5 Disciplines to Help You Meet Reader Expectations

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“The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.” Roy H. Williams

When you sit down to write copy — whether it be a web page, a white paper, a case study, a direct-response letter, or what have you — you are, in some ways, like a band leader. You must orchestrate all the elements of your writing into one coherent structure and deliver a persuasive performance.

The people you’re writing to — whether they’re looking to purchase something or looking for information — expect you to be their guide and help them understand what it is they’re looking for.

Today I’m going to examine five content issues that will help you keep reader expectations in mind as you work your way through assembling a project. These five issues include: (1) the use of supporting evidence, (2) the use of sources, (3) achievement of purpose, (4) attention to audience, and (5) overall impression.

1) Proper usage of supporting evidence — Persuasive writing needs to accomplish two basic goals: to make a claim and to prove it. To that end, readers expect that a sales argument will present one or more points clearly and that those points will be supported by ample evidence — good reasons, examples, testimonials, scientific research, product comparisons, or what have you.

When you use evidence effectively, you help readers understand your point by making otherwise abstract concepts concrete. You offer proof that what you’re saying is sensible and worthy of attention. Anything less will result in your readers feeling that your sales points are underdeveloped and lack the details necessary to be convincing.

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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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