Copywriting is one of the most beneficial skills a marketing professional or team can have. And in reality, there is science and art behind effective copywriting. While not everyone in a marketing team needs to excel at copywriting, the person in charge of copy should be very skilled at it. For example, the website developer doesn’t need to be a pro at copywriting. Rather, they need to know how to build an amazing website. A designer needs to be great at graphics. Both of those two marketing professionals would do well to work with a copywriter, who can create fantastic copy for the website that has been designed and built.
We just mentioned “copywriting” four times in that last paragraph. It’s pretty important, but let’s explain more clearly what it is and how it works. The information in this blog post is based on our personal experience. Additionally, we will point you to other online resources and books, to provide supporting material or additional reading.
What is Sales Copy?
According to Jim Edwards, author of “Copywriting Secrets,” sales copy is anything you put in front of people to get them to convert into customers. People tend to buy things that will make them feel better or help them achieve what they want. Most people want to buy things, which is why Amazon is one of the most popular websites. Also, people tend to spend more than what they have because they enjoy buying things so much. You just have to know what to say to the consumer to buy your product or service. This is where excellent copywriting skills come in handy.
The Best Copywriting Skills
Here’s the thing, the best copywriting is when the consumer doesn’t realize they’re reading copy, because they are so interested in what you have to say. This is why we always recommend our clients start a blog of their own. When people are interested in a subject, they will read your blog without thinking you’re trying to sell them something. And in fact, you probably aren’t trying to sell them something through the blog. This blog post, for example, is designed to educate… not to sell. However, at the end of your blog post, you can offer your services or product. Or, in your PPC advertising, you tell the consumer your story, and show them how you can help them, without giving a hint that you are selling them on your products or services. Being able to do this shows you have superior copywriting skills and will help increase your sales.
People Only Buy When There’s a Why
When writing your content, it is important to remember to include copy that responds to the mental triggers of a reader. According to Jeff Walker, author of the book “Launch,” people tend to purchase things when a mental trigger is activated. Furthermore, Jim Edwards outlines a similar concept in his “Copywriting Skills” book. It is agreed by many marketing experts that people only buy when there is a strong “why” behind the purchase. There are some primary “whys,” or as Jeff Walker calls them, mental triggers behind a purchase. Here are some we think are the most effective to focus on:
Scarcity of Your Product or Services
Have you ever seen a notification that only X product remaining, so buy quickly? This can often be seen when you’re thinking about purchasing plane tickets, hotel rooms, tour tickets, reservations to special events, concerts, etc. Has this ever worked on you?
How many people don’t want to make more money. If you’re reading this blog post, there’s a good chance it’s because you want to increase your own revenue. Have you seen copy that said something along the lines of “Watch this free video to discover the three proven and simple steps to make more money!”?
Time is money, so the saying goes. Who doesn’t want to save time? If you have a product or service that can help people save time, then it may be a good idea to promote your product or service this way.
Marketing agencies use this often. For example, blogging and SEO can take a LOT of time! Instead of learning how to do it and managing it yourself, why not hire us to do it for you? You focus on your business and minimize the effort of marketing yourself.
The Anticipation of a New Product or Service
Think of your favorite television show. How excited are you when a new season is about to come out? If you have something that people can get super excited about, then build up the anticipation for it. Create teasers and make your audience want more. Make them want your product or service.
Your Customer’s Trust in You
Did you know nursing has been ranked as the most trusted profession in the world for the last 18 years. If your nurse says you need something, there’s a pretty strong chance you’re going to look into it. Have you developed trust with your customers or clients and can you use that trust to influence them to do something that will help them?
Get Better Health Through Cleanliness
People like to be healthy, and right now they are more conscientious about it than usual. Can you leverage that knowledge to create better copy?
Gain Praise or Authority
We were recently given the opportunity to possibly join the Forbes Council. If we did, that would definitely look good and add to our authority. In the end, we chose not to apply. But it was tempting. Do you have something you can offer that will give praise or increased authority to someone?
This is a great idea during Valentine’s Day, birthdays and holidays. Many companies will say something like “Show your [fill the blank] you love them this [pick a holiday] by giving them [put in the product or service].” You know this is a promotional ads you’re seeing. But still, maybe it resonates so well that you think you should make that purchase, and not really realize you’re reading copy.
