Copy refers to words used on web pages, ads, promotional materials, etc. to sell your product or service and convinces prospective customers to take action. In many ways, it’s like hiring one salesman to reach all of your customers. Compelling copy convinces your audience to take the action that you want them to take using techniques that help lead the audience gently toward conversions. Copy writing is a skill that can be learned. It just takes practice, patience, and testing to get it right. Using the following tips will get you there faster.
Essential Steps for Writing Compelling Copy
Step #1: Start Simple – Your first pass through whatever you’re writing should be simple. Just get the information down without any embellishments. Write down what you want to impart to your audience. Tell them what you have for them, what it’s going to do for them, who you are, and what they need to do next.
Step #2: Define Who You Are – Now, go back to the section in the copy that talks about who you are; usually you want to get this over with very quickly because you want to focus more on the audience than on yourself. But, your audience is going to want you to answer the question, “Who the heck are you to recommend this to me?” Giving your background, telling your why, and explaining how you came up with the idea is important to help you relate to your audience.
Step #3: Add in a Story – You’ve told your story; now you want to tell their story by providing case studies, examples, and more to tie it all together. If you don’t yet have specific case studies of someone succeeding using your product, you can be more creative by finding more general examples of people who succeeded without giving up, then relate that idea to your product. When you do have some specific stories to share, add them in later. A compelling copy inspires others to take action based on success stories.
Step #4: Add Facts, Figures, and Stats – Now go in and fill in some facts to back up every bit of your assertions you’ve made in the copy so far. Your audience will enjoy reading some stats and facts because it’ll make it easier for them to believe the things that you say your product will accomplish. When your audience sees details with numbers, it will help them visualize the solution much better.
Step #5 Make It Personal – Now you want to go back into the copy and add in language to make everything a lot more personal. Break grammar rules and use personal pronouns like “you,” “our,” and “we.” Avoid using the word “I” other than when you are telling your own particular story. You want to draw the people into the story thinking of themselves and visualizing how your solution will help them.
Step #6 Bring the Dream – Now go back through the copy and add in some dream words and imagery to really let your audience feel the emotions you want them to feel with your choice of words. For example, “close your eyes and imagine yourself” or “Six months from now you’ll either be 50 pounds lighter or not – it’s up to you.”
Step #7 Get Endorsements – If there is a mover and shaker that your audience values and admires, and you can get them to endorse your product, that’s a great thing to accomplish and will help your audience make a choice. You can also get endorsements from people who are just like those in your audience by offering advanced copies of your product to them.
Step #8 Make It Beautiful – After you’ve perfected everything, go back in and make it look beautiful. Add the right fonts, the right colors, and the right images. Check it for errors, layout, and test it on many different devices as well as browser choices to make sure the imagery is appealing no matter where it is viewed.
Writing compelling copy is an important skill to master if you want to create high-converting sales pages, advertisements, and information that leads your audience to make the choices you want them to make.