Due to the subjective nature of copywriting and design, copywriters and designers have difficult jobs. They get hired for their expertise, tap into their knowledge and experience, and propose a draft. When the response is positive, fantastic. But when businesses offer vague critiques such as, “I don’t like it,” that’s absolutely meaningless, setting the stage for unnecessary frustration, countless revisions, and wasted time for all parties involved.
When you hire with a copywriter or designer, you can eliminate misunderstandings, and achieve effective web copy or design without delays, by following these basic feedback guidelines.
1. Review Content as a Visitor, Not a Business Owner
Review the web copy or design from a customer’s point of view. If the content engages visitors and gets them to act, it’s doing its job. As a business owner, you might want to see mission statements and exec photos. But, keep in mind, if customers don’t care, you shouldn’t either.
2. Be Precise
Provide feedback that’s factual and specific. “It doesn’t differentiate us enough” isn’t overly helpful, but, “these are the three core benefits we need to highlight” definitely is. It’s not productive to keep your copywriter or designer guessing.
3. Limit the Number of Cooks in the Kitchen
Try to assign one person to handle the approval process. Everyone has different preferences with a different take. Approval by committee spawns beauracracy, delays and watered-down results. Plus, it’s bad for your copywriter’s or designer’s heart.
4. Avoid Legalese
Legal departments can kill good web content. Words such as heretofore, whereas, and above-mentioned are stiff and confusing. While some heavily regulated industries require legal reviews, it’s important to keep things simple. How many people who you know get turned on reading lengthy legal contracts?
5. Be Kind
Treat your copywriters and designers with respect, and they’ll give you their best. Even on a professional level, writing and design can be a personal act, so writers and designers can take criticism on a personal level. Be tactful. A great way to deliver rejection is to start with the line, “It’s a good start, but (fill in the blank).”
The Creative Bottom Line
If you grant qualified copywriters and designers freedom to craft marketing material, and provide clear, specific feedback in a respectful manner, they’re more likely to provide effective solutions with optimal results. Let copywriters write, and designers design.