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  • Writer's pictureSarah Turnbull

How Do I Write Copy That Converts?

Effective copywriting is an indispensable skill for businesses and marketers.

woman sitting on the floor smiling, looking at the camera

Many business owners – and I was guilty of this when I had my own manufacturing company – write what they want to tell the audience, whereas copywriters are trained to write about what the audience wants to hear.

Often, business owners are a little too close to the coal face and it’s beneficial to have someone outside of the organisation to create copy to convert browsers into buyers. Here are some of my tops tips for creating copy that converts:

To Write Copy that Converts, You Need to Understand Your Audience:

It’s critical to understand your audience. I know that sounds a bit obvious, but it’s the foundation of any copywriting activity. A copywriter will conduct thorough research to identify their pain points, problems, desires and motivations.

A valuable exercise is to create detailed buyer information and then create persona(s) that encompass demographic information, interests and challenges. Once I’ve looked at the wider target audience, I create a persona of the specific person I’m writing to.

This is particularly useful if the writing is in more on a conversational tone of voice. By understanding the audience you’re writing for then visualising a specific person, you can really tailor your copy to resonate deeply with their needs. This makes your copy more compelling and persuasive.

Think about your persona’s likes and dislikes, their family dynamic, what their motivations are – for example, is it desire or fear? How old are they? How much do they earn? Are they happy, healthy? All these things help build a picture.

Craft a Captivating Headline:

The headline is the first impression your copy makes, and around 80% of readers ONLY read the headline. That headline’s got to make an impression and give your audience a reason to read on.

It’s got to grab attention. It’s got to appeal to their desire or fear motivation. It’s got to spark curioisity. I always recommend that it’s got to highlight a benefit, because benefits are the thing that make people take action.

You can also use power words, numbers and emotional triggers to engage your readers and entice them to read further.

Focus on Benefits, Not Features:

Anyone who knows me, knows that this is one of my mantras. Benefits sell.

This is where the real difference between a skilled copywriter and a business owner is demonstrated.

I’m not trying to be rude, but business owners are often too close to their business to write about it objectively. I know I was, before I trained as a copywriter. I wrote about what my products were, when I should have been writing more about what the benefits of those products were. In hindsight, if I had, I’d have sold even more!

People are inherently interested in how a product or service can benefit them. Instead of bombarding readers with a laundry list of features, highlight the advantages and outcomes they can expect, clearly set out how your offering solves their problems, saves time, improves their lives, or provides unique value.

You need to paint a vivid picture of the transformation they'll experience by using your product or service. That’s what will sell! Answer the question, ‘what’s in it for me if I buy this product or service?’

Use Persuasive Language and Psychological Triggers:

woman holding a mug laughing, dressed in blue

To write copy that converts, you must employ persuasive language and tap into the triggers that influence decision-making. That’s obviously benefits again, but there are others too.

You can use storytelling to create an emotional connection with your audience. You can also use social proofing – people trust people - testimonials and case studies to build credibility. But keep it short, because people want to get to the nub of the matter quickly.

You can use scarcity, exclusivity and the fear of missing out (‘FOMO’) to generate a sense of urgency.

All these things work and create copy that converts. If your audience knows, likes and trusts you, even better. These things also encourage action.

Craft Compelling Calls to Action (‘CTAs’):

A strong call to action is crucial to driving conversions.

"Tell your audience what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it."

Clearly communicate the action you want your audience to take and give them the tools to be able to do it. Always start your CTAs with a verb and if you can build in urgency, even better.

Experiment with different formats, such as buttons, hyperlinks or even interactive elements to optimise engagement. Ensure your CTAs align with the overall flow of your copy and lead users seamlessly to the next stage of their journey.

Optimise for Readability and Scannability:

In today's era of information overload, people skim through content. If you’ve grabbed the attention of your reader with your headline, make it easy for them to get what they need in the body copy.

Keep it short. Pack it with benefits and make it scannable. Make your copy easy to read and scan by using subheadings, bullet points and short paragraphs.

You can also highlight key phrases and use formatting elements like bold or italic text to draw attention to important points. If suitable, employ a conversational tone and avoid jargon to ensure your copy is accessible to a wide range of readers.

Make Your Copy About the Reader, Not You:

women drinking cup of tea, while laughing

For every ‘I,’ ‘me’ or ‘we,’ you should 10 x ‘you,’ ‘your’ or ‘yours.’ Imagine you’re reading copy – you’ll have seen it, no doubt, and it’s all ‘me, me, me.’ It’s a turn-off. By focusing your attention on the reader and using you,’ ‘your’ or ‘yours’ throughout the copy, the reader will realise that THEY are the most important part of the equation, and they’ll appreciate that.

Test, Analyse and Revise:

Copywriting is both an art and a science. Continuously test different versions of your copy to identify what works best for your target audience.

A/B testing can help you compare the performance of various headlines, CTAs and persuasive techniques. A/B testing is where you send different versions of the same copy to small ‘control groups’ and you can then analyse the data, draw insights and change your copy based on the results.

Remember, the more you learn about your audience and their preferences, the more effective your copywriting efforts will become. A/B testing helps you see what works best for your audience.

In summary, writing copy that converts is a skill that can be developed with practice, research and a deep understanding of your target audience.

By implementing the strategies outlined above, you can create copy that captivates readers, addresses their needs and inspires them to take action!

Like to know more? I'm always happy to have a quick chat and give some advice or copy coaching.

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