It’s easy enough to type words on a keyboard. However, any random collection of words doesn’t cut it when you’re aiming to get conversions. Much more thought and intention go into creating effective marketing copy that will propel people to act.
Since your business will inevitably need some form of copy, you need to know how to knock it out of the park. Surely, you want to get the best results from your website, brochures, catalogs, and other text that’s meant to drive sales. So what things should you consider and incorporate into your copy?
Preparing to Write
Most of the work actually comes before you write up your first draft. Some would call this early stage “outlining” or “brainstorming.” What should be your focus at this point? There are several things.
1. Start With a Goal
Without a clear objective in mind from the start, your “train of thought” could become confusing or head in the wrong direction altogether. Neither of those outcomes would accomplish your end goal of getting conversions.
So before anything else, you need to ask yourself one question: “What do I need to say?”
2. List the Facts
Make a note of the details that relate to the goal of what you’re writing. For example, if your objective is to let customers know about a new product, you’d list its noteworthy features. This will help you dive deeper into the points you need to touch on. Plus it’ll ensure that you don’t limit your success by leaving out important information.
3. Explore What Matters
The first two steps of this process focus on what you need to say. Now, it’s time to lean into the why your audience should care about those things. The simplest way to get to the heart of this is to list the benefit of each detail or feature you noted previously.
What does your audience have to gain by taking the action you want them to take? Do they have anything to gain? Which benefits will be the most appealing to them given what you know about their backgrounds, need, preferences, and so on? What benefits will they be less concerned with or impressed by?
Once you have this ironed out, you can determine how to present the facts and the benefits in a motivational way.
Writing and Tweaking Your Copy
After adequate preparation, it’s time to put your fingers to the keyboard. As you hammer out your first draft, the best way to get your message across will become clear. Especially if you do the following.
5. Be Conversational
Dry, boring, stiff content accomplishes nothing. Most won’t even bother to read it. Therefore, it’s best to take a conversational approach. Write as if you were speaking and, specifically, speaking to a person with whom you feel comfortable.
Readers don’t have the benefit of body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. So it’s important that you make a special effort to sound lively and natural.
6. Prioritize Ease-of-Reading and Understanding
Be as clear as possible. Make sure to explain concepts that aren’t common knowledge. Avoid using unnecessary confusing industry jargon, doing your best to put things in layman’s terms. This doesn’t mean talking down to your audience but it does mean considering who you’re talking to.
Additionally, avoid overwhelming the eye. Instead of huge blocks of text, use short paragraphs, defined sections, varied sentence lengths, and formatting to make main points stand out.
7. Build Credibility
Have your customers written glowing testimonials about your business? Have you been featured in an industry-leading publication? Have you created powerful case studies? Use them in your copy!
They will boost your credibility, set the minds of your prospects at ease, and motivate them to buy from you.
8. Include Detailed Calls to Action
Of course, you should close with some sort of call to action (CTA). But don’t feel limited to just that one position. Weaving CTA’s throughout, without coming off as pushy, can get you more conversions…if your CTA’s are clear.
They should tell prospects exactly what they should do. Instead of a vague CTA such as “Download Now!” give more information such as “Download the Free [insert name] eBook!” If people know just what to expect when they take the action you’ve requested, they’ll be more likely to follow through.
9. Take Your Time With the Headline
Many copywriters suggest tackling headlines at this point once the body of the copy is written. While you might create a working title before you begin writing, it’s best to finalize the headline at the end so that it’s more closely aligned with your streamlined message.
Instead of going with the first thing that comes to mind, though, write down as many variations of your headline as possible. Then, weed them out, aking yourself “Would I read this if I were a potential customer?” If not, keep tampering with it, perhaps even mixing and matching elements from several of your headline ideas.
Remember to take your time with this. If you get your headline wrong, people may not even read what you worked so hard on.
10. Polish Before You Publish
At this point, you should have a headline decided on and a pretty solid draft. The last stage before publishing is a thorough review.
Are there unnecessary words or ideas that detract from the important stuff? Cut the fluff. Could you use more impactful word choice? Make the adjustment. Would a different structure make more sense or be easier to understand? Whatever issues you encounter, fix them before you publish. That way, you can get the best results from your copy!
This might seem like a lot of steps to remember. Yet, as long as you keep your goal and your audience top of mind as you write, you’ll do just fine! If you remember nothing else, remember that and your copy will get you the conversion you’re after.