NEDMA Speakers Say Copy Is Still King

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WALTHAM, MA -- One theme that was repeated during a couple of sessions yesterday at the New England Direct Marketing Association's annual conference was a renewed focus on copy, even in the digital age.

One of the most dramatic changes "Writing Copy for Dummies" author Jonathan Kranz has witnessed in the past 10 years is the depth of the content copywriters are being required to produce.

Copywriters today aren't just responsible for producing collateral materials, but developing premiums and other meaningful content that is then the center point of an ad campaign or a Web site.

"There is a great deal of hunger for meaningful content," Mr. Kranz said during an afternoon panel on direct mail strategies.

Contrary to what marketers often say about people not reading, Mr. Kranz insists that when people seek out a company's Web site, they're doing it because they're interested in learning more about that company.

"Why would you hold back [the copy]?" he asked.

Pat Farley, president of Farley Creative, pointed out that a growing number of TV ads are using copy to encourage viewers to read about them and that promotions for magazines are returning to letter formats after several years of efforts that were dominated by postcards.

MarketingSherpa president Anne Holland also spoke about the reemergence of the importance of copywriting in her morning keynote presentation. For example, online retailers such as Amazon.com and Vermont Teddy Bear told MarketingSherpa in a survey that copywriting had a bigger impact on response rates than video, 3D, zoom and other technologies, during testing.

Ms. Holland also said the highest performing ad in the history of Realtor Magazine Online -- an online newsletter for realtors with a subscription of 700,000 -- featured only copy and no graphics.

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