If you want to stay in business, it is crucial to understand copywriting principles. A good copy is like a virtual salesperson promoting and selling your products and services to your prospects 24/7, 365 days a year. Whether you get it written by a Writer or yourself, you need to know the seven (7) secrets of good copywriting so that your Copy does its job – selling!
But first, let me explain what Copywriting is.
Copywriting is the act of writing a persuasive or informative text that subtly sells your Offer, services, and products to your target market. Think of it as a sales presentation transcribed into words and do your selling on your behalf 24/7.
Now, why should you learn the 7 secrets of copywriting fundamentals?
1. A good Copywriter can be hard to Find, and Expensive.
Depending on your luck, you might only attract a mid-tier copywriter who only captures 60-70% of what YOU wish to communicate.
2. To Avoid Cliche or Templated Copies.
Depending on your budget, you might get copywriters who use generic Copies where they swap and replace Titles & Labels to deliver your finished Copy. It is literally a “cut and pastes” activity by cloning someone’s “success” template used by other industries and making some minor changes here and there.
These self-proclaimed copywriters have purchased Swipe Files online or subscribed to Copywriting A.I software that helps them match and build copies for their client.
This strategy would work well if the copywriting style fit your business; if so, you’ll hit the jackpot and score. But if it doesn’t fit well, it will sound Cliche, Over-The-Top, and fails to resonate with your voice. As a result, you just shot yourself in the foot as you paid for some Copies that sound great in writing, but your brand just couldn’t fit in with style.
3. Better Conversion.
As a business owner, needless to say, you are the best salesperson and the best Closer for your company. Ideally, the best person to write the Copy is you because you know your customers: you understand their pain, frustrations, and wants. You know which button to push to close that deal.
But we know you cannot do everything yourself. Therefore, to extend yourself, you still need a Copywriter (not A.I) to create your content. While you (or a trusted team member) audit the work quality, tweak it or edit it using the seven elements I’m about to describe to ensure your Copies attain a near-masterpiece.
So here are seven major elements of the copywriting framework that we used most of the time, especially on my Landing/ Sales Pages and presentation.
Here it is: –
1. Attention-grabbing Headline That Focuses On An Outcome/ Result.
The Headline is the most critical section, and I recommend having a headline that focuses on attaining an outcome, a result, or a promise for your prospects.
If you can do this successfully, it will interrupt their thought pattern and channel their attention to your Copy. And the key is to understand your target audiences’ pain, frustrations, or needs/aspirations.
Here are some tips to achieve this: I use the 3W approach. First, ask yourself.
- What is one thing they yearn to fix/resolve/ remedy/ attain asap!
Outcome #1: They want to (insert experience)/ (insert a specific outcome).
- Why do they want to attain outcome #1?
Answer: because they wanted to get (insert result #2),
- Why do they want to attain result #2?
Because at a deeper level, they want to experience (insert result #3). E.g., Sense of significance/ to have options in life/ To live their ideal lifestyle/ Purpose in life.
And by now, you should understand their core pain and focus on crafting your Headline based on result #3. But if it’s too Cliche, you can revert to Result #2. Just make sure you try to say it differently.
2. Using Story To Position Your Strength
Your story is your unique positioning. Not only does it attract your ideal customer base, but it also repels the nasty ones.
Your story contextualises your branding persona or your personality. And in most instances, your customers are buying your persona.
Want to test this out?
Please think of the last time you purchased something or signed up for a service because you like their persona: attitude, temperament, aura, style, or mindset. Subconsciously, you buy from them because you enjoy dealing with the person.
When it comes to selling anything, you need to incorporate a story behind your Offer to your target customer so that they can relate and resonate with you, making the purchase decision easier.
And I’m sure you can come up with plenty of stories, but the art here is to find a story that positions your strength your unique selling points and separates you from competitors.
And you can only do this well if you understand your target customer with 80% confidence so that when you share your story, they can feel it.
3. Pitch Your Offer
When you pitch your Offer, focus 70% on triggering their emotional needs and 30% on satisfying their logic. That means the Copy should focus 70% on benefits (what’s in it for them) and 30% on features (what they get).
Exception: this rule only works if they have a burning desire to solve their problem and they see your Offer as the solution.
The reality is, if your Offer is big enough, there is little need to pitch at all. For instance, it’s easy to sell a bottle of water to a thirsty man who just came out from the desert compared to a pedestrian in the CBD.
The content in this section is the primary component of your Copy, and the aim is to explain your Offer in detail to motivate your prospects to take action: To call, To Book, To Claim, Order, Register Now, or Buy It Now.
As business owners, it is a given that customers only care about what you can do for them and the emotion they get from doing business with you. So, focus on the feelings when you pitch your Offer on paper.
Experts said it well: our left brain is geared towards analytical and methodical thinking, and our right brain gravitates towards emotional reasoning.
That means your customer’s left brain will analyse your features (logic) and deliverables, but their right brain will try to work out the benefits (emotional) – “what’s in it for me” and “do I feel good when I make this purchase”. And if it ticks all the boxes, you got a sale.
Therefore, to help them make the buying decision simple and easy, you need to have your Copy speak to two sides of their brain.
