You’ve tried every copywriting tactic you could think of, but conversion rates are still low.
You feel like you’ve written copy from the right angles:
The list goes on.
Still, your efforts aren’t paying off. Conversion rates are abysmal and all your hard work is getting you nowhere.
The unfortunate truth is, you might not be writing the right way. As bad as that might sound, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, almost half of all B2B marketers fail to prioritize their audience’s needs over the sales message.
Why’s that a problem?
Well, a great website and a useful product won’t convert anyone if you can’t connect with your audience. They’ll never get to the checkout page if you can’t communicate that you’re the perfect fit.
So if you don't re-adjust your strategy, you'll keep losing out on leads ― and losing leads means leaving money on the table.
You wouldn’t say no to free money, and your competition won’t, either. That’s why leaving money on the table means you might as well hand your competitors a paycheck. What’s a business owner to do?
If you go in search of answers, you might find a “copywriting framework.” That search may even be what brought you here.
A little more looking, and you’ll find a framework like that is common for many businesses. Frameworks are reliable tools because they provide templates you can alter across the board, depending on what you need.
There are also different versions of copywriting frameworks. They all have slight variations and unique steps — some simple and some with 27 steps. Yeah, that sounds a little exhausting.
The good news is, you don’t need that many steps. Using a framework is (at least, it should be) simple and manageable. You might even find that frameworks mean you put in less work than you did without them.
In this article, you'll learn a 4-step copywriting framework that'll increase your conversion rates and save you time.
In each step, you'll learn how to write better copy which means more sales on a more consistent basis. Now that you see how important frameworks are, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Your copy should hook the reader right from the start. Be informative, and do it with personality and style.
The first way to get a reader’s immediate attention is by using a headline that stands out.
It could be thought-provoking, controversial, funny, cheerful, unusual, or anything else that sparks an emotion. Or use an informative title to grab anyone's attention, ensuring they read your content.
Depending on the context, readers will be drawn in to find out more about what you're talking about.
Let's say you're writing copy for a new app that allows you to order and receive bananas from home. How do you get it to stand out?
You can write something like, “This app lets you track your bananas when they split.” It's unusual for some, funny for others, but it's a headline that makes the reader want to find out more.
You’re using both wordplay and a cultural reference, which makes the reader relate to you. So from the get-go, you’ve:
All from one attention-grabbing headline. Pretty cool, right?
Ok, but what about after they’ve clicked on the headline? 43% of readers skim through content. Skimming means they aren’t focusing, and that lack of focus means a lot of your message will be getting lost.
Offering the reader something that serves their interest is your best bet to get them to read instead of skim.
And you’ll stand far ahead of your competitors if you don’t do it in a way that reminds your audience of their school textbook.
Of course, you also don't want to come off like you're selling something.
Today’s readers are smart. They know when their wallets are being targeted.
So bring light to an issue they're faced with and offer up a solution. The message you’re conveying is that "We're in this together."
Don’t be a textbook robot, “Beep. Boop. Here are some facts. Here is how they will help.”
And don’t be a Daffy Duck cartoon of a salesman. Pushy, loud, irrelevant sales pitches will turn readers off to your brand (even if you aren’t lisping like Daffy).
Instead, come through with personality, “Hey there, did you know these facts? It’s crazy how this little thing can make such a big difference.”
Grab your readers’ attention by asking questions they can relate to, or pointing out problems you know they have.
For our banana app, after your audience clicks on the headline, you can ask them a question like, “Do you get annoyed going from store to store and finding they’re all out of bananas? I know I do.”
Or, you can point out a problem.
“Bananas are a kitchen staple. Everyone wants them, so stores are selling out in the blink of an eye. We came up with a solution.”
When you do this, you’re showing your reader you understand what brought them to you. You’re telling them you have the same goals and desires. Your reader will feel like you’re speaking to what they need, instead of generically pitching your product.
Show that you relate with the readers, and you’re already building a positive relationship.
Learn more on how to capture your reader's attention here.
Ok, so you have your reader’s attention. Great. Perfect. Now… What do you do with it?
Your copy needs to spark curiosity from the reader. Your customer has clicked your headline, they’ve read the opening of your copy. Now they want something that entices them to stay.
How can you do this? Personalization. Put yourself in their shoes and show how you'd handle a situation the same way they would.
For example, explaining why you'd use the app to find a great place to buy bananas locally.
