Judy Olbrych

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Meet Ellipsis - the Seducer in Your Sales Copy

Meet Ellipsis - the Seducer in Your Sales Copy

You’ve seen her everywhere. 

She leaves her marks on press releases, landing pages, web pages … every place you find a copywriter’s words. 

She’s started countless arguments among writers.

And she magnetizes your sales copy in three itsy bitsy character spaces …

The ellipsis is a powerful seducer in your sales copy.

What is an ellipsis and where did it come from?

Most often represented by a series of three periods, the word originates from the Greek ἔλλειψις or elleipsis, meaning a deficit or falling short. Apollonius of Perga (b. 240 B.C.) used the term in his work Conics to name the shape created by intersecting a cone with an oblique plane.

In grammar, an Ellipsis formerly indicated the elision of a vowel – in which an unstressed vowel sound is omitted. It now most commonly refers to:

“An omission from a sentence of one or two words which would be needed to complete the sense or construction, or which occur in the original: the omission of a sentence at the end of a paragraph; a set of dots etc. used to indicate such an omission.” (The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th Ed.)

How to use an ellipsis

The form of an ellipsis depends on whether you’re using AP or Chicago Style.

Use three dots to omit words in the middle of a sentence or between sentences:

In AP Style, an ellipse is indicated by 3 periods in a row separated from the rest of the sentence by a space on either side:

“Business enterprises … are organs of society.”

According to Chicago Manual of Style guidelines, the ellipsis is represented by a series of three dots separated by single spaces.

“Business enterprises . . . are organs of society.”

Four dots may be used to start or end a quote in mid-sentence or to
show you’ve skipped one or more sentences in the middle of a quote:

AP Style keeps the three dots together, inserting them at the end of a sentence after a period and a space:

“Business enterprises – and public institutions as well- are organs of society. … They are not ends in themselves, but means.”

In Chicago Style, the four periods are evenly spaced:

“Business enterprises – and public institutions as well- are organs of society. . . . They are not ends in themselves, but means.”

The Copywriter’s Friend

Don’t be fooled by her simple appearance.  In addition to replacing omitted words, the ellipsis also connects ideas, creates the pregnant pause, and leads your reader hypnotically forward through sales pages, ads, and emails.

How can ellipses in your emails, sales letters, and webpages increase response?

1 – Add an ellipsis at the end of a pre-headline or a page to command attention and propel the reader to the next line …

What never to take with melatonin …

Attention writers and graphic designers …

And that was only the beginning …

2 – Break up long bullet points without bringing your reader to a full stop …

  • The sneaky way unscrupulous insurance salesmen trick you into signing up for policies that cover you twice … and what you can do to STOP overpaying

3 – Showcase the best parts of a client testimonial or newspaper review …

If you’re struggling to create interesting articles, Judy Olbrych has a great course called Affiliate Copy Made Easy … I took the course and thought I was pretty good before, but she made me better. And if you do want to monetize your blog, her tips are the bomb! – PH

4.  Slow down sentences to mimic a natural conversational style in the mind of your reader …

Did you know that nearly 50% of all sleep apnea goes undetected? Here’s a simple test to see if you’re a victim of this “zombie-maker” … and what you can do to stop it without spending a fortune, feeling like Darth Vader, or sleeping alone.

5 Create a suspense-filled pause …

“Maybe having all the lights on was a bad idea. He got up and turned the upper lights off … There was a step outside. Crunch! Crunch! … Mr. Monroe hurried to the mantel, knocked the gun on to the floor, fumbled for it, and stuck it in a hip pocket just as a knock sounded at the door.” (James Thurber, The Owl in the Attic)

Go ahead … experiment … add an ellipsis … or three. 

And if you’re ready to free up time for yourself and your business with Done-For-You copywriting that motivates the heart of your reader … Get in touch with Judy today.

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Judy Olbrych

Judy Olbrych

2 years ago #1

Five-in-a-row - a new Ken Boddie style rule. And more than five is perfectly legal in certain cases, even by Chicago rules. You can indicate the omission of one or more full lines of verse with a row of spaced dots approximately the length of the first missing line (or the line above it) AND a full line of dots indicates the omission of several paragraphs or pages in prose. Plus, you can use two consecutive ellipses - one at the end of one paragraph and another at the beginning of the next ... so that's technically 6-kind-of-in-a-row. Thanks for reading and sharing your "points"!

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