Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- 101 Tips and Tutorials to Write Like a Pro - August 17, 2017
- How to Find a Technical Writing Job – Some Ideas and Resources - August 9, 2017
- BOOK REVIEW: “Design for How People Learn” by Julie Dirksen - July 10, 2017
by Bob Bly
Author of Best Kept Copy Writing Secrets
Numbers gain attention, arouse curiosity, and add credibility to product claims.
Here are 7 ways to use numbers to increase the power of your next sales promotion:
1 – Make percentages look larger.
Taking percentages out to the second decimal place makes them look bigger, because there are 2 extra digits.
2 – The magic of 2,000.
When you have 2,000 or more of something, you can legitimately say you have “thousands.”
Good: 2,100 subscribers.
Better: thousands of subscribers.
Thousands sounds better because it could be anything from 2,000
3 – Almost/over.
When you want to make a number bigger than it is, compare it to the nearest round number using the words “almost” or “over/more than.”
Good: 17 years of experience.
Better: almost 20 years of experience.
Good: 21 years of experience.
Better: more than 20 years of experience.
4 – Use credible numbers.
The rule of thumb is to use the round number when you are talking theoretically, and the odd number when you are presenting hard data.
Theoretical: “Make $100,000 as a professional massage therapist.”
Hard data: “Last year Henry earned $100,287.45 in his massage therapy practice.”
5 – Do not write numbers as words. Use numerals.
Good: Seven ways to reduce PC down-time.
Better: 7 ways to reduce PC down-time.
6 – Write fractions as whole numbers rather than percentages.
Good: 30% of wine bottles have cork rot.
Better: 3 out of 10 wine bottles have cork rot.
7 – Use the largest unit of measure possible to make a number sound big.
Good: 25 years of service.
Better: A quarter of a century of service.