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   .

Software Marketing Glossary
by Al Harberg, the press release guy from DP Directory

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Better software marketing by understanding
your subject, your target market, and your thoughts

from chapters 1, 2, and 3 of the book Words Fail Me - What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing by Patricia T. O'Conner, the August, 2009 Educational Software Cooperative Software Marketing Book Club selection.

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Understand your subject, and you'll write better software marketing messages

understand clients and write better software marketing messages Every topic can be explained clearly in simple English. If you can't explain something, O'Conner suggests that maybe you don't understand it completely.

I'm confident that developers understand their software completely. But perhaps they don't always understand their target audience's needs. Still, O'Conner suggests that if your writing is unclear, perhaps your thinking is unclear.

Understand your target market, and you'll sell more software

Many people fear writing. O'Conner thinks that fear of writing is often fear of your readers.

The more you understand and talk to your audience, the easier it will be to write.

Identify your audience, and use the proper vocabulary, tone, sentence structure, and imagery to talk to that audience. Understand their level of sophistication, likes and dislikes, and other demographic factors.

In the software industry, many developers write for people like themselves. Instead, they should be writing for their target audience which is often made up of people who lack the technical background to easily understand the developer's web site, help file, or promotional email.

write effective software marketing messages "Write as though you were addressing someone whose opinion you value."

Don't talk down to the reader. Software developers often have to describe their subject matter on a more basic level, so that newbies and non-technical people can understand it. Find a way to simplify your writing, without talking down to the reader.

Treat your reader respectfully, and your attitude will be reflected in your writing.

Organize your thoughts, and do a better job of software marketing

Organize your thoughts before you start writing.

I agree with O'Conner. When I look at many developers' web sites, I sense that they spend ten times as much time getting the graphics right, compared to the time devoted to the writing. Better writing will sell more software.

Keep a file of other people's writing that you think is good.

Start by determining what you want to say, and how you want to say it. For most developers, web sites and customer emails should be about sales. Not downloads. Sales.

Pick the logical sequence for delivering an effective sales message. Don't worry if your high school English teacher wouldn't like it.

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