What’s “good” copywriting?
As a business owner, you’re in charge of creating a powerful narrative for your product or service to convert your audience into buyers. Easier said than done.
You see, conversions happen only when you convince your audience that they need your offer. The good news is that you don’t need a law degree to learn how to write persuasive copy. You can follow these 8 simple copywriting strategies in this blog post.
You’ll not only be able to capture your audience’s interest… but you’ll also convince them that you have the solution to their problems. In other words, your customers will start flocking to your business.
Let’s get into the strategies.
While copy should be informative, it doesn’t have to be dry or boring. Your copy should first and foremost hook your audience. So don’t be afraid to be fun and entertaining.
Once you’ve got their attention, you can start steering them toward conversion. And that’s where your creativity comes in.
Start by asking yourself: what kind of copy you want to read? If you already have a draft you’re working on, scan the text. Imagine you’re a potential customer and read it from their perspective.
Does your copy answer what you need to know in an engaging way? Does it give irrelevant information? Do parts of it seem off-message with your brand?
It’ll also help to get another person’s opinion. Oftentimes when we write, we can get too into our heads. Having a fresh pair of eyes read your copy will help you see it more objectively.
Try asking your coworkers, friends, or family to read it over. They may even be able to present new angles or suggestions you’ve never thought of. Keep an open mind, and draw inspiration from different areas in your life.
How would you react if you read something long, wordy, and confusing? Can you already feel your eyes start to glaze over?
To put it simply, simplicity is key. Your message might be great...but if it’s not clear, you’ll immediately lose your audience.
Your copy shouldn’t take an English major to understand. Instead, it should be clear enough for anyone to follow.
To avoid muddling up your points and putting readers off, stick to these tips:
Huge blocks of text are overwhelming. Your audience just wants to quickly get to the point and move on. That’s why it’s important to break your text into a few lines at a time. Like in this blog post, paragraphs don’t last more than 3 lines.
Sometimes they only last one.
That’s because short copy is much more approachable and accessible. Your reader will be more willing to read something quick, digestible, and to the point.
Shorter paragraphs also prevent your reader from getting lost in your message. It helps them keep their focus. Especially since they feel like they can handle the minimal time commitment it takes to read your piece.
So instead of bombarding your readers with several ideas in a single paragraph, keep everything short and sweet.
Remember: clarity is key. There’s no need to drag your audience through a long-winded explanation of your product or service. Instead, simple and direct points will guide your reader toward your CTA easier and faster.
Instead of shoving all of your information together, break up your copy into sentences at a time.
Ideally, one idea belongs in one sentence. And the sentence after should build on that idea.
As soon as your ideas shift to another main point, then you can start a new paragraph. But make sure your message is logical and easy for anyone to follow.
Have you sensed a pattern here, yet? It may start sounding redundant...but it’s important to make sure your copy is as concise as possible.
Run-on sentences are another thing that can turn off your reader. Instead of linking together clause after clause, opt for the shorter, punchier approach.
Shorter sentences are more direct. They create intensity and impact in your copy. They will also help you to communicate ideas more clearly, and in a shorter manner.
That way, your audience will be more likely to stick with you and help them smoothly progress through the narrative you’ve laid out for your product or service.
Even the most complicated topics can be explained simply. It might take a little bit of work to break things down. But it makes a huge difference to your audience.
Think about the last time you were in math class. (Excuse me while I shudder...). No one likes to feel like they don’t understand something, right?
Now think about that from your audience’s perspective. If they read your copy and it’s complicated, full of technical jargon, and inaccessible, they will feel discouraged. And you will lose them.
That’s why it’s important to write copy that anyone can understand--not just people with your specific background. So ask yourself: “If someone has no prior knowledge of this topic, would they understand my copy?”
If that’s hard for you to answer, try reaching out to others. Ask your co-workers, friends, or family members who are unfamiliar with the topic to read your copy. If they understand it, great. If not, use their feedback to simplify it.
Creating copy that is easy to understand can communicate trustworthiness to your audience. It shows the reader that you understand where they’re coming from. And, at the same time, it also shows your expertise in your field.
