They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but can you sell a complex product without words? When you copywrite, you are creating the supporting language. This is the language to help sell your product or service. This could be expressed as ads, billboards, jingles, articles and more, so long as the goal is to sell more. When you copywrite, you do so to inspire a feeling or action in your audience. The job of a copywriter is to create content that converts eyes to buys. A good copywriter can use language, typography and image placement. All strategically to compel you to take their desired action. If you run a business and you intend to succeed, likely you’ll feel the need to get or produce great copy. I’d like to talk to you about what makes good copy. Also how to confirm your copy, and how to track success rate and refine for success. You don’t have to be a pro so long as you follow the right steps.
What Makes Good Copy?
Good copy makes you take notice, click, jump, laugh, sing up or generally giggle with elated joy. It inspires a feeling and an action. In fact, an expert copywrite can chose to extract a very specific emotion. Then use that emotion to fuel their key action. To do that, our copywrite needs to know everything about their audience. As well as the product or service they are trying to gain traction with. Before you begin, I recommend defining your target market. Then have your audience profile handy. If you haven’t done so yet, here’s a great article to help you. Once you are armed with knowledge (because knowledge is power) you can start tackling the steps below.
There are so many options when it comes to creating your headline. Some people like to use emojis and some don’t. Some like personalization and others don’t. At the end of the day, your headline needs to encourage them to read more. Period. If it’s not doing that, it’s not working. I generally use one of 5 when I’m creating compelling copy.
Say it like it is. Straight shooter. Short and simple. The direct approach is no fluff or bother and gets right to the point. No extra words or unnecessary embellishment just pure direct content. Examples:
- All Items 50% Off
- FREE Sample Inside
- LAST CHANCE! We’re discontinuing a product!
Share with the reader how their lives will improve, or how the benefit, from your products or services. Examples:
- Improve productivity with this one thing.
- Burn more fat than if you ran 100 miles this week.
- Stop your migraines before they start with this fast-acting product.
Question headlines are best used to capture reader attention. Then best used when you actually want feedback. They are tweaked to encourage engagement with your audience. Examples:
- Do you need more hours in your day?
- What color should our next product be?
- Are you a productivity action hero?
The DIY and How-To trends are here to stay. Why pay someone else to do something you could do yourself? These headlines scream instant value to the reader. Examples:
- How to Survive in the Age of Un-Marketing
- How to Conquer Unexpected Business Disasters
- How to Create a Website That Converts
There are other types too, but the above will lead you to success if used properly. Remember, the headline is there to encourage the reader to click and read more. Whether it’s on a search engine, social media post, or your own website.
Hooks, also known as kickers, are the first few sentences in your piece. They are intended to capture the readers attention. I do mean attention grabbing. These short blurbs will decide whether the audience delves further or bounces away. How you address this will vary depending on what you are writing for. For online copy, these sentences are usually used for social media content and advertising campaigns. They are the tasty morsels that drive clicks. The piece of candy that they must have. You can investigate different types of hooks. Like fact or anecdotal hooks, which will work in different situations. I always say to go with your gut, or when in doubt, ask your friends and family for feedback.
Once you convince your audience to click with the headline, and draw them in with the hook, you’ll reach the body. This is your meat and potatoes, your chance to say it all, and say it well. Now, there is no rule saying you need a specific amount of copy. You do need the SEO requirement of 300 words per page minimum. Use your best judgement on how much copy you need. We can always come back and tweak later.
When I am writing copy, I try to include a few key things:
Audience Pain Point
To best serve your audience, you need to know what problems you solve. Remind your audience about the pain they feel using the wrong solution. It can help them to connect with your solution.
What’s In It For Me?
Can you tell me this isn’t exactly what YOU look for when you visit a website? If your audience can’t tell, immediately, what’s in it for them, likely you won’t get them to convert.
Proof of Concept
You can have all the flashy words you want. Unless you can show a client that it works, they will likely hold off. Until you have more experience under your belt. That’s why you need to show them proof of concept – why other chose you or your products/services.
We want to do everything for everyone however that’s not how it works. People like clear concise options and actions. The more things you want them to do the fewer actions they will take. Make sure you spell it out clearly what action they take. The length, style, and information will always change. The core concepts remain the same. If you can highlight these 4 points in your copy’s body, you’ll have a firm foundation.
Validate What You Copywrite
Writing something awesome is one thing. Writing something that converts eyes to buys is a little harder. No matter how much YOU love a piece of work you’ve put together, your audience may not respond. Thus, you need to validate your content and tweak until you land on the perfect copy. (Sorry, there’s no easy button folks..)
Here are 3 ways you can validate your newly created copy!
Split testing (also referred to as A/B testing or multivariate testing) is a method of collecting data. It’s to help improve your message and conversion. Basically, you run two or more campaigns simultaneously. Each with a slight difference to a single component. Once your test is done, the loser is eliminated, and you test your winner against other variations. It’s a scientific method though, so it takes time to truly find the right solution.
Ask Your Audience
Do you know where your people hang out? If you’re running a business, you absolutely should. Find where they spend their time and go talk to them. Ask for feedback, opinions, suggestions and use the compiled data to make improvements. This can be a faster method if you are used to conversing directly with your audience.
Trial and Error
Self-explanatory. Try something, did it work? If yes, YAY, if no, try something else. Business owners will do this naturally, so it’s not my first choice for validation. The process could very well be endless. You forever will be learning and NEED to in order to continue your growth.
It’s Only as Hard as You Make It
I’ve given you the tools you need to be successful. Only you can use and practice them to achieve copywrite success. If you need help, reach out, connect with a peer or friend, and remember that success isn’t written overnight!