Writing good copy is more of a science than it is an art. I know that’ll burst some bubbles but it’s the truth. This isn’t to say that there isn’t room to creativity but creativity must be sacrificed when it gets in the way of writing good copy. Writing good copy comes down to following basic truths and then combining it with your own unique writing ability and writing talents. Science comes first then art comes after if at all. And regardless with copy you must always test and then test some more to find the best results. Copy is always moving towards perfection, it isn’t static.
Testing is essential to the copywriting process. But you are sure to test better the closer that you follow the tips and principles lain out below. Which incidentally were all discovered after copious amounts of testing done before our time. It’s always wise to make use of what was discovered before us. Imagine if every child that was born had to discover things like fire, writing, and language for himself. The human race would never get anywhere. The same holds true by ignoring old principles that have been passed down. You’ll never get anywhere. Now for 7 of the best tips and principles to make your copy sell like crazy.
Tip #1 – Inject Passion
You emotional state comes across when you write. While it’s not as crystal clear as when say you’re standing in front of someone it still has an impact. Someone reading your work can tell what you were feeling when you wrote what you wrote. Emotions can be transferred through words alone. This is why you want to make sure that you are writing with passion and emotion. Not one wants to read dull lifeless copy with not fire to it. People want to be moved, swayed, and inspired by your copy.
You want your copy to inspire strong emotions. After all people buy through emotions so copy that does not stimulate emotion isn’t going to get the job done. Let’s say you’re writing an appeal for donations you want to get the prospect all roused up for your cause. The same holds true with your product or service. The first step is having passion for your product or service yourself then transferring those emotions through the paper to inspire your reader to take action.
Tip #2 – Benefits Not Features
This is one of the first things that you learn as a copywriter but I still see it violated all of the time. You want to focus on benefits to your prospect not features of the product or service. Remember a feature is something that product or service is while the benefit is what it does specifically for the prospect to benefit his or her life. The fact that a car has a V8 engine is a feature. No one gives a shit. The fact that the V8 engine makes the car go fast and drops panties is the benefit. No one gives a damn about the features what they care about is the benefits to them.
A prime example of this is when someone will list all their rewards and big victories in an effort to I guess impress their prospects into getting their services. However the truth of the matter is no one gives a shit how many awards you have or haven’t won, what they’re wondering is. What can you do for me? That’s what they care about. A great way to make sure that your copy is focusing on benefits and not features is after everything you put about your product or service to ask the question “So what?” from the prospects position.
Tip #3 – Conversational Tone
Any one here like reading instructional manuals? No? What about dense law documents? No, again? Well neither do any of your readers or prospects. Sure if you’re money or freedom is on the line you’ll wade through a legal document likewise if you really need to figure out how something works you’ll fiddle with the instructional manual. However if either one was sent to your home with an offer to buy something from it, you’d throw it in the trash. People don’t want to read copy that is complex or hard to process. You’re copy has to be very easy to read, no one is giving your ad full attention.
They have the TV going on behind them, texting with one hand, grabbing something from the kids with the other, and giving your ad a read over in the meantime. As soon as they think “What is this about?” or “Huh?” it’s going in the trash and they’re not going to be buying anything. Make sure to use simple to the point words (Anglo-Saxon not Latin) and that your writing is coming across in a conversational tone. Someone should have been able to have had a couple of drinks and still get the point of what you’re saying in your ad.
Tip #4 – Follow A Structure
There’s the timeless AIDA which stands for attention, interest, desire, and action. Which refers to each part of an advertisement. Then there’s my preferred method the 4 P’s which stand for promise, picture, proof, and push respectively. There are templates with 38 step checklists and then there are templates like PAS (problem agitation solution). The point is find a template that you like and use it as an outline for your copy. It’ll save you a lot of time and effort in the long run as well as improve the structure of your copy. It doesn’t matter so much which one that you choose so long as you choose one.
Tip #5 – Tie The End Result With Your Product Or Service
Alright here is what I mean by this. I want you to have an image, an idea of what the end result of your product or service is. So for example if it was a weight loss program for women then it’d be having a great body that makes all men want you and all your friends crazy jealous. If it’s a dating program for men then it’d be sleeping with a different beautiful woman every night of their choice. If it was a money making from home program then it’d be make six figures sitting at home in your underwear. You get the point.
Now that you have the end result you want to make sure that the prospect reading is going to tie that end result in their mind with your product or service. You want to make that link very strong. You want to make that end result to your product what peanut butter is to jelly in most peoples’ minds. You do this by connecting the emotions of having that desired end result (through descriptive and colorful language) then connecting it with your product or service. So really get them roused up and enthused then tie those feelings with your product or service.
Tip #6 – List Benefits
You don’t want your prospect to miss any benefits. After all you never know which benefit could be the one that could persuade him or her to end up buying. I know I’ve bought particular products because of a single benefit. To the author they might have thought “It’s just one benefit and I don’t even care that much about it” then thrown it out and lost sales in the process. You want to spell out and highlight each and every benefit. Overwhelm them with benefits in your copy. Overload them so they know that they’re getting a great deal, after all look at all those benefits.
What I do is generally after the proof section (where you are giving them the logic they need to not later regret their purchase and to rationalize their buying decision) in the summary type portion (that precedes the call to action) I will lay out each and every benefit one by one. An example I’ve used before is doing it for a book and spelling out the benefit followed by the page number in bullet point format. This could be anywhere from a bullet a chapter to a bullet a subhead. When in doubt put more.
Tip #7 – Understand Your Target Market Thoroughly
Everything I’ve written here isn’t going to mean jack if you ignore this one thing. Your target market. Different people want different things. You want to appeal to your target market and honestly turn off all other markets. You want to be for someone and against what they’re against. Different benefits are going to matter more for different people. Even the same product should be adjusted when being sold to different markets. One size does not fit all in copywriting and marketing. You want to get incredibly specific.
For example a fitness program. When geared towards 20 year old guys should talk about how it’ll get them girls. When geared for a 50 guy who just had a heart attack and his first grandchild is a couple of months away it’ll be geared towards good health and prolonging life. Likewise for the recently divorced women it’ll make her feel fit, “empowered”, and guys will find her hot. You have to adjust to whatever your target market is. Make it specifically for them, the more specifically for them the better. Don’t worry about alienating those not in your target market, simply focusing on appealing to your target market as much as possible.
There are principles of writing copy that are timeless and will always hold true as long as humans are humans. Following these principles will ensure that your copy is always relevant and that it always inspires the right emotions in people and gets them to take the actions that you want them to take. Which is what good copywriting is all about. Use these tips and your copy will be better for it. You’ll get a higher conversion and happier customers. A win win. And remember nothing replaces actually sitting down and writing out copy.
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