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Tag, You're It !

By Larry Johnson
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004

Some call them "tag lines"; others refer to them as "catch lines" or "tie-in-slogans." Whatever the words used to refer to them, they are perhaps the most important part of your promotional writing.

Do you recognize any of these ? : "Like a rock..." "Fly the friendly skies..." "It's the real thing !" "Quality is job number one" "The quicker-picker-upper"

Most of those tag lines are recognizable by us without even including the name of the company or product.

They summarize in a very few words the essence of the thing they are promoting. They communicate a good, positive feeling or relationship to the product. They do it with a simple, rememberable phrase that is easily repeated.

The shorter the description is, the more challenging it is to write. Anyone can write a 500-word description of a product or service. Now try doing it with 5 to 10 words ! Each word you choose is very important to the message.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS for writing good taglines for your business offer.

1) Start by noticing ads on billboards as you drive down the road. Billboard advertisers have but a couple of seconds to grab your attention and sell their product or service. Usually their copy is going to be a very good tagline with a picture of the product or service. These are great examples of how to write effective taglines.

2) Notice other media forms like magazine and newspaper display ads, business cards, brief radio and TV commercials. Observe the thing that caught your attention and makes the message easily remembered. It's usually a concise and well-written tagline.

3) Write down everything you can think of that relates to your business. You may even start with a narrative description in paragraph form.

4) Now, make a list of the top 25 or 30 things that are important and worth mentioning. Whittle that list down to 8 or 10 of the most important things you wish to say. Now eliminate repetition or things that are not really that necessary to your product or service. Get your list of words or phrases down to 3 or 4 central elements.

5) Based on your final core selection, make up some phrases that will serve as your taglines for consideration. Keep them short and use simple, everyday language.

Which of these taglines would you remember best ? :


"Joe's auto repair shop, the lowest-prices and the best service" OR "Quality Care For Your Car !"


"The Best Tax Service Anywhere Around The Town !" OR "Your Tax Experts At Work !"


"Emergengy ambulance service available 24-hours a day" OR "When Minutes Count!"


Well, you get the idea!

Do some test marketing with your final two or three best taglines. Discover the one that works best for you and incoporate it into all of your promotional messages.

Remember, like any of life's endeavors, experience and practice help to improve your skills level. If you want to be a good writer, write a lot !

Best of luck in your promotional efforts !

Larry Johnson, Author (C) 1999-2002, All Rights Reserved.

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About the Author
Larry is a webmaster and editor with six years experience. His background includes counseling, retail sales, radio and t-v copy writing and production. He is currently active in his imprinted promotional items business and weekly publication of the free business newsletter, Biz Site Biz E-zine. He has been nationally published in Home Business Magazine. He may be reached at: or you may view his site at (


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