These 37 copywriting techniques will make your website and marketing collateral more interesting and engaging. Your sales and profits will skyrocket.
The best way to learn to be a writer is to write. I’ve been writing Marketing Copy for 35 years. I get a tremendous kick out of influencing people to buy while honouring their free will. This is the true essence of great communication, and I have passion for great communication.
Here are my 37 tips grouped into categories.
The Money Is In Their Pain
1. The more you know about your prospects the better. What’s their pain? What keeps them awake at night? When you know their pain you can tell them how your product or service takes away their pain.
2. If you can’t talk about their pain then talk about something they want, for example, more love, more respect, more freedom, to feel important, to lose weight, and talk about how your product will give that to them.
3. A quick way to learn about your prospects’ pain is to look at what your competition is promising on their website. That will give you an idea about what to say on yours. Emphasize what you do better. If you don’t do anything better talk about what’s different about your offering and target people who want that.
The Art Of Persuasion
4. It’s important to have subheadings every few paragraphs. More about that later in this article. Your subheadings should talk about benefits the reader will receive from your product.
5. It’s good to create a little suspense. At the beginning it’s good to mention something you’re going to talk about later in the article. People will keep reading at least until they get their answer.
6. Put your best point at the beginning, and your second best point at the end of your article. Many people scroll down to the end before they read the entire article.
7. It’s good to make your message into a story, if you can. Everybody loves stories and relates to the hero. When they relate to you or your message they start to trust you. Trust is a huge part of persuasion.
8. It’s good to include one long or unusual word near the beginning of your article, such as “pique”, because people are impressed by intelligence.
9. It’s good to write in a friendly, casual tone like you would speak to a friend over a cup of coffee.
10. Always write as if talking to one person. Never say things like “Hi everybody”. Only one person reads your article at a time, and your goal is to establish rapport, and get them to contact you for more information or to buy.
11. It’s always good to say something positive about the reader that makes them feel important or smart.
12. Humour is great if you can do it because people love to be entertained. But it’s not easy to do without being corny. Ask a few people to read your article, and after they’re finished ask them if they thought that section was funny. If you’re not sure, leave it out.
13. Specific numbers are more credible than general numbers, such as “hundreds”.
14. Always have a positive tone to your copy. People want to read and share positive ideas and concepts, not negative ones.
Your Copy Must Flow
15. To understand what I mean by “flow” you need to read your copy out loud. This is a necessary step in writing good marketing copy. After all these years I still do it, and every time I find important changes that greatly improve my copy.
16. Use only as many words as required to get the point across. Editing your text to shorten it takes time, but it’s worth it. There’s a famous quote by Blaise Pascal. When writing to a friend he said “I would have written a shorter letter but I didn’t have time.” If you understand the truth of that sentence you’re on your way to being an excellent Marketing Copywriter.
17. Use action verbs, such as “goes” as opposed to “is going”.
18. Use short sentences. Long sentences require too much brain power to follow and understand.
19. Use exclamation marks sparingly. They’re overused by mediocre writers trying to get people excited without giving them anything real to be excited about. It’s annoying.
20. Don’t repeat words or phrases. It’s not interesting to read copy like that. As soon as you do it you lose your reader. If you need to say something similar to what you’ve already said, use different words.
Know What Your Readers Expect From You
21. Talk only about what your headline promises. When you bring other topics into your article it confuses the reader. Stick to the point.
22. Talk about how easy it is for prospects to get what they want from your product. People want things to be easy.
23. Also, it’s good if you can promise the reader their problem will be solved quickly. A specific time is best, for example, today, in the next five minutes, or whatever timeline is short for your industry.
Pique Their Interest Right At The Start
24. The Headline is so important. Its goal is to catch people’s interest so they want to read more.
25. It’s good to use a specific number in your headline.
26. Then just after your Headline tell the reader the benefit they’ll receive from reading your article.
27. Put your most important and interesting information at the beginning of the article so they know it will have great value. It encourages them to read more. If you put it in later many people won’t see it because they’ll be gone.
28. If you’re writing a stand-alone article the next thing you need to do is establish your expertise. Why should the reader believe what you’re telling them? Including a testimonial here can be powerful.
Your Prospects Will Only Read Your Copy If It’s Easy
29. This section is one of the most important in the entire article. Your paragraphs should be no longer than 4 or 5 lines. If they’re longer than that they look too hard to read, too hard to get into, so very few people will read your article. People don’t like to work hard.
Don’t worry about the traditional concept of having one idea per paragraph. Just break long paragraphs wherever you need to so they aren’t longer than 4 lines. It’s more important to get people to read your text than it is to follow all the grammatical rules.
30. It’s good to use bullet points. It makes skimming easier.
31. It’s good to use occasional bold text. But too much bold text makes your article hard to read without emphasizing anything.
32. It’s also easier to read text that is black on a white background. Many middle-aged people have vision problems and they’ll never tell you. They’ll just stop reading.
33. The text needs to be large enough for the same reason. If they can’t read your text they’ll never know why they should be your client.
34. Use as few commas as possible. They are a stop for the eye. Use them only when the meaning of the sentence won’t be clear without it.
35. The copy should have headlines every few paragraphs. This is for people who skim. If they can’t see what specific points you’re talking about without reading the whole article they’ll leave the page.
Get Them To Take Action
36. Always try to have scarcity or a sense of urgency in your offer, such as “Only 7 left”, “This video will only be up for the next 72 hours”, or “These seminars always fill up fast. Maximum 50 participants. Register now to secure your participation”.
37. Every page on a website, every article written that encourages people to buy should have a Call To Action at the bottom. If it’s a long article it’s OK to have a gentle one in an appropriate place in the middle.
Please leave a comment below to let me know if I left anything out, or just to tell me your opinion. If you like it please share it on your Social Media. Thanks very much. Ken