Prospect-Centric Copy is What the Doctor Ordered

Fear and greed may be the two greatest motivators when it comes to selling anything, but crafting a direct-mail piece for a health-related client – be it treatment, prevention, or insurance – requires connecting with a prospect on a friendly, not scary, level. For five copywriting tips for health clients, read on …

  • Increase the info. When it replaced its eight-page letter and color brochure package with a 36-page bookalog, Johns Hopkins White Papers emerged with a new control to sell its white paper series. Each of its 13 titles has its own “chapter.” Writing more in-depth on health issues will not only increase the perception that the mailer is an authority on the subject, it also give prospects much-needed facts for important buying decisions
  • Allow readers to choose their path. According to the package’s copywriter, Barbara Harrison, owner of Barbara Harrison Copy and Creative Services in Mount Kisco, NY, including a table of contents helps the prospect quickly find her own health issues and read information on the product that is most relevant to her needs.
  • Leave them with something. Writing up a quick takeaway item – such as the wallet-sized “Heart Attack Warning Signs” and CPR how-to informational freemium that was included in a direct-mail package from Inova Health Systems – can help keep a branding message around long after the mailing has been thrown out.
  • Make the information accessible. Although for health clients more copy typically is better, that doesn’t mean recipients will respond well to dense blocks of information. To avoid this trap, the Johns Hopkins piece had colored bursts scattered throughout its pages to reiterate the offer. Bullet points as well as highlighted text were used to make the copy easier to comprehend.
  • Include credentials. Because the health care industry so heavily relies on building and maintaining a reputation of excellence, facts about how the organization has contributed to public health over its years in operation can go a long way to increase feelings of trust in prospects.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: March 5, 2008

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