Want results? Sure you do. But the only way you'll see any is to engage your prospects.
And if you want to engage them you need to talk the talk. Or more specifically, write the way they speak. The thing is, your copy falls on deaf ears when you're not speaking their language.
That's where conversational, or colloquial, copywriting comes into play. By using this technique you can tap into your audience's needs and desires and really connect with them.
The main idea is to write as if you're talking to somebody as you would in person.
But there's a bit more to it. Let me put it like this: you probably wouldn't speak with a police officer the same way you would with your best friend.
The same goes for your prospects, they're all unique and respond best to different languages. Don't worry, though, it's easy once you get the hang of it.
So let's get a better idea of what conversational copy can do for your business.
Plain and simple, it's going to increase your conversion rates. And there are some good reasons for that.
Conversational copy means you're in tune with your target audience's tone, speech patterns, and lingo. Which makes you one of them, not just a money-hungry business owner.
And that means you care about more than just a sale.
So you come off as a trustworthy person, someone to be taken seriously. In turn, you're someone who's offering a product or service that works because you know exactly what kind of problems they need to solve.
You see, conversational copy does so much more than make you relatable. It works on a deep psychological level to change how your prospects see you.
For one, you can tighten up your copy by writing colloquially. That's always a good thing because brevity allows your copy to be easily digested.
And when it's easy to digest, your reader is much more likely to stay engaged, which then carries them to the very end.
Take this for example: "What I offer is a best-of-class SEO optimization service tailored to each and every unique customer and their needs.
I can help you achieve whatever goals you have. If it works for big brands like Nike, it can work for you."
While it definitely tells about the offer, it's long-winded and takes too long to get to the point. Not only that, it's sterile, lifeless, boring, dry...
You get the picture. Prospects have so many options and so little time in today's market, so it's essential to show some personality and focus on making your prospect feel special.
Something like this would work much better: "Trusted by brands like Nike, my SEO optimization can boost your conversion rate by 60%. "
The sentiment is the same but it's much more legible and gets to the point in about half the words.
Being concise is just one part of it, though. Among the other benefits of conversational copy is the personal connection you can form with your reader.
Writing like you're having a conversation makes your reader feel like you're speaking one-on-one and not just a corporate entity trying to take their money.
Only sticking to facts and details, unfortunately, doesn't cut it anymore. You see, most prospects are already aware of what you do.
What they really want is to know what makes you the best, what really sets you apart. And it's not like you're the only one doing what you do.
Think about it. Would you be compelled to take action after reading "Everyone can benefit from our DIY website builder, from business professionals to hobbyists."? Considering all your options, probably not.
But take a look at this: "Now's your chance to reap the benefits of the easiest website building tool known to man. I know what a pain it can be with everything else on your plate, so I made it easy for you."
Sounds a bit more relatable and actually gives you an idea of what that service can do for you.
What it comes down to is that you have to be more than a business, you have to have a brand that represents who you are and what you can do for your prospects.
You have to show why they can trust you and conversational copy is the perfect tool for that because it comes across as much more personal
In building that connection, some personality can be injected as well. That personality can then help with your branding immensely. And who wouldn't want that? Branding makes you stand out in a cutthroat market.
Think about your favorite thing you own. It's probably not just a run-of-the-mill utilitarian product. It probably has some character, some soul.
You probably feel happy to support the company, because they make things that really work for you. They understand you and you understand them.
That's the beauty of a brand personality. It's about much more than just a product or service.
It's who's providing it, and who they're providing it for. So consider how you can brand yourself to appeal to your ideal prospect.
That branding should keep your target audience in mind. A successful business has personality, yes, but that personality should be based on who the customers are.
And finding out their identity can take years or months of research, gathering data and factual evidence.
Of course the business owner's personality is a factor, but it's mainly about the target audience. If not, it's self-serving and probably won't do great in sales.
The benefits are clear, and the way it works is just as simple. You only need to ask yourself some questions: how do I talk to people? How do they talk to other people?
That's what it's all about. Understanding the character of your prospects and appealing to that. If you can nail that, you're well on your way to increasing your sales.
But you can't just know your audience and start writing if you don't know how exactly to talk to them and how to format your writing. There are just a couple other things to touch on and you'll be set.
