There will always be lazybones and speed-readers who “skim” the pages of the letter to get the “gist” of what your offer’s all about. When reading your eyes naturally follow a zigzag pattern, from left-to-right, then left again, down a page.
Understanding this will help you capture both the speed reader, who has been trained to use this natural pattern to blast through copy, and the lazy reader who lets their eye fall naturally on the “high points” as they skim your piece.
By creatively using bold text, subheads, italics and other highlights to add emphasis in your body, you can draw these readers through your logic and your benefits and ultimately, your offer.
So the hidden key here is, use emphasis in your body in a planned, conscious way. Don’t just hit the “hot” words… using fragments, individual words and wordgroups over various sentences, you can create complete thoughts. This is like subliminal messages, only the messages are right in front of the reader. It’s also like coded messages, where you join every other letter or every capital letter, to form a message. Although you have full pages of space to play with this concept, in this paragraph the core message is highlighted as “So the hidden key “hot” words create complete thoughts like coded messages.” Even the “skimmer” gets the main point.
Think about it this way: Have you ever used a highlighter to capture key thoughts in a text? Maybe you’re using one right now. If you highlight everything, all you have is a bunch of yellow paper with words. So, what do you do? You selectively highlight the key points, sometimes dragging a line across sentences to join together the points into a single thought. Do the same with your highlights in your body copy. Start the customer where he naturally goes first, then lead him through at your pace.
Incidentally, this is also why the upper right page is the preferred spot to run an ad in a publication. When you are turning pages, the eye naturally hits the upper right side first. So, more number people will naturally notice your ad when you are fortunate enough to get this placement.
Likewise, when including a photo in your sales letter, place it on the upper left. This is the natural starting point for people when reading a page.