You’re not a writer but suddenly, you’re tasked with writing. But not just the regular type of writing— copywriting. Now, in addition to attracting the reader and building trust immediately, your writing must also sell your product. That’s a lot of pressure, especially if you’re not confident with your writing ability.
But even if you are a born wordsmith, copywriting is a specialised skill that doesn’t come naturally to most.
Writing good copy is equivalent to walking a tightrope where you must balance between authenticity and self-promotion. Careful not to trip! If you do, you risk turning into another skeezy copywriter, and the net is filled with those.
The good news is that anyone can learn the basics of effective copywriting. Below, we’re sharing easy tips to improve your marketing content. Let’s get started.
Know the Purpose of Copy
After reading your copy, which action do you want your reader to take?
The purpose of copywriting is to persuade the reader to take a specific action.
In every piece of copy, you should lead the reader to take only one action, whether that’s call now, buy now, sign up now. This makes your copy more effective because the reader knows exactly what to do next. They’re not left with multiple choices, which can have a paralysing effect.
Copy is different from other forms of content. Regular business content, like the kind you find in a blog post, is focused on two things: Educating the reader and building trust. While your copy should also do these things, the main focus of copywriting is to inspire the reader to take immediate action that results in a purchase.
Copy doesn’t nurture or build awareness.
Copy is not focused on the long game.
Copy only cares about conversion.
You want the customer to “buy right now” not to read more blog posts or join your email list or tell a friend about you.
Copy sells. And to sell effectively, your copy needs to elicit an emotion from the reader.
Good copy is singular in its focus and irresistible.
Here’s one of the most important takeaways in this article. Ready for it?
No one wants to buy from a questionable source. People only want to buy from other people and brands that they can trust. This is where copy comes in. You can show that you’re authentic, reliable, and trustworthy through your copy. Here’s how:
- Discover what makes your brand unique
- Emphasise your uniqueness in every interaction with your customer
- Be transparent about prices, processes, deliverables, and expectations
Speak to a Person
To be effective, your copy needs to be targeted to one person— your ideal customer. Have this person in mind when writing.
Who are they?
What are their basic demographics?
What is the pain point?
What words do they use to describe that pain point?
What motivates them to buy right now?
What are their biggest hesitations?
You’re not writing to a faceless, nameless corporate entity. You’re writing to that one person who will eventually buy your product. Adopt a conversational tone in your copy, as if you were speaking to a friend. By shifting your perspective, your copy will be more engaging and effective at hitting your goal.
Dial Down the Clever
Good copywriting isn’t clever. It’s not funny and it’s certainly not punny.
Good copywriting is invisible. In other words, the writing itself isn’t elegant or witty. It’s mostly filled with everyday, unremarkable, and single-syllable words. And that’s precisely why it works. Good copywriting communicates a simple message in a simple way.
Good copywriting says: You have a problem. Here’s our solution. And here’s why you should use it.
It speaks directly to the prospective customer. It doesn’t speak above their level of understanding (i.e., no jargon). It addresses their problem. It eliminates objections. Being cute in your copy can confuse or distract your reader. Avoid misunderstandings by being straightforward.
Prepare Content for Every Stage of the Funnel
There’s a big problem with the traditional sales funnel approach. Many marketers assume that all prospective customers arrive at the top of the funnel, a.k.a. the beginning of the buyer’s journey. However, if you only write for this group of prospective customers, you’ll miss out on the others who are further along in their buyer’s journey.
Let’s take a closer look at the traditional sales funnel. It can be divided into four stages: Awareness (lead generation), Interest (lead nurturing), Decision (evaluation), and Action (purchase). Prospective customers can arrive at any stage of the sales funnel. You need to write copy for every one of these four stages.
Copywriting for the awareness stage must incorporate education because the prospective customer doesn’t know much about the problem or the solution. You can still attempt to sell, but the majority of prospects won’t buy this early on. This is why you need to use content marketing to establish a relationship with your prospects.
Copywriting for the interest stage should invite the prospective customer to make tiny investments in your brand, such as asking them to download your free ebook or attend a webinar. Most buyers are still not ready to make a purchase yet. Continue to nurture.
Copywriting for the action stage should incorporate social proof, like testimonials, reviews, and case studies, that will encourage the prospective customer to buy. Comparison guides may also be useful for this stage.
Copywriting for the action stage is crucial. It’s time to convert prospects into customers. To do that, load your copy with trust signals (like money-back guarantees, worry-free return policies, and security badges) to remove hesitations and get the prospect to act quickly.
You’re not just speaking to beginners. Write to all prospective customers, no matter where they land in your funnel.
Lead With the Most Important Stuff First
Effective copywriting uses the inverted (upside down) pyramid method.
Start with the most critical information. This is everything your prospective customer needs to make a decision to buy. Ideally, they’ll read this information and then move straight to purchase.
However, for those who still aren’t convinced and need a little nudge, you can continue with even more information. This info won’t be as important as the first section, but it can give your prospective customer even more compelling reasons to purchase. Testimonials and product reviews go here.
Also, because people are motivated by emotions, not logic, use phrases that evoke a visceral reaction. For example, use urgency-inducing phrases like “hurry before it’s too late” or “limited time only” to encourage immediate action.
Finally, include your call to action that drives the prospective customer to act now.
Edit Your Copy
You can write great copy, but if you fail to edit it, you won’t meet your objectives.
Copy with grammatical errors and typos will damage your prospective customer’s image of you. How can they trust you with their money if they can’t trust your website or promotional material?
It may seem harsh to say that a typo can end a business deal, but it can definitely sink confidence and cause prospects to question the quality of your product.
Always read through your copy before hitting publish.
To write good copy, you must show a sincere desire to help your reader overcome their challenge. Copy can easily veer off course if you don’t focus on your reader: who they are, what they want, and what motivates them to act.
Use the above tips to create promotional content that connects with your reader and causes them to trust you.