Let's take a quick look at what you need to do to perfect your conversational copy.
Well, you probably talk differently depending on the situation and who you're talking with. The same applies to copywriting. Figure out who's likely to be reading your copy and think about how you'd talk to them.
The best way to do this is to ask questions. Hypothetical or actually to your audience through social media, blogs, anything they interact with. And these questions can cover a variety of topics like the following.
And that's just to give you an idea. Depending on your audience and your market you can ask a slew of other relevant questions. Anything to get an idea of who you're writing for.
If you want or need to get more in-depth, look into building reader profiles. This process takes all these questions into account and creates an outline of the most desirable prospect.
This is very effective, but may not be necessary. See the results you get from just answering these questions and decide if you need to take it one step further.
There's no need to overthink it, conversational copy should roll off the tongue and read like... a conversation. Your copy will keep readers on the hook if it flows well and has the momentum of a conversation.
But this always takes refinement. It may take a day away from your copy to come back with fresh eyes and see what's working and what isn't.
Don't let that discourage you, though. It's all part of the process and every writer has to take the same steps.
Read your copy out loud when you come back to it and see how it sounds. A good rule of thumb is that if it doesn't sound good spoken then it's not going to sound good when read.
Conversational copy is based on speech, but remember that you don't want your copy to sound exactly how you talk.
I mean, think of all the stutters and unfinished thoughts you have every day. Nobody speaks perfectly, but it's a good starting point. You're aiming for somewhere between speaking and formally writing.
Think of it as editing a transcript of your typical speech. Everyone misspeaks, that's just the nature of language.
But if you can polish your speech up and edit out any mistakes, you're well on your way to writing some great conversational copy.
While the main idea is to write similar to how you talk, there's more to it. Of course there is. Luckily, it's all pretty straightforward. You'll have some world-class copy if you follow these tenets.
As I touched on before, keep it brief. Most words should be 1-2 syllables and contractions should be utilized as well as abbreviations. You aren't writing a research paper, so don't worry about sounding "scholarly."
And make sure you're writing in the simplest terms because, while a huge vocabulary is impressive, it doesn't always work to your advantage.
Take this for example that a meal prep service might use "There is not a more revolutionary solution to your everyday conundrum of deciding what you are going to eat."
Yeah, doesn't quite roll off the tongue. It could be simplified very easily by summing everything up: "Make your life easier and let us cook your meals for you."
Short and to the point, but still leaves something to the imagination.
Sentences and paragraphs should follow suit. Because who really wants to read walls of text? And it's not like anybody talks in a long-winded manner like they're training to be an auctioneer.
Now the passive voice is a pretty subtle copywriting faux pas, but you should be aware of how much you use it.
If you're not exactly clear on what the passive voice is, just remember that it focuses on the verb rather than the subject. So it looks something like "The deal was closed by our sales team."
It's not that the grammar is incorrect or anything, more that it sounds weak and delivers less impact. "Our sales team closed the deal" is much more direct, and just a bit briefer.
It may seem like a small detail, and it is, but it can make a huge difference in how effective your copy is.
And when using the active voice, make sure to use strong verbs and cut back on the adverbs. Adverbs and adjectives can make your copy sound wishy-washy and unconfident.
Use of imagery, language that evokes emotion, and figures of speech will ensure your copy shines. Stale, boring language is everywhere, so spice it up a little to stand out amongst the rest.
"Check out our new breakfast wraps, they're healthy and delicious" is something you might see a fast-casual restaurant advertise. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing extraordinary.
"Tired of slaving away in the kitchen with groggy eyes and a mouth drier than the Sahara? Give our fresh and healthy breakfast wraps a try and kickstart your day" proposes a pain point.
It also uses some more interesting language to really engage the reader.
Slang can be utilized, but your audience should be kept in mind. Only use appropriate words that your reader would actually use. Alliteration is something else that can be used, but not overused.
Stay away from extremely contemporary terms, and stick with more widely accepted words. Your offer may be "lit" but that probably won't resonate with a business professional.
Think more along the lines of "yep," "uh-huh," "bingo," "zip, zilch, zero." Stuff that people say in general, not just a cross-section of people.
As stated, your copy should be about your audience. But always remember that you're talking to one reader only, not a group. They should feel special, that your copy was written for them and them only.
