How to write compelling copy
To have the most efficient online marketing, you cannot sleep on copywriting. Conversion copywriting involves getting people to take action…you’re writing in a way that moves them to the exact action you’re wanting them to take.
If you think you can just Google “how to become a copywriter” or “how to write good copy” and then instantly become one…you’re in for a rude awakening.
BUT THE GOOD NEWSSSSS…..
Is that you can bookmark really great articles like this (wink wink) and learn how to develop the skill of copywriting so you actually CAN become a copywriter quicker. While it isn’t an instant happening, you definitely can become one. It just takes time and effort (but, like, what doesn’t?)
So let’s get to it
Keep Calm and Carry On
These famous five words associated to Winston Churchill during World War II are some of the most famous words used in today’s society.
We see this phrase on mugs, t-shirts, bumper stickers etc…It’s one of the most well known quotes in the world.
And not a single word is over 5 letters long. So what’s my point here? Great copy is short, clear, and simple. It gets your point across without fluff or nonsense. It’s friendly and conversational. It’s the Kevin Hart of words. (sorry Kev, I had to!)
And one of my FAVORITE things about copywriting is that you get to crack the system. And what I mean by that is, you get to forget the rules of grammar and writing etiquette. You can write in choppy sentences, throw around prepositions, and fragment your sentences as much as you want….AS LONG AS it suits your reader.
If doing all of the above makes it easier for your reader to comprehend and will keep them reading each line of copy, do it. But if it DOESN’T…let’s not go crazy for no reason, ya dig?
Another fun tip that falls into the “keeping it short” method is using bulleted numbers or lists. This is for several reasons.
One is that it is much easier for your reader to digest. It breaks up text and allows people to comprehend important or chunky text easier. And Google actually really likes lists (did you know that?!)
The New Yorker published an article discussing why bulleted lists are so effective stating:
“Lists also appeal to our general tendency to categorize things—in fact, it’s hard for us not to categorize something the moment we see it—since they chunk information into short, distinct components. This type of organization facilitates both immediate understanding and later recall, as the neuroscientist Walter Kintsch pointed out back in 1968.”
So, keep it simple. Keep it clear. And know that no one is ever going to tell you that your writing is too easy to comprehend.
Unleash your naughty side
Okay…maybe not your naughty side…but be authentic.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen is that many people, business owners who write their own content and copywriters alike, make such little effort to ACTUALLY be authentic.
They make big promises, throw around fancy claims, and all but guarantee this glamorous transformation…but most of the time, people just skim over it.
Because huge claims actually scare people.
So what’s the remedy here?
You write compelling copy that hits their objection nail on the head. Play a little Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves if you will… (from the 1997 thriller The Devil’s Advocate)
You identify and address anything they will use to come against your product or service…fears, money, time, etc. and you give them a solution or argument for it before they can even bring it up.
You can use phrases like “I know what you’re thinking…” “you’re probably afraid of…”I know it’s scary to..”
You’re shining a light on their problems and fears and you’re making them feel seen and heard while also putting to rest the objection.
Point out the objection and then reassure them.
Take them to another world
If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you know I push storytelling. Nobody be out here enjoying boring text. And if you do, please send me an email because I need to meet you.
There’s nothing like grabbing a good book and being completely consumed in the story that you realize it’s 1:00am, your eyes are crusty, and your fingers are sore because you’ve been reading for hours. It’s so good you can’t put it down.
It’s scientifically proven that stories are persuasive. Stories make you feel. The connect with the reader. They are fun and emotional. They transport you to another world.
I can reject a good sales pitch all day long…but if you get me caught up in a good story, you’ve taken me captive. I’m HOOKED.
Copywriting can (and should) be the same way. Copywriting should, at times, tell a story. It should be a story that is so persuasive your reader is compelled to take action at the end because the story moved them.
So here are a few ways to actually implement storytelling into your copy:
- Mental images: This is where you use imagery to paint the picture for your story. Think back to the classic movie “The Goonies.” As kids, we were TERRIFIED of Sloth. And it would be pretty hard to understand why we’d be terrified of Sloth if we didn’t describe his lumpy, crazy eyed face to our readers. Right?
- Create suspense: There’s only one reason you binge Netflix shows in one day… you HAVE to know how the story ends. The creators have written such a suspenseful plot, that it has captured your attention and you can’t quit it to finish later. You’ve gotta know NOW.
- and one of my favorites…Metaphors and irony: The 1993 classic “Groundhog Day” is a prime example of why metaphors work. It’s a movie that generations still watch to this day (okay, maybe not the Gen Z’s of the world…but everyone else.) It was so popular when it was released because the entire movie was based on a metaphor. A hidden message. (and it also makes it easier to comprehend your point sometimes.)
So while this a long way from a comprehensive list…implementing these copywriting basics into your copy will help you produce more compelling copy…which will lead to more people taking action.
And as a little copywriting 101 bonus…
I’ve purposely added one sentence of bad copy to this article. Can you find it?
When you think you’ve found it, comment below and I will explain how it’s bad copy and why you should avoid it.
Keep your eyes peeled for more copywriting tips and marketing strategy to improve your conversions over at http://www.sladecopyhouse.com/blog