If you’re like most businesses out there, you want to boost sales.
So, you talked to your sales team. You thought about your content strategy. Perhaps you even considered those psychological tricks you can use to persuade people.
But have you put effort into your copy?
Your copy should sell long before your customers even speak to your sales reps.
Remember: copy is not just about having some words on the page.
Copy should capture attention and make them want to click the ‘Buy Now’ button right then and there.
So, how do you do that?
Surprisingly enough, it’s about simple, concise copy and knowing the formulas that are designed to capture attention and evoke desire.
1. Understand Your Target Audience
This tip isn’t so much a technique as it is a strategy, but nevertheless, it provides a critical foundation necessary to get your copy to resonate with your audience.
The LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community found that the leading factor that makes effective content (by 58%) is how relevant your content is to your audience.
In order to do this, you need to understand who you’re writing for. More importantly, you need to know their pain points and what keeps them up at night.
That means creating buyer personas. Start by giving your personas names and then rounding out who these people are with key information. For example, what are their goals?
Knowing their pain points (and then how you can answer their questions) can help you tailor your copy in a way that resonates with your audience.
It also influences the way in which you write your content in the first place. For example, if your target audience is millennials you might write your content much differently than if you were writing to an older audience and so on.
But, where can you get this information, you ask? A good place to start is by sending surveys to your customers. However, you can also mine your search term analytics or browse various forums.
Ultimately, when your message resonates, it will be much more persuasive as a result.
One key thing to note is that creating an audience persona doesn’t have to be a complex process. In fact, it can be as simple as filling out a few key pieces of information from a template.
Here’s one template courtesy of Neil Patel:
2. Master The Art Of Headlines: Be Clear And Concise
If you are familiar with writing for the web, you likely know the importance of writing headlines.
Not only should headlines never be treated as an afterthought, but there’s also a lot that goes into an effective headline in the first place.
Here’s the thing about creating headlines: most people don’t have trouble generating catchy headlines. They actually struggle with creating headlines that are clear.
If someone reads your headline and isn’t sure what your blog post or what your copy is about, they will not read what you have to say. It’s really as simple as that.
Now, when it comes to creating headlines, it’s important to consider the holy-grails of effective headline writing.
You can read our blog post on writing effective headlines that excite, but here are the key takeaways: be useful, unique (but not so unique that your headline is hard to understand or unclear), ultra-specific and urgent (for example, “Are you losing sales due to poor copy?”).
Lastly, it’s important to be simple and, as we mentioned above, clear and concise.
3. Repeat Words
Did you know that repeating words in the same sentence can draw attention to those words? When you consider that nearly 50% of people merely skim content, it’s important to draw attention where you can.
One way to do this is creating a string of short sentences and then making some of those words repeat.
Many content writers ignore the power of rhythm, leaving it for the poets and fiction writers, but it’s a powerful copywriting technique that the best writers take advantage of in order to make their writing stand out.
4. Discuss Benefits – Not Features
Many businesses out there make the mistake of discussing the features of their product or service. They may use intimidating language to convey these features as well, which doesn’t do you any favors when it comes to getting more sales.
Simply put, your customers don’t care too much about the features of your product or service – they care much more about what you can do for them: that is, how your products or services will make their lives easier or better in some way.
Let’s say you run a salon. Perhaps you use the best products on the market – all professional salon quality, the cream of the crop. So, what do you do? You put this on your website, front and center. But, the problem is that it doesn’t convey how these products will actually benefit them.
In this case, it is much better to say something like “Our professional products will make your hair look shinier than ever before.”
Although the difference here may be relatively slight, conveying the benefits over features is much more profitable way to write copy because it allows potential customers to envision how the product/service can help solve a particular problem in their life.
Here is an example from Apple, who are discussing their MacBook. They have incorporated both features and benefits into their product descriptions.
Yes, they mention the full-size keyboard, but they balance this out with how the keyboard is “comfortable and precise so that your fingers feel right at home.”
5. Turn Your Product/Service Into An Experience
Not only should you convey the benefits of your products and/or service instead of just the features, another important element of copy that converts is turning your product or service into an experience.
Any product or service can be turned into an experience.
Here is another example from Apple. They have turned the mundane act of merely typing on a keyboard into an experience: “when your finger strikes a key, it goes down and bounces back with a crisp motion that you’ll appreciate the moment you start typing.”
Research has shown that if people imagine holding onto a product, they want that product more.
So, how can you turn your product or service into an experience?
Will your product or service make customers feel like they’re on a beach? If so, tell them so. But make describe you describe the experience.
Incorporating sensory details like sight, sounds, touch and so on can also make product descriptions into an experience because people identify with those sensations. After all, that’s how the best stories are told.
7. Use Simple Language
Part of the problem with describing the features of your product/service is that they often contain industry-language that the average person doesn’t necessarily understand.
Even wordy, every-day words can slow a reader down with “innovative” and “groundbreaking” being such examples. If you are using these words as filler, take them out.
That’s why the best sales copy out there is simple. It’s easy to understand.
Of course, you always have to consider your audience and who you’re speaking to. But, by and large, a conversational tone and simple language welcomes people to continue reading your text.
The longer you can get someone to read your text, the longer amount of time you have to get across your sales pitch.
8. Communicate Urgency
Another very smart copywriting technique to get more sales is to communicate urgency. Whenever someone is browsing on your site, the idea is that you want to close that sale now instead of allowing them to leave and then have to hope that they come back.
So, how can you communicate a sense of urgency?
Easy – there are a lot of ways. For example, you can advertise that you have a limited amount of products on your site or you can offer products for a certain amount of time. You could offer a bonus product for a certain amount of time.
Offering discounts with an expiration date is another good way to motivate customers to give you their credit card information.
9. Make It Clear Where Customers Can Make A Purchase
Once customers have looked at your benefit-driven copy, you want to push them in the direction of where they can actually make a purchase. That means that you want to have clear calls-to-actions.
If you make it difficult for your customers to make a purchase (or sign up for your Ebook or whatever it is you’re asking them to do), you are losing a lot of potential conversions.
Wrapping It Up
Writing effective copy is much more of a formula than anything else.
If you understand your target audience, write clear headlines, repeat words, discuss the benefits of your product (instead of just the features), use simple language and communicate urgency, you will well on your way to creating copy that gets you more sales.
Do you have any copywriting techniques that have worked well for you? We would love to hear more about it.
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