When it comes to effectively running a business, effective copy writing is absolutely essential. It gets your message out to your target consumers in a clear and compelling manner, helping them to understand what precisely you are selling and why they should purchase it. While copy writing is a bit of art and bit of science, remember, substance is much more important than looks. Ultimately, effective copy writing is copy writing that drives consumer action, not something that looks good on a glossy poster. S
o how can you boost your copy writing skills and successfully entice your consumers to act? Be sure to check out these essential copy-writing tricks.
Tip #1. Tell a story
The best way to build rapport with your readers is through story telling; entertain them, move them emotionally, make them think. As explained in Chip and Dan Heaths famous book Made to Stick, stories not only encourage the mental stimulation of a reader, they also burn ideas into the mind. Story telling is an excellent way to make your copy memorable.
For example, infamous French jeweller Cartier always releases an annual Winter Tale every holiday season. This year's tale stars a butler and Cartiers signature baby panther, chronicling the pairs midnight journey through the snow fallen street of an enchanting 1920s Paris.
Both are endowed with magical powers and secretly sneak into Parisian homes, leaving Cartier watches and jewellery at the foot of the Christmas tree. This kind of ad is powerful for several reasons. First, it tugs at viewers emotions, presenting them with a warm, holiday story; they're not even likely to think of what they're seeing as an advertisement. It then subtly associates the brand with these emotions. When viewers are out doing there holiday shopping they are the more likely to think of Cartier.
Interestingly, this kind of cross between story telling and advertising is gaining a lot of traction, especially among luxury brands. Chanel, for example, recently released a fifteen-minute video chronicling the brands beginnings in order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of their first boutique, starring Kiera Knightly as Coco Chanel. But remember, effective story telling is all about creating effective content. You want to entertain your viewers and tug at their emotions a bit.
Tip #2. Less nouns, more verbs
This point is absolutely crucial because generally speaking, action words (verbs), tend to draw much more attention on social media, attracting more likes and prompting more shares. After studying a staggering 20,000 tweets, Dan Zarella found that tweets with more verbs and adverbs had notably higher CTRs.
Tip #3. KISS- Keep it simple and stupid!
No consumer wants to sift through wordy, complicated texts to get to your final message. People like it when things are short, sweet, and direct. Albert Einstein once famously proclaimed, If you cant explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. I couldn't agree more.
When it comes to effective copy writing the trick is to frame a complex idea very simply, so that anyone can understand.
Tip #4. Numbers, numbers, numbers
Whenever you can, use numbers; it helps content to go viral.
First and foremost, lists are key. Have you ever wondered why you see list-articles all over social media? Basically, it is because numbers are much easier to understand, breaking large pieces of content into bite-size, easily understandable chunks.
Whenever you can, you will also want to use numbers to provide evidence, to illustrate your point, etc. It helps to make your posts seem more reliable. According to Iris Shoors you should give your readers numbers, and the more the better.
Keep in mind that in general it is more effective to include numbers at the beginning of your post than at the end.
Tip #5. Make use of dramatic words.
Remember that old newspaper saying, if I bleeds, it leads? Well, it is a tried and tired truism for a reason: people are intrinsically attracted to drama, it draws there attention. Dramatic words like kill, bleed, scary, dark, war, and secret tend to be incredibly powerful in headlines.
Of course, it is also important to keep in mind that drama not only attracts the attention of your readers, it works to illicit an emotional response. Consumers are often prompted to action out of emotion; it really boils down to basic psychology. We all have a tendency to act out of fear, anxiety, or nervousness.
Tip #6. Add a time period into headlines
Adding a defined time period into your writing puts the reader into your perspective and increases appeal. After all, which is more appealing: How to lose 5 pounds, or How to lose 5 pounds in just 5 days?
Obviously, the latter is going to be much more appealing to a consumer.
Tip #7. You, Free, Instantly, Because, New
According to Geroge Ciotti these five words are the most persuasive words in the entire English language. And I'm afraid I have to agree. Lets break down the power of each of these words:
- You: Everyone loves hearing about himself or herself. that's why you is so powerful when it comes to copywriting. And when you're writing customer newsletters or emails, take things a step further; personalize them with the customers name.
- Free: Everybody loves free things. Numerous market studies have actually shown that people will make different purchasing choices in order to receive something free, even if the respective value of the product of service doesn't change. This really boils down to basic psychology, to a principal known as loss aversion. People are also afraid of missing out. Therefore, they are much more apt to go after low hanging fruit.
- Instantly: Nobody likes delayed gratification; we want things now, not tomorrow. Numerous MRI studies have proved that our brains get really fired up upon reading or hearing words like instantly or immediately that promise instant gratification.
- Because: The reason behind this one is pretty simple: people like to have a reason for the things that they do. Good copywriting needs to answer your customers #1 question: what's in it for me? Create compelling reasons for your customer to action and use because when pointing out those compelling reasons.
- New: People like novel products; you need to make what you are selling seem new and exiting. Of course, it is essential to build brand reliability. However, you need to change things up consistently when it comes to your products"create new solutions to old problems, add new features, think of new improvements, inaugurate a fresh design, etc.
The bottom line? Always strive to incorporate these words into your headlines, call to actions, and newsletters.
Tip #8. Tease your readers
UpWorthy recently offered up an excellent marketing tip: social headlines need a curiosity gap. Basically, you want to tease your readers a bit. don't give them all of the information they need in headlines, entice them to read your content and drive them to where you want to be. Consumers are driven to act out of curiosity; it is an excellent way to boost conversion rates.
Tip #9. Test, test, test
Always, always, always test and optimize your landing pages.
Testing is especially important in the digital marketing world. The key is to conduct a thorough split test when creating your landing page. And make sure you have a sufficient sample size or your results aren't going to be statistically relevant. And when it comes to conversion testing, always try to pit long, content rich landing pages against short, action oriented promotion pages. there's no set rule about which will work better, it really varies depending on niche and keywords. The only way to know for sure which will deliver a higher conversion rate is testing.
Tip #10. don't reinvent the wheel
Last but not least, don't reinvent the wheel. Great copy follows a well-established set of rules. And it does so for a reason: because it works. Its no coincident that web marketing specialist Neil Patel always use How-to headlines for his best articles -- because this type of headlines simply get more clicks and reads online.
As a smart blogger, you should keep a set of headline formulas, templates, or cheat sheet for your writing references. Make use of tools like Evernote (my favorite), Tomboy, Spring Pad, and One Note and make your own writing cheat sheet.