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On July 25, 2012

Direct Mail Writing Tips from George Orwell

Before you hire a mailing service – make sure you’re ads can pull their own weight.

In 1946 George Orwell wrote essay titled Politics and the English Language which contained advice for writers of his day. Fast forward to today and the counsel from Orwell still holds true. When you are writing copy for your direct marking or direct mail campaigns it would do you well to consider the following:

  • Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  • Never us a long word where a short one will do.
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

These rules sound basic but you may be surprised at how poorly thought out some expensive direct mail campaigns end up being.

These guidelines work great in a captivating ad because they grab the reader by the neck and drag him into the plot. The words are quick, decisive, when written this way, but are they engaging? Your direct marketing content needs to keep people reading and hitting the phone or telling their friends about your product. This takes creativity, style and a sense of what is personal. Creativity is often best displayed when someone is able to compare and contrast dissimilar items with flair and a gift for the quick story.Style consists of, among many things, the words you use to overlay a subtle analogy to better describe what you are discussing. The personal elevates an ad so that it becomes an interesting part of the readers day making them want to share their experience.

  • By kd_admin  0 Comments