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Write Your Way Out of the Recession

  |  May 27, 2009   |  Comments

How can you find a copywriter who can boost your bottom-line results?

When people need a B2B (define) e-mail written, they're usually thinking "words" and "messages" -- and they look for a writer who they think will do the job on the cheap.

Instead, they should think "dollar signs" -- and bring in an experienced copywriter to generate revenue at a high return on investment.

Copywriters -- especially those experienced in direct marketing -- are "salespeople in print." So the question is, do you want an experienced salesperson who can close the deal -- or an inexperienced clerk?

In this horrendous economy, I'm seeing that many seasoned marketers recognize the difference. My phone is ringing off the hook -- and my e-mail inbox is being deluged -- with inquiries from prospective clients who need to boost their bottom lines immediately. Some new clients are even paying me from their personal accounts to sidestep lengthy in-house budget approval processes -- so that they can start ratcheting up their sales figures right away. They are drawn by case studies that demonstrate the power of an e-mail to bring in $300,000 in additional revenues. So, it's clear that the word is getting out that e-mail campaigns are potent revenue-generation tools -- not just nicely written messages.

So, how do you find a copywriter who can boost your bottom-line results?

  • Look for a copywriter with a direct marketing track record. While you want a copywriter with online experience, they should have a solid direct marketing background -- and know all the tips and techniques that bring in sales. You're not looking for a "branding" guru here -- you're looking for a copywriter with direct sales experience in print -- someone who can show you case studies highlighting response rates and bottom-line revenue numbers.

  • Make sure your direct marketing copywriter has entered the 21st century. Some old school copywriters have not yet made the leap to the online world. You need someone who understands the power of a subject line to get your e-mails opened...knows the importance of top-loading your e-mail with your best messages so they can be viewed through AutoPreview...and knows how to motivate your reader to hit the "Order Now" button.

  • Ask for results. Don't get wowed by a portfolio full of creative samples with snappy headlines. Although creativity is tremendously important, you want to know how the copywriter helped the client solve a business problem -- in quantifiable terms such as revenue generated, leads converted to sales, etc.

  • Find a copywriter with experience in your industry. Although a good copywriter can often transition well to a new industry, you will do even better if you work with copywriters who have direct experience in your field. They will know what works -- and what doesn't -- and know how to "drive within the guardrails" of their experience to arrive at innovative solutions that will positively impact your sales.

The point is that while copywriting is a "creative profession," it is a uniquely pragmatic one. Copywriters who don't produce revenue don't tend to stay in the industry very long. Those who bring in the bucks for their clients tend to be very busy -- and you may have to get on their waiting list.

Here's the bottom line: With the right copywriter, you can write more sales -- and even write your way out of the recession. So don't just hand over your e-mail marketing to any writer. Make sure you're in good hands by working with an experienced direct marketing and online copywriter with a track record of success in your field. An investment in good copywriting now could make all the difference in your third and fourth quarter sales.

Who created your best e-mail marketing campaigns -- and how did you find your best creative resources? Share your recommendations with Karen for a future column.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Gedney

Karen Gedney, an award-winning creative director and copywriter, shared her insights as a ClickZ Experts contributor from 2000 through 2009. She was known for her successful track record of achieving high e-mail response rates for Fortune 1000 companies and leading organizations. She died Nov. 16, 2010.

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