Words With Hyphens That Work Well in Copy and Why

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This is my fourth tips article for newbies on writing copy that sells, words that work for you. Everyone knows that what you say about your product or service can swing the difference between ho-hum and aha! and get you those sales. But not everyone knows that just jamming your copy with buzzwords and keywords may not have the effect you want – getting your readers to admire your product, accept your claims for it, and act to get it.

The secret I’m going to reveal to you is how words with hyphens work on the reader and therefore some words and phrases you need to use to make your copy sizzle. Words with hyphens make an effect not just because of what they say but because of how they look. Words that have hyphens draw the eye along and keep people reading. Everyone wants to get to the end of the word, the end of the sentence, the end of the story. That’s the principle behind hyphenated words. It’s important because the point of every part of a piece of copy is to keep people reading on until they’re ready to clip the coupon, lift the phone or click the link to buy.

Here’s a dozen hyphenated keywords for copywriting: award-winning, easy-to-use, fool-proof, make-or-break, must-have, no-questions-asked, no-risk, no-money-down, plug-and-play, quick-and-easy, ready-to-go, world-class. You can easily find many others by studying copy you read on the net or that drops through your mail.

These hyphenated words all have one thing in common. They describe something. They’re adjectival, to be grammatically precise. But they don’t just give information about the features of your product. They interest, intrigue, excite, reassure, guarantee and convince. They hit all the right buttons, answer all the questions in the reader’s mind before you’ve maybe even named your product or service, let alone asked for the sale. The hyphens increase the effect by joining the words together. Hyphens are verbal starbursts, golden starbursts that go off like explosions of emotion as the reader reads on.

If you haven’t been consciously using hyphenated words in your copy, you can easily and enjoyably get used to writing sentences using whole strings of them. Sit round the kitchen table and see who in your family can make the longest sensible sentence using words in the list and others. Enjoy!

Here’s an example from a real piece of copy I wrote. “Harness the fantastic POWER of high-powered marketing materials to Win Clients, Build Relationships and Achieve a market-leading reputation as the No. 1 source of top-class… staff for the… industry!”

So much of what we read in copy seems obvious until someone points out the skill and judgement required to select the words that are going to work best to propel the reader along to the point of sale. It’s like picking the right needle for a thread or the right spanner for a nut. So go pick out some hyphenated words for your next piece. They’re often the right tool for the job!

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Source by Michael H Collins