copy writer

April 6, 2010

5 Double Readership Path Techniques to Increase The Effectiveness of Your Copy

Reading Glasses

Not everyone reads long copy and that’s why there are double readership paths. I’m guessing you already know this…but just in case, copy (the written part of any marketing material) is the secret to sales success.

Have you ever noticed the formatting on long direct mail or web sales letters? Study the formatting and you’ll see long copy is formatted so “scanners” can skim the page to get the message while analytical readers can dive in and absorb ALL the details.

Double readership paths are essential to appealing to both analytical thinkers/readers and scanners at the same time. This means you can capture the attention of both kinds of readers by using simple formatting tools like bolding, italicizing, highlight, underlining, using all capital letters and incorporating bullet points.

An effective and likely the most common double readership path formatting technique is bolding vital text. Using bold font on key information makes it easier for scanners to glance down the page, get the essence of your offer and move on to make a QUICK but informed purchasing decision.

You’ll often see italicized words to emphasize key points as well. Using italics is another way to grab the attention of readers.

Highlighting or changing font color is a popular technique to capture attention and really make offers or other vital information stand out.

Underlining can emphasize your point as well. But be sure to use underlining techniques sparingly in your online copy. Underlined text can signify a hyperlink in online copy and can confuse your readers.

USING CAPITAL LETTERS IS ANOTHER WAY TO GET ATTENTION. Remember that this can also be misconstrued as “yelling.” So, watch your context when incorporating CAPS.

To recap the double readership path: Generally speaking, there are two kinds of readers; analytical and scanners.

Double readership paths can help you capture the attention of both reading styles by adding:

  • Bolded text to grab attention and showcase key points in your copy that will capture the attention of scanners
  • Italics emphasize key points and grab attention
  • Highlighting or changing font color is another way to illuminate offers and vital information
  • Underlining is another technique but should be used sparingly in online copy. Underlining can be confused with online hyperlinks
  • ALL CAPITAL LETTERS ARE USED TO GRAB ATTENTION. Be sensitive in their use as they can also suggest yelling

Finally using bulleted lists can make your main points and benefits really stand out. Remember to use an odd number of bullets because studies show readers are more responsive to odd numbered bullet points than even numbered bullet points.

Take a moment to review your marketing materials today.

Are you utilizing double readership paths?

Should you be?

Can you juice up your current marketing materials with simple formatting techniques?

Copywriting Expert

Copywriting Expert

Lisa Manyon is the President of Write On ~ Creative Writing Services, LLC. and a Professional Copywriter and Marketing Strategist specializing in POWERFULLY communicating your marketing message to increase results. She’s a published author and is a featured in the International Association of Web Entrepreneurs Official AWE Guide to Emerging Trends Every Online Entrepreneur Must Know and has written promotional, advertising and marketing copy for internet gurus and a wide variety of brick and mortar businesses. She's completed Glazer Kennedy’s Creating Copy that Sells certification and is a Copy Coach for Lorrie Morgan Ferrero’s She Factor Copywriting Bootcamp. Manyon offers a free Copywriting Action Plan with 7 Power-packed Insider Tricks of the Copywriting Trade to Dramatically Increase Sales of your Products & Services on her website

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