Copywriting is an art. When done right, it can provide the backbone for a marketing campaign or lead you to a page one ranking on Google. The importance of great copywriting has only grown in today’s digital marketing world. It’s still important to have a great product with quality content at the heart of your brand, but if your copy isn’t up to par, your customers will be left with a less than optimal experience. At Market Partner, we believe that copy should be measurable and measurable alone. If you can’t prove that your copy is driving sales for your business, then it’s not doing its job. It’s no longer enough to simply have a strong brand and a creative website – you need to have a copywriting strategy for each and everyone of your online marketing channels. Every aspect of your business, from you website to your SEO and PPC campaigns, content marketing and social media posts, needs to be planned with strong persuasive copywriting in mind. In this way, you can help you audience quickly digest and understand the key messages you want to deliver through your marketing efforts We’ve put together the following list of what we think are some great factors to keep in mind when trying to write copy that converts. Here’s our list of the 5 most effective practices to take into account when writing ad copy, landing pages, and email subject lines.
1. Define Your Customer/Client
Before you start writing any kind of text for your website or marketing material, it’s essential that you take a moment to define your customer. It’s important that you understand their background, their audience, their preferences, and their expectations from your brand. If you have trouble identifying these aspects, then this is the time to speak to people who know your customer and get them to give you feedback. Using tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can help you define your customer. This is a process that will take time, but once you fully understand who you are trying to sell it, you can craft a message that resonates with your customers.
2. Make Sure Your Copy Resonates With Your Customer, Rather Than Talking At Them
Words are powerful. They have the ability to influence your customers: to convey personality, build trust and educate them on how your products or services can solve their problems. It is so easy to get caught up in sounding smart that you forget your copy’s purpose. Full of industry jargon, buzzwords and complicated copy that no one understands. Your copy needs to be clear, concise and in a language your customers understand. Have you ever wondered why people take time to read something they aren’t paid to? The answer to that question is simple this: Copywriting is more than just about words on a page, it’s about creating a connection between you and the customer. Good copy reads like a conversation between friends. A conversation makes the customer feel like they know you and can connect with you on a personal level. There are three ways to write copy that resonates with your customers:
Answer a simple question about why they should buy from you
Encourage a specfic behaviour or action
Tell a story
The most effective copywriting is written around answering the question:
“What’s in it for ME?”
By focusing on the customer, you remove yourself (the seller) from the equation and write in a way that puts their needs first. It’s important to keep in mind that there are plenty of people who read emails and adverts, but it doesn’t mean they will buy from you.
3. Focus On One Core Message
You don’t have the luxury of time, so you need to look for copy that delivers one main message clearly and concisely. One message. One core idea. This is the golden rule of copywriting. But it’s not so easy to achieve. When writing sales copy, the temptation is to go into a lot of detail about your product. However, that can make it difficult for people to figure out what it is you’re selling. You have so much to say about your products, your services, your capabilities – the list is endless. But there has to be one message that runs through every single piece of copy you write. The purpose of your copy is to get people to take action. This means that you have to give the customer just enough information, so they know what they are getting, but not so much that they get confused and leave the page. A whole host of people will read it – prospective clients, employees, management, partners, perhaps even your competitors – so what you say has to be clear and comprehensive to everyone.
4. Use Value-Based Messaging
Words used in marketing can either bring in new customers or turn people away. Value-based messaging is the most effective way to get your messaging across. Value-based marketing is a strategy that aims to:
Expose customers to the value your product brings them
Reduce risk for customers
Show customers the best option for them to achieve their goals
When you start writing copy, ask yourself how you can demonstrate that value in a way that is relevant to your audience. Here’s an example of standard copy that doesn’t incorporate any value proposition: “If your product isn’t selling, then it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy.” That type of copy doesn’t address your reader’s pain points or try to help them achieve their goals in any way. It’s just there to tell them something they may or may not want to hear. Value-based messaging is a way to clearly and concisely articulate how your product/service solves your audience’s problems and you want to communicate that seamlessly in every piece of content on your site. The value proposition is what gets new visitors to convert from visitor to shopper. Is it the central sales message you want to convey on every page on your website in order to drive customers towards conversion and it can be communicated best by using value-based messaging.
5. Write For The Senses
Help the reader to feel what you are saying, use the language of emotion rather than rationality. This is known as ‘the secret ingredient’ in advertising as it works on an unconscious level and is proven to increase sales.
Emotion Drives Action.
Your emotions are now more powerful than ever in the new world of content marketing. When you read something, it’s not just the words on the page that make an impression – it’s what they make you feel. So, if you can bring some emotion into your copywriting, you’ll be able to grab attention and make your potential customers feel something too – typically excitement, happiness and anticipation. You only have the time to grab their attention once, so make sure you deliver something other than the same old boring content. Use smell, sight, touch and sounds as a base for your writing and your content will immediately reflect this in a much more interesting way.
6. Call Out The Type Of Customer You Serve
People pay attention when they know something is specifically for them. This is a fundamental idea behind marketing – but for most businesses, it’s something they often forget. The best way to get someone to take actions is to speak directly to them – and that’s exactly what you should be doing in your marketing copy. Text in your ads and on your website should be written directly addressing your customer – not about your product or business. This is an easy concept to follow in person. If you want someone to try your product, you say “Hey, try this!,” not “We sell this.” While that may seem like a no brainer, it’s not easy to achieve. Knowing your target audience is an essential factor, but it isn’t enough. Just like a conversation between two real people, marketing copy has vast benefits if written in the first person. Without it, there’s a disconnect between what you are saying and what the person reading it feels.
7. Test Everything: When Writing Copy, Test As Much As You Can (Headlines, Word Length, etc)
Customers are always on the move. They’re distracted and being barraged by information, all vying for their attention and they expect nothing less than the best from you in terms of copywriting and design. The biggest mistake you may be making however is not testing your copy before it goes live. The most popular way to do this is by using A/B tests. Here are six reasons why you should be writing A/B tests for every bit of copy that you write:
You have a better chance of delivering the best possible message in a short space of time. Without knowing the best words to use, you can't expect customers to click through.
It forces you to think of everything possible that could be said about a product or service. Without this, your copy can only be as good as your imagination allows it to be.
It helps you understand what people think about the products or services that you sell. If you don’t try it out on different people, you will never know what they are thinking.
It helps you learn how people react in different situations and how they choose when presented with a choice of words.
The key to great copywriting is testing. This means you need to constantly be changing your copy based on your learnings. If you are not testing, then you are just guessing and, in the world of conversion rate optimization, guessing is not a good strategy.
In a world of smartphones, social media and push notifications, copywriting is one of the most important aspects of modern marketing. Any successful company now should have a strong copywriter behind its marketing efforts because the success of any business now depends on how communicative the message is and whether it speaks to people’s emotions. People are bombarded with so much information and adverts these days that they’ll only give you a few seconds to convince them to stay and read more. Businesses who share their story in a concise manner, with as little fluff as possible, tend to be the ones that people lean towards.
You might have heard the old adage, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” This is especially true in marketing and sales. Copywriting isn't just a nice-to-have, it's the foundation of your marketing and without a sales pitch that really speaks to your target market, you have nothing. With this list of great practices, you're on your way to streamlining customers down your sales funnel and out the other end with maximized return on investment for every word published. If you want to find out more about how we can help you through the process of incorporating these principles, contact us at MarketPartner and ask for a copywriting strategy consultation. We’re also happy to answer any questions that might come up as you explore what effective copywriting could do for your company.