Ever wondered what techniques expert copywriters use in order to attract more readers? We have put together some great tips on how to write like a pro. See what the experts recommend when it comes to copywriting.
When it comes to copywriting, all techniques are powerful in influencing behavior. It depends on your market and the specific action you want them to take. The skill is in being able to determine which approach to use when.
For example, scarcity works best if you have a market that is reluctant to commit (they’re “on the fence”).
However, if you have a market that is eager to buy immediately, you don’t need to use that technique.
Another example: when to use fear vs aspiration in your headline. It depends on what motivates your market.
If your market needs to feel the weight of what they’d lose in order to act, then you use loss aversion in your headline.
If your market needs to be inspired in order to act, then you use aspirational imagery in your headline (and images).
Aspirational: Make Every Man Turn His Head When You Walk By
Fear: The Bank Seized John’s Home – Don’t Let This Happen To You
The goal isn’t to become a good technician, but rather to know what motivates your specific market.
There are many great techniques, but there is one overriding technique that makes each of them better. Plain language. There is no niche that doesn’t do better with plain language.
Writing for nuclear scientists or for luxury yacht buyers? Need to include a whole bunch of $10 words? No problem.
You can still write in clear English.
You can still use a simple sentence structure.
You can still write lists as lists, rather than as long sentences with commas.
And you can still use common, simple words between the scientific terms or the fancy-do words.
What was the favorite bedtime book your mom read when you were a kid? Your favorite movie in school days? And what about a brand advert that sticks to your memory for the last few years?
All they are stories. We all are stories: every person is a hero, and every episode from life may become a basis for new storylines. We retain 70% of information through stories, we emotionally respond to stories, and we evaluate everything around by feelings, not facts. I bet you’ve already got the point I’m trying to drive home:
If you want copywriting work, use storytelling.
Writing your brand texts with core principles of human perception in mind, you get a positive emotional response and desired decision-making from readers. (I focused on this technique in guest posts for Tint and Mention.)
The main benefit of stories: they are second to none. So your texts won’t sound like duplications of competitors’; they won’t be a standard kit of data, facts, and cliche phrases. Your sales copies will be a combination of marketing and fiction. It’s the very schtick turning your text content into copywriting masterpieces.
This is a bit like asking “how long is a piece of string” — different tactics or techniques will work better in different situations, for different audiences and different offers. That said, the one constant is research: you will NEVER waste your time or your budget if you invest it into better understanding your customer. One of the most powerful things you can do is an interview or survey your customers about their experience: their pain points, priorities, desired outcomes, and anxieties along the way. As you capture this feedback in their own words, you get a clearer picture of how to sell to those customers, and the language they use to talk about you and your solution. You can then mirror that language and speak into those problems from a place of authority.
You can also watch recorded user sessions to see where and how your leads spend their time: what they pay attention to or ignore, how they engage, and so on. This will show you how your current copy is being consumed, so you know what to focus on to fix issues.
The copywriting technique we use over and over again whether it’s an email for a blog post, a sales page, or an onboarding workflow is the same.
It’s called AIDA and it stands for attention, interest, desire, and action.
When someone first comes in contact with your copy, you need to capture their attention. You can use a compelling headline or imagery to get a hold of their attention.
Next up is interest. When you’ve gotten their attention, you have to keep it by piquing their interest.
There are many ways to do this but one of the most effective is speaking about the problem that brought them there in the first place.
You talk about their problem the way they talk about it and show you understand what they’re going through.
Interest doesn’t end there. You begin to paint the picture of how it’ll be better once the problem is gone. You’re talking about a transformation.
That’s when you begin to move into desire where you talk about your solution and dive deeper into the transformation that’s possible when the problem is gone.
The key is to make sure your solution is the bridge that helps them get from where they are to where they want to be.
Finally, you compell them to take action. This is your irresistible offer. AIDA coupled with clear language will make sure your copy hits a home run every time.
There’s a stupid-easy technique anyone can use to instantly improve their copy: specificity. By sweating the details you make drab copy come alive. Being specific paints vivid word pictures in prospects’ minds, engages your audience more, makes your stories stick, and moves people to take the exact action you desire.
When you are done with the first draft, ask yourself: how can I make key elements of this piece ultra-specific?This could be your headline, opening lines, or testimonial. Here’s how to make copy explicit:
- Focus on one topic per post, email or whatever you are writing.
- Target one audience not multiple ones.
- Use hyper-detailed metaphors.
- Use exact numbers instead of rounding them off.
- Choose specific words over general ones.
- Target one emotion you want to arouse.
- Have one dominant call to action.
- Choose simpler words instead of gobbleydygook.
Do all you can to massage precision into your copy—it’ll pop, fizz, and convert.
- Ban certain words
- Avoid adverbs
- Write as you talk
If you want to get better at copywriting, you should always be going through your old writings. Once you do that often enough, a few words start to pop up more than others that you might want to remove from your vocabulary. For example, “get”, “very”, “just” are some of the many words that harm you writing. Sometimes they sneak in your writing subconsciously, so keep your eyes peeled!
Be confident in your writing. Extra adverbs change the feel of your paragraph and make them more cluttered. Instead, save them for special occasions. This way, when you do use them, they’ll have a bigger impact.
Don’t confuse your reader with any unnecessary jargon and too much text. Use contractions and have a conversation with them instead of forcing elegant prose and eloquence in your writing. Most people skim when reading anyway, so make your writing easy on their eyes and meet them halfway through.