The Difference Between Showing and Telling

This one is from the archives, but still very relevant. If you want your marketing to really sell to your customers you have to make sure your copy sells, not tells. This post explains how:

Some copywriters will specialise in a certain industry or field of writing. Others offer copywriting services that cover just about every aspect of sales and business writing you can think of.

Many copywriting projects begin with a desire to tell an audience about a product, service or idea. But if all you do is tell your readers about something, you are missing the mark. Telling is done by journalists and teachers. Copywriting is about giving much more value.

It should sell not tell

Your message – whether it is an advert, website copy, brochure or email – should persuade and motivate your reader to carry out a particular action – BUY NOW, CALL NOW, BOOK NOW.

Below are three crucial elements that distinguish between writing to tell and writing to sell:


This is one thing you must become completely fixated on – because it’s what your readers want to know about. By highlighting the benefits you are appealing to your audience’s self interests. Why? Because benefits provide motivation.

Make offers

To make a sale you need to make a deal and this is your offer. Whether it is BOGOF, a time limited offer or a limited edition bonus gift they all add weight to your sales campaign.

See if from your customer’s point of view

This is where you leave your ego at the door. If you want to build rapport you have to write from their point of view. Suspend your own opinions and only think about what you are promoting from your reader’s side of the fence.

There are many other factors that need to be taken into consideration but the three elements described above are crucial if your writing is to sell rather than tell.


For more information about writing to sell, download Sally Ormond’s free eBook – 5 Simple Steps to Sensational Marketing.spiral_staircase_3D#4

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