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Thursday, February 1, 2007

Shun the asterisk

When communicating to your target audience, you want to get your message across clearly and quickly. The asterisk will stop you from achieving this. That's because the asterisk interrupts your readers from your message, makes them go to the bottom of the page to read something that's probably not a direct benefit to them anyway and then go back up to continue where they left off. This doesn't make for a quick and clear read. In fact, it often opens a door that says: "Run and don't look back."

So instead of using asterisks as footnotes, say what you need to say right in the body of the copy. It can be a parenthetical. And if it's not a benefit to your audience, try to turn it into one.

In other words, there's never a need to use asterisks in your sell or branding copy unless your legal department tells you to.

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