Think of it like a first date. You're probably not going to see a second one if you talk about yourself or others the whole time. People like to feel important, face-to-face or online.
To put it into perspective, consider this sentence "I've had unbelievable success using this method, and it's shockingly easy."
Sure, sounds good to whoever wrote it, but does it really inspire you as a reader? Probably not.
That's why it's so important to make it about the reader.
"This powerful method can help you see overnight success with little effort" is a lot more compelling to a prospect because it illustrates what the offer can do for them, rather than what it's done for the writer.
Don't worry, this isn't about to turn into a motivational seminar. You can, however, learn one thing from those speakers: be yourself. Write how you would speak to someone and don't ham it up.
Authenticity is also key. Don't patronize your audience or try to take advantage because they'll know if you do. And that's not going to go well for you.
Remember, you don't want to come off as a salesman. You're here to help, so don't be pushy.
Instead, you want to have some common ground and establish a friendly relationship before you try to make a sale. First impressions are everything, and when you begin with pushing a sale you make a very bad one.
On the other hand, think about how you respond when your friend recommends something. You probably trust your friend, so you're much likely to take their advice.
It may take some time to really find your voice but keep working at it. This is where reading your copy out loud and really paying attention to how you speak goes a long way.
Copywriting is a whole different animal than any other writing. Even the best fiction writers, essay writers, journalists, etc. can struggle with it because they don't understand the fundamentals.
It's something outside their wheelhouse, and truthfully it's outside of everybody's until they learn it. That's because copywriting uses psychological tactics to compel people to take an action and give you money.
That's a simple way to put it, but in reality, its purpose is to sell.
You may have figured this out already as well, but good copy doesn't exactly follow the rules of grammar. In fact, it breaks many of them purposely.
And I get it, it's hard to tune out all the information that's been hammered into your brain through the years. But trust me, it's your only option if you want to write effective conversational copy.
One of the best ways this is illustrated is in the use of words like "and," "but," or "because" to start sentences. Anyone who has completed any bit of school knows this is not acceptable in writing.
But it's one of the most useful tools in copywriting. Just goes to show you how unique of a form of writing it is and how much there is to learn despite how much professional writing you've done.
You want a balance of casual language and technically sound writing. Basically, if it sounds good when spoken, it's good. So don't overdo it one way or another and find that sweet spot that works for you.
So now that you have something of a formula to work from, you're just about ready to go. But every bit of help gives you more of an advantage.
So let's make sure you have all the resources you could possibly need and go over some easy, reliable examples.
You know how to write transitions by now. But if you really want your copy to work, you have to make sure your transitions do. They seem so simple, but that only means they have to be perfect.
So as a primer, or a reminder, here are the main types of transitions:
By using a combination of these transitions, you'll be on your way to writing the best conversational copy you could imagine. But I'll do you one better. Here's a proven format to use these transitions:
Of course, that's not the only way to do it. But it's a great place to start and a reliable formula to see results.
Feel free to get creative and experiment though, you may find something that works particularly well with your prospects.
When all else fails, you always have some trusty crutches to lean on. But seeing as they're crutches, don't get too comfortable relying on them.
You should always strive to make your copy unique, so try to use these sparingly.
As you can see, these crutches are pretty interchangeable. They work in many different scenarios and might be just what you need when you hit a wall. And keep in mind, there are plenty more.
Just consider the function of these examples and I'm sure you can come up with dozens of your own.
At the end of the day, conversational copy is essential in any market or industry. It's a crucial skill that'll help your copywriting abilities and effectiveness go above and beyond.
And your business probably won't make much of an impact without it.
So with all the tools at your fingertips, you're ready to write some high-converting conversational copy.
This can open plenty of doors and lead to some great opportunities, so take advantage. You have a new skill under your belt that'll set you far apart from your competition.
You'll build trust, see more engagement, and have a better connection with your prospects... Which can only lead to more sales. And who doesn't want that?
But conversational copy can be hard to master, no matter how easy it seems to learn. Just keep at it and get in as much practice as you can.
And I know just how hard it can be to get it right the first few times. So never hesitate to reach out, because I'm always here to help.
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High-converting direct-response copy for growing B2B companies and disruptive digital brands.