Rhythm, tone and flow are vital writing skills that draw your reader into your writing and keep them there. Copy with these elements is easy and enjoyable to read. Without a consistent flow in your writing, your reader is very likely to get bored and confused. As a result, they’ll turn to one of the many other pieces of advertising or information that is fighting for their attention.
We are bombarded with written words every day – many thousands of words – so it’s no surprise that readers are easily distracted. That is why consistent, good flow is so essential when writing sales copy. Few readers have the time and inclination to wade through clumsy or confusing copy. They want copy that is both informative and easy to understand.
Let’s look first at rhythm. Rhythm is achieved by varying the type and length of your sentences. You don’t want to overuse a particular sentence format, such as, for example, noun/verb/object, in a way that distracts your reader. The rhythm of your words should be smooth, moving between simple and complex sentences that mirror a conversational tone. The best way to check the rhythm of your text is to read it aloud. If you find yourself running out of breath or stumbling over words, you know it has no natural rhythm that is easy to read.
Tone is the “feel” of your copy. It’s the attitude you express through nuances of innuendo, humour or emotion. To reach out successfully to your reader, your tone has to match the product or service you are selling.
A lighthearted tone is fine for some products but you would not use it to promote, say, a product that treats certain health problems. You should never use a flippant or condescending tone and you would certainly not want to create a sarcastic or cold tone in your writing either. Your aim is to always draw your reader in, not repel them. You should invite your reader’s participation and agreement, which can be done by choosing the right words.
Flow is structured through following the standard copywriting rule of AIDA (Attracting Attention, Increasing Interest, Arousing Desire and Making a Call to Action). Using this rule helps to entice your reader into your writing and keep them reading to the point they are engrossed in your words.
We’ve all been in the “flow”, where something has transfixed us so much that we happily forget everything around us. Psychologists and self-help experts often refer to this state as being “in the zone”. You want to recreate this state for your reader in your copy.
This means each of your sentences follows a logical pattern, flowing from one to the next in a graceful way so they are easy to read. Think of one sentence passing the baton to another as if in a seamless relay race. This can be done using terms like: "That's why", "In addition", "Here's how", and so on, so that your reader carries on reading.
Never forget that readers are very sceptical when reading sales copy. They are not trusting of most sales marketing and don’t like to be “sold” to. They are also surrounded by distractions, countless tasks and different forms of advertising. You need to grab their attention and hold it if your sales copy is to be successful.
Begin your sentences and paragraphs with phrases that capture your reader’s attention. Instead of writing “This study shows…” write “This shocking study reveals…” Use attention-grabbing words (“shocking”, “fascinating”, “secret”, “unprecedented” etc.) to create an impact.
To write successful copy, you need to be in harmony with your writing. The aim is to captivate your reader with natural rhythm (as if speaking to them directly), smooth transitions and the correct choice of words. Your tone should reflect the type of writing you want to achieve (serious, fair-minded, humorous and so on). And don’t forget that being “in the zone” when you write your copy, will certainly be reflected in the quality of your work.
The Key Blog
Hello and welcome to The Key Blog! This is where you'll find information and tips on writing, proofreading, and the English language in general. Feel free to use the articles in your own e-zines, blogs or websites etc., as long as you include the resource box. Thank you!