How to Copywrite: 4 Powerful Tips You Can Use Immediately
Want more copywriting tips? Get checklist with 6 easy copy tweaks that will turn website browsers into happy buyers!
It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
You want to catch your customers’ attention (gotta catch ’em all, eh?)…
…But somehow, it seems impossible.
How do you sound like a real human being and not a r-o-b-o-t?
How do you keep your readers engaged instead of making them hit the snooze button?
And, how do you move them to action so that they don’t quickly exit your site?
Fortunately, there’s a cure. Read on to learn how to copywrite with four specific copy tips that you can use right now:
1. How urgency triggers action
As humans, we’re extremely complicated creatures.
But we’re incredibly predictable when it comes to certain things.
In his book “Influence,” Robert Cialdini talks about ‘click, whirr’ responses. What he means by that is that there are specific situations in which we always respond in a certain way.
And those situations are successfully used by persuasive salespeople to get us to comply with their requests.
But we’re not here to talk about that. Instead, we’ll look at how you can use one ‘click, whirr’ response in your content to get your readers to act on it.
The ‘click, whirr’ response we’ll talk about today is…
Yup, as humans we’re wired to respond to urgency.
Think about it. We (as humans) seek comfort and security. Our comfort zone is our status quo.
But if there’s urgency, we act.
1000s of years ago that was how we survived:
- Big, angry animal leaping out of the bush? Urgency.
- Out of food and you have 20 mouths to feed? Urgency.
- An angry mob of rivaling villagers throwing spears at you? Urgency.
Fast forward to today, most of us don’t have animals or angry villagers attacking us or 20 mouths to feed.
But we do have sales pages.
What happens if you come across a sales page with no urgent offer?
You research alternatives, you weight the pros and cons, you consult everyone including your grandma and on and on it goes. Do you take action and buy the product, even if, deep down, you know it will help you in a big way?
But what happens if you come across a sales page that requires you to act instantly?
Someone just made more money.
The same applies to all types of content…
Blog posts, emails, social media, web copy, etc. etc. If there’s urgency, you act.
But how do you use urgency in your content?
Let’s look at some examples:
There are one hundred and ten ways to include urgency in your sales offer. For example, never, ever let your customers purchase your product indefinitely. Ruthlessly enforce an end date to your offer.
It feels scary.
You’re afraid of losing all those customers. But it’s necessary that you do this. Or, your customers will never stop scratching their heads, and you’ll never get your sale.
Plus, why don’t you remind your customers what happens if they DON’T take action?
Remind them that they NEED to take action to get to where they want to be. Otherwise, they’ll be left behind.
That creates urgency, too.
When you write things like emails and blog posts, a lot of it comes down to moving your customers to click through.
For example, what’s the ultimate goal you want to achieve with your blog posts?
Yup, you want people to convert to subscribers.
Correct, you want to get them to take a certain action, like visit your site or landing page.
So how do you do that?
Well, your headline is like… the #1 thing.
It’s what determines if people even visit your site or open your email, let alone share your post or take the required action (= you achieve what you want with your blog post or email).
Now, let me ask you:
Which headline sounds better to you:
#1 5 Best Landing Page Templates
#2 5 Best Landing Page Templates That Increase Sales Immediately
What’s the difference?
I know. Duh, dumb question.
#1 is lame, and #2 creates urgency.
And that’s how you get people to take the action you want them to take.
Just to be clear:
You should never, ever create false urgency. After all, you’re not in the business of lying.
For example, saying that an offer is time limited and then continuing that offer after the time limit has passed is not cool.
Instead, the urgency you create is there to get your customers to realize why they need to take action and not get stuck on their sofas watching Oprah. It’s there to motivate and move your customers to an offer that’s truly helpful to them.
2. Stop sounding like a robot!
Does this sound familiar?
You’re at a dinner party or wherever and you’re stuck listening to someone for hours and hours. Unfortunately, all that person talks about is something you’re completely disinterested in.
Is that the most frustrating situation or what?
You’d rather be balancing on the bridge of Mount Doom than sit there and listen to this person ranting about something you don’t care about.
I’ll tell you why…
That person talks AT you, not WITH you.
But wait a sec.. What does this have to do with your content and copy?
It has everything to do with your copy!
One of the biggest mistakes I see in business content over and over and over again is that businesses talk AT their customers, not WITH them.
But one of the main rules for creating compelling content is this:
You NEED to forge a personal relationship with your reader.
Here are three specific rules you can use every time you create content. Use them and you make your readers feel like they’re listening to a good friend and not a spambot or robot.
I have a quick quiz for you.
Which of these sentences is more engaging to you?
#1. “An audience can be built in several ways. In fact, I’ve successfully used all of these tips to grow my business. And they work like a charm! This is what I did:….”
#2. “Do you want to grow your audience? There are several ways in which you can do this. I’ve successfully used all of these tips to grow my business, so I know they work. Here’s how you can use them for your business:…”
Want to take a guess?
Easy. The second sentence.
Can you spot the difference between them?
Yup, #1 is from the writer’s perspective, and #2 is ALL about the reader.
It’s a small change.
