Last year I assisted a friend with some copy for a sponsorship letter. Because I don’t have any formal fund-raising experience, I did a little research before committing anything to the page. I’m glad that I did, because I found some valuable information from Tom Ahern, an expert at fund-raising copy. As Tom sees it, there are basically four different personality types that should be considered when creating your copy; amiables, expressives, skeptics and bottom-liners. Joanne Fritz at about.com provides a nice overview about the distinctions between these personality types and highlights some tips from Tom’s book about how to respond effectively to each one.
Of course, the same is true with any online communication and we should keep human personalities in mind when composing copy for our websites, blogs and email campaigns. Although human personalities don’t necessarily change online (although a skeptic might be even more skeptical on the Internet,) there are some things to consider when transferring Tom’s copywriting advice to an Internet audience.
- On his blog, Seth Godin discusses the nuances of letters, brochures and email and provided some good insights into the importance of creating copy that best fits each space.
- In a previous post on this blog, I reviewed a survey that illustrated how mobile email users behave differently to email when it appears on their phone.
- A while back I posted some thoughts about communicating with the modern man.
So while content length, format and style might require some readjustments for an online audience, we are still communicating with different personalities all the time. Understanding that can certainly help us to be more successful in achieving the results that we desire.