Using the app eliminates the need to go further. They’re delivered to your doorstep. Delivery saves time since you don’t have to go around each grocery store, trying to guess which one isn't out of stock.
In this instance, you’re connecting with your customers on the subject of time.
You’re telling them, “Hey, I know you’re busy. I want to help with that.”
Your reader will see that and think, “Thank goodness, somebody gets it.”
Then they want to know how you’re going to help with it. You show you care by giving them specific ways it helps.
This is why knowing your audience is so important. If you don’t know what your audience needs help with, you’re not going to speak to their pain points accurately.
For instance, say you’re writing to working parents. They’ll be glad to hear that the service is available at any time of the day to fit between their work schedule and their kids’ schedules.
Or, you could give facts or insights on how much time they spend searching for bananas. Explain how much the app cuts that time to help your customer focus on other activities.
For this audience, it's essential to show that the app will deliver consistently and save on time.
Different audiences require different approaches. If I’m writing to an audience of chefs, I’d need something a little different.
Chefs would be more concerned with quality and cost than time. For them, a subpar banana or one that costs twice as much with no quality difference is worse than taking extra time on their bananas.
So for chefs, I might write about how the app offers a wholesale discount, making the bananas cheaper than the ones you find in stores. Or, I might use numbers here again. I can tell them about how long the average banana sits in a grocery store, and how that impacts the quality.
I could even do both, and use the time-saving element as the icing on the cake.
Saving time was primary for a busy parent, and saving money secondary. I changed the audience and those priorities switched. In both cases, you use things that everyone needs.
The way you find the priorities is by looking for why they need it.
You aren’t coming along saying, “Oh, I can save you time. Everyone wants to save time.”
Instead, you say, “I know you need something that saves time because you’re busy with your kids.”
Or saying, “You want something high-quality and cheap because everyone would rather have that.”
Instead, you tell your audience you know they need cheap, high-quality bananas because you want to see their restaurant succeed.
Knowing your audience well enables you to hold their interests because you know their interests.
You can grab their attention with the headline, and then hold their attention by saying, “I understand you. I know what you need and why.”
Learn more on how to be hyper-specific with your copywriting here.
So you’ve shown the reader you know what they need, but what about what they want? Well, that’s the next step.
Your copy needs to create a 'want' from the reader. They should be sold on your idea. And the thought “Well, I don’t need it that badly, though” shouldn’t even enter their minds.
Show them what you offer will make a positive impact on their day-to-day lives. The easiest way to do this is to solve a problem for them. When you do this right, they’ll feel like the solution you present is valid. Not only valid but it’s the only one for them.
Let’s go back to our banana delivery app.
In the first two steps, you’ve grabbed your reader’s attention and then shown them you understand their problem. Their curiosity has been sparked. They want to know how you’re going to fix that problem.
More than that, they want proof. It’s good to have confidence in your product, but saying “This is the best fix” won’t increase conversions on its own.
When you say it’s the best, people respond, “Prove it.”
You can prove your app is the best solution by showing them how easy the process is.
Like how it only requires a phone, and the download is free. After the initial download, things don’t get any more difficult. All you do is place an order, day or night, and fresh bananas show up on your doorstep.
Showing your product is easy and/or risk-free is a great way to prove you’re the best. When you’re pitching to your audience being frustrated with taking extra steps or nervous that your product isn’t a good fit, you can address those issues before they say anything.
If they’re bothered by having to go to multiple stores looking for bananas, explaining how easy your app proves it’s a good solution. If they’re sick of overpaying, pitching a free trial proves your app is the best fit.
You can even use visual copy to show how the app will allow the reader to spend more time on some Very Important Thing in their life instead of looking for bananas.
That Very Important Thing will vary based on your audience.
For parents, it might be spending more time with their kids instead of shopping.
For chefs, it would be experimenting with their banana foster recipe.
For a business owner, they could now put extra energy into their next business presentation, safe in the knowledge that the bananas are on their way.
Now you’ve planted an idea in your reader’s mind -- they need what you offer. They can picture themselves using your app instead of going out and looking for bananas. Even better, they have a crystal clear vision of how your app is going to improve their life.
On top of all that, you’re playing off of the fear of missing out.
Your reader starts thinking, “gee, what am I missing in all that time I spend searching for bananas? I could have a whole different life if it wasn’t for that.”
You’ve created that ‘want’.
Without that, when your customer sees a delivery fee, they think, “I could just go to the store and I won’t have to pay a delivery fee”.
