Great copywriting can be the difference between a business thriving and a business treading water. Whether it’s an About Us page, a LinkedIn article, or an email campaign, the words you use must be engaging, informative, and utterly useful to the reader.
If your copywriting skills leave something to be desired, here are some tips to help you begin to craft copy that attracts and converts.
1. Get the Headline Right
Renowned advertiser David Ogilvy once said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
You’ve got about three seconds to hook the reader. If your headline doesn’t capture attention, you have no hope of getting the prospect into your sales funnel. Here are some rules for writing effective headlines:
- Never be clever – straightforward is best.
- Lead with benefits not features. (what’s in it for them if they keep reading?)
- Remember the 4 U’s: Urgent, Unique, Useful, Ultra-specific.
- Paint a vivid picture.
- Use emotion.
2. Keep it Simple
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
Simple copywriting doesn’t mean writing to a fifth-grade level. It means getting rid of fluff and making your message as clear and concise as possible. Today’s consumers won’t give you much time or attention. Make it as easy as possible for them to WANT to do business with you.
3. Make Sure it Has a Point
With the birth of the phrase “Content is King,” many marketers began writing content for the sake of writing it. Having a large arsenal of content at your disposal can be useful, for sure, but only if each piece of content has a specific purpose that fits into your overall marketing plan.
Witty, clever, funny, or interesting content is great, but be sure your content is always building trust, nurturing relationships, and encouraging sales.
4. Write How Your Customers Think
David Ogilvy also once said, “If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular.”
We all want to recognize ourselves in marketing messages. Assuming you know all about your ideal customer (you do, don’t you?), write in the language they use every day, in the language in which they think. This will help you to form an instant connection and build trust.
5. Focus on Overall Value
Successful copywriter Bob Bly says, “It’s not enough to convince prospects you have a great product or a superior service. You must also show them that the value of your offer far exceeds the price you are asking for it.”
Make sure your copy clearly demonstrates that the cost to purchase your product or service is a drop in the bucket compared to the benefits your product or service delivers.
6. Always Use a Strong Call to Action
When you were a kid, did you ever clean your room just because you felt like it? No, you cleaned it because you were told to do so.
At the end of the day, you can follow all of these copywriting tips, but if you don’t close your content with a strong call to action, it’s all been for nothing. A bit like spending the entire day slaving over a hot stove to create a delectable four-course dinner, but neglecting to invite anyone.
If you don’t ask the reader to take a specific action, chances are they won’t do it. Whatever you write, blog post, email, social updates, newspaper ad or landing page, always close with a strong call to action.
Without question copywriting is about having a conversation with your target audience. By following these tips you’ll be better able to clearly convey your value in a way that inspires action and drives sales.