Learn Copywriting from Twitter

I know I said we were going to take a look at securities and non-disclosures today. I can hear the screams of outrage emanating from everyone who tuned in today to fine-tune their paperwork! Don’t worry, we’ll be back with that tomorrow. This morning, however, I stumbled across the video embedded below and felt it was important enough to bump my plans and share it with you today.

Is it possible that Twitter is actually the key to unlocking top-notch copywriting skills for our direct mail marketing campaigns?


Think about all of the people you know. Who talks the most? (You can say it. They won’t hear it from us.) When they speak, do they tend to be straightforward and concise, getting directly to the point and moving on to another topic as soon as they’re done?

Of course not. Most of us don’t. When we talk we give our listeners piles upon piles of background information, then mention our point, then worry at that point like a dog with a bone. We feel that we have to keep repeating ourselves and fill in all the gaps on all sides of the issue before it’s safe to let it go. It’s as if we believe that by consistently hammering at the information we can bring others over to our side, and we have to keep going at it until we’re sure they’re on our side.

Did you see what I just did there? I just spent 1…2…3…4…5…6 sentences saying most people don’t know how to get to the point. We have all this empty airspace and we fill it with words, whether we need to or not. That’s a habit that translates over into our writing.

Far too many copywriters don’t know how to get to the point. By the time they do, they’ve already lost their readers’ attention-and the sale along with it. Are your direct mail marketing materials short and to the point, or did you write the way you speak?

 Take a lesson from Twitter.

When you tweet on Twitter, you have 140 characters or less to get your point across. That means there’s no room for fluff. You can’t dance around the point. You have to give them the information they know and nothing else. Oh sure, you can tack a link on the end for them to visit for the whole story, but Twitter shrieks out the headlines, then moves on.

Is the copywriting on your direct mail marketing materials screaming out the headlines, then giving them a link to you to get the whole story? Or are you spending so much time lost in the quagmire of extraneous information your readers toss their mail in the trash before they hear what you’re trying to say?