9 Tips for Writing More Effective Industrial Copy


“Some manufacturers illustrate their advertisements with abstract paintings. I would only do this if I wished to conceal from the reader what I was advertising.” David Ogilvy

Over the years, more than once I’ve had to write copy for a topic I knew little or nothing about. Luxury home theaters… Home automation systems… Industrial wiring and cable… Data- and cloud-driven, intelligent enterprise solutions. Those are just a few examples off the top of my head.

There are three things that come before all else when you’re writing about subject matter you know essentially nothing about: Research, research, and more research!

It all starts there because without gaining a good, working knowledge of the topic at hand, you have little chance of appealing to someone who is versed in the subject — and you have virtually no chance of fooling that same person. Even when you do absorb all the information you can about a particular industry, you’ll never get to the point where you know half of what someone knows who has been working in the industry for years or even decades.

What we’ll do today is take a look at nine tips that help me stay on track when I’m writing industrial copy — often an unfamiliar topic. These can be applied to website copy, brochures, advertisements, mailers, catalogs, and pretty much any product literature that an industrial company produces.

1) Be technically accurate — Industries sell products, services, and systems to solve specific problems. Your copy must accurately describe what the product can and cannot do.

Along with being technically accurate comes being truthful. Industrial buyers are a highly sophisticated target group. Technical know-how is their forte, and they’ll likely spot any exaggerations of the facts, omissions, or errors you might make.

Being accurate also means specificity. Writing that Litz wire is the best choice for high current magnetic devices is vague and meaningless to a technician; but saying that Litz wire offers three substantial benefits in the design of high current magnetics, including:

  • How in the low kilohertz range, efficiency gains compared to ordinary wire can exceed 50 percent, while in low megahertz frequencies, it exceeds 100 percent or more.

  • How Litz wire is most often formed into square, rectangular, and keystone shapes, enabling design engineers to maximize the quality of a resonant circuit and minimize losses and AC resistance of the device.

  • How that as a result of that preforming, devices using Litz wire fit more copper into smaller physical dimensions than those using ordinary magnet wire.

I tell you all this not to dazzle you or educate you on Litz wire, but to show you how in-depth you need to take your research. Remember, a single technical inaccuracy can destroy the credibility of the entire promotion, so you need to be very careful and technically accurate.

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John Torre

I reside in North Brunswick, NJ, with my wife, Lynn, and daughters Kasey, Jaclyn, and Shelly. We also have a 110 pound, lovable Rottie named Leo that keeps us on our toes! When we're not hard at work we enjoy spending weekends at our bungalow down the Jersey shore, or take extended trips to Walt Disney World as members of the Disney Vacation Club. For kicks, I draw on my dominant "right-brain" and play guitar in classic rock and blues bands, act for local plays and independent productions, and enjoy writing creative fiction. I'm a published author in short fiction and stage plays and a graduate of a local community college's Commercial Writer's Certificate Program. After graduating from the program I was selected as an instructor and taught "Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror" writing for 8 years. I enjoy many fine relationships I made with my students to this day.

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