“Must Know” Copywriting Secrets that Guarantee Success
Copywriters often disagree on whether a short sales piece with lots of white space is better or whether long and detailed is the way to go. The long and short of the debate is this… what type of buyer are you targeting?
There are basically 2 kinds of buyers.
1. The Impulsive Buyer
This is the kind of guy with “places to go and people to see” and not a whole lot of time to do it in. Typically, he'll skim the headlines and subtopics, glance at the photos and captions, and make a snap decision.
2. The Analytical Buyer
This group of buyers believes that the proof is in the details. They'll read everything… including the fine print.
It stands to reason that successful copy will address the needs of both buyers… regardless of length. Let's look at what you need to do to reach both buyers.
How to reach….
The Impulsive Buyer
1. Use attention-grabbing headlines and sub-headlines.
2. Capitalize on graphics that enhance your message…
Varying fonts and font sizes
Use Bold Headlines
Highlight with shaded areas or bullets
The Analytic Buyer
1. Use the headlines, sub-headlines, and graphics for the impulsive buyer as guides. Add the detailed information the analytic buyer needs under the proper heading, and you've got a winning marketing piece that is guaranteed to be successful.
Inside knowledge of how your potential buyers react is the key to getting their attention… and extra income. The fact that the needs of the impulsive buyer and the analytical buyer overlaps is a bonus for you, the copywriter!
A Novice Guide to Become an Effective Content Writer
If there is one role to be filled on the Internet which matters most to a website, it is none other than content writers. Of course, we could not ignore the fact that web designers and programmers are also important in giving a good website. However, it is the content that matters to the audience.
Contents are the traffic producers of a website. In this age of information technology, almost everyone needs to get some information. Likewise, it is always a must to hire content writers to fill in the page of a website. The website might have a good design. It might also be interactive, however, without something to read on it, the website is as good as nothing.
Being a content writer does not only entails that one knows how to write. It also means that one knows how to keep in touch with millions of audience worldwide. Here are some good tips for an emerging content writer who wants to pursue his profession in Internet writing.
1. Write Clearly and Direct to the Point
If a content writer would consider the millions of audience who will be reading his articles, the important goal for him is to communicate to his audience in simple and understandable words. Some audiences are not native English speakers, likewise, local slangs should be avoided. Standard English must be the language to be adopted for content writers.
While some writers have the habit of writing long paragraphs just like a treatise, in content writing, this is one of the pitfalls the article would not be read by the audience. The audience does not care about explaining further just like in a term paper. They need to know the facts directly. Writing straight to the point is a must for content writers.
2. Know The Purpose of Writing
One mistake most content writers have in content writing is the inability for them to stick on the bread and butter of the content. The basic rule of content writing is to know the purpose of what a content writer needs to write. The ideas must be centered on that purpose.
Some content writers take so much time that a reader will be detoured on its purpose. If one would like to sell a product, a content writer must write something that would make it sell a product. If promoting an event is necessary, a content writer must write something interesting to the audience that can help promote an event.
3. Style of Writing
One of the most important aspects of a content writer is his style of writing his piece. Some writers are just contented enough to write anything about the subject matter to the extent that coherence and transitions are ignored. While content writers might have a different style of writing, it must always take into consideration the organization of the written piece. In this way, the audience can better understand if the written piece has the form and the substance.
Most of the content writers on the Internet are writing in a conversational tone. Indeed, this is very helpful to readers. However, personal clichés and expressions must be avoided by the content writers. In this way, the written piece can be understood universally.
Perhaps, these three guides will help a content writer in his profession of pursuing his writing career on the internet. But the most important thing a content writer must possess is his passion. It is the passion that drives him to do his thing. One's creativity is crafted because of the passion for the thing. Likewise, it is a must for the writer to have been passionate in his writing endeavor.
Basic Web Copywriting Checklist
Copywriting is one of the most important parts of internet marketing. Once you get visitors to your site, you must depend largely on your sales copy to convert the visitors into customers.
Sadly, many webmasters neglect the art of web copywriting. Copywriting truly is an art, but have a checklist of important points is also helpful. Here are some of the major components of good web copywriting.
1 – Your Headline
Does your headline grab the readers' attention and compel them to read further? It is essential that your headline do that. Web surfers generally move about on the internet very quickly. Research says that you have a matter of seconds to catch your website readers' attention, or they will move on. That is why your headline is so important.
2 – Your Introductory Copy
Do the first few paragraphs of your sales copy reinforce the headline, and convince readers to continue reading?
3 – Benefits
Does your sales copy sell the features or the benefits of your product or service? For example, does your site try to convince your readers that your vitamin C product is the best, or does your site try to convince your readers that your vitamin C product will give them the most health benefits?
