• Innes McArthur

7 Incredibly Easy Ways to Start Writing Copy That Sells

Copywriting makes the difference between generating sales and making nothing. Discover how you can write powerful copy that sells on it’s own.

The growth of the internet has been a blessing for consumers. We are surrounded by more and more brands and products to compare and choose from than ever before.

But let’s be real, while the internet and social media platforms have allowed businesses of all shapes and sizes immense exposure, the rate of competition online can make it difficult for brands to stand out.

In the digital and competitive age of business that we live in, it can be incredibly hard for companies to get ahead of their competition.

While many try and promote the best or shiniest products they have to offer, most businesses forget what the key to selling really is: persuasive and engaging copy.

Copywriting has been the key to successful marketing since marketing first began. Quite simply, copywriting is the fundamental foundation of marketing. So why the hell aren’t brands using it more?

The great thing about knowing how to write persuasive copy is that it is universally applicable in absolutely every aspect of marketing.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s for your website, social media, emails, advertising campaigns or press releases; the rules for copywriting stay the same. But what are the rules?

Luckily for you, we’ve created a comprehensive and simple guide to help you start writing persuasive copy that engages everyone who reads it, as well as generating sales and traffic as a result from it.

1). Who’s Your Customer?

Who are you selling to, what are their pain points? And how do you offer a solution? These are the first things you need to consider before even beginning to write.

If you don’t know who you’re selling to, then how on earth can you know who you’re writing to? This is a necessary step not just for copywriting, but also for SEO and marketing more generally.

Once you understand your customer’s persona, they become putty in your hands, completely at the mercy of you and your ability to persuade them through your copy.

Use words and language that relate to them and show that you understand them. Identifying and understanding your consumer will make each of the following steps far easier as you now have a type of person to write specifically to.

Check out our top tips for identifying an audience from marketing pros.

2). Define a goal

Once you know who you’re writing to, you now need to consider how you want them to feel when they read your copy. This will be different depending on the purpose of your copy.

You need to consider what you want your reader to know, feel and do after reading your copy.

To begin with, you have to make it blatantly clear what you want your reader to know. This can be done with a simple headline or portion of text that makes it completely obvious what the following copy is about.

Are you trying to sell them something? Teach them something? If one idea is clearly, and quickly shown, then your readers are far more likely to remain engaged.

Next up, you’ve got to consider what emotions you want your reader to feel. This will very much depend on what you want them to know.

Quite simply, evoking the desired emotion(s) is the key to having readers complete your call to action (CTA).

Perhaps you begin your copy with “what if” to induce curiosity in your reader. Maybe you want to anger them, it is a fantastic motivator after all, and highlight something that your consumer persona finds unfair. For example, “Paying too much for your car insurance?”.

Or maybe you want to excite them by painting a picture of their life after they buy or use your product, motivating them to buy from you.

Lastly, you need to understand and make it clear what you want your reader to do. In reality, your readers aren’t going to do anything once they’ve read your copy.

You have to tell them exactly what you want them to do. This means you have to provide CTAs that encourage your reader to complete whatever your desired outcome may be, be that subscribe, share or buy. Colourful buttons and text that includes urgency are great for this; “Subscribe NOW”.

3). Let's Have a Chat

We don’t want to be lectured at. The most engaging and persuasive copy is written as a conversation from the writer to the individual reader.

The relaxed and conversational tone of good copy makes the reader feel like it is personalised to them, which makes it even more likely they believe your product is perfectly tailored for them.

Luckily, writing in this way is actually incredibly easy. Unfortunately, thanks to office formalities, we have over complicated our writing.

We think using words we can barely pronounce will make us seem smarter and impress our colleagues. In reality, it completely disenfranchises readers who don’t have a thesaurus by their side to decipher your copy.

There’s a number of ways to write authentic and persuasive copy. First, and most importantly, keep your writing simple, impress them with what your product’s benefits, not your vocabulary.

Secondly, use short sentences. The longer the sentence the less engaging it becomes.

Third, ask your reader questions. This not only forces them to consider your copy in greater detail, it also involves the reader and makes them feel like you are talking directly to them.

Lastly, use contractions. Your copy isn’t a high school essay. Stop using “we are” or “I am” when “we’re” and “I’m” are far more natural.

We overthink our writing. The end result is copy that is unnecessarily fancy and over-complicated. Don’t be afraid to ‘dumb it down’. Your writing will appear natural and far more persuasive.

4). Features Tell, Benefits Sell

Consumers are inherently selfish people (Yes, yes… of course you’re not). The reality is, customers, especially Gen Z, don’t care about you or your business.

They want to know what your product actually offers them. They want to know what’s in it for me (WIIFM)?

Understanding, and answering, WIIFM is essential to creating persuasive copy. And the best way to successfully answer your readers' question of ‘what’s in it for me?’ is to turn your products’ features into benefits.

When writing a copy about your product or service, you have to put it through the ‘so what?’ test. Okay, great, your product has a great feature… So what? You have to tell your customers why they should care.

