Saturday, 30 July 2011

Bingo! David Cameron's summer email to Tory members and supporters

David Cameron's summer email to members and supporters of the Conservative Party is loooong.

At 898 words (excluding salutation and footer) its long copy invites the reader to invest some time. A quick call to action it ain't.

Tellingly, long copy is often used by advertisers of high-priced or unsought products, to draw buyers in and make them feel justified and more secure in their eventual purchase.

Front-loaded with AV referendum back-patting (in case the reader bounces early), Cameron's email continues with a potted review of the year and a tug on Tory heartstrings.

It's all about the key words.

To see what the Conservatives want readers to take away from the screen, look at the word-cloud above: Can you even spot the word "Conservatives"? It's tiny.

The ingredients have been carefully weighed: It's heavy on words like 'Government', 'right', 'country', 'responsibility' and 'proud', with a pinch of 'tough' and 'difficult' to bring out the flavour of decisions to come.

David Cameron and his scribes sure know their audience and have taken care to serve up what their supporters need to hear. As I've often said at training sessions on copywriting, "It's not about you, it's about them - even when it's about you."

When readers forget the majority of what you write, are you concentrating on what you want them to remember?