And here’s how.
- Describe your Offer in detail as well as its benefits.
- When you describe the features, make sure you explain the “So What” after each part; this helps your prospects to contextualise your Offer and bridge the gap between your Offer (feature) with their emotional needs “what’s in it for them” (benefits)
You can use the following linking phrases: (insert your feature) “…so that”, “by engaging us you get…”, or “it’s important because….”.
4. State the Price
This section can be tricky because there are two trains of thought:
- Old school approach: Do not state your price. Let your prospect read your Copy, get them excited, and make them fill out a form to demonstrate their seriousness. This method could work well if your business is a household brand, highly established, and there’s minimal competition for your service.
- State your price.
We would recommend the latter; state your price.
In this digital era, information is everywhere, prospects’ patience is scarce, their time is tight, and competition is high; your prospects only have limited time to shop around.
However, there are always exceptions. If your service revolves around a typical “how long is a piece of string” type of response, I recommend starting an indicative price range in your Copy and following with a pricing structure from lowest to dearest, leading to a “get a quote” call to action for customisable needs.
If you state your price or provide an indicative price range for your services, you will filter out the non-qualified prospects and eliminate those who cannot afford your services. Thus, saving you time and energy on having lengthy phone calls with tyre kickers.
It’s a win-win situation.
But stating a price has its disadvantage. It will make your Offer seem like a commodity like the rest of your competitors. And to avoid this, you need to use the next element.
5. Value Juxtaposition
There is a saying that customers are willing to pay top prices for a service or product if they understand the VALUE that they are getting. And it’s your job or your copywriter’s duty to explain the value so well that it is a no-brainer for your customer to make the purchase.
The word Juxtaposition in marketing means demonstrating a stark contrast between the subject (or object) A and the rest of other comparable items when placed side by side.
The mission of Juxtaposition is to shine lights on a chosen Subject (or Object) and make another comparison appears like a runner-up, making it a breeze for the audience to determine who the winner is.
Think bridesmaids. Their role was not to outshine the bride but rather to accentuate the bride through their choices of styling, dresses, and attractiveness.
If you do your value/ price Juxtaposition successfully, your company will appear as the bride, and your competitors will become the bridesmaids in the eyes of your prospects.
Therefore, your Copy must embrace the value Juxtaposition mindset. It is something that we, as business owners, must learn to cultivate.
And when you explain the value/ price juxtaposition and encapsulate it with your stories, you will differentiate your company from your competitors.
Here are a few tips to make this work.
- Study your top 3 direct competitors’ faults, strengths, pricing, and offers.
- Compare it with your Offer and pricing.
- Adjust it, refine, or make it at least 10% better.
- Identify opportunities and loopholes that you could gain a competitive edge over them.
- Do a price & value juxtaposition.
And invest money in marketing.
6. The Money-back/ Warranty Guarantee
This strategy is to minimise risk and take away some liability from your prospective customers.
Customers love risk-free or money-back guarantee offers. So, if you are selling products or tangible goods, it makes sense to offer money-back to reduce consumer risks.
But what if you are selling services?
It is often impractical to refund money to customers if you’ve already rendered services (unless you failed to deliver the agreed outcomes or breaches industry standards)
The solution is that it depends on your type of industry. If most of your competitors offer money-back, satisfaction guarantee, or risk-free offers, and you don’t, you will lose one competitive edge. But if they don’t and you do offer such conditions, you would have one competitive advantage. It is a subjective preference.
Guarantee is good to have but is not mandatory.
Alternatively, you could offer a 7 to 14 days trial. Or offer something that your prospects can give a try.
Regardless of your decision to offer a money-back or risk-free Offer, your Copy must end with the last element.
Every Copy should end with a Call-To-Action power phrase.
Throw in a couple of Call-To-Action in your Copies to remind them you are here to help.
The Call-to-Action is to instruct your prospects to take the next move.
Don’t leave them hanging.
Your Copy has done all the heavy lifting:
- The attention-grabbing Headline.
- A story to connect and relate to you.
- A sales pitch
- Pricing structure.
- Value juxtaposition.
And to wrap it up, your last step is to direct them to take the next move: To Call, To Book, Register Now, Claim It Now, buy it Now, Download To Get, Subscribe and Get.
We called these “Call-To-Action” power words.
You can also throw in some freebies/giveaways to reward them for taking action, for example, Free templates, Free 1-hour calls, Low $49, Free Assessment, Free Consultation, Etc. The mission is to improve your conversion rate and get them across the finish line.
And there you have it – the seven copywriting Secrets
Use this copywriting framework to bring success to your copies. To recap the above points, the seven elements are as follows: –
- Attention-grabbing Headline that focuses on an outcome.
- Using story to position your points.
- Pitch Your Offer: 70% emotional; 30% logical
- State your price.
- Value Juxtaposition
- Money-back guarantee, risk removal or risk minimiser
- Call to action
Now, you can use these seven copywriting elements to write your Copies or audit your copywriter’s artistry. And if they are competent, they will most probably satisfy the 7 elements described here, plus much more.
Once it is done, plug your Copy into your sales page and watch the conversion grