I originally wrote these tips for a volunteer organization's newsletter submissions but I think they apply to all sorts of copy from e-mail marketing, to press releases and even to (some extent) to social networking postings.
Make Sure You Have the Basics Covered Nobody's perfect and you don't want to get into analysis paralysis -- but, you should give your copy at least a quick proof (and spelling and grammar check) before unleashing it on the world.
Are the basic facts correct (time, date, cost) correct? Do your web links work? Is your copy in the right format for the medium (in other words, it it going to go all wonky when someone reads it in a different browser.
I find that having another person read my e-mails before I send them does wonders in helping my cover the basics.
Who is the Audience? What might make perfect sense to you might not appeal to your target audience.
Be sure to spell out the benefits of taking whatever action you are promoting (going to an event, buying a product) from the audience's point of view.
The Action - Does your copy have a clear action for your audience.
By the time your audience reads your copy do they have all the details they need to take the action you want them to take (click a link, attend an event, sign up for your newsletter).
Short and Sweet Go through your copy and eliminate any extra words.
The fewer words you use, the more likely your audience is to remember your message.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat Most people need to see a message five to eleven times before it finally sinks in.
Most people need to be asked several times before they actually buy.
Do some research and find out the top five or six ways your audience gets information.
Use all five methods and track effectiveness over time.
Be creative and keep trying.
Writing effective copy is not easy.
But, by keeping these five tips in mind, you can make your copy better and create more sales for your business or attract more attendees for your events.