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You can have brilliant ideas, but if you cannot get them across, your ideas will not get you anywhere.
The headline of your website page is what grabs their attention — it’s your attention grabber. Once you grab ahold of the attention of the brides and grooms you’re trying to book, then you have to deliver what you promised in the build-up with your headline, subject line, or envelope teaser copy in the content.
(It’s time to deliver the goods!)
Whether you are writing a promotional email or an article to share information with brides and grooms and build credibility with them, if you leave them disappointed with the content, you are unlikely to gain their trust or make them receptive to receiving future marketing messages from you.
(And they’re definitely not going to HIRE you!)
Backing up the headline with strong content starts with a strong opening sentence — no matter what.
So here is what you have to do. You have to go back to the basics. You have to go back to the basics of writing.
You have to go back to the 5 Ws:
- Why (and sometimes How)
Even though you may be running down the facts on the 5Ws, make sure that you’re using words that are intriguing, interesting, and motivating. These words can vary slightly depending on the types of brides and grooms you are trying to attract.
Odds are good that you have had at least one English class in your school career. English teachers drilled into your head for years that when you write, you have to make sure that you are answering the five Ws — who, what, when, where, why, and sometimes how.
The same writing rules apply to your marketing copy for your wedding business or creating content, such as blog posts and articles to use as part of your marketing strategy.
More often than not, when it comes to writing marketing copy, you speak directly to the brides and grooms you’re trying to get to hire you. Since this is the case, the answer to the “who” question comes from using “you” in your writing.
For example, when promoting a workshop where couples can come to learn how to plan their wedding, the copy may read, “Grab insider secrets from a pro wedding planner. We’re going to cover all of the details you need to plan your Miami wedding — just like a pro. Discover resources and vendors for putting together your dream wedding. Once you have all the details, you can put the plan in place, sit back and relax, and wait for you big day to arrive.”
Notice how the copy is speaking directly to the brides and grooms who are planning their wedding.
The “what” portion of your copy explains the point you are trying to make or the announcement you are delivering.
Let’s continue with the previous example, where you’re using an email blast to invite brides and grooms to a workshop, the copy may read, “Register now for The Wedding Planning Workshop. During the workshop, I’m going to walk you through the steps you need to plan every delicate detail of your wedding, so you can put together the day you’ve always dreamed of.”
Answering the when question is easy when you are writing copy for a specific event. In the case of the workshop, you can state the date and time the workshop is taking place. When you are writing copy for an article, blog post or indirect marketing piece, time may be specific or can be more of a figurative nature.
For example, you may be writing an article on the release of survey results in the wedding industry. You can get specific on the date or even just the month when the results came out or you can speak more generally, such as “in the first quarter of this year” or “in 2016.” Answering the when can also be an implication, as in “this is happening right now.”
The where topic can be very specific or can be of a general nature. When you are hosting an event then the where is the location of the event. Otherwise, the where may be in the wedding industry, in the region or other “area” where you operate your wedding planning business.
Using the survey results article or blog post as an example, you may say, “In October 2016, 400 wedding couples were surveyed in New York City.” Telling readers “where” you are talking about in the article allows them to relate the information or figure out a way to connect the information to their own location or situation.
Be very clear in all of your writing to explain why you are writing what you are writing. Typically, you are writing the information to solve a problem or issue that your clients are experiencing.
It may look something like, “Are you trying to turn the vision you have in your head for your wedding into a reality? Are you trying to learn all of the details you have to plan for to pull off your wedding? Discover the simple tools and resources that can help you do just that.”
After you tell wedding couples why you are writing what you’re writing, it is time to tell them how to act. In a how-to article, you may list out the steps that they have to go through to resolve the problem they are having or to accomplish the task at hand.
In an email blast where you are trying to get them to register for your event, it may be as simple as saying, “Register Now” and have it link to your registration page.
The point is that when you are writing your articles, blog posts, promotional emails, brochures, and other marketing copy, go back through it carefully and make sure you have covered the five Ws — who, what, when, where, why, and sometimes how. Going through the content to ensure this information is included is a test you can run for each piece you write to make sure that you have included all of the pertinent information. This also means you are supplying brides and grooms with all of the information they need to take the action you want.
The 5 Ws Checklist
Make a copy of this sheet and pull out a copy prior to writing each marketing piece. Fill in the details on the 5 Ws. Then use the list as a guide to write the copy for the piece.
- Who are the brides and grooms you are writing for?
- What are you describing in the piece (topic, product, service, event, etc.)? You can also think of this as the purpose for the piece.
- What is the timeframe, date and time that needs to be included in or inferred in the piece?
- What is the physical location or which general area is the piece covering?
- Why are you writing the piece? What benefits to the wedding couples get out of the copy you are sharing with them?
- What is the next step that the brides and grooms need to take or how can they take advantage of the offer or information included in the piece?
I’m Kristie Lorette McCauley. I have a word addiction and I’m not afraid to use it (or admit it).
In my past life, I was a certified wedding planner. In my current life, I am the wedding planner content + copy writer.
I use my writing + wedding planning experience to turn your thoughts into words that land you DREAM brides + grooms + book your calendar solid.