There’s no room for a smartarse in the world of copywriting
I am writing this article from my own experience and viewpoint. You may have a different opinion, which is your right, but I’m about to tell you what works.
Copywriting should be clean – that means tight, concise, and compelling. When you start trying to get clever with it, you end up trying too hard to impress—a recipe for disaster.
Short and sweet copywriting wins every time
When writing copy (whether for brochures, email campaigns, posters, adverts, or SEO website copy), I follow a simple formula designed to have maximum impact.
Today, we pack our lives with so much stuff we hardly get a moment to ourselves. Everywhere we turn, there are sales messages – in newspapers, on the sides of buses, on the tube, on radio, TV, magazines, the internet…the list is endless. Considering this relentless bombardment, if you want to get your message across, it must be powerful and concise.
The copywriting winning formula
I mentioned earlier that I follow a formula to create clean and compelling copy. Before I tell you what that is, you must remember one thing. Every audience you write for is different. An approach that worked for one demographic may fall short of the mark when used on another group. So always bear your audience in mind when creating your copy.
So, where do you start? Well, how do you usually read things? from the beginning, right? And what do you find at the beginning?
This is the hook that will get someone interested enough in your copy to read it. If you get your headline wrong, your whole sales pitch will be lost. If you need inspiration, read magazines, look through newspapers or check out the home page of Digg – that is an excellent source of inspiration.
Once your headline has pulled them in, hit them with the main benefits of your product or service. Hit them between the eyes – tell them exactly what the product/service will do for them.
Your reader will only buy if they will benefit in some way – point that out to them immediately, and you’re halfway there.
Now you’ve shown them the benefits, their hand is poised over their wallet – but they’re not pulling out their credit card just yet.
They may be interested in your product, but you’ve got to make them want it. Help them visualise how amazing their lives will be if they had it. Make them want it by telling them the supply is restricted or the price is going up soon, or they’ll be amongst the first to won it; they’ve been specially selected.
This is it – they’ve grabbed their wallet; they’ve taken out their credit card…does it end there?
It will if you don’t tell them what to do next. The final step is to write a strong call to action. If you don’t tell them to buy now, call now or order now, they won’t know what to do and will look elsewhere.
Headline + Benefits + Want Factor + CTA = SALES!!!!!
If you want your sales copy to work every time, keep it strong, keep it tight, keep it simple. Don’t try and be clever.
Sally Ormond – Freelance copywriter