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Like any good love letter, poem or story, words can make or break a marketing relationship.

From cars and hotels to charities and chocolate, you need to decide whether witty charm, tugging on heartstrings or some other devastatingly effective technique is the best way to promote your product or service.

Here are some techniques to help create that special chemistry between brand and customer:

Tell them what makes it bigger, better, stronger

Straight facts about what you’re selling aren’t always enough. There should also be a compelling story or proposition behind them. Great ‘pick-up’ headlines and wise-cracking humour might be a good way to grab a customer’s attention, but they need substance to support them. Testimonials, case studies, interesting facts or details can all help woo and wow your audience.

It’s not about you…

Write for your reader – not yourself. To keep someone’s undivided attention, target your message at their lives and concerns. Understand what makes them tick. And then deliver your copy in a voice that appeals to them.

Create the right mood

Don’t overlook the sound of your writing. Use alliteration to help give rhythm and pace. Stimulate different moods through tone of voice. And use power words where you can. They send a simple message directly to the reader’s brain and make your copy stand out. For example: love, hate, cash, risk, care, child, give, huge, chop, win, lose…

Don’t suffer from ‘nounitus’

Verb-driven writing is active, vigorous and propels your story along. So avoid doing a ‘George Bush’ by turning verbs into nouns. Here’s an example of ‘nounitis’: We focus on performance measurement and management. The more active, clearer version of this would be: We measure and manage performance.

Avoid verbal wallpaper

It’s good to write visually; painting pictures with words. But steer clear of metaphors you often see in print such as, ‘Saving for a rainy day’. The same goes for over-worked similes or indulgent writing. You want your reader to look at the view, not the window.


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Writing love letters is a bit of a lost art these days. But throughout history some of the most unlikely writers, poets and statesmen have put pen to paper to express their innermost feelings. Here are a few examples to inspire you:

Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn

With six wives, King Henry VIII (1491-1547) probably had a lot of practice writing love letters, starting with Anne Boleyn. He met her in 1526, when he was still married to his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. However, it took Henry seven years to annul his marriage to Katherine and finally become united with Anne – who persuaded Henry to marry her. He wrote:

“This brings to my mind a fact in astronomy, which is, that the further the poles are from the sun, notwithstanding, the more scorching is the heat. Thus is it with our love; absence has placed distance between us, nevertheless fervor increases – at least on my part.”

Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine de Beauharnais

It’s not easy to imagine Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), as a great romantic. But the letters he wrote to his first wife, Josephine, suggest otherwise. They married in 1796 and had a passionate relationship. Although he divorced her in 1810 when she failed to produce an heir.

“I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart…Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses. But give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.”

James Joyce to Nora Barnacle

While on his first return trip from Zurich to Dublin in 1909, James Joyce (1882-1941) wrote a series of smutty letters to his then girlfriend – and future wife – Nora Barnacle. She later said of these letters, "I don't know whether my husband is a genius or not, but he certainly has a dirty mind." Here’s a slightly more romantic offering, written by Joyce not long after the two met:

“It has just struck me. I came in at half past eleven. Since then I have been sitting in an easy chair like a fool. I could do nothing. I hear nothing but your voice…”

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So you’ve tried pubs, bars and "you must meet my recently single friend" dinner parties. Maybe you’ve given internet dating a whirl. But if you still haven’t found The One, perhaps it’s time you broadened your tastes to include… the undead?

Readers of romance novels have been following vampiric love affairs for years. Most recently, Edward Cullen, the vampire-hero of the Twilight books, has stolen the hearts of teenage girls and middle-aged women everywhere. But now an even more unlikely breed of supernatural heroes are hitting our bookshelves, including zombies, demons – and even the Devil himself.

Hungry for Your Love, the first ever ‘zombie romance anthology’ was published in 2009 by the American publisher Ravenous for Romance. With titles such as 'Apocalypse as Foreplay', it includes romantic stories about humans falling in love with zombies, as well as zombies falling in love with each other.

Since then, other publishers of romance novels have followed suit. Mills and Boon’s ‘Nocturnes’ series branches further into paranormal romance – with stories featuring vampires, werewolves and, most popularly, demons. After all, everybody likes a bad boy.

And that’s not all, in Divine by Mistake by PC Cast, the heroine finds herself transported to another world where she must marry a centaur. He may be half horse but he’s all man and, of course, they fall in love. Whereas in The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter, the heroine falls for sexy Satan. Perhaps something to do with the horns and pointy tail?

So next time you’re wondering if you’re ever going to find the Love of Your Life, reconsider your options. The new places to pick-up are clearly graveyards, parallel universes and the underworld. Or maybe you just need to head to the romance section of your local bookshop.