Online/Offline Copy Differences

Online/Offline Copy Differences

Sell More by Getting It “Write” the First Time ~

Many companies, like yours, have built a profitable businessoffline. However, they sometimes fall short when trying to duplicate or enhance their efforts online. It’s the same customer-oriented business. They offer the same quality products or services. The information provided online is the same provided in the brick-and-mortar world.

So, why aren’t they as successful online?

Why aren’t their online marketing strategies working?

The Difference is the Audience

The way that an online prospect views and absorbs information is very different from his offline counterpart. The way that you must present information online is quite different from your successful, highly effective print communications.

Unfortunately, many company copywriters, graphic designers and publicists aren’t well-educated in online communication. It’s not their fault; it’s just foreign territory for them. Old ideas changed and new concepts, like home pages and site navigation, appeared.

A professional freelance writer, however, understands that marketing strategies are always in a state of flux . He constantly monitors both the online and offline marketplace, keeping an eye on current trends, making adjustments when necessary.

The freelance copywriter realizes that the offline reader and the online viewer require different approaches, even when it’s the same person!

Here are just some of the differences between the two . Let’s call them Bill and Sue:

  • When you send a sales letter or brochure to Bill, he has time to digest the contents at his leisure. If he’s busy, he can lay it down and come back to it later.
  • Sue, however, is probably in a hurry. She needs concise, useful information now, not later. In fact, if she “lays down your letter,” that means she’s left your site and probably won’t be back.
  • Bill may not have expected your letter. But if the information or offer looks interesting, he might either read the communication then and there, or save it to read later, perhaps at lunch.
    Go to any coffee shop or restaurant and you’ll see sales letters, magazine articles and advertisements being perused over coffee and sandwiches.
  • Sue, your online prospect, is much different. She’s on a mission and knows exactly what she’s looking for. The type of product or service you offer is very much on her mind.
    In fact, she did a search on Google or Bing specifically for what you have to offer and found your site, along with dozens of others.

You have one shot to impress her before she moves on to the next. If you don’t present her with what she needs, in the way she needs it, you’re toast!

The Presentation Overcomes the Difference

I’ve been trained in copywriting for both printed publications and web copy. I’ve written for the web – my preference – for over a decade, long enough to watch and study its evolution.

In the early days, the presentation was quite similar for both print and web. In the beginning, the Internet was primarily text-based, and copy was very similar to many sales letters and other printed content.

However, graphics changed the landscape dramatically.

The ability to add pictures and graphics to a website seemed fantastic, and site designers armed themselves with this valuable tool.

Conversely, written copy stayed the same, often taking a back seat to the glamour of graphics. Online marketing was still an infant in many respects.

However, the online audience grew up, matured, changed. They want the same information; they just need it presented differently. Instead of a long sales letter, your online prospect wants:

  • Complete, yet concise information
  • That information needs to be presented with a casual, but expert voice – like a trusted, knowledgeable friend
  • Links to more resources for personal investigation and research if needed
  • Bullet points, for cryin’ out loud!

And she wants them NOW!

How I Can Help You

As I’ve already said, I’ve studied both print and online communication intensively for years. While watching online marketing evolve, I’ve kept my finger on the pulse of the online prospect, adjusting my techniques as necessary, re-educating myself when needed.

And while I continue to hone my writing skills for offline and online markets, my area of focus is the Web. That said, my training in both venues allows me the unique ability to create print and digital works that complement, not work against, each other.

I do have industries in which I specialize. I’ve worked in industrial and machine maintenance/repair, industrial electricity and plumbing, and workplace safety for over 25 years.

Additionally, I write for its close cousin, the home improvement/home repair industry.

Personal computing and software are areas of personal interest and study since the early ‘80s and I’ve written many tutorials on these subjects. This includes home networks, data backup and recovery, and office suites.

For more information on my experience in these areas, browse this page.

Call or email me so we can get started on your success today!

That said, if your business is outside my specialties, but you feel that my services will benefit your particular business, please contact me and we’ll determine if we should work together. No promises; but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Author: Steve Maurer

Article copyright 2012 – Maurer Copywriting

Steve Maurer, Maurer Copywriting Questions?

Click here to go to my contact page.

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