Have you ever felt that your copy is just... lacking, and you don't know why? Like your copy has great writing and follows all the tricks but just seems... empty when you really look into it?
That's probably because it takes more than being good at writing to excel as a copywriter.
The success of a piece of copy relies on more than good writing with some incorporated tricks. It's about injecting just the right amount of humanity into it.
The more you wear your heart on your sleeve, the more relatable you can be, the better the conversion rate. Plain and simple.
Take a look at some examples right off the bat, to kick things off strong:
Of course, it's one thing to say that there isn't enough of "you" in your copy, and another thing to tell you how to put more of "you" in your copy.
But the good news is we've put together a list of 9 solutions. If you've been struggling to make your copywriting pop and convert, I can guarantee that your copy will improve dramatically if you'll learn how to dramatically improve your conversion copywriting by making some surprisingly small edits.
Bland sentences get the job done, but oftentimes people are interested in sentences that are a little... different from the rest. Not different in quality, but different in style.
Variety is the spice of life, after all.
This is especially true when it comes to the business world. You'll find that most business-related writing sounds scarily similar. Too many overused templates, too much copy and paste, too many unoriginal ideas.
Shoot one arrow and you'll hit hundreds of businesses looking to "change the world with coding, one innovator at a time."
Lookup a random hashtag on Instagram and you'll find thousands of businesses related to it, all with the same content on their blogs.
Fortunately for you, this makes your task easy: stand out. Do whatever people aren't doing. Say what they're not saying. Be original, be innovative, and creative, and you'll see that your messaging and copywriting vastly improve.
Learn the 7 ways to stand out in your copywriting here.
I just brought up templates in a negative light, saying many of them are overused.
And yes, that's true.
Blame lead magnets and online articles, looking to share templates with like-minded people.
It's a blessing and a curse. On one hand, life would be much more tedious if we didn't have templates on how to do various things.
How would we keep ourselves sane if we had to manually calculate our daily plans every single day? The answer is that we wouldn't.
Our daily template for our routines helps us do the same thing day in and day out without too much extra mental effort. And usually, when we're doing the same thing over and over, it's because it's a good thing.
It means we're doing something right, so why fix what isn't broken? If it's converting well each time, keep doing it until it needs to be tweaked again.
But on the other hand, if your copy is based directly on a template, you're going to fall into the trend of making things sound repetitive since that's what templates are literally made for: doing things the same way each time.
The solution? Use a template if it makes your life easier, but be careful in how you use those templates.
Use them as guidelines, not rules.
Your templates should be made in such a way that you know the general method of how to do something, but there should be plenty of blanks for you to fill in. The more blanks you have to fill in, the more "you" you can fill in as well.
Let's take this template:
Here at <company> we specialize in <specialization>, making sure that you <experience desired outcome>. Shop smart, shop <company>!
This is obviously very basic, but there's one critical flaw beyond the quality: there's little to no room for expression.
You have a decent number of blanks, but those blanks offer very little potential for you to "spice things up" in any way beyond a few words or a sentence.
Now, a clever template-user would instead just take this template as inspiration, instead of filling in the blanks and calling it a day.
They would take the general idea of starting with an introduction, explaining their purpose, and ending with a call to action and make something unique...
<Company> is all about <specialization>. Firm believers in <belief>, we strive to <mission statement & detail (2-3 sentences)>.
And our customers feel the same way. They actively <describe what customers do for the cause on a regular basis (1-2 sentences).
Together we can <describe the difference made> by <action>. Each time you shop <company>, we <action (e.g. plant a tree)>.
Let's <mission statement> one <product> at a time!
Notice the difference between the two templates.
The first one was generic, but the second one took inspiration, and crafted something mission-oriented that promotes the CTA, encourages community building, and really resonates with those who believe in the cause.
The lesson? You can't just answer a blank with a single-word response.
You have to elaborate on each point of the template, while also having the freedom to diverge from the template if you deem it beneficial.
You can have a pre-written template, but the output should be mostly original unless you want to produce boring, uninspired, poorly-converting copy.
The more that you have to elaborate on, the more of "you" you can insert into your writing. After all, there's way more to fill in once you start diverging from the template.
