Last week I shared with you the first of three key points for writing effective advertising copy. This next point often gets lost on people because we tend to live in the world in which we live. While that statement may seem a little confusing, read on so I can explain.

Key Number Two: Be the customer.

In my day job, I work at a college. One of the greatest struggles we have in writing copy for our website is not falling into the abyss of self-centeredness, where we write to each other rather than our customer. Most of our students have never set foot inside a college before and they can be easily confused and intimidated by language that’s specific to the world we live in.

It’s critical to “know” potential buyers and speak their language. Think about if you were the customer, not the owner, then write to that frame of reference. Assume nothing about the shopper’s understanding of what you sell.  Ifyou sell a product that appeals to both the novice and the expert, then have a shallow and deep end to your content.

Finally, check the reading level you’re writing at. An easy way to do this is to run what you’ve written through a word processing program that evaluates the copy to see where it falls. If you need to write “up,” then write up; if you need to write “down,” then write down. Most experts say that it’s best to write at a sixth grade reading level if you want to reach a broader audience.

Remember, the purpose of your advertising copy is not to impress the reader with a lot of minute detail and impressive, hard-to-understand words, rather it’s to connect with the customer at a relational level and move the product. Up next week is the final key to writing effective advertising copy. See you then!