If you’ve got a great business, with a product that people love, then there’s no real reason you can’t write copy that converts.
That’s not to say there aren’t copywriting obstacles that can trip you up if you let them. Let’s face it, sitting down to write under the pressure of:
I really hope they like this and sign-up / call / buy…
Well, who’s not going to feel a little bit uncomfortable about putting words on the page and then hitting publish?
That’s why I’m here to help. If you haven’t already, go ahead and register for next week’s free Copywriting Lab where we’ll be looking at conversion copywriting techniques in more detail. There’s also the chance to get your copy rewritten by me. Sign up to find out more.
Quite often, poor copy happens as a result of losing focus on the end goal and the steps in between that make your customer feel comfortable, confident and keen to take action. Below I’ve outlined a very simple story I want you to think about when you’re writing your next piece of sales copy. It’s a simple prompt to remind you what to include to persuade your customer to click or call but most importantly, convert.
It’s goes like this *clears throat and takes a deep stage-breath*
- This is the danger I can save you from
- Don’t take my word for it, others are already doing it too
- These are all the great things waiting for you if you take action
- It’s so easy to do…
- But I wouldn’t hang about if I were you…
If every part of your copywriting message falls into one of these 5 sections, you’ll be doing a good job of guiding your customer to the goal line.
Let’s look at a few examples of how businesses write copy around these 5 points:
1. This is the danger I can save you from:
If a customer turns his or her back on your offer, there must be some kind of negative consequence. That’s not to say their world will end, but if nothing goes wrong in their life by walking away from you, there’s no real point in them taking you up on your offer. Now if you offer something fun, you might think this doesn’t apply to you…
But Amy, I write fiction books. It’s purely entertainment. Nothing bad is going to happen to my customer if they don’t buy my book.
There is still a negative consequence. I picked up a book the other night and managed 5 pages before I tossed it aside. It was rubbish.
Okay, perhaps that’s harsh. It just wasn’t a great fit for me. But that left me without a book for the evening and I was looking forward to a gripping read.
Even if you write fiction, or create any kind of entertainment, it is still your duty to protect your ideal customer from the negative effects of walking away:
- Investing time in another book that, it turns out, isn’t as good as yours
- Feeling bored and frustrated
- Being unable to relax in the evening and unwind with a bit of escapism
Why not let people know, for example, that your latest book is a perfect way to ‘beat the boredom of your commute.”
If you haven’t thought about the negative effects of your customer walking away, jot some ideas down now. Think about:
- What are they missing out on?
- What might be the long term effects of this?
- How might this make them feel?
Take a look at this example from Succuri:
What might happen if a customer walks away?
- Risk of a hacker attack
This copy has touched upon a couple of examples, but they might have also mentioned (either here or elsewhere in their copy):
- How a hack attack affects your website
- How being hacked can make you look unprofessional
- The damages of having a website that’s down
- The stress of experiencing all of the above
When we talk about something negative, it doesn’t have to be dramatic, but there should be some cost of turning your offer down. What’s yours?
Want help plotting this out for your next piece of copy? Register for the Copywriting Lab and I’ll be giving away a conversion copywriting cheat sheet that breaks this down in more detail.
2. Don’t take my word for it, others are already doing it
There is safety in numbers. What our peers do is influential to our own choices. That’s why whenever something ‘new’ is on the scene, the majority of people adopt it when the majority of people have adopted it. (Huh?!)
I know. Very scientific. But the point is, we feel safer buying or using something that other people are already buying or using.
Do you already have a number of people who have accepted your offer? Don’t bury this information. Let your customer know that your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
It doesn’t just have to be about numbers of customers though, although if you want a look at a company having fun with numbers while building credibility, look at this from the homepage of Conversioner: a conversion optimisation agency.
This isn’t just a company that has run a couple of tests, they have run tens of thousands of tests for clients. They know what they’re doing and more importantly, a lot of other businesses trust that they know what they’re doing.
How else can you show your customer that others are already ‘doing it’?
- Case studies
- Videos of customers in action
And you might also weave it into your copy:
Newly qualified teachers are already using our online resource to search for, and apply for their perfect job. We’ve got teachers starting their careers in Paris, Spain, Chile, Italy, Canada, the UK and the US. For most candidates, they’re landing their dream job as their first job. Where do you want to start your teaching adventure?
Want even more help with this?
Register for the Copywriting Lab and your cheat sheet will help you build your ‘safety in numbers’ proof for your copy.
3. These are all the great things waiting for you…
There’s nothing new about using benefits in copywriting. It’s what many people think of as the cornerstone of great copywriting. Having said that, it’s easy to ‘forget’ to include key benefits, especially if you’re really close to your product.
You might find yourself taking key benefits for granted. That’s why one of the best things you can do on a regular basis, is to get in touch directly with your customers and ask them specifically what they love about what you do.
This is a great conversion copywriting technique for 2 reasons:
- You might uncover a benefit you never even knew you had
- You’re getting it in the customer’s voice
Why is this last point important? Because a customer won’t dress up what they love in marketing language. They’ll tell you plain and simple what they like (or what they don’t).
A copywriter might write:
Harmonise global data, right at your fingertips
While a customer might tell you:
I love that I can see exactly how our store in Italy is performing as I sit at my desk in Connecticut.
Which do you think sounds different to the competition and engages the customer on a personal level that says: “I understand you.”
I love the copy on this landing page that boils down the benefits of a service clearly and concisely:
Fast, fuss-free selling.
So ask yourself when you review your copy – are you making it clear the paradise that lies in wait for them when they accept your offer?
4. It’s so easy to do…
Isn’t it something we’re all striving for?
How often have you talked over a frustration with your friends and said (or heard):
I wish it was easier
I wish is was simple
Why can’t it be more straight forward?
That’s right, despite the effort we’ve made to evolve, go to the moon, invent banana slicers, quite often we do want things to be easy and simple.
Compare these 2 approaches:
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Okay, so these may be quite specific examples, but the principle is the same, you can improve your copywriting by emphasising how easy it is to use or sign up to your service.
Look at this great example from Fiverr:
Simple copy, simple graphics, it’s designed and written to embody the simplicity and ease of using the service.
5. But I wouldn’t hang around if I were you…
As we saw last time on the blog, urgency still works, so here’s another part of the conversion puzzle, are you encouraging people to take action now?
There are different ways to do this, for example:
- Deadlines: price rises and end of offers
- Reiterating the speed of service: “sign up now and get instant access”
- Seeding the image of results: “Call today and you could have your brand new kitchen this time next week…”
As I mentioned, I’ll be going through these 5 stages in more detail on next week’s #CopywritingLab. Register today and:
- Avoid making the mistakes that make your copywriting dull and fluffy
- Join other business owners already using sharpened copywriting skills to attract clients and sales
- Walk away with a free conversion copywriting cheat sheet (and the chance to have your copy rewritten for free)
- Get signed up in just a couple of minutes, then sit back, I’ll tell you when it’s on (and yes there will be a replay)
- Doors close next Thursday, so guarantee your place today
Can’t wait to see you there!
Bill Honnold says
Great tips Amy.
Another benefit of using your story outline is that it touches the logical and emotional side of the reader. And readers need both before they will be convinced to buy.
Thanks for the valuable information.
Amy Harrison says
Glad you enjoyed them Bill. Logic and emotion are key ingredients for persuasion. I love using storylines because it reminds you to follow a structure that helps you include elements of both. Trying to face a blank page and somehow combine those elements of emotional benefits and facts about your product is a challenge, so anything that helps is a good thing!