• AMi Direct

AMiable Solution #236: How Modified Is Your Marketing?



Any marketing campaign conceived without a strong message and offer will, not surprisingly, fall flat. But poorly written, boring, or predictable writing can have the same effect on your marketing efforts. Sometimes we get so caught up in defining our message that we overlook how we deliver it.

Understanding basic sentence structure and employing different writing techniques can give an added spark to your writing. It can turn an informative sentence into an engrossing one.

One way to do that? Incorporate resumptive and summative modifiers into your marketing copy. Resumptive and summative modifiers create emphasis within a sentence. They give sentences rhythm. They provide a platform for important information.

How? Resumptive modifiers repeat a noun or adjective at the end of a sentence and then provide additional information. Take, for example, the following sentence from the American Red Cross’s website: “By donating to the Red Cross, you can be there for millions of people who face emergencies every year and help as they rebuild their lives.” By adding a resumptive modifier, we can play up the emotional aspect of the sentence: “By donating to the Red Cross, you can be there for millions of people who face emergencies every year and help as they rebuild their lives, lives drastically altered by disease, disaster, and destruction.”

Summative modifiers, like resumptive modifiers, also follow otherwise complete sentences and provide additional information. However, instead of repeating a word, they summarize what was already said in the sentence before adding the new information. That same Red Cross sentence rewritten with a summative modifier becomes, “By donating to the Red Cross, you can be there for millions of people who face emergencies every year and help as they rebuild their lives, a simple act that helps ordinary people who face extraordinary challenges reclaim their health, their homes, and their happiness.”

Both techniques produce specific, attention-grabbing results. As such, you should use them in moderation. But by all means, use them.


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