Can the “bucket brigade” actually increase your ad’s readability? (Part 1)

A large Smithwick's ale billboard, just off Ti...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m a big fan of “The Bucket Brigade”

Just in case you’re not familiar with this phrase, you might know them as transitions.

A transition used correctly can increase the level readership of your copy.

However, this same tool can hurt your writing as well.

Too many transitions can make your copy unreadable.

The key in using transitions is knowing how to use them correctly.

And I have good news in regards to how to use them.

In this two part series awai copywriter John Wood will show you the five different types of transitions you can use to keep your reader reading.

——————————————-

How to Force Your Reader to Keep Reading – Let Me Explain …

By John Wood, AWAI Staff Copywriter

Oprah always tells her viewers what’s coming up after the commercial break. For example, when Celine Dion was on recently, she said something like “Next, Celine Dion debuts her brand-new single ‘Taking Chances.’ First time ever on network TV.”

All talk shows do this. It’s a very effective way to keep people watching.

Many times, I’ve been about to turn off the TV, only to be tempted to stay tuned.

The same technique, of course, is used in copywriting. Here are a few examples:

* But there’s more …
* So read on …
* But I didn’t stop there …
* Let me explain …
* Now here comes the good part …

Another way to use this technique in a sales letter is to put a very short sentence at the end of a paragraph that offers a reason for the reader to read the next paragraph.

In the “Finding a Winning ‘Voice’ for Your Copy” lesson in AWAI’s Masters Program, Paul Hollingshead refers to these prompts as “conversational transitions.”

And in The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, copywriting legend Joe Sugarman calls them “Seeds of Curiosity,” because they make you to want to continue reading even if the copy is slowing down at that point.

Here are five different types of transitions to try …

Transition #1: Adding clarification or driving home a point

* Here’s the thing …
* But here’s the kicker …
* Here’s my point …
* My point is this …

Example without transition:

Now, of course, you can spend $40.00 a month on a regular dating service. Select your dates from one-dimensional profiles that you can only hope are accurate. Scan through pictures that, in all probability, are five or 10 years old. Go out on date after date and come home frustrated, throw up your hands, and yell “I give up. I’ll never find the love of my life.” Or you could become a member of CEO Dating.

Example with transition:

Maybe you’ve already tried “regular” dating services. If you have, you know how frustrating it can be … misleading profiles … pictures of potential mates that are five or 10 years old. Not only can it be really frustrating and uncomfortable, it can be a huge waste of time.

Here’s my point …

At CEO Dating, you won’t’ have that problem. You’ll know exactly what your prospective date looks like – not 6 months or six years ago, but today. And you’ll have the comfort of knowing every fact about your date has been double- and tripled-checked by our team of researchers.

Transition #2: Informing your reader that you’re about to add clarity/proof to what you’ve just said

* Please allow me to explain …
* Let me explain …
* I’ll explain …
* Here’s what I mean …

Example without transition:

At CEO Dating, we listen to your feedback. And one thing you’ve told us is that you want variety. Although you love candlelight dinners with vintage wine and Mozart playing in the background, sometimes you want to “get a little wild.” If that’s the case, you can select from one of our 105 exotic “excursion” dates. Maybe you want to take your potential lifemate to South Africa to photograph elephants or to Tibet to do some mountain climbing. Now, with the click of your mouse, you can.

Example with transition:

At CEO Dating, we listen to your feedback. And one thing you’ve told us is that you want variety. Although you love candlelight dinners with vintage wine and Mozart playing in the background, sometimes you want to “get a little wild.”

Let me explain …

To satisfy the adventurer in you, we’ve created 105 exotic “excursion” dates. Now, with the click of your mouse, you could be on your way to South Africa to photograph elephants or on a flight to Tibet to climb Mount Everest.

————————————

In part two of this series you’ll get the remaining three transitions that will help you create your own slippery slope.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

One Response

  1. […] actually increase your ad’s readability? (part 2) Hopefully you’ve read part one of this two part […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: