Copywriting is an integral part of marketing, yet it’s often feared rather than revered but just because copywriting can be intimidating doesn’t make it any less important.
For example: Have an awesome offer? Sweet! But you have to communicate it to your audience in a way that makes sense to them. And that’s where the art of good copywriting comes in to play. The good news is that writing good copy doesn’t have to be hard. And to prove it, here are 5 simple tips to effective copywriting. Just follow these tips and your copy will be top notch in no time!
- GET STARTED
For most people the hardest part of copywriting is getting started. We all experience writer’s block at one time or another, and it stinks!
Luckily there are lots of brainstorming techniques that can help you get past the blank sheet of paper staring up at you.
Here’s just a few (and they’re easier than they sound):
• Review background information
• Read the news
• See what’s happening on social media
• Make a list
• Do cluster writing (a type of prewriting that allows you to explore many ideas as they occur)
• Create a Venn diagram (usedduring the pre-writingprocess to compareand contrast ideas)
• Make a mind map (a diagram that linksideas around a centralkey word or idea)
• Free-write (just what it sounds like!)
In addition to brainstorming, ask these 4 key questions before you begin to write.
- What am I selling (at an emotional level)?
- To whom am I selling (audience)?
- Why am I selling this now (will it make sense to the customer)?
- What do I want my reader to do (Calls to Action)?
- FEATURES VS. BENEFITS
Features are what a product has. Benefits are what it provides the customer. Customers will always ask, “What’s in it for me?” So that’s how you need to present your information.
Here are a few examples:
• Made of steel (feature) vs. Never have to replace it (benefit)
• Home delivered (feature) vs. Save time and money (benefit)
- THE HUMAN ELEMENT
Your customers are human, so it’s important to remember that you are writing to people and not buying machines.
Think AIDA to help you appeal to your audience on an emotional level.
• Grab their Attention
• Hold Interest
• Invoke Desire (Talk about benefits, give real examples, offer a solution to their problem)
• Cause Action (Make your readers do what you want them to do)
- STRUCTURE & STYLE
Once you brainstorm and have a fair idea of your direction, there’s some simple structure and style guidelines that will help make the actual writing process simple and painless.
- Think Less Is More
People read 25% slower online than offline, which means you need to write less copy to ensure they’ll read it.
- Put Key Points Up Front
Keep your most important points at the beginning of paragraphs, bullets and lists.
- Keep It Short
Make sure your paragraphs are no more than 3 lines long.
Otherwise you might lose your reader’s attention.
- Remember Odd vs. Even
Odd numbers are easier to remember than even, so keep this in mind when writing lists (i.e., 3 tips, 5 ways, etc.).
- Don’t Get Too Salesy
A good ratio is ¾ free info vs. ¼ sales info.
- The Rhythm of 3
List your examples in groups of three. The rhythm gives a great cadence to your copy (i.e., Happy, Joyous & Free).
- Cut the Clutter
William Zinsser wrote, “Clutter is the disease of
American writing.” The quickest way to improve your copy is by removing any unnecessary words like “that” or “to.”
- Vary Sentence Length
It’s important to vary your sentence length to hold your reader’s attention. Also, don’t be afraid to use sentence fragments – this isn’t your college English class.
- Use Bucket Brigade Words
Bucket brigade words help move your copy forward. They include remember, and, but, consider, however, for example and more.
- Consider Your Font Style
Sans-serif fonts, such as Arial, Verdana & Helvetica are easier to read online than serif fonts. If people find it difficult to read your copy, they won’t.
- Think Pictures vs. Text
A best practice is to use 80% text to 20% pictures, or images.
- CHECK IT TWICE
This last bit is pretty much common sense, but these are important steps that can really help with quality control but are often overlooked.
These 5 keys to effective copywriting will unlock the door to awesome copy for your business. So get writing, and remember to have fun doing it!
Culled from www.verticalresponse.com0