To do that, you have to explain to them how that feature will benefit them if they were to buy your product.

For example, perhaps you offer sport trainers with new cushioned-sole technology. That’s the feature, it’s bland and meaningless to you and me. So, let’s turn that into a benefit.

Suddenly, you are selling “incredibly comfortable trainers with our new cushioned-sole technology that prevents aches and cramps”. You’ve turned your bland feature into an enticing benefit.

Remember, features tell, benefits sell.

5). The Power of Words

A true copywriter not only knows the influence that words have, but also how and when to use them.

Remember earlier when I said you need to consider how you want your reader to feel when reading your copy? Well ‘power words’ are your tools for evoking the desired emotions.

There are hundreds of power words out there, each causing specific emotional responses. You can deploy words like that play into our inherent greed like “free”, “bargain” and “save”.

Or, words that intrigue your reader through piquing their curiosity; “shocking” and “secret”. Like with most copywriting, the words you use depend on the purpose of your copy.

Curiosity is a much better emotion to play on for a post of tips for marketing as opposed to words that relate to our tendency of greed – which would be better used when selling a product or promoting a sale.

Legendary copywriter Victor Schwab noted 40 key emotional drivers that all humans share. Included in this list is health, time, money, comfort and improved appearance.

If you can effectively and appropriately use the correct power words to tap into these innate emotional drivers, then your copy immediately becomes far more persuasive.

The use of numbers is a fantastic way to appeal to certain emotional drivers, especially money and time. However, how many times have you read copy that tells you how millions of people are using their product?

Claims like that, while true, are vague and difficult to actually envision. Are we talking 2 million or 50 million? Studies show that readers are far more drawn towards numbers in their numerical form than they are in writing.

What’s more, people are far more likely to engage with specific numbers than they are by the vagueness many companies use.

This is often seen in articles that have surveyed a specific number of sources to then create their specific post.

For example, “We Analysed 912 Blog Posts. Here's What We Learned About Content Marketing”. The use of a specific number in its numerical form creates a sense of legitimacy over the claim that isn’t there for the same headline if it said, “hundreds of blog posts”.

6). Show. Don’t Tell.

The words you decide to use aren’t just for stimulating the emotional drivers set out by Schwab. They also have an important role in telling your readers a story. Power words alone won’t generate sales, you have to make your readers feel something.

Set the scene for your readers so they are excited. You can do this by telling a story, using ultra-specific details and hyperbolic language.

Don’t be boring and explicit by just telling us what it is. Create an environment and feel your readers can really experience.

Have you ever wondered why we can almost feel others pain just by seeing them injure themselves? It’s because of mirror neurons, a psychological phenomenon that transfers a feeling through mere observation alone.

Now admittedly, this is much easier to achieve when the action is witnessed in real life. But nevertheless, good copywriters are able to create vivid images through only words.

And, while I don’t recommend you try and use terrible gym injuries to make your readers cringe often, you can use the same principle of mirror neurons in your own copy.

Consider what you want your readers to feel? And, how can you make them feel this way?

7). Grab em’ With Headlines

So, you’ve written an incredibly persuasive and engaging copy, look at you go. However, there’s only one problem. Nobody is going to read it if it’s got a boring and characterless headline.

Remember, on average, 8 in 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 in 10 will actually read the copy that follows. This means your headlines are absolutely crucial for getting your copy exposure to your target audience.

In fact, there’s even been a case where changing one simple word in an email campaign headline resulted in an increased click-throughs of 46%! Your word choice is incredibly important, especially with headlines.

Famed copywriter David Ogilvy proposes the 50/50 rule when it comes to writing headlines.

We should spend 50% of our time on the entire copy and 50% on the headlines themselves. That is how important they are.

Thankfully, writing headlines is actually very easy. A good headline uses the same principles and tips as basic copywriting.

You want to grab your reader's attention with a headline that sticks out, something that makes it clear what your copy is all about and what they’ll gain from it.

Focus on the benefits, or the mystery behind something and pique their curiosity so they can’t help but click to find out more.

The most effective headlines deploy strategic power words to evoke the right emotions among readers and persuade them to read on and numbers to intrigue readers.

A good headline is crucial for getting your copy noticed and (more importantly) read.

Luckily for you, writing a strong and engaging headline is actually pretty easy (don’t believe us? Check out our simple guide to headlines).

Get Writing!

Copywriting is a process most people seem to overcomplicate. The beauty of persuasive writing is that it should come naturally.

You aren’t trying to impress readers with your vocabulary and 6 syllable words. People don’t want to have some obnoxious know-it-all lecture at them.

They want brands to speak to them and with them, to have a conversation, to understand them and offer solutions that are tailored perfectly for their needs.

So, don’t overdo it. Keep it relaxed and follow these simple tips to start writing better copy today. What are you waiting for? Your business, and readers, will thank you for it.

Want to find out more marketing tips to boost traffic, engagement and sales? Check out our blog for more!