A Copywriting Tip from Graffiti

Graffiti, Lower East Side, NYC

Image via Wikipedia

We New Yorkers love to express ourselves (shocking, I know). We’re noisy, opinionated, and like to let everyone know it.

Graffiti is everywhere, but if you put up something in this town, you’d better be prepared for wisecracks, kibbitzing, and takedowns.

For example, here’s a sample of graffiti spotted on a subway platform long ago:


Underneath that, someone wrote

Bartok? Lugosi? or Abzug?

One was a composer, the second starred in horror movies, and the third was a member of congress (famous for her big hats and her wit).

Clarity matters

When you’re marketing your business, there are three things you need to do:

1) tell the right people about your business

2) set yourself apart from your competition

3) be clear about what you do (and what you don’t do)

Don’t confuse your prospects

Otherwise, your readers could end up with horror movies when they wanted music.  Or staring at a gallery of hats when they were looking for zombies. They may like both (but they may not).

Before you hit that button, launch that site, or push that email campaign, show it to someone who hasn’t been directly involved in the project. It’s best if they closely match your target audience, but any smart person will do.

Ask them if they understand your product or your page.  If anything puzzles them, ask them why and how you can make everything clearer.

Confused readers and prospects won’t buy from you.  They’ll just click away, close their email, or turn the page.