Words are powerful, aren’t they?
Copywriting is a skill that uses words to sell. It is an art practised by masses, perfected by few.
You need time, patience, and loads of creativity.
What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it. — David Ogilvy
Albert Lasker, dubbed as the “Father of Advertising” is credited with the term “Salesmanship in Print”
Sales Copy truly demonstrated how words can transform society and helped shape the American Capitalist Society. Persuasion and action became synonymous with copywriting.
Iterations and research have resulted in creating the perfect framework for copywriting. Here are some of the most sought after ideas, grabbed straight from the legends in the copywriting Industry.
1. Minimize risk aversion
Look at the green button on this landing page. Which word do you notice?
I bet it is free.
Humans are geared toward minimizing risks. Attaching the free word with the CTA will help alleviate the stress of financial risk.
Users have the ability to subscribe to the service for free, resulting in more signups.
Do you have any idea to make the page even more engaging?
I would add no credit card required. Guess why?
It would give the impression of making our customers live easy and humans love easy stuff.
2. Make your writing inclusive
You know what will make your writing hit in 2020, switching from gendered nouns to gender-neutral nouns.
Man-made and the common man will be replaced by machine-made and common person.
Brands are becoming more gender-inclusive and advertising media have answered with the affirmative.
Including diverse backgrounds and people with your copy will help brands resonate with their audiences.
3. Go against the conventional rules
Copywriting 101 – Maintain a tone that goes with your audience. That rule was 100 % spot-on in the ’90s. Not in 2020.
With time tastes change and in order to stand out from the rest. You need to do something fresh.
Experiment with CTAs. Try different text structures. Play with your brand without losing identity. You will be rewarded with customer loyalty and unique brand positioning.
4. Write like you’re talking to a friend
From the tone of this blog, you might have guessed how this blog is written. It is like conversing with a friend, only just that friend is your audience.
Copy that is personalized to the tastes and likes of your target audience performs better overall in advertising and copywriting.
Writing in small chunks gives an impression of easily digestible information.
Don’t go overboard though, especially in a B2B environment where a formal and clear tone is appreciated.
5. Hook your reader in
Your content should provide something your users to cling onto. That is usually provided in the opening sentence that persuades a reader to continue reading.
A hook is used by the fishermen to catch fish and just like the fishermen, your users are the fish you intend on catching.
PRO TIP: Write your hook after you have finished your copy. Your mind won’t be under the stress of the monumental task of writing something.
You can apply many hooks according to the content and audience you are targeting. Some of them are:
- Visual Scene
- Example – Tired of your child’s crying as you’re trying to sleep in for the night? Get hold of [product], you deserve a good night’s rest.
- Example – There are 365 days in a year. You will eat that pie sitting in the refrigerator.
- Example – Planking is an activity consisting of lying in a face-down position, sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location.
- Example – “Fifty per cent of marriages end up in divorce.”
- My personal Favourite Questions
- Example – Have you ever had a deja vu in the middle of the night?
- A personal story
- Example – Life was fine until I met you on a cold December night outside the burger joint. You were wearing a blue sweater that smelt of gooseberries.
- A misconception
- Example – The Great Wall of China is not the only human-made object visible from space.
- Example – “On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy
Now you can go back and see what hook I used to start this post :)
6. Compare with style and finesse
Zendesk is a customer service SaaS used by countless companies over the world. There are many companies that have made comparison pages to undermine Zendesk’s value proposition.
What can we learn from that? We can’t stop our competitors from comparing themselves to us. What we can do is to learn what works for them.
Usually, it is a copy of the landing page and their creativity gets full marks. Using different text formats such as bullet points, writing in chunks, and usage of different visual elements does the job.
7. Your writing should ease the reader’s pain
Life is not easy, especially Adult life. We are all running the race against time and people don’t have the time to check the meaning of hard words.
Make their life easier. Use common words that people can recognize and digest easily.
Your writing should relieve the users of their pain. Are they looking for something to relieve them of their shoulder pain? Your copy should sell them the medicine.
Your copy, whether on website or print, should be the exact thing your target audience wants or needs.
8. K.I.S.S & DRY Principle
Whether you call it to keep it simple and stupid or keep it short and simple. K.I.S.S principle reiterates the fact of keeping it straight forward.
Don’t confuse the potential customer with vague writing. All the best things in the world are user friendly and simple.
Don’t repeat yourself (DRY), as the name suggests, is a widely used principle in software development. It can be easily be implemented in the world of copywriting as well. If you are repeating yourself, you are losing customers.
Repetition should only be used to sell an idea, not in copy.
9. Make it funny or edgy
Why would you write funny or edgy stuff?
If you aren’t living under a rock, then let me tell you. Funny stuff sells well and comedy is how you generate trust.
Don’t come off as any other generic writer out there. Be funny, edgy but don’t lose the selling part of your writing.
Just telling someone, “be funny” is not practical advice.
Even if you aren’t uptight as a woman wearing a corset, you can still sound funny, cosy and delightful.
That is what this whole post is about, teaching you
10. Hit it with Nostalgia
“a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for a return to or of some past period”
Do you get this sudden feeling of going back to your school days where it was simpler and everything was easier and carefree? Yea me too.
That is what Nostalgia is. Copywriters have been selling products which give people the feeling of past happiness.
Marketing professionals give you that warm fuzzy feeling – in squeeze page copy, social media posts, product descriptions, email newsletters…
When it comes to copywriting, nostalgia’s probabilities, like the positive vibes it generates, are endless.
11. Do Diligent research
Writing without research is like Romeo without Juliet. Both are incomplete without each other. A copywriter needs to fill his subconscious with relevant information in order to tackle a case. That’s how ideas are born.
Ideas don’t come to empty minds. Do your research and see your copywriting and sales pitches take the next level.
12. Adhere to reality in your writing
Writers adhere to Literary realism when talking about everything non-fiction. You won’t sell your ideas if you give unrealistic expectations. Hitting people with a dose of reality keeps them grounded.
Keeping your writing clear and your users on earth, rather than in wonderland. You will gain trust with them and this tactic will sell itself over time.
13. Treat your customer as the most intelligent human being
Trust is about giving and take. Respect is the first thing a human being seeks in a relationship. Copywriting is a lot about establishing relationships whether in an instant or over time.
Respect your reader’s intelligence and you will see dividends in your approach. Trust them with your time and you will see loyal advocates of your product.
14. Educate your consumer
Educating customers is something copywriters can avail, but most look away from it due to incorrect presumptions such as – the belief that a more educated customer will not be an advocate or too much knowledge = fewer profits.
Leave these assumptions in the trash and truly qualify your customers with knowledge and information that help them make sense of your products/services and how it can be valuable.
15. Work on your copy’s aesthetics
Words are not ingested. It’s how you present your words that matter.
Tell the truth but make truth fascinating. You know, you can’t bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them in buying it. ~ David Ogilvy
Images that are not expressing what you are trying to tell, then it is not worth it.
There are so many ideas that I can share but it would dilute the message about copywriting. Copywriting, as an art, should be succinct. It comes with practice and a lot of reading.
Marketers spend their lives trying to perfect their copywriting skills. Hopefully, the above points will help you establish best practices and expedite your learning process.
Talk about benefits, not features, use You instead of We and work on how your copy is presented. Master these and you will be a force to reckon with.
Hire a copywriter today! Contact Copywriter Collective for more information.