Copywriting is one of the most critical parts of selling your products online.
Your copy (the words you use on your website and product pages) will define how your customers relate to your brand.
If you don’t get the messaging right, it doesn’t matter how good the products are – people are never going to buy.
So – how do you get your copywriting right?
Start with Your Customer
The best copy in the world starts with the customer in mind.
You’re probably aware of the ‘customer avatar’ concept: developing a fictional version of your ideal customer. Before you write a single word, make sure you can answer these questions:
- Who is the person you’re targeting?
- What do they read?
- Where do they hang out?
- What age are they? What gender?
- Where do they live?
- What kind of work do they do?
- What’s their income like?
- What sites do they search online?
- Are they married? Do they have children?
- Where do they get their information?
- Who are the leaders & influencers they trust?
Give them a name. Understand what their deep-deep-down pains and fears are, what dreams and hopes they can’t express, what language they use to express themselves.
And then, perhaps the most important question of all:
How is your product going to help them experience less pain and fear, while experiencing more happiness and success?
This exercise takes some time, but it’s well worth putting aside an afternoon to go through it. Once you’ve got a clear avatar, all your marketing messaging will become more effective, leading to more conversions and sales.
Then you’ve got to get their attention.
The Headline Matters More Than Everything Else
David Ogilvy, one of the most famous copywriters that ever lived, said:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.”
Many people write their headlines as an afterthought to the main piece of content.
But a boring or unspecific headline will put people off reading the whole thing. This is where you need to invest your attention if you want a high converting piece of copy.
You don’t have to write the headline first (and you’ll often come up with better ideas if you’ve already written the body), but you do need to make sure it’s the strongest part of the whole piece.
The headline has 1 job: to stop a reader in their tracks and compel them to read your offer.
The most successful headlines are usually benefit driven, intriguing, or make a promise of specific results within a particular timeframe.
Before you publish a piece of content, write out 5-10 headlines in each different style.
Get feedback from people on which ones they would be most likely to click on. Whittle it down until you’ve got the best one, and then you can proceed.
Keep The Body Moving
Have you ever read a blog post or sales page that is just a huge wall of text?
I bet you didn’t stick with it for very long. And you shouldn’t expect your customers to deal with that either.
Now, the body copy has to communicate a few things about your product:
- The features (what it does, and how it does it)
- The benefits (how it will make your customer’s life better)
- Why it’s better than the competition
- Why it’s low risk (or no risk) for the customer to purchase
- How they can get it, and what that process will look like.
In a nutshell, you need to communicate: Here’s what I’ve got. Here’s what it will do for you. Here’s how you get it.
Keep the formatting reader friendly. Paragraphs should be kept to 1-2 sentences. Use headlines, bullet points, and bolding. Make it as easy as possible for the customer to read the next line, and the next, and the next.
A simple way to structure the actual content is with the AIDA formula.
A – Attention
At the start of your content, you want to open with something punchy to grab the reader’s attention, and make them understand how you are going to benefit them. This usually happens in the headline and opening paragraph.
I – Interest
In the next few paragraphs, you take 1 of 2 routes: either twisting the knife to agitate their pain points, or paint an aspirational story that catches them up in hope and excitement.
D – Desire
By this point the reader is pretty invested. Now you need to stimulate their desire for the product, by tying the outcome of their pain or aspiration to your product. How is the product going to remove that pain, or help create what they aspire to?
A – Action
No copy is complete without a call to action. Once you’ve blown them away with your offer, it’s time to invite them to act. Whether that’s to add an item to their cart, to click or download, or to complete their checkout, DO NOT SKIP THIS PART. You must call them to action.
Some Final Tips
Rely on facts. Don’t make stuff up or make huge claims that you can’t verify.
Get rid of all unnecessary, boring or irrelevant information. Always ask “Does the reader actually care about this?”
Use clear, simple language. Don’t say transmogrify when you can say transform. It stops readers flowing through the copy easily if they get stuck on an unfamiliar or complex word.
Always focus on the customer. Avoid talking about yourself or your business as much as humanly possible… customers don’t care what you think about the products. They care what it will do for them.
Use Hemingway App to make sure the copy is as clear and easy to read as possible.
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