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How to fix a combover

Dry copy is kind of like baldness.
Like bald guys, lots of marketers give in to the great combover temptation. Carefully placing their words just so, they try to transform dry material by emphasizing features. Or by inserting a few clever witticisms, or impressive phrases like “strategic alignment.”It’s true that if the topic was a bit more engaging and accessible, attracting prospects might be easier. But sometimes, it’s just better to be bald. There are worse things than dry copy. Some audiences don’t mind dry copy. Combovers, however, are never a good idea.

In this issue of Writing Rehab, we will explore the proper way to remedy dry copy. We’ll show you how to make it shine. Nicely, and with unpretentious grace. Be proud of your baldness!

Here is an example of real-life bald copy in the green tech industry, the lame combover, and a sensible makeover remedy.

Original Bald Copy:
“It is essential that developers and investors have an accurate assessment of the wind climate, and a reliable prediction of expected energy production from any wind farm. By developing a sound methodology over many years, Wind Energy Advisors has unrivalled experience and expertise in providing independent
assessments for this purpose. These additional services range from feasibility studies, to designing layouts and monitoring programs, to undertaking noise analyses.”

Lame Copy Combover:
“Whether you’re a developer or an investor, you can’t afford to take wind climate assessments lightly. Wind Energy Advisors boasts unrivalled expertise in providing independent assessments to measure your wind energy production. Our engineers provide a wide range of services to wind farm developers and owners alike. Here are just a few of the services we provide:

* Designing layouts
* Monitoring programs
* Noise analysis”

Notice how the combover, while certainly more readable, still fails to draw you in. Why is that? Because this combover is still focusing on the company–not on the prospect and her needs.

Here’s a sensible makeover that integrates the company’s services with the prospect’s needs.

Embracing Your Baldness with a Bit of Polish:
“How much are imprecise wind climate measurements costing you? If you’re a wind farm developer or investor, you could be losing up to 20% of your investment each year.

At Wind Energy Advisors, we can help you maximize production and minimize waste. It all starts with accurate measurements and reliable predictions. Because when you know how much your wind farm is producing, you can develop a good plan. Our services include:

  • Designing layouts – Our experts can help you prevent costly mistakes
  • Monitoring programs – What you don’t know can hurt you–so protect your investment throughout its lifecycle
  • Noise analyses -Noise, a type of resistance, reduces efficiency. We’ll detect these areas and recommend cost-effective solutions.”

Note how the copy retains its glorious technical details, but connects those features with benefits.

So, the next time you’re tempted to dress up your copy to make it sound fun and exciting, remember to tie it into your audience’s needs. Otherwise, you risk a hideous marketing combover.

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