Get a head start with your copy with our copywriting cheat sheet. Print this off to check that you are using the most powerful approaches to communicate with and stimulate action from your target market.
Engaging your market will not only result in more sales, but you’ll save time, effort and money by using these proven techniques.
The information is broken into easy to follow sections, just print it off and it keep with you as your craft your copy.
Get into your reader’s mindset
Use emotions to sell
Tune into how you can emotionally satisfy the audience with your product. You need to identify and communicate how your product or service can satisfy them when it comes to their:
- Comfort and convenience
- Pride of ownership
- Fear of loss
- Emotional satisfaction
- Security and protection
- Desire for gain
To be persuasive, you need to have a clear understanding about why the other party should do what you are recommending them to do. What is in it for them? What’s the benefit to them? In order to get what you want and give your readers what they want –
- State the problem of the reader
- Let them know that you understand their pain.
- Tell the reader what will happen if they don’t resolve this problem and resolve it now
- State how you can solve this problem
- Tell them about the benefits of having the problem solved
- Build a vision for them of how life will be with the problem resolved
- Request them to take action.
Prepare to write your copy
Thoroughly research the product and company
- Spend time on the company website getting a feel for their brand and understanding more about how they work as a business. Look at what their product delivers in terms of features and benefits. Make notes.
- Make a list of power words that can be used to describe the brand, product or service.
- If the product is newly available ask the company for reports, plans and product research information.
- Research all material that you have on the company and the product or service. Read all previous marketing deliveries, media releases, case studies, press kit and reports.
- Ask for testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers.
- · Keep in mind that the more proof and credibility that you can give in your copy – the better it will sell. Look for data, process diagrams and other ways that you can demonstrate to readers that the product really does what you say it does.
- Look at the competitions’ product information to see how they are promoting their offerings.
- Get clear on what the biggest benefit of the product or service is.
- Get clear on how you are going to meet the emotional needs of the buyer through your copy.
- Find out if there is a guarantee on the product or service – if not, encourage the company to create one.
Understand who you are writing to
The more you know about your target market the better. Your goal is to tune into their emotions when it comes to this type of product and the solution that it offers.
In order to communicate with the target market effectively you need to know:
- Who are the individuals in your target market?
- Get to know the demographics of your market – gender, age range, race, location, interests, what they read and where they hang out.
- What’s on the minds of these people?
- What is their biggest fear?
- What is their biggest desire (this could be a secret one – such as competing against their friends and neighbors)?
- What are their hot buttons?
- What are they reading when it comes to influencing their decision to buy?
Creating a typical persona will provide you with an individual to write to on a one-
Craft a compelling and eye catching headline
- Write 50 different headlines before you select the one that you feel will connect most with the mindset of your target market.
- Winning headlines include a promise of the biggest benefit of the product. A guarantee, specific facts and figures or a special offer.
Write powerful copy that ties in with what your market is thinking about
- You need to focus on the problem and what the audience’s points of pain are. Tell them that nothing will change unless they take some action.
- The first paragraph will add to the benefit that you have added to the headline. Also draw other benefits into the communication.
- Write as though you are having a one-
to- one conversation with your typical persona.
- Bring up the objections that prospects are likely to have and tell them about how your product overcomes them.
- Use your credibility and proof tools such as process diagrams, testimonials, research data, videos, images and a guarantee.
- All copy should be easy to read and scan. Use sub-
headings to convey secondary benefits.
- Your copy should be passionate, positive and enthusiastic.
- Give a clear direction on what you want the prospect to do.
Check your copy through for these points
1) Have you grabbed the attention of the reader with a headline that makes them want to read more? If you can get them to read the first paragraph then you’ve got the right headline.
2) Your writing needs to be all about them. Use ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ many more times than you use ‘I’ or ‘we’. Explain what they will get out of using your business or your product or service. Don’t waffle on about how fab you are – you’ll only bore them.
3) Copy should be written as a one-
3) Use urgency so that action is taken immediately. Once they have moved away from your marketing material – they are unlikely to take action.
4) Have you helped the reader to build a vision of what life would be like once they have used your product?
5) Detail the features and the benefits that each one delivers to customer.
6) Have you used your credibility tools? Demonstrate and provide proof that your business is professional and respected. Use customer testimonials and case studies to prove that your product or service has been used in a real life situation and the results that were achieved.
7) Have you communicated how your business delivers something that really benefits customers and is different from the competition? They need to know that you offer something that delivers sustainable value.
8) What’s your call to action? Does it give clear and direct instructions about what they are expected to do next? You need to ask for the order.
9) Is it easy to read and scan? Use white space to your advantage and highlight benefits through the use of bold subheadings. Ideally you will be using black fonts on a white background as research has shown that this is the easiest to read.
Deliver a strong call to action
Calls to action need to be action oriented. Start with an action verb such as ‘Register’, ‘Subscribe’ or ‘Download’. Create urgency by using special discounts or use adverbs such as ‘today’ and ‘now’.
Examples of types of calls to action include:
The mild approach
“Subscribe today for free information about how to quickly and easily ……”
Based on urgency
Remind them that the tick is clocking and that they need to take action now.
“Act now. Offer available only until the weekend”
Based on fear
“Don’t risk having an accident. Protect you and your family now with …”
Based on benefit
Use an adverb tied to the benefit, for example you might find this on a piece of copy about vacations:
‘Plan a trip like this……”
Take away actions to write powerful copy quickly and easily
1. Print off the cheat sheet and keep it handy for use when you write your copy.
2. Use the cheat sheet to develop your own reusable process to enable you to write powerful copy quickly and easily.
About the author: David Alger
San Francisco of Copywriting. Offering online
and in person copywriting classes since 2012.
Join me on sanfranciscoschoolofcopywriting.com
What a great list of tips – thanks so much for sharing it. Those of use who have moved on from copywriting to blogging and other types of content writing would do well to check back to your list: although the styles and tones of voice vary hugely from one genre to another, the basic concepts of business writing haven’t changed in decades. Good old-fashioned copywriting is still the right basis on which all of us should work.