The ultimate goal of copywriting is sales conversion: prospects moving into your sales funnel and becoming customers or existing customers learning about new products and services (and buying more!). It’s imperative to monitor your conversion results to find copywriting that converts. Here are 8 things to try to do better.
Know Your Goal
Call it your copy value proposition – know what you’re trying to communicate before you start writing. Is this a blog post to answer a common customer question? Is it a newsletter to interest attendees to your next speaking event? Is this a blog post that’s part of your content marketing strategy, focusing on a particular keyword? Copywriting that converts starts with one goal. You should circle back at the end of your copywriting process to make sure you stayed with the through-line. That is, did you add unnecessary content that needs to be removed?
Write Copy from the Reader’s Viewpoint
One of the most-violated tenets of online copywriting is failing to write to the reader’s view of the world. If you do, readers pay more attention. Copywriting should focus on benefits, and it’s even better if it targets one specific benefit.
Through all the clutter, you want to connect – and that happens by focusing on WIIFM (what’s in it for me?!). Especially when writing headlines, think about the benefits (go ahead, re-read the headline of this article now…). We love using customers’ communication (written or verbal) to help drive our copywriting – the natural language your current customers use is indicative of how other prospects communicate. If you succeed in copywriting with a personal touch, your conversion rates will undoubtedly improve.
Find A Purple Cow
Seth Godin got it right with his idea of a purple cow. If your copywriting sounds like everyone else, you’ll melt into the background. If you disregard people’s normal expectations, you will change what they pay attention to. We love using an original image or an unusual anecdote to draw the reader into the concepts. For example, we’re often asked why we chose the name Twisted Puppy. Guess what – it’s different. It’s based on creativity. Our logo looks good on a hat or a t-shirt, and if you didn’t know us already, you’d ask what it meant. Conversely, if we were called Manhattan Beach Web Design, it may have a small SEO advantage, but it’s vanilla (and not even Dreyer’s vanilla bean).
Showcase Social Proof
Face it, we’re lemmings. Most folks go with what everyone else does – the herd mentality. If your copywriting can use reputations of experts, recognizable brands, or “the crowd”, you instill trust. If Peep Laja endorses what I’m doing with website conversions, Mattel is a client, or my newsletter has 75,000 subscribers, I will benefit from telling you. Social proof is a powerful motivator.
We frequently say “Give to get” in many conversations about online marketing. Using the psychology of reciprocity, if you give the audience something, they take on an implied obligation (even though there truly isn’t one). Ideas may include “Subscribe today and get our eBook 101 Tips on Search Engine Optimization” or “Sign up early for our event and get a private consultation with me”. It’s getting more difficult to stand out with free content, so you need to be creative.
Edit for Brevity
Take out the fluff. Eliminate words like very or really. Keep copywriting as simple as possible.
Pay Attention to….Timing
In comedy, timing…..is everything. The most important thing about your message is having it read. If you send a newsletter or post a Tweet, it’s useless if no one sees it. So think about timing.
- Simple – Review your activity logs or email reports to see when people open or view most often. Adjust accordingly.
- Medium – Use Drip Campaigns to keep messages in rhythm. Don’t OVERDO it, but communicate regularly.
- Advanced – Try Event Driven Campaigns, where you pay deep attention to where users are in your sales funnel. Know what they respond to and deliver messages that move them to the next stage.
Pay Attention to….Copywriting that Converts
If something is working — you’re adding subscribers, getting more customer inquiries, selling more products — do that more. Of course, to know that, you must be using analytics. Sure, it’s complex and confusing if you run a small company, but it’s imperative for someone in your organization to be monitoring results. Do more of what works, less of what doesn’t.
COPYWRITING THAT CONVERTS: 8 BABY STEPS TO SUCCESS
Stop Doing This
- Focusing copywriting from your perspective
- Using any canned copywriting services
- Offering weak incentives
- Building the wrong audience
Start Doing This
- Review your analytics regularly
- Give *any* reason (do this because…) in your CTAs (calls to action)
- Use reciprocity