Bonus Tip: After writing your own template, inspired by a preexisting template, feel free to craft 2-3 more inspired by your write-up.
This way, you always have a unique spin to use. It's good practice, and it can really build on what's already there. By the time you're done with your 3rd rendition, you just might have something brand-building.
"Proper" language has a very distinct sound to it. And that distinct sound is so prevalent in writing that we start tuning it out, in a similar way to how we go nose-blind with the same smells.
Just like with very generic language, "proper" language tends to leave very little room for expression. You focus on every word and sentence, trying to make sure you can't possibly offend anyone.
Be bold. Bring out your inner self. Write in the same way you would talk in a conversation.
Crack jokes! Swear like a sailor (Ok, maybe there's a time and place)! Spew out your inner thoughts! Give opinions, even if they're controversial!
Be as casual as you can, without being inappropriate. Nobody wants to read the same boring business language over and over again, so if you pull someone in with a good "conversation" and a genuine personality, there's a good chance they'll stay until the end.
Remember that the core goal of copy is to appeal to your audience, so if you can talk like them, they'll be able to relate to you. And if they relate to you, there's a good chance they'll become a sale too...
If a lack of personality is your problem, what better way is there to add "you" than to literally add stories about you into the writing?
Stories or short IRL examples are inherently personal, and personal matters inject personality into storytelling.
These stories can help your readers see past the screen, and give them a glimpse into you as a person, rather than an entrepreneur, founder, marketer, etc.
Of course, this isn't a new tactic, and plenty of companies have tried this tactic.
But here's what makes this point unique:
Can you name one example of a story you've read about a company that didn't start with "This is how we built our company off the ground and overcame hurdles along the way — all thanks to the power of dedication and friendship"?
There's way too many of those, isn't there?
So, if you're going to tell a story, make sure it'll be memorable. Try a unique angle, or unleash a compelling and unheard-of nugget of advice. Bring in a unique premise, or put a spin on the formula.
If your story stands out from the crowd, it'll help your business as a whole stand out, and that directly leads to more traffic, sales, reviews, and experiences, referrals, etc.
My "About" section does this wonderfully (if I do say so myself!). It seems like it's going to be a generic rags to riches tale, but there's a twist: the riches came completely out of nowhere.
My previous lines of work weren't even in the same field, but once I started to incorporate marketing into my game development, I found my passion for marketing and sailed onwards from that point.
There was a lot of hard work, obviously, but the story focuses more on the milestones rather than the journey. The story details the trainwreck that was my early career and the sudden surge once I got into marketing.
You expect that typical rags to riches tale, and get a rags to... cleaner rags, to riches tale instead. It's a familiar enough story, but unique enough to be remembered.
And that's exactly what you want.
Enthusiasm is important for any kind of writing, but especially so for copywriting.
In order to convince someone to buy something, you have to be convinced yourself. So if your writing is "wishy-washy" and doesn't convey a sense of confidence, you won't have many people who pull the trigger and invest.
With the abundance of scams, bad deals, and just generally shady business shenanigans you come across on a daily basis, people are much warier about investing in an "unknown" quality product.
But how do you actually convey your enthusiasm without becoming what you hate? Too much enthusiasm is known to be bad, but how much is enough? Here are some things you should do in moderation:
People like to know the "why" behind things before buying anything. Why that product? Why from that vendor and not another? Why at that price point?
So, the more people know the better.
And they should know why you're writing, and why you're choosing to promote your offer. Otherwise, they won't feel confident in their decision-making.
When you're open with your audience, they tend to feel secure. They feel like you have good motives, like you're genuinely trying to solve their problem, and like you're trustworthy.
And that's a huge sale motivator — trust. It's what separates you from the unknown, lesser-quality businesses. It's what keeps them coming back for more.
And to think all it takes is a little honesty.
You see, it's super hard to fake emotion. When someone isn't being genuine, you kind of pick up on that in sales letters, emails, blog posts — and especially in person at events.
So, we're hard-wired to recognize genuine emotion and associate that with positive attributes.
If you can channel these emotions into your funnel, your success will surge.
The only issue comes when you don't know why you're doing what you're doing, which is surprisingly common. Too many people start businesses because they kind of fall into a specialization of some kind, and it brings them success.
