I spoke with Grant Owens the account planning director at Razorfish, NY yesterday and asked him if he thought copywriters who work in the digital medium need different skills. His answer was as resounding “yes” and it stands to reason. I’ll take a great copywriter over a mediocre copywriter any day, regardless of the medium, but all things equal, someone who is not only a digital native, but understands the analytics of writing for digital — that’s money.
In print, writers have to deal with readers turning the page before finishing the ad. Bore them and they’re gone. It’s the same with digital writing. But a page-turn on a website might not be to the next page, it might be to a thought-provoked Google search or Wikipedia visit for clarification. Readers of digital copy may go random and leave for a song that the copy inspires…or a map. Digital copywriters know their readers are ADD — with a tool at their fingertips that makes it all too easy to bounce. Reducing the bounce while at the same time convincing, creating predisposition to a sale and action is a gift. Direct Response copywriting is/was an art. Now, it’s digital. Peace!
PS. While most PDFs are laid out in brochure size, making it hard for online reading, check out the layout of Razorfish’s “Feed: Brand Experience Report 2009.” These guys totally get it. And the report is very smart too.