16 Tricks Pro Communicators Use To Create ‘Sticky’ Marketing Copy

16 Tricks Pro Communicators Use To Create ‘Sticky’ Marketing Copy

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When members of an audience can remember what they heard, saw or read later, it creates top-of-mind awareness of what was shared with them and its overriding message. If you were a graphic artist, for example, you’d want the logos and other visuals you design to create a level of “stickiness” that goes beyond building awareness and creates brand recall.

It’s no different when it comes to copywriting. For those working in the world of marketing, advertising and public relations, the ability to write “sticky” copy is a key skill. However, making the written word as compelling as any audio or visual component of a piece of content can be challenging. 

Here, 16 members of Forbes Communications Council share tricks and best practices they rely on to consistently produce “sticky” marketing copy.

1. Walk A Mile In Your Audience’s Shoes

You will never go wrong doing this. Most marketing copy is written based on what the copywriter likes to read, not the reader. With a thorough understanding of the customer journey, marketers can understand how and where the customer is interacting with the campaign and master the touch points. This is critical to getting the format, length and tone of voice right. – Raghunath Koduvayur, IQM Quantum Computers

2. Crowdsource Outside Of Your Company

The worst thing you can do is function in a silo. Bounce ideas off of your friends, connections and family because the copy that you think is genius may not resonate with those who are not living and breathing it each day. – Layla Kasha, Grocery Outlet

3. Focus On The Benefit Versus The Feature

What will the end user get out of it? How will it make their life better? In technology, for instance, specs such as battery size or dimensions are often used. Find a way to make that mean something to the consumer. – Terra Teat, JLab

4. Use The Voice Of The Customer

One of my favorite methods is to use VoC. Listen to your ideal customers when they talk about their needs. Often, the best copy is derived from customer quotes. This way, you will create messaging that resonates with your target audience. A common mistake is to overcomplicate things by using “big words” your audience would never use to describe their pain points and desires. – Nina Quist, Eletive AB

5. Use Facts And Interesting Analogies

When it comes to marketing copy, incorporating facts, statistics, data and credible voices into the copy can make it a compelling read. Being able to communicate your message with authority means being able to persuade your audience in a meaningful way. As the adage goes, “You can’t fight the facts.” Using interesting analogies can help deconstruct complex ideas as well as increase audience empathy. – Sowmya Moni, Incture


Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?


6. Try To Write It In A Tweet

Twitter is the best copywriting teacher. It teaches people how to be concise. If it takes more than one tweet to convey your message, it’s probably too long and needs to be reworked. – Tracy Sestili, Fountain

7. Create Assorted Personal Swipe Files

These are resources where you collect effective writing samples for future reference to help with intros, ad styles, emails, product descriptions, PR, sales pages and many other types of copy. Doing this has proven beneficial and inspirational to us, beyond what we initially presumed before starting. – Mark Nicholson, Match Financial

8. Be Concise And Use Emotion To Connect

If you can say something in ten words rather than 100, do it. Your audience isn’t stupid, so just get to the meat and potatoes of what you are trying to say. Then go back to what you have and attach it to a story that connects your message to a human emotion. Many studies have shown that emotions drive decision-making. Emotions are what connects us to the world around us. – Stacy Gentile, Vengreso

9. Be Creative And Do What Others Aren’t Doing

The more creative you are, the more memorable your communications will be. Learn your target audience and identify what “sticks” with that demographic. If your marketing sounds like everyone else, you’ll blend in with everyone else. If you want to stand out, you have to do what others aren’t doing, which will ultimately help your content become more impactful. – Brennen Creer, Mammoth Tech

10. Use Strong, Bold Statements That Translate Into Sales Snippets

I find that the biggest challenge with writing copy is to not get too “wordy.” Strong, bold statements are ideal and will function as “disruptive” in the noisy digital marketing world. Also, statements that are easily translatable into sales snippets are key, as that continuation of your messaging along the funnel will result in more stickiness. – Ami DeWille, Perform[cb]

11. Know Your Prospect’s Problems And How You Can Solve Them

A message will only be “sticky” if you first understand the problems facing the prospect and how your solution is perfectly positioned to help them overcome this problem and relegate it to the past. Understanding their stage of awareness regarding the problem is also crucial to communicating with them effectively. If you’re inside their head, the message will stick. – Ross Kernez, HPOne

12. Invest In A Hook Sentence

That first sentence under the headline is often your only opportunity to pull a reader in and make them feel a need to continue reading. There should be a key benefit, solution or proposition identified in this all-important first sentence. Use it to inspire intrigue. Then slowly release the tension over the course of the rest of the copy. – Amine Rahal, Regal Assets

13. Write The Copy And Then Cut About A Third Of It

Write your story then rework it to cut about one-third of it. You will be surprised by how many unnecessary words we add to business stories. Replace generic words with “power” words. Be clear on the one idea you want your readers to remember. Test your writing with friends or colleagues to improve it. – Isabelle Dumont, Cowbell Cyber

14. Make People Laugh

Copy that is memorable and “sticky” has emotions tied to it. After all, when you feel an emotive response, it “sticks” more clearly in your memory. To that end, marketers often try to play to sentimentality or other nuanced emotions; but if you want to influence people at scale, it boils down to a simple trait: humor. Laughter brings folks together and powers word-of-mouth advertising. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap

15. Ensure You’re Not Writing For Writers

While different industries demand a certain amount of professionalism, the closest you can stay to a normal conversational tone the better. Always keep in mind that you’re a person talking to people! – Alfie Dawson, Datasine

16. Chunk Your Content

You could have the most well-written message in the world, but if you present it as a big block of text, people probably won’t read it. When you break your content up into sections, or design it in such a way that it keeps the eye entertained, you’ll see engagement go way, way up. – Melissa Kandel, little word studio

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