Seeing the potential, they scaled things into a proper business and the rest is history. Less magic, less raw emotion than... what most people are led to believe in all those repetitive brand stories.
So, what are you supposed to do if you're technically just... surviving? Doing it to put food on the table? Leading the charge on something you don't seem to care about otherwise?
Well, start by taking some personality quizzes. Take notes on your results.
Pay attention to your behaviors, and turning points. Why did you decide to do things a certain way in high-impact circumstances?
Maybe you decided to turn something into a business because it was the only thing you felt good at. Maybe it was because deep down you had to adapt your skills into something profitable, not just creatively thrilling?
The harder you think about your life decisions, and typical daily behavior, the better sense of identity you'll have.
And the more you understand who you are, the more clear your business will seem. Maybe, deep down, you actually love what you're doing — even if it's not what you had anticipated ever before.
Life is full of surprises.
The more you know the details, the hows, and whys of your own story, the better you'll be able to tell your story.
"Powerful" writing is a pretty generic term, but hear me out.
If you are already certain that you're writing for the right reasons, short, direct, commanding, words, phrases, and sentences might be all you need to convince potential customers.
It's the difference between "buy it now" and "you could buy it if you're interested.''
If you have "uncertain" words like "could" and "maybe" you should change them and make them more confident. You "could" always not invest in our product, but you definitely "should."
You can also use some incredibly descriptive adjectives to really make your words stand out. Words like generous, empathetic, brilliant, or reliable do a good job of elevating something bland into something readers can envision easily.
It conveys a mental image of some kind. Whatever words you opt for, make sure not to overuse them. Too much of a good thing and the effect is lost.
Additionally, specific details are much more powerful than generic statements. When you give out specific details, people will be able to visualize those details, making the story much more immersive and compelling.
Anyone can make generic statements. Anyone can lie. But when you add in details, you're elevating things not only into a narrative they can get behind but into something more attune with reality.
Be specific. Be certain. Know what you want to say, and just say it.
Learn how to audit your copy here.
We've already gone over storytelling, but this one is a little different.
If you just can't find it in you to be enthusiastic about whatever you're selling, write about something else that you are enthusiastic about.
That enthusiasm will spill over into the rest of your writing, even into the stuff that you weren't particularly excited about to begin with.
When humans are feeling a particular emotion, it's obvious, so your stories will carry your emotions with them whether you like it or not.
Use that facet of human existence to your advantage and transplant those emotions into wherever you want them to go!
As an example, let's say you're writing some copy about your business, and even you, the business owner, know that your paper business is incredibly boring. You find it hard to get excited about your frankly generic (but slightly more premium) paper.
In your copy, you could decide to write about a time when you were younger making paper airplanes, or all the paper you spent making doodles as a kid, or the joy you get when it's that time of year and you get to mail out holiday cards...
Or work on custom wedding invitation orders.
Those fond memories are associated with emotions that will surely show in your writing and will give your overall copy a sense of personality and emotion that it definitely wouldn't have had otherwise.
You see, it's not so much about paper. Paper rarely gets anyone excited. It's what you do with it that truly matters, so that's what you should be focusing on.
And that same rule applies to many other businesses. It's not about the photography process, it's about the enduring memory behind it, captured by the lens. It's not about the car itself, it's about the road trips and kisses that'll be shared inside.
Obviously, a lot of this will depend on your business as a whole. Whatever you're selling will determine your limitations and scope. But if you can find an angle of it that does excite you, run with it.
Whether it's the manufacturing process, the ways in which your product will be used, or how it will help those around you, pick the side of it that gets your blood pumping.
I won't sugar-coat it: If you have an uninteresting product that doesn't actually fill a valuable need in the market, there's nothing amazing copy can do to remedy that situation.
Yes, that's right, copy can be amazing in and of itself, but it's still having to present the best aspects of your offer...
And if that offer is subpar, then it doesn't lend much for the copy to work with, does it?
The best thing you can do in this case is to revisit your offer.
What can you do to make it better? What does it lack? What would your audience benefit from the most?
Speaking of your audience, all your copy is directed at them, or at least it should be. If you want to convert, they need to care about it as much as you hopefully do.