Clear copy assures the reader that you’re not trying to show off your superior intelligence or talk down on them. Instead, it shows that you’ve thought carefully about your content and are considerate of their needs.
That will make them want to do business with you even more.
Learn more about improving clarity in your copy here.
Another way to write copy that converts is by using familiar phrases that everyone can recognize.
People won’t be able to understand what you’re saying if you only use complicated terms and industry-specific jargon. So, before you begin a lengthy technical explanation, ask yourself: “Can someone who knows nothing about what I’m offering catch on easily?”
If the answer is no, swap out complex terms for simpler words. That will make your copy more readable and approachable to a general audience.
Even for those who already know about your topic, reading with words that they use in their daily lives can make their experience more enjoyable. It’ll seem like you really understand who your audience is, and that will attract them more to your business.
This can be challenging in fields with highly specific knowledge. So again, try asking someone who’s not in your industry to read over your copy. If they think your text is hard to follow, it’s a sign you’re alienating your audience.
To write for a general audience, use words that everybody uses. Readers will feel like your copy is just for them. And that way, it’ll gain their trust.
So, make sure you use words that draw in your reader, instead of pushing them away.
Here's how you can dramatically improve your conversion copywriting.
An important part of familiarity is relatability. If your copy is relatable, readers will be able to place themselves within the narrative of your product, service, or brand.
This makes your job easier too. Instead of coming up with crazy scenarios to get your audience’s attention, all you need to do is think about their daily experiences and emotions. You can draw upon these commonalities to make your copy more relatable.
Once you have them comfortable, you can slowly introduce them to how your product or service can improve their lives. Then you can guide them smoothly along to your CTA.
If you’re not quite sure what’s relatable to your audience, stick with universal experiences. For example, everyone feels frustrated, upset, scared, hopeless, or that something is missing in their lives.
Think about these experiences concerning your product or service. How can your offer help your audience with these emotions?
If you establish these commonalities in your copy first, then you can hook your audience. And then, they’ll want to see how they can resolve these problems.
Then, your offer’s solutions will be presented at exactly the right time.
Works like a charm, right?
Verbs serve an important function in your copy. As action words, they help readers imagine how your product or service will improve their lives. Ideally, your offer will have a positive impact on your customer. If you can communicate this well, readers will be more likely to buy from you.
Here’s how you can use your verbs more effectively.
Which sentence sounds more direct?
The second bullet point, right?
This is the power of active voice over passive voice.
Active voice is when the subject of a sentence acts out the verb. Passive voice is when the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb.
Use active voice as often as possible. Sentences that contain a dynamic action are more attention-grabbing and engaging to readers. Plus, active voice empowers your product or service as the thing that will positively impact your customer.
You may be more used to writing in passive voice instead of active voice. That’s completely normal. To help you switch from passive to active voice, follow this formula:
In this formula, the subject performs the action described in the verb upon the object. If your sentence follows this order of subject, verb, then object, you’re in good shape.
We can see how this plays out in our example from above:
In the first bullet point, the bananas (the object) are acted upon by the subject (you). The verb “eaten” describes the action that happened to the bananas.
In the second bullet point, the bananas (the object) are still acted upon by the subject (You). The fundamental meaning of the sentence has not changed. But the verb “ate” describes the action you (the subject) took, instead.
Using active voice doesn’t change the inherent meaning of the sentence. It changes the focus. It shifts the emphasis of your sentence onto the subject and away from the object.
If you want your product or service (the subject) to be the center of attention, writing in an active voice shifts the sentence’s focus onto it.
If you’re working on a draft now, take a sweeping pass through it. If you see a lot of passive voice, that’s normal. It can be tricky to start writing in an active voice right away. So use this formula as a guide to help you switch your sentences into active voice.
By keeping a careful eye on your verbs, you can transform your copy for the better. Changing the way you use verbs can improve your copy from a bland or vague statement to a crystal clear message.
Verbs do a lot more for your copy than adjectives (pun fully intended). Not only are they more exciting...they’re also more persuasive to readers. That's because verbs emphasize what your product or service can do for them.
For example, which of these two sentences is more compelling?
The first sentence packs more of a punch, doesn't it? That’s because of the verb “kick-start.” It’s a colorful verb that conveys energy and excitement. You can get a sense of how bananas will fuel your day.
