Capitalizing words- When and when not to?

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As I've been reading and copying out various letters I've noticed that often there are whole words and sentences that are either completely capitalized or just the first letter of each.

Is there a particular method to the madness when doing this?

The reason I believe whole words or sentences are capitalized is to emphasize certain key points, etc.

But What About Capitalizing The First Letter Of Each Word?

What is the reason for doing it like that? Is it just preference?

Is there a way to do it automatically?

Thank for your thoughts
#capitalizing #words
  • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
    Ack!! I believe I figured it out. It's generally the header that has each word capitalized.

    After writing this I went back to finish the deconstruction link Angie gave me in another thread (thanks btw, very informative) and noticed it right away.

    If there are other reasons, I'd be happy to hear them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
    Just Capitalize Everything... Can't Go Wrong.
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by Cam Connor View Post

      Just Capitalize Everything... Can't Go Wrong.
      Gonna have to exercise my right hand shift finger then, lol.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
        Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

        Gonna have to exercise my right hand shift finger then, lol.
        If Only There Was An "Initial Caps Lock" Button. ... :/
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        • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
          Originally Posted by Cam Connor View Post

          If Only There Was An "Initial Caps Lock" Button. ... :/
          I was thinking the same thing
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  • I found it is useful to capitalize words that trigger some sort of psychological emotion in people. Basically the key words that you think will get the buyer really exited. Words like must and phrases like have to perhaps.

    When I wrote my first sales letter at the age of 18 I quickly learned that capitalization can drastically change conversion rates more than you might think!
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by Legit Home Jobbing View Post

      I found it is useful to capitalize words that trigger some sort of psychological emotion in people. Basically the key words that you think will get the buyer really exited. Words like must and phrases like have to perhaps.

      When I wrote my first sales letter at the age of 18 I quickly learned that capitalization can drastically change conversion rates more than you might think!
      Ok, so no real firm timing then. Basically whatever you want to emphasize.

      Sounds like it's another form of bolding, italicizing and underlining then?
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      • Profile picture of the author Memetics
        Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

        Ok, so no real firm timing then. Basically whatever you want to emphasize.

        Sounds like it's another form of bolding, italicizing and underlining then?
        All though it's counterintuitive I wouldn't recommend this.

        The reason is: when you learn to read, you start by reading every letter and then put the word together in your mind. The slow repetition of this method eventually turns into an autopilot response (unconscious mind) which in turn creates more efficient heuristics to identify the word by it shape (as additional information gained from memory.)

        Hence; you can read quicker, the words have better flow, and the meanings are being processed unconsciously (which is where you want them) as this is where decisions are made. If your emotional hotwords are in capitals then the mind slows down as you're using your cognitive mind (critical factor/BS detector) to aid in their recognition.

        The critical factor is the bane of all copywriters as it has a habit of preserving the readers "status quo bias" and persuading them not to take action.

        Italics work fine, and if you're using embedded suggestions in your copy, then they're perfect as analogical markers (due to the shape being very similar) but do try and build them into a mid point eye saccade and avoid using them at the beginning or end of sentences.

        Capitals however are useful in certain cases when you want the critical factor to come online. A perfect example is just after an emotional hotword. The emotional recognition part of the mind recognises these words 300ms before the cognitive part which them analyses then and decides whether to "unbelieve" them or not. Dropping into capitals just after one creates a cognitive buffer (just like a video loading on YouTube) which uses a lot of the conscious mind's bandwidth in their processing.

        So the hotword doesn't get the scrutiny it would normally have to put up with.

        Don't know about underlining though; never really thought about it...
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        • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
          Originally Posted by Memetics View Post

          All though it's counterintuitive I wouldn't recommend this.

          The reason is:
          Thanks, I'm going to come back to this a few times and read it again. Makes sense, but I'm going to read it a few more times to make sure I understand it correctly.

          So what do you think of the past letters recommended for study and their use of caps, etc.? Do you think they are used too often?

          Obviously they were successful, but do you think it would have been better not to?
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          • Profile picture of the author Memetics
            Well as usual: it depends. The current consensus is that capitalisation makes the reader focus more on the word because it stands out and we pay attention to the beginning and end of things than the middle.

            The capital at the beginning of a sentence.

            And in that sense it's true, but research shows that it's the actual attention given to the word which activates the unconscious mind to see what the fuss is about. (once this occurs it's called transderivational search) but also because of the cognitive load required to read a stream of capitals the conscious mind needs to utilise unconscious processing to help it with the reading.

            Think of it like a hardrive powering up when the RAM isn't enough to carry out the task. It does the job but not as quickly or efficiently.

            So it can work to a point in shorter pieces.

            The problem though is your conscious mind is very lazy and a long form sales letter can tire it to the point that interest is lost.

            It's a balancing act, but in the long term it's better to use the more stealthy approach unless it's something like a strapline or banner as they are used for the initial triggering of interest and attention.

            You could of course use both methods in the same piece if you wanted, and the flow was effortless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    Shift and F3 in Word lets you cycle between uppercase, lowercase, and title case.
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    • Profile picture of the author Cam Connor
      Originally Posted by Andrew Gould View Post

      Shift and F3 in Word lets you cycle between uppercase, lowercase, and title case.
      Good To Know.
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by Andrew Gould View Post

      Shift and F3 in Word lets you cycle between uppercase, lowercase, and title case.
      Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I'm on a chromebook most the time now, but will probably work on the desktop now and then.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    A lot of the capitalization practices in copywriting is borrowed
    from newspapers print. Just keep in mind that LONG TEXT
    OF ALL CAPITALIZED WORDS ARE MORE DIFFICULT
    TO READ SO USE THIS SPARINGLY.

    The trick here is that if you covered the bottom half of lowercase
    words you can still read them quite easily. If you do the same for
    capitalized words you can't. Try it.

    -Ray Edwards
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    • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
      Originally Posted by Raydal View Post

      A lot of the capitalization practices in copywriting is borrowed
      from newspapers print. Just keep in mind that LONG TEXT
      OF ALL CAPITALIZED WORDS ARE MORE DIFFICULT
      TO READ SO USE THIS SPARINGLY.

      The trick here is that if you covered the bottom half of lowercase
      words you can still read them quite easily. If you do the same for
      capitalized words you can't. Try it.

      -Ray Edwards
      Thank you. I'm not really a fan of all caps any time to be honest. I've used it when writing the letters, but only because I see it's done that way and figure it's for a reason.
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