You want to make your customers want your product. But how do you accomplish that?
Naturally, everyone who invests in your product is looking for some kind of result in the process. That means you should make it very clear what buying your product will result in.
Where do you see your product and business in 5 years? Is this the start of a big plan to take over the world? What is the big picture?
If details are hidden, make them visible. If the wording is clunky, make it roll off the tongue, if you're leaving out key details, put them in. In general, if the information is available, but isn't as easily available as possible, make it such.
You can lose customers simply because of laziness, and trust me, people are lazy. About half of internet users out there will search for a different site if the one they're trying takes more than 3 seconds to load.
So if you're making people go 15 seconds out of their way to find information, you might find that your conversion rates are lacking, despite high-quality material.
Also, you should be confident in your wording throughout this entire section. Confidence is important in general, but it's especially important when you're referring to results.
Shaky statistics like "double", "half", "triple", or "significantly more" are vague and unconvincing. Those types of numbers are easily made up, and you should already know what uncertainty means in the buying process.
If you guessed "uncertainty makes people factor in riskiness into their purchase decision" then you are correct! You want people to feel as comfortable as possible in their decisions.
Give people specific results, and be confident about those results.
Here are the 9 strategies to easily improve your clarity in your copy.
As it turns out, more often than not most of your sales will come from your expected audience. Who would've thought?!
This means you should tailor your copy to your audience to specifically convert that group of people more than anyone else.
When you can take the thoughts right out of someone's head and instantly answer them, you gain a position of authority of sorts to those readers. You'll be seen as a trustworthy source since the readers themselves can verify what you're saying.
And since they can verify everything else, they can certainly verify that their product works, right? So what kinds of things can you tailor? Here are a few ideas:
Testimonials are an absolute powerhouse when it comes to creating a sense of authority in your copy. What better way to tailor copy to an audience than to provide a testimonial from someone within that audience?
If testimonials are given by people similar to the interested reader, and those testimonials share the kinds of results the reader is looking for, then you can almost guarantee that the reader will believe in your product's effectiveness.
After all, someone just like them bought the product and got those exact results, so they could get those results too right?
From that point, it's just a matter of if the price is right. The sale is much easier to close.
Exaggeration is a great way to sound enthusiastic, and some enthusiasm is needed in copy. However, if you go overboard with your exaggeration, you suddenly come off as being "fake" or "shady".
Excessive exaggeration is almost like a desperate plea for sales, and people can tell. In this digital age where scams are becoming more and more common, people have developed a sixth sense for things that are too good to be true.
And it just so happens that over-exaggeration triggers that sense.
Don't let your writing get dull, but don't push the envelope too far. People can tell if enthusiasm is genuine or contrived, so just write with the same emotions that you're feeling (e.g. not constantly excited) and you should be fine.
And if you're having trouble with that, there's conveniently an entire section on this very topic above...
Copywriting has always been a difficult task. You have to account for your audience, the timing, your own style, and feelings on the topic — everything.
But with enough practice, you too can develop your own sixth sense to implement these changes subconsciously.
Of course, until then, keep these tips in your mind. If you can actively implement these changes, you'll dramatically improve your copywriting overnight. It just might take a while before you can do this without thinking about it...
...And if that time sounds grueling to you, why not hire a digital marketing consultant? They exist for a reason and tend to be cheaper to invest in than the increase in profit they provide so it's a win-win.
Pretty much every big digital company out there has hired one at some point or another just because it gets so hard to manage as things scale.
Regardless of what you plan to do, this guide will certainly show results if you stick to it. We hope that those results are as great as we know they can be!
Want higher conversions on your landing pages, sales letters, emails, or ads? It might be time for you to work with an expert copywriter. I’ve driven tens of millions of dollars in revenue for hundreds of clients over the past 10 years — including some of the largest B2B companies and digital brands in America.
Using my words, I’ll tap into your prospects’ deepest desires, deploy my menagerie of psychological sales triggers, and prime them for the sale. The result? More wins for your business and more revenue and profits in your pocket. Sound interesting to you? Click HERE to learn more about my copywriting work and see if we’re a good match.
High-converting direct-response copy for growing B2B companies and disruptive digital brands.