letter.
The copy on a postcard has to be concise – and targeted. There’s no room for a long explanation or a story to lead into an important point. So a writer has to sort through all of the available information and condense it down to find the most important points.
What points are most important? The ones that answer the questions and concerns that matter to the people who will receive the card. The ones that demonstrate the most important benefits to be had when your prospects say yes to your offer.
It’s easiest if you’re mailing to a targeted list, because you’ll have some idea of what interests them. You may be able to tell what is important to them from their prior purchases.
If you’re mailing to a “cold list” however – you won’t have any guidelines, so you’ll have to stop and really think about the product or service you’re selling.
Who is your most likely buyer? This is the only person you should be talking to as you write your message. Forget about everyone else.
Next, what matters to that buyer?
Begin by thinking of people you know who would buy the product or service you’re promoting. What one or two benefits would cause them to buy? What one or two questions or concerns would cause them not to buy? And how can you address them in just a few words?
Don’t try to start with the condensed version. Go ahead and write some paragraphs that answer the questions and demonstrate the benefits. After you’ve written them, then you can condense them.
Is it possible to put your key points in bullets? This saves space because no one expects to see complete sentences in bullet points. It also helps increase readership because they’re easy to read.
Whatever you do, don’t try to write too much and cram it onto your postcard in small type with no spaces between your paragraphs. If it’s difficult to read, they won’t read it, and a “wall of type” simply looks like too much work to most people.
So if you’ve written too much, go back to the drawing board. Keep condensing and eliminating until you’ve distilled the essence of your message and can present it in a convincing and visually appealing manner.