Increase Popularity or Social Status
This is something you’ll likely see from clothing, technology, and accessory brands. Do you have something you can offer that will make your clients or customers feel like they will be more popular or of a higher status? If so, how would you word or copy to convey that to your audience?
You know your products and services better than anyone, so explain to the consumer why they need what you have to offer. When writing, ask yourself how you can tie in multiple “whys” into your sales copy. Don’t just focus on one, but focus on including as many “whys” and mental triggers as possible. The more “whys” you can give the consumer, the better. Here’s some text, as an example: “Show your wife you love her this this weekend with tickets to the highly anticipated Micheal Bublé concert. Only three tickets remaining, so act fast!” The whys in that message include scarcity, anticipation and love. Can you make that message better? How?
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Focus Your Content on the Client or Customer
Don’t talk about yourself or your company in your sales copy. Talk about the consumer. Touch on how you can solve their problems and help them achieve their goals. Your copy should address the fears and the desires of the customer. The copy should talk about their hopes and dreams. Additionally, it should use the same words and language they use. Your copy should feel like the consumer is having a conversation with a friend they trust. It should have familiar and comfortable words they tend to use. The better you understand the people in your niche, the better you will understand how to write sales copy geared towards them. Then, the more money you will make.
Learning How to Write Copy
Writing sales copy can take a lot of work. But, it is a valuable skill for you to learn. If you outsource all your copywriting, you won’t be able to make necessary changes on the fly. So, you will need to write some of your copy yourself. Below are some of the most important factors when it comes to learning how to do your own copywriting.
Learn How to Write Great Headlines
Headlines are how you capture the reader’s attention. With that being said, you will need to learn how to write a great headline in order to improve your copy. Even if you primarily use videos for your content, the first words you say use the same concepts as headlines. If you run a blog, you can think of the title and headers as your headlines. Without the ability to capture someone’s attention within the first few words, you will not see as great of results. You must capture people’s attention fast – or else you will lose it.
When writing a headline, think, “Will this stop the reader in their tracks?” If the answer is no, keep brainstorming headline ideas. According to ClickGiant, only 20 percent of the readers of a headline will actually click on it. This is why it needs to be great. The goal is to stop the reader from continuing to scroll, and get them so interested in what you have to offer that they keep reading. Although it can take you a great deal of time to learn how to write a great headline, your sales and website traffic will prove it is worth it.
Neil Patel is a very well recognized digital marketing professional and thought leader. He wrote a blog post titled The Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Powerful Headlines. For some great tips on his topic, feel free to read his article here: https://neilpatel.com/blog/the-step-by-step-guide-to-writing-powerful-headlines/
Be Good at Writing in Bullet Format
Jim Edwards recommends keeping your paragraphs short and to the point. So, he suggests practicing writing in bullet format. When looking at purchasing something, people don’t enjoy reading long paragraphs of text. They usually skim the text, or they scroll past it because it is too long. Thankfully, using bullet points beautifully breaks up the text and makes it less overwhelming for readers. So, getting good at writing in bullet format, and using detailed information that is enjoyable to read.
For blog posts, you can easily break up text using images and headers. When trying to write a longer blog post, you don’t typically want to use a lot of bullet points. We recommend using an H2 header after every two or three paragraphs. Still, keep to the point of your blog post, as you don’t want to drive readers away because your failed to stay on point. Also, most people don’t read every word of a blog post. They skim to the parts that are of most interest to them. That’s another reason headers are so important. They help the reader find the key points in the blog post. If the blog post didn’t have headers, and only used a giant block of text, there’s a very strong chance the reader will leave the website and find a different article to read.
Pay Attention to Your Results
Unless you hire a full-time copywriter, it is difficult for them to monitor the results of your copy. Even the most experienced and talented copywriter doesn’t understand every niche. It takes a lot of practice to nail down copy for a specific industry. This means paying attention to results is necessary. When you set up an advertisement or website copy, you need to see what copy is getting the best results. From there, you will need to make changes, as needed. If you are not in the position to hire a full-time copywriter to monitor your results, and make necessary changes, you will need to make changes to the copy yourself. Paying attention to your results will help you improve your copywriting as you learn what is effective for your niche.
Improving Your Copywriting Skills
We hope you enjoyed this blog post. This is just part one of our copywriting series, so please stay tuned for more information on this topic! If you would like consulting from an experienced marketer, please feel free to contact us. We would love to set up a marketing consultation call with you and help you implement your marketing strategy.