On the other hand, the second sentence is more bland. It just tells you what bananas are. It doesn’t illustrate how bananas can positively impact your life.
By using powerful verbs instead of adjectives, it makes readers feel more excited and compelled to follow through with your call to action.
Great copy develops a relationship with readers. It makes them engage both intellectually and emotionally with your brand.
So take the time to understand your audience. This is important because knowing what it’s like to be in your audience’s shoes will help you write in a way that resonates deeply with them.
When your audience feels known and understood, they’ll be more likely to trust you. If they trust you, they’ll be more likely to take up your call to action.
To add more empathy into your copy, think about their perspective. What do they want? More than anything? What do they wish was different? What do they need to improve?
Once you understand your audience, you’ll know exactly how your product or service can fit into their lives. In other words, you’ve found your angle to write from.
Perhaps your audience’s problem is that they can never finish their bananas. They always have at least three they throw out every week. This frustrates them because they feel like they’re wasting money and food.
In that case, your copy will address their concerns. And, it will introduce a solution to help them use their bananas in a more timely, delicious, and cost-effective way.
This approach appeals to readers because it shows you understand their concerns and priorities well. Your audience will be able to tell that you put in the work to truly empathize with them.
When thinking about what would appeal most to your readers, remember: the more understanding and relatable you are, the more trust you will build with them.
Bridging the gap between your goals and your reader’s goals is exactly what leads to successful conversions.
Conversions are the direct result of your readers’ emotional responses. So, how can you tap into your audience’s emotions?
Try connecting your offer to something your audience feels or wants to feel. For example, say your customer is frustrated that they’re unable to finish all of their bananas before they rot.
But think about what they’d feel if they finish their bananas on time. Satisfied at their discipline? Proud of their buying habits? Relieved that they’re not wasting more food and money? This is what your audience wants to feel.
So try to incorporate these emotions into your copy. Meet your audience where they’re at, and paint a picture of the positive emotions they’ll experience after they buy your product or service.
When thinking about emotions that motivate your audience, try pinning down:
A reader could move towards buying something that would bring them joy or meet their desire for something
They could also move to invest in something that would help them avoid discomfort
There are lots of ways to invite emotions into your copy to inspire your readers to act. You just have to pick a feeling that best fits your audience and their relationship with your brand.
Learn more about ways to trigger emotions in your copy here.
The more specific you are, the better your copy will be.
But what does being specific mean? It’s being descriptive. It’s ”showing” your audience how your offer can improve their lives, rather than just “telling” them it will.
A descriptive picture is easier to remember than bland statements. Some great ways to paint a picture with your copy is by adding imagery without being too distracting or outlandish.
For example, “bananas contain vitamins like B6, B12, and potassium that will keep you energized, and help you avoid the midday slump.” This statement is descriptive and specific without giving too much or distracting information.
Know more about writing hyper-specific copy here.
Another way to add specificity to your copy is by using numbers.
For example, “banana production increased by 20% this season” is more memorable and impactful than “many more bananas were produced this season.”
Numbers can also be used to show a comparison. For example, if you’re a banana supplier, letting your reader know that your bananas are only $35 per shipment compared to the competing rate of $45 will show exactly why it’s better to do business with you.
Inviting readers to recall an experience or imagine themselves in a scene makes your copy more engaging. This is because it elicits a response from them.
One way you can do this more in your copy is by asking rhetorical questions. After all, wouldn’t you rather be asked about your opinion instead of just being told what to do? (See what I did there?)
As you can see, rhetorical questions hook the reader in because they encourage introspection. They’re also personal, which makes the reader feel seen and understood by your brand.
When you ask readers to reflect on themselves, you can get them to consider their goals and values. This is a great way to then position your product or service as something that aligns with their lives.
Even though these strategies may seem simple, they’ll make a huge difference to your audience.
If you can master these techniques, you can bring life to your copy. Your message will engage your audience and they’ll feel more compelled to buy from your brand.
There's no end to improving your copy, but these simple strategies are a great step toward increasing your conversions.
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High-converting direct-response copy for growing B2B companies and disruptive digital brands.