Copywriting is about producing content that converts into sales, which means it must be captivating. Your copy must also be concise and clear; succinctness and clarity that ensure that your content will impart messages in the right way and can be easily understood. Having said that, even the clearest crisp copy is ineffective if it isn’t able to convince a reader to act.
Fascinating copy is designed to compel an audience to act upon a call to action. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as relieving a pain point or providing day-to-day benefit to life and business. If you’re aiming to create pure, action-driven content, the good news is, it’s possible to teach yourself how. We’re going to teach you how to do that so you can create content that converts into sales.
Writing Conversion-Led Copy
Before you begin an email or landing page, it’s worth taking time to structure your writing so your content achieves its goals. Obviously, this will mean you’re putting some extra effort into your what you’re doing. But it will all be worth it, once you understand how to elicit the response you desire from your audience.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Audience
The most successful fishermen will often mix up their bait selection based on what they’re trying to catch. They will also adjust their tactics based on variables, such as the water conditions, the time of the day and the season. In other words, they take in as much information as possible about their target and the environment in which it lives, which they use to attract and hook more fish.
Marketers and business owners must operate in a similar way to the fisherman. This is done by learning as much as possible about their prospects before sending the most relevant and compelling message. Doing this makes it much easier to highlight benefits that will speak to them and grab their attention. To efficiently isolate your target’s points of interests, it’s essential to answer questions about their background, their business, their job title, the challenges they face and their shopping needs and preferences.
This means you need to create a consumer persona, which visualizes a central imaginary figure that represents a key demographic. This will help you to visualize different customer types when you’re writing content specifically aimed at them.
The Psychology of Exclusivity
If you want to create a buzz around your product or service, it’s essential to make your prospects feel special. Phrases such as “hand-picked” and “randomly selected,” are a great way to isolate your audience, and make them feel important.
In fact, self-esteem is close to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which shows just how crucial this feeling is to people. Google, for example, is a company that understands how to use exclusivity to market products. They created an absolute storm when they launched a soft beta of Google+ and invited a select group of users to come aboard and create a profile. This tactic created desire and created a real buzz once the finished product did eventually roll out to everyone.
Stir an Emotional Connection
When it comes to turning a prospect into a customer, the features and functions of your product or service will only take you some of the way. This is because these features and functions appeal to a prospects logical side, and most purchases aren’t driven by logic, but by emotion.
For example, the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign stirred up powerful and thought-provoking emotions around true beauty that empowered women all over the world. They used the message: “You are not defined by your make up.” The attraction of this campaign was the fact that Dove wasn’t attempting to push products, but rather create a new social perspective.
Make Use of Analogies & Metaphors
Ninety-nine percent of the time a dull or mixed message will not drive a consumer to do what you want them to. This is because no one will take the time to really pay attention to what you’re trying to say; therefore they will find absolutely no value in it for themselves.
Most things in life come to down to value. It’s a powerful human accelerant. As a marketer, you need to figure out where the value lies and convey that in a compelling way. This can be a challenging thing to do; however, analogies and metaphors can undoubtedly come to your aid. If used correctly, they can be effective at putting concepts into perspective.
Good examples include:
- “Like a Rock” – Chevy Trucks
- “Connecting People” – Nokia
- “It’s What Comfort Tastes Like” – Werther’s
Avoid Weasel Words
“Weasel words” are words used to maintain some kind of plausible deniability in a statement. For example, politicians, in an attempt to avoid making any conclusive statements, may use some of these words. They are often used, whether knowingly or not, in product advertising, such as:
- “This shampoo fights dandruff” – The word “fight” suggests you may not win.
- “Reduce hair loss with this formula” – Here “reduce” concedes that it won’t cure the problem.
- “Rent from as little as…” – This means that you will probably spend more than the base amount.
Interestingly, the term “weasel words” may have been coined due to the way the animal eats eggs: making holes in the shell and sucking out the contents. From afar, the egg still appears intact, but it’s actually completely empty, and we all know that an empty eggshell is very fragile and will collapse with even the slightest pressure. Although, this explanation is disputed, and the term may just refer to the general perception of a weasel as sneaky and shifty.
This is definitely not how you want your content to come across; it’s essential to avoid these kinds of statements where possible. Your content will be all the stronger for it.
If we’re feeling relaxed and content, we’re far less eager to do anything. Nobody sits down in their favorite lawn chair in the sunshine with a bright pink cocktail and thinks, ‘I can’t wait to get up again.’ Once we’re in a position of comfort, it’s difficult to get out of it.
The same goes for your psychological state. Therefore, if your content leaves a reader with the idea that you’ll always be there, always offering the same things at the same prices, there is no reason for them to rush into making a decision. They’ll sleep on it, weigh up different options and in the end, may not make a decision at all, since there’s always a logical reason not to do something.
This is why it’s so important to get your audience up off that lawn chair, with deadline-sensitive phrases, such as “last chance,” “offer ends …” and words such as “limited” and “only.” The idea here is to make your audience feel as though if they wait, they may not get what they desire. The more uncomfortable someone feels, the more strongly they’ll fight to get themselves out of that situation, and by putting people in this position, it means they feel compelled to act. And with that, you will have content that converts.
Craft a Clear Call to Action
Conversion-led copy without a call to action is only half-finished. Obviously, it all depends on what you want to achieve with this piece of content. But in order to get the very best results, calls-to-action are crucial. High-quality content takes time; there’s no doubt about that.
It’s not all about writing content that converts, it’s about editing, publishing and promoting. So why waste effort by not making it clear to your audience what you want them to do? A call to action is just that; an invitation for someone to take part in a specific action. For instance, if you’re creating a blog series, you’d point your audience in the direction of the next part.
You’re asking your readers to learn more, purchase, subscribe or take part in something that will offer them further benefit. If you forgo this step, then you’re making it a lot more difficult to achieve the goals you set out for the content in the first place.
Readability has as much to do with presentation, design and layout as it does writing style and polished content. If you want your content to capture readers and drive leads, you must ensure it ticks three core boxes:
- Great writing
- Eye-catching design
- Compelling ideas
These must all meld together seamlessly if you’re to produce the kind of content that gets people excited. For example, the writer needs to turn out some great content; a designer needs to incorporate this and create something gorgeous to look at; the idea needs to be something that your audience gravitates towards. Before you create anything, think about how you use a search engine. If you search for something and you don’t find the answer to your query on a website pretty much immediately, then you click that back button and look somewhere else.
If you want to create content that converts, it first needs to be readable. A simple design with shorts blocks of text and plenty of white space is really all that is necessary to create content that converts since you really don’t want to distract the reader from the task at hand.