But it makes all the difference.
When you write content, a good rule of thumb is to ensure that there are more “you” than “I” in your copy.
That’s not to say that you should NEVER include “I.”
Yes, you should.
That way, you make your reader feel like there’s a real person on the other side. Or you can use your own experience in your text.
Just make sure you frequently use “you.”
“The following rule is a recommendation that can be used for building personal relationships with business leads. Consequently, leads become more receptive to a business’ message.”
See what I did there?
I wrote in a formal, archaic way.
If you want to put your readers to sleep, that’s the way to go.
If you want your readers to keep engaged and take action, it’s a big no-no.
Write like you talk.
Notice how I break sentences, use slang, and so forth?
I’m literally jotting down my thoughts. Everything I write, I write in the way I (and other people) speak.
Over 70% of Americans read at a 3rd-grade level. With this in mind, your content needs to be easy to read. Write as you speak and you achieve just that.
Plus, it’s much easier to build a personal connection with your readers.
If they feel that you’re a breathing person with a genuine personality, it’s much easier for them to like and trust you.
Last but not least, there’s one more rule I want to talk about.
Namely, when in doubt, put yourself in your readers’ shoes.
Just read your sentence out loud. Is it something you’d be interested in? Would you take action? Why? Why not?
By doing that, you write your content to a real person (yourself). That makes your content much more engaging and relatable.
And what do you get?
You’ll like this one…
Raving fans who take action on your content.
The next time you write content, keep these three rules in mind.
They’ll make your content ten times better (or more).
3. A small tweak that gets people to follow through
When you write content, the odds are stacked against you.
People are busy.
There’s A LOT of clutter. Meaning, your content needs to catch your reader’s attention. Pronto.
Else, they won’t stick around. Sad face.
Fortunately, there are several hooks you can use to keep your customers glued to your offering.
Today, we’ll talk about one such hook.
You know, there are a couple of things your readers notice about your content.
Like your headline. It’s what makes them click through to your site.
Or images. They help keep engagement rates up.
Bolded text, quotes, italics… They’re all important for engagement and conversions.
But there’s that one thing that most people don’t know about.
Namely, a post script.
Yeah, those PS’s are pretty powerful.
Post scripts work because of Serial Position Effect, a psychological trait. Here’s how KissMetrics explains it:
“At the crux, the Serial Position Effect states that the item that’s placed last in a series draws as much attention as the item placed at the beginning of the series.”
Plus, people like to get bite-sized information. While all the other information is there to support your call to action, your PS plays an important role:
It crunches down that information into a clear point that’s easy to act on.
The most obvious way to use a PS is to enforce your call to action.
For example, if you want your readers to visit your site, you would post the link again in the PS. Or remind them of your offer.
Alternatively, you can build up your reader’s expectation.
The thing you shouldn’t do in the PS is to mention a new idea. That just confuses your reader.
While PS’s might make the most sense in email copy, there’s no reason why you couldn’t use them in blog posts and other content now and then.
4. Put a smile on their faces!
I saved the best content tip for last.
This hack is especially useful if you don’t feel like the best writer in the world and you’re clueless about how to copywrite.
It helps you communicate emotions WITHOUT words.
What’s the hack?
Here’s a hint for ya:
Can you guess what it is?
Before we dive in, let’s look at how your customers engage with your content.
First, consider this:
You know that an image can say more than a hundred words. Not very surprisingly, people like to engage with images rather than with text.
Second, here’s a lil’ brain teaser for you:
Ever thought about how the Internet makes it pretty hard for us to communicate with other humans?
Not that we wouldn’t have the tools to do it.
But communicating with other humans on the Internet is hard because we can never be 100% sure of what they’re feeling and thinking.
And yet, as humans, we mimic each other.
If someone smiles, we smile.
If someone yawns, we yawn.
But we can’t do this when we talk to people on the interwebs.
…So where does this take us?
Studies show that when we see an emoticon, our brains interpret it in the same way as a human face.
When you see a smiley face, your brain interprets it as a human smile.
Subsequently, you might even alter your mood.
Interestingly enough, people who feel that they have a connection with you and like you are more likely to say yes and take action.
By adding smileys, you can build a connection with your readers, and they might take action on your offering.
Yup, and that’s why you should use ’em when you create content.
Obviously, don’t bombard your readers with emoticons (they’ll just lose their magic powers). But trickle them here and there.
Here’s a problem, though: What if you don’t feel like you can use emoticons in your content? What if your industry is stiff and conservative?
As with all these copy tips, you need to consider whether they fit YOUR brand and voice.
Does it feel completely unnatural to use emoticons?
Then don’t do it.
But do keep in mind that the way we communicate is changing. Even if your target industry is on the conservative side, a smile might not hurt every time.
Ok, that’s it! We’ve now looked at 4 specific copy tips that show you how to copywrite by boosting your copy with engagement and action.
Any other tips you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments below.
Want more copywriting tips? Get checklist with 6 easy copy tweaks that will turn website browsers into happy buyers!
Psst… Quick thing before you go:
If you liked this article, click the💚 below so other people will see it here on Medium.