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A simple trick to keep your copy punchy

Date: 
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
freelance northampton copywriter

Don't put the sleigh before the reindeer

What do you make of these sentences?

Start using our great new CRM system to improve your efficiency.
Call us today to find out more.
The directors face some tough decisions,
if they want to sort out this mess.

Notice anything odd about them?

 

They’re perfectly grammatical.  They make sense.  And hooray!  There are no spelling mistakes.
But don’t you agree?  There’s definitely something not quite right.

Here are two clues.
No.1 Look at the image above.

No.2 A joke - recently voted the fifth funniest ever -

I said to the gym instructor: "Can you teach me to do the splits?"
I said: "I can't make Tuesdays
”, when he asked, “How flexible are you?”

It doesn’t work, does it?  Even though it’s perfectly grammatical, it falls flat.
Why?  Because it doesn't end with the punchline.
Of course, it should read like this.

I said to the gym instructor: "Can you teach me to do the splits?"
He asked,
“How flexible are you?”
I said: "I can't make Tuesdays”.

It’s the same with those three sentences at the top.
They’re weak.  They lack impact - because the punchline is at the beginning.

Try these instead.

To improve your efficiency, start using our great new CRM system.
To find out more, call us today.

If they want to sort out this mess, the directors face some tough decisions.

Notice the improvement?
So the moral is a simple one. 

Make sure your key message is at the end, when your sentence is in two parts.

Oh sorry!  I meant -

When your sentence is in two parts, make sure your key message is at the end.

Till the next time ...

And tomorrow's topic?

Keep it simple.  Don't send me flowers.

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