Now they think, “Thank goodness this app is here to save me time, and the fee is reasonable. It’s so worth it.”
So creating that ‘want’ will pay off long-term, too. Your customer will be able to justify the cost or the time or the storage space it takes up on their phone.
They’ll think, “sure, it’s an extra fee, but...” That “but” is where your business takes off.
Learn more on how to create a "benefit-centric" copy here.
At this stage, the reader should be ready to act on their desire and take what you're offering.
As long as you’ve successfully grabbed their attention, held their curiosity, and created a desire, it’s time to make a sale. At this point in your copy, It’s time for a CTA (Call to action).
In our banana app scenario, this would be a link and instructions on how to download the app. Other examples of CTAs would be “Shop Now,” “Contact Us,” or “Add to Cart” buttons.
70% of small business websites lack a CTA button on their website. This is one of the clearest ways they’re leaving money on the table. It makes your readers less like to close a sale right then and there.
If your users have to search for a way to take the action you want, they’re more likely to leave. They might have the intention of coming back later, but spoiler alert: They probably won’t -- they’ll forget.
Designing a CTA button might seem simple, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Your CTA can be something that turns your sale from a basic “yes, this looks good” to an enthusiastic “Wow, all that, and THIS, too??”
A good CTA should reassure the customer that they’ve made the best choice possible. There are two main ways to do this.
The first is adding value. A discounted offer for signing up for your service or free delivery is a great example. It adds value and creates a sense of urgency.
Without it, your reader might think they like the offer but will come back later to get it. And as we know, they’ll forget and you’ll never close the sale. With it, they feel like they have to do this right now so they don’t miss anything.
It also affirms their decision on why they want to buy in the first place. They already think your product is a good value, this turns it even better. It’s telling your customer they made the right choice.
You can add something in the opposite direction, too. Instead of adding value, you could put your CTA in something that agitates your customer’s problem.
The closing sentence of your copy could say, “Stop losing time with every grocery trip, download the app here” This reinforces your customer’s decision in a different way.
This time, you’re reinforcing the idea that they’re missing out on things by not having the app.
You’re reminding your customer that they’re frustrated with the way things are. And then you’re immediately giving them a way out of that dissatisfaction by downloading your app.
You could also combine both these approaches.
For example, your CTA could be a pop-up window saying something like
“Download the app today for a 10% discount and free delivery on your order!”
But instead of an “x” to close it, you could write:
“No thanks, I hate free stuff”
This increases that fear of missing out and has a sense of urgency. It also makes your reader hesitate. They aren’t somebody who hates free stuff, so why would they pass this up?
Sure, they could come back later, but since they aren’t someone who hates free stuff, why not download the app right now? It adds another layer to the idea that they can’t wait.
Since they can’t wait, they download the app right away. Just like that, you have a conversion.
Learn more on how to write stronger CTAs here.
By now, it should be clear why these tools are called frameworks. Each step interlinks with the last, creating a foundation for any copy. The thing is, there’s no single most important step, and the steps won’t work on their own.
If you don’t grab the reader’s attention, it doesn’t matter if you get everything else right.
Let’s say you grab their attention but don’t know how to hold their interests. You might get a click on a headline, but you won’t generate any conversions.
You could grab their attention and hold their interest without creating desire.
They’ll still leave before the sale. You end up with a reader who thinks, “Oh, that was interesting,” and never thinks about your company again.
Even if you grab attention, hold interest, and create desire, you might choke at the action step.
You know what that means — missing out on conversions. Your readers will intend to come back later when they have more time, more money, or when their life is “just right.”
The only problem is that time won’t come in most cases.
Instead, those readers will go with someone who knows how to use all four steps in the most effective way possible.
That’s why knowing how to use this copywriting framework is essential to increasing your conversion rates. Follow all the right steps and you'll write copy that makes people want to buy from you.
Put yourself in your customer’s minds, envision what’s important and interesting to them. Then you can use that to show them you have exactly what they’re looking for.
Now that you have steps for being efficient and effective with your copywriting, you'll avoid the mistakes you’ve made in the past.
Fewer mistakes mean more conversions. More conversions mean more money for you.
All you need to do is grab your audience’s attention, hold their interest, create desire, and call them to action. Do that and you’ll wonder how you managed before having a good framework.
With no money left on the table, you’ll be seeing more sales than ever. Then your competitors will have to start working harder if they want to keep up with you.
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