Ditch the worst of Direct Marketing

| November 16, 2009

dmHysterical punctuation and messy formatting puts readers off

If you want to make sure visitors get to grips with your website’s message instantly, keep it cool. Direct Marketing is powerful stuff. But some traditional DM techniques don’t translate well online, where attention spans are even shorter and instant gratification’s the bunny.

When formatting your content, avoid things like this

  • Making yourself sound hysterical by sprinkling your content with multiple exclamation marks!!!
  • Causing desperation with endless random underlining
  • Forcing people’s attention to flit around too many conflicting coloured headers
  • Interrupting readers’ flow with rash emboldening
  • Creating the visual alternative to a hiccup with an over enthusiastic use of italics
  • SHOUTING at people by WRITING IN CAPITALS!
  • Confusing Buyers’ Vision With Camel Case
  • Making visitors go cross eyed dealing with bands of highlighted text
  • Exhausting the eye as it jumps between multiple font sizes and styles
  • Putting people off with long, dense paragraphs
  • Writing and constructing your web page like a letter using ‘dear…’
  • Making on-screen reading even more challenging by using a serif font like Times Roman

Using a handful of the above on a web page is bad enough. Take the lot of board and you’ll create an ugly mess that’s almost impossible to read.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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