4 – Call to Action
Do your sales copy clearly and compellingly tell your customer what action they should take after reading your website? (usually the desired action will be to buy your product)
5 – Assurances
Your prospects will only buy if they feel comfortable doing so. There are several things you can do to make them feel more comfortable buying from you, such as:
A: Displaying your picture
B: Displaying your contact data
C: A membership with the Better Business Bureau, etc
D: A Guarantee
E: A secure server logo
These 5 points are only a few of the most important parts of web copywriting. If you want to convert as many of your visitors as possible, study the art of copywriting and learn how to become a master copywriter!
Business to Business Copywriting Secrets
If you want to increase your marketing results and get more qualified leads, you will need to improve the effectiveness of the copywriting on your website, print ads, emails, and direct mail.
This is vital because copywriting is your “salesperson in cyberspace, in print and in the mail” … and great salesmanship produces great sales … average salesmanship gets only average or worse results.
Here are the copywriting tips that will improve your marketing results. These are proven based on our copywriting work for over 450 businesses since 1978.
This is a list of what your prospect is thinking as he reads your marketing copy. It's important to make sure everything is addressed on this list. If you do this, your marketing results will improve dramatically.
1. You'd better have done your research to know what benefits I want most from your type of product or service. If you don't, I won't even notice you, and if I do, I won't even give you a hearing.
2. What do you do? How will it help me? I need to know “what's in it for me” instantly or I'm gone.
3. Why should I believe you?
4. I already have a supplier for that – why should I listen to you?
5. Make it easy for me to read, understand, navigate, and “scan” your marketing material.
6. I want a specialized expert in your field for my situation or my needs or my type of business.
7. Don't bore me! I'm sick of corporate talk, business buzz terms and mumbo-jumbo. Almost all business marketing is very dull and boring and I won't read it.
8. I want ALL the details and specs, including product information, product applications, CAD drawings and plans, costs and shipping. A ThomasNet.com study finds a very large percentage of buyers say these details are not readily available.
9. I want to read copywriting from a real live person talking to me person to person, and not from some emotionless corporation.
10. I won't admit it on the record, but I make purchases based on my emotions. Sure I need logic and features for verification, but if you can touch my emotions, I'm much more likely to buy from you.
11. I badly want more from my life than just work. I'm very interested in saving time, work and stress.
12. Make it easy for me! You list many different things I can do and I'm confused. What one thing should I do now and why?
13. Don't overload your website or brochure with fluff – stick only to relevant and helpful information I need. I'm tired of all the irrelevant “filler” information on the web and I won't read through it anymore.
14. Compare your product or service against your competitors for me if it is really as good as you say it is. Be honest, as I'll see through any favoritism.
15. Be specific; generalities go right into my garbage.
16. What's your guarantee?
17. How can I test your product, service or company first, in a low or no cost way, before I make a large commitment?
18. Help me justify the investment to my boss on an ROI basis.
These copywriting secrets applied properly are a main reason one website, direct mail piece or ad can pull 2 to 3 times the response as another for the same product or service. This is why the most successful marketers hire the best outside freelance copywriters they can afford.
Copy Makeovers Made Easy
Copy makeovers can work magic.
Perhaps all you need is a little medicine… and not major surgery. Take whatever sales copy you have now and modify it. Recast, rework and repackage what you've got.
Chances are you're sitting on some solid (yet hidden) sales material. Often simple copy makeovers can work wonders in terms of response. So, before you crumple it up and toss your sales letter in the trash, try tweaking it first. You might be surprised at the result.
Here are 3 simple steps to complete copy makeovers…
Copy Makeovers — Strategy #1: Create A More Compelling Headline.
This is critical. The headline is the first thing your audience sees. It either “grabs” prospects by the jugular… or it doesn't. If the headline fails, nothing else matters much because it won't even get a fair reading.
Make your headline and/or sub-heading alluring. Talk to your prospect about what is most important to her. Think in terms of the BIG BENEFIT your product offers and deliver it in a captivating and compelling way.
Craft a handful of words that attract attention, identify specific target markets, and deliver enough interest and intrigue to pull true prospects inside. If you're struggling with your headline, just think about the greatest advantage your product offers and promise it right up front.
Copy Makeovers — Strategy #2: Take The “YOU” Point Of View.
Your weight-loss story might be admirable, but what does it mean to your reader or prospect? Talk about yourself and the audience turns off. Talk to your reader one-on-one about something important in her life… and you've got her undivided attention – at least momentarily.
If you could re-shape your story… if you could express it in a way that was more meaningful to your individual readers, you'd quickly capture their interest.
There's a difference between telling your audience that you lost X number of pounds… and telling them how they can lose X pounds, enjoy the process, and feel terrific about their slim, new look.
Remember the old marketing phrase “What's In It For Me?” Everything your prospect reads gets filtered through this frame of reference. With each statement you make, your audience is thinking… “So What?
What does this have to do with me in my situation? How does this help me?”
If the answer isn't obvious immediately, off they go and you lose the sale. Many times the decision to stay or go is made in the blink of an eye – and often unconsciously.
Copy Makeovers — Strategy #3: Turn Your Bullet Points Into Irresistible, Benefit-Packed Mini-Headlines.
Make each bullet a “grabber” in its own right. Prospects tend to scan certain segments of an ad or sales letter, to determine if it offers something they really want.
While many marketers use bullets in their sales letters, most settle for weak bullet point copy — copy that lacks enthusiasm and passion.
If you're going to employ this powerful sales tool, you might as well make the most of it. Craft your bullet points with the same emotion and magnetic appeal, as you'd inject into a major headline. After a while, this gets easier to do.
Bullet points are one of those sales letter components that have the power to quickly stimulate intense reader interest. Use them for all they're worth by making each point justify itself. Each and every bullet point should be capable of compelling the reader to read on — with heightened desire and interest.
Before you do anything else, try implementing these simple copy makeover strategies. You just might notice an immediate improvement in your conversion rate.
Copywriting 101: How to Get Your Customers to Take Action.
If you want people to buy, you got to ask for the sale.
Truly, it is that simple. Yet I can't tell you how many ads, Web sites, brochures, sales letters, etc. are floating around out there that aren't asking.
So, what is a call to action? It's telling people what action you want them to take. Typical calls to action include:
Hurry in today.
Click here now.
Nothing terribly sexy, I agree. However, if you want to see an increase in your customers, leads, income, etc., this is an essential component.
But, you might be thinking, isn't it obvious? Why else would you be running an ad if you didn't want people to buy what you're selling?
Good question. And it's true, people do know (if they stop to think about it) that you would probably like them to buy from you.
However, the unfortunate truth is your potential customers aren't going to spend that much time thinking about it. People have too much going on in their lives to spend very much time and energy on your business. If they do read your ad or promotional material and it doesn't contain a call to action, they'll likely say, “Oh, that's nice” and go on to the next thing.
And even if they were interested in purchasing your offerings, they may not know what their next step should be. Do they pick up the phone? Go to a specific Web page? Visit a store? And if they don't.
know what they should be doing, chances are they won't do anything at all.
So you need to tell your potential customers what you want them to do. (Remember, people are busy, and if you don't make doing business with you easy, they probably won't do business with you at all.)
So, back to the above call to actions. Did you notice they all had something in common? The word “now” (or, in the case of the first one, “today”).
If people think they can buy from you anytime, they'll say “oh, I can do this later.” And later rarely comes. You need to give them a reason to buy from you right now, while they're interested.
Adding the “now” or some other urgency or scarcity technique (maybe a limited time offer or few copies left statement) is a great way to push people into doing what you want them to do right now and not later.
While we're on the topic of calls to action, I want to talk about one other type of advertising campaign where you rarely see calls to action. These are called branding campaigns. Typically, they're shown on national television by big corporations (MacDonald's, Nike, Starbucks, Target).
In those instances, the businesses are building a brand that will cause you think of that business first when you're interested in purchasing their products. For instance, when you're hungry, you think MacDonald's. You need new athletic shoes, you think Nike. You're dying for that cup of joe, so you think Starbucks, etc.
While there's nothing wrong with branding campaigns, they are tougher to track than campaigns with a specific call to action (Sale ends Saturday, call before Friday to receive your free gift, etc.) Those campaigns are also called direct response because you're asking the customer to respond directly. Direct response campaigns can be tested, so you have a good idea what's working and what's not (and can tweak the campaign accordingly). And, if the campaign doesn't require getting a salesperson involved (i.e. if the call to action is for the customer to whip out his wallet right there) the campaign will just run itself (and make money all by itself).
(One note: You do need to do more than add a call to action to have a strong direct response campaign, but that doesn't negate the power a call to action can bring to your campaigns.)
Branding campaigns are nearly impossible to test, track and tweak. They either appear to work or don't appear to work. And if they don't appear to work, it's very difficult to start tweaking to improve the response rate.
However, branding is still very, very important. As a business owner, you need a good brand and you need to communicate that brand effectively. And sometimes it makes sense to run a branding campaign.
However, my advice for most situations is to combine branding and direct response. Your brand is clearly communicated in your ads and promotional materials, but you also take advantage of some direct response techniques at the same time.
If nothing else, make sure you don't forget the call to action.
Creativity Resources — Write Your Call to Action
Want to include a call to action in your promotional materials but don't know where to start? Here's an easy step-by-step formula:
1. Figure out your purpose for the ad or promotional material. Why are you running this ad, creating this Web site, printing this brochure? (And no, an acceptable answer is NOT because everyone else has one.) Is it to generate leads? Get your name out there? Get people to buy? Or what?
2. Now write it down.
3. That's it. That's your call to action. Whatever the end result you want for the campaign is what you should be asking people to do.