Copywriting hacks: 7 tips and tricks to boost salesBlog, 02/02/18
Copywriting is an essential skill for any business owners regardless of the industry you’re in.
What do you think persuades people to buy when you are not meeting them face to face?
You might argue that videos and webinars can work for sales; however, writing a persuasive script is just another branch of copywriting – it’s that important.
Million-dollar businesses have been built solely on good copywriting while some businesses fall from the lofty heights of success just because of poor copywriting and content.
In this blog post, we’re going to cover the importance of copywriting as well as 7 easy tips for you to do right now.
Why is copywriting important?
If you don’t know what copywriting is or you don’t have a copywriter for your business, at the end of this post you’re either going to:
- Be an awesome copywriter or,
- Desperately go on Google to find one near you
If you are already knowledgeable in the copywriting industry or have one under your payroll, you’re going to love this post (and improve your sales drastically).
Because copywriting is one of the top 5 most important things to master in a business.
You may think our opinion is biased – of course, we are. We are biased because what we say is true:
Copywriting is important.
Now, we know we’re a broken record on the importance of copywriting so let’s move on with some explanations as to why it is important.
1) Copywriting is the most important thing for SEO
You might think SEO experts are people who have this super-secret strategy to masterfully rank your website on the first page of Google which then leads to tons of sales – yeah?
Copywriters are more important.
Let’s give you a brief run-through of Google’s ranking algorithm. Back then, all you needed were links to rank your website on the first page.
This means you could spam your website with links (often times up to almost a million) and you’ll get the #1 spot easily.
Then, Google’s infamous Panda and Penguin algorithm update hit the SEO scene massively. Links are still important but sites that were spammed with links were removed from the face of the earth.
The algorithm now prioritises good and valuable content as a ranking factor. Stuffing your website with keywords and getting 100,000 backlinks in a week no longer work and that’s absolutely justified.
Do you want to see a world where spammy websites with zero valuable content on the first page of Google?
Not us, that’s for sure.
Again, backlinks and important and so is on-page SEO and technical SEO.
However, Google now wants a website to have the ability to grip and catch the attention of their target audience, along with their ability to engage and persuade the visitor to interact with the site.
Google does this by monitoring how many times users engage with your and call-to-action buttons as well as factoring things such as your bounce rate, page depth and time spent on the site.
How do you keep visitors for as long as possible on your site and how do you make them act?
It’s obvious; you do it through brilliantly-written, relevant, valuable, and entertaining content.
Who do you think are best at coming up with those?
Not just any copywriter, but a copywriter who is also SEO-savvy such as understanding keyword research and SEO tools, a copywriter who is creative enough to move past the norm, and a copywriter who knows how to sell through words.
So, why is good content super important in SEO?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, links are extremely important SEO and there is no better way to gather links than creating awesome, valuable content.
Great content will be naturally shared, and naturally linked to from other people’s blogs and sites – exactly the kind of organic link building Google likes and wants.
2) Copywriters are more important than graphic designers.
Listen, designers are extremely important and are generally sidekicks to copywriters.
Copywriters work with designers all the time thanks to their creative talent and design-oriented eye which allows for memorable ads and beautiful, compelling websites to be built.
Businesses also tend to hire graphic designers more than copywriters which is a bit of a letdown.
If we were to pick between an ugly page with a good copy or a beautiful page with terrible copy, the former would always be our choice.
Let’s use an analogy to prove this statement.
Assume that you want to learn about Facebook ads and you’re searching online for a course. You arrive on a landing page of a well-designed, well-branded website with a beautiful colour scheme.
The headline reads
“Best Facebook ads course in the World. Buy now and buy today for 25% off – Don’t Miss your chance now!”
The body is also equally terrible and riddled with grammatical errors and typos.
What would you do in this situation?
You’d probably clicked the X button faster than it took for you to say “Oh my god.”
After the shocking experience, you move on to another landing page. This time the site design is outdated, to say the least; just a simple, basic WordPress template which has been put together in an hour max.
The headline, however, flows better:
“Learn and profit from your Facebook ads in 30 days or you’ll get your money back”.
The body copy is extremely compelling, persuasive, personal and jam-packed full of reasons why this course is the perfect fit for you.
Which one would be the more enticing choice for you?
It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?
In fact, you should know several successful bloggers and social media gurus have website designs that are not far from the description above.
For example, Neville Medhora (an excellent copywriter) has this as his consult page. With this exact sales page, he’s regularly making close to 7-figures every year.
Their headlines and blog content, however, are the epitome of excellent copywriting which is why their readership numbers are gigantic along with tons of high-value customers.
The same goes for many poorly designed long copy sales pages that are floating around out there, raking in sales day after day despite having designs that look extremely poor and shady.
When the ad’s intent is to motivate a response, it’s about selling, persuasion, and the call to action. These appeals are delivered in words and sentences rather than designs.
Again, a great design is important but copywriting edges it out by a bit – sorry designers.
3) Copywriting is extremely important for social media marketing
With the massive rise of social media marketing, it’s easy to get lost into and come out with absolutely zero results.
Social media marketing is an essential channel to expose your brand and drive traffic towards your website and offering but it is time-consuming and extremely ineffective if you don’t do it right.
If the copy on your site is as dull and lifeless, your social media efforts are just a waste of time that can be spent on growing your business.
The foundations of a good social media marketing campaign is having a good copy. When you have a copy that is compelling and engaging, you can go ahead with your SMM efforts to bring prospects to your business.
Don’t have a clue about copywriting for social media?
We’ll cover those in a short while, be patient.
4) Copywriting is the #1 factor for profitable paid (PPC) ads
The amount of money that small businesses throw into PPC ads are worrying. Most of these ads are direct to the homepage instead of creating a tailor-made and professionally written landing page.
Remember what we said earlier?
Words are ultimately what convince and make the sale.
Not the product. Not the design. Not the profile of investors in your business.
Copywriting is what seals the deal especially if you are not dealing with the customer face to face.
The next time your PPC ads are doing well, stop worrying about the targeting and how many pixels the width of your banner is – look into your copy and find out what’s wrong.
5) Copywriters are more important than bloggers
Content marketing is increasingly important these days and deservedly so.
The fact that you’re here now reading this post is a great example of how blogs and content can be used as a powerful tool to
- Attract visitors to your site
- Expose your brand to large audiences,
- Establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche
- Rapidly grow your mailing list
But ask yourself this:
Who do you think would make a more effective content marketer for your business?
- A professional writer who understands the best practices and techniques of blogging
- A copywriter who’s trained in the art of persuasion, conversion rates, sales, as well as understanding all the best blogging practices and techniques
Surely, the 2nd choice is a more enticing option, correct?
6) Copywriting is sales
Imagine you are running a telesales company with a decently performing script or pitch that gets you a 20% conversion rate.
Now, imagine if you got an amazing direct response copywriter to tweak the pitch to perfection to make it more personal. The end result is that the conversion rate 15% higher than the previous one.
Imagine instead of one sales rep, you have 100 sales reps to convert 15% more prospects into paying customers every single day, how much more revenue do you think would roll in every year?
The same thing applies to copywriting for service businesses. A 10-15% rise in conversion rate through copywriting is going to multiply exponentially as time goes on and your headcount increases.
Is it sinking in now?
The 4 core rules of copywriting for service businesses
Your copy must create and maintain your professional image
Businesses tend to prioritise a variety of different things when they are trying to dabble with their professional image. Resources may be devoted to graphic and web designs while everything else is neglected.
A great deal of time may go into preparing the perfect suit for a meeting and the salesperson forgets to brush their hair. These examples are extreme, but you get the point: there are more than a few ways to make or break a professional image.
Remember the situation earlier where we talk about choosing between a bad design and a bad copy?
Problems will occur when your business concentrates on its image without considering good copy. Effective, engaging writing is just as important in presentation as any other aspect of your image.
It should embody qualities that are reflections of your business’ goal and vision. Unless it is deliberate, your copy shouldn’t be sloppy, rushed or vague.
Think about how you talk to customers and clients: if you’re impolite or desperate, you will lose the sale. The same is true if they read writing that represents your business in a poor way.
Your copy must be appropriate for your target audience
Your writing does not just have to be engaging and compelling, it has to be appropriate for your target audience too.
You may argue that a person might never know exactly who is going to read their writing but that’s the exact purpose of market research. Also, it is inconsiderate and useless to use tasteless humour or technical jargon that does not appeal to your audience.
In writing, poorly received jokes, words that are hard to understand, and vague messages will all distance you from the audience and make them feel that you are not writing for them.
One of the key points that are often hammered in copywriting is that it is all about the customer or client. It should talk to them and be personal. Writing that does not actively engage the reader is useless, to be honest.
Your copy must be written with a purpose
There should be a reason for every sentence, both for you and the reader. Your customer or client should gain value from all that you say, and that value should encourage interaction with your business.
When writing to inform, everything you say should add information. With writing to sell, everything you say should encourage action.
Your writing should work for you, providing a service, it should never just be there for the sake of it.
Your copy must provide and demonstrate value
If you get those first three points correct, then this one should fall into place on its own.
Good copywriting demonstrates to the client that you are worth doing business with.
It should convince them, by the quality of your message, that you can be trusted to do this service. If you offer the information a customer is after but your writing is clumsy, they may appreciate your solution but seek someone more professional to fulfill it.
7 copywriting hacks for you to improve your conversion rates
1) Repeat the phrases or actions that you want your customers to take
Also known as the illusory truth, this phenomenon helps our brain make decisions throughout the day. It acts as a shortcut for the decision-making process so that our brains don’t get overloaded with non-relevant info.
This psychological tactic gives weight to concepts and ideas that we hear over and over again. The idea behind thiis is that a repetition of ideas leads greater accuracy and more perceived truth in humans.
That sounds complicated but it is applicable to copywriting and we’ll prove that with a study.
A group of researchers conducted a survey that asked participants to rate how much they trusted a statement. Some statements were repeated multiple times, while others were stated only once.
The study found that people consistently rated the repeated statements as more trustworthy in comparison to statements that were not.
In another study conducted by a similar group of researchers, participants were given 60 statements per session. 20 statements among those given to the participants were repeated twice.
These participants were then asked to rate their confidence in each statement on a scale of 1-7, with 1 being the lowest level of confidence, and 7 being the highest.
The results were not surprising – the repeated statements were consistently rated as more trustworthy.
The lesson here is this: tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it once, then tell them what you’ve said again.
Within your copy, repeat the statements you most want your audience to believe and remember. So, if you want to hammer home the potential returns of your course, repeat it several times in the copy.
Of course, don’t go overboard and use your money phrase in every single sentence as it will become annoying rather than profitable by then.
2) Position important words at the beginning or end of a sentence
An important point to know about online readers is that modern online readers scan text instead of reading it word-for-word.
Hence, we often use bullet points, short paragraphs, and lists to make content more consumable. However, where information is placed within the copy is something to consider.
This is also known as the serial position effect.
The serial position effect states that when a person is given a list of words and is then asked recall them immediately, they can recall words at the beginning and end more easily.
You should apply this rule to your copies.
When writing copy, place the ideas you most care about the reader remembering at the beginning and end of a piece.
Within an email context, this means your opening line and closing line are the two most valuable pieces to drive home to your mailing list.
3) Use the word because
Have you heard of the Xerox line study?
The Xerox line study was a social experiment where people waiting in line to use a photocopy machine were studied as they react to people asking to jump the line.
Those wanting to skip the line asked three different ways:
- “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”
- “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”
- “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”
The first question resulted in 94% of people agreeing to allow them to do so. The 3rd question also delivered similar results with 93% allowing the person asking to skip the line
In comparison, however, only 60% agreed to response #2.
Do you see any differences between the three questions?
Question 1 and 3 had the word because while the other didn’t.
Researchers believe this happens because of mindlessness; this means that depend on “scripts” or automatic actions inside of us that guide our actions and responses to different scenarios.
It’s a sort of an autopilot mode that our brains use to make decisions within social contexts and our everyday interaction.
When we hear a trigger word like because, it helps us to find a reason, and then respond accordingly even when the reason does not make sense (like the 3rd question).
Because is a powerful word.
When writing persuasive copy, include because to reinforce that you have a valid reason for your request—whether it’s to sign up for a free trial, download a template, complete a form, etc.
4) Use your P.S. line to perfection
Remember how we talked about using your money phrases at beginner or the end of a copy?
If you do, you should know that a P.S. line in your copy is an extremely effective way of taking advantage of that phenomenon.
Because it’s literally at the end of a copy, it’s the last message a reader sees upon reaching the bottom of the page so we know it’s going to stand out.
Why does it work?
It seems we’ve come to understand the P.S. line as the most essential or important piece of long-form content, which is why a P.S. line is the place you should put your main call to action.
For many, it’s the first (or only) place the eye goes when reading.
The takeaway is this, when writing long-form content (like email, blog posts, direct mail, etc.) use a P.S. line to reinforce your CTA.
5) Your first sentence MUST be short
Nothing makes the mind wander like a long opening sentence.
You want to directly hit your target audience’s needs with your first sentence. Make it short and sharp so they do not get scared of your copy.
When people start to read a page of copy, they usually start with the headline.
This is the usual case but it does not happen in some cases. For instance, if they clicked through from a link in your e-mail or your tweets, they usually know what the headline is already.
The next thing that people go to is always the first sentence.
People do this to get an idea of how well written the piece will be, what is in it for them, and how easy it is to read.
The reasoning behind this is simple; if the first sentence is short, your readers can digest it immediately and move right on to the next.
They will also consciously deduce there’s a good chance the rest of the piece will be easy to read too.
Your readers may not consciously think it, but they’ll still recognise the signs.
On the other hand, if the first sentence is really long, your readers will get scared no matter how smart or educated they are.
There’s a good chance that they’ll immediately stop reading and scan the rest of the piece to see if there are any other clues.
If it’s extremely long, good luck with getting the reader to even scan through your whole copy.
6) Use your call-to-actions correctly
This is a mistake that we see people still doing to this day; if you’re writing marketing copy, make sure to put a call-to-action in it!
What’s the point of making an effort to write and publish if your audience has no clue what you expect of them?
You’ve probably heard the term call-to-action mentioned when smart marketers talk about effective marketing.
A call-to-action is a signal or gesture that influences people to take action.
You may want to evoke different actions: get someone on your email list, get someone to buy something or investigate your offer, get someone to share your content on social media or register for an event.
Maybe you just want them to have a good, hard think about what you’ve said but you need to direct your reader to do somethingafter they’ve read your words.
Without a good call-to-action, your marketing campaign is simply another regular blog post on the Internet.
All calls to action can be broadly lumped into two categories:
- Button call to action: very short copy, 1-2 words long.
- In-copy call to action: a sentence of copy within or at the bottom of a page, or above or below a button.
Since CTAs are extremely important in copies, this section of the post is dedicated solely to optimising CTAs.
Make your that CTA is actually an action
Strong verbs are essential when we’re talking about call to actions. Words that are good to use include:
- Call or book
There are many other words that can work but these are the select few that will work every time.
Add some urgency
Use commanding words to imply there is a risk attached to waiting too long.
You could use a phrase like “Buy Now” but something “Buy Now – Limited To 100 Units Only” has a much greater sense of urgency around it.
You want your readers to feel like they missing out on your offer is a terrible mistake.
Give them an incentive for taking action
Even when you’re offering a complete solution, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll close the deal.
Remind them of how they will benefit by taking the next step.
Offering an extra incentive can help push your reader over the line. Some things that work well are free performance reports, a consultation, or a free analysis of whatever you’re working on.
Reduce the risk of saying yes
If you are inviting your reader to become involved with you in some way, they may be worried that it will take a long time, or you’ll ask for too much information.
You can push those fears aside by including some more details in your call action. An example of this would be using a phase “Download and Get Started Today. Sign up in just 60 seconds”.
The 60 seconds implies that there is not much time-wasting in signing up for your program. That in itself is a risk-reducing copy.
In-copy calls to action
An in-copy call to action is usually placed at the bottom of a page, letter or brochure. You can also add some punch to your button by adding a line above or below the button itself.
Remind them of the benefit or saying yes, or the pain that led them to this moment – then tell them what to do in simple, clear language.
Here are some examples of some good in-copy calls to action.
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7) Use human emotions in your copy
As humans, we all experience a wide variety of emotions every day, each with a varying degree of intensity.
Believe it or not, human emotions are not just limited to happiness and sadness but also:
In fact, we’re always feeling something, so how can we use that in our copy?
The key to successful copywriting is to identify what emotions are important to your target audience.
To understand that, you would need to create a detailed, accurate profile of your target audience which is also known as a buyer’s persona.
Some things to ask yourself include:
- Who are they?
- What are their backgrounds?
- What keeps them staying up at night?
- What is a solution to their problems that they would pay for?
- What are they struggling with and how can you help?
Building up a picture of both them and their pain points will help you create more impactful copy – the sort of copy that will convince them to take action.
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