The goal of marketing copy is to convert. You have to choose just the right words to convey your unique message to your audience. Read on to learn how to write marketing copy that combines art and science to engage and convert your audience.
Tip #1 Keep it short, snappy, and easy-to-read
People are busy. As a result, people don’t read marketing copy. They scan.
Eddie Shleyner of VeryGoodCopy.com, asserts:
Brevity and clarity will ensure that your message is digestible, which is important if you want your words to be read and understood with ease.
Bottom line: you need to get to the point. Fast. And you must edit ruthlessly.
Tip #2 Write in the active voice
Passive voice is fussier and harder to read than active voice.
See for yourself:
Passive: “The product was bought by the customer.”
Active: “The customer bought the product.”
Both statements are grammatically correct. However, the passive statement de-emphasizes the subject (the customer) in favor of the object (the product).
Writing in active voice (emphasizing the subject – aka your potential customer) creates a higher likelihood that the audience reading it will relate to the content. When readers can imagine themselves in your words, that resonance is a powerful tool of persuasion.
Tip #3 Make it about your audience
Your readers are people. And people like to hear about themselves.
In practice, this means viewing every piece of information you share through the lens of your audience.
- What benefits are most important to them?
- Why will they care?
- How will this impact their lives in a positive way?
It also means speaking to your audience and helping them envision how your product or service will play a positive role in their life.
For example, on our blog, we offer numerous opportunities for people to get free guides on a variety of topics. When people search for how to start a business and read our article on that subject, we offer them a free brand identity guide (this is a call-out in the article). Our call-out clearly and quickly articulates why our readers should care about this guide and how it will help them.
Tip #4 Lean on emotion – not intellect
When it comes to people, emotion trumps logic almost every time.
As we wrote previously,
One of the most valuable rules consumer behavior has taught us is that people respond better to emotional appeals than intellectual ones. Roger Dooley’s article “Emotional Ads Work Better” reveals that emotional ad campaigns perform nearly twice as well as ads with a rational focus.
Tailor your copy to resonate with a prospect’s emotions. Then supplement that emotional appeal with enough info to satisfy the mind’s rational side.
Tip #5 Use copywriting formulas
Good marketing copy follows a structure. In fact, there are a vast number of copywriting formulas.
Here’s one of the best-known formulas to get you started. If you want to learn about two others, read our 7 tips for how to write content that gets results.
This is probably the oldest and most widely known copywriting formula. It was developed in 1898 by St Elmo Lewis. “A.I.D.A.” stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
These are the four stages Lewis believed were necessary in order to motivate a customer to make a purchase.
A – Capture the reader’s attention.
I – Build interest in your product or service. (Show how the product or service is relevant to the reader.)
D – Create desire for the product or service (Help readers imagine how their lives will be positively impacted.)
A – Deliver your call to action.
Tip #6 Make every word count
In good writing, as in good design, nothing is arbitrary. Every word must be chosen with intent to optimize your ability to communicate your precise message.
One of the ways to accomplish this is by relying on “power words”.
Words like “free.” Or “new.” And words like “you” and “sale.” Making every word count also means knowing which words to avoid. Take a pass on words that are weak or generic. Instead, choose specific, evocative words that pack a lot of punch.
Tip #7 Don’t forget to ask
No marketing copy is complete without a call to action. The call to action (CTA) is the moment in your copy when you stop making your case and ask for what you want.
A call to action should always be clear and concise. A clear call to action tells a prospect exactly what they need to do to move forward.
When writing a call to action, consider taking one of two paths – the path of complete reassurance or the path of urgency.
The path of complete reassurance removes all potential stress around following through on the CTA.
That’s what we do on many of our landing pages. When people are looking for custom logo design for their business, for example, we bring them to a landing page that explains that product offering. And our main call to action there is “Get started (no obligation)”. There’s no downside to acting – prospects feel safe to take this next step.
We regularly test our calls to action (so the language on our landing pages will vary) – and you should do the same.
Contrast that with our call to action on landing pages related to naming. When people are looking for a unique company name, we bring them to a landing page where the main call to action is “Start a naming project draft”. In that call to action, “start” and “draft” make clear that the person isn’t taking an action that’s irreversible.
Alternately, your call to action may incite some degree of urgency or curiosity that compels a prospect to move forward. “Order today! Supplies are limited!”
Be sure to test which CTAs are most effective with your audience.
By combining the art and science of copywriting, you can write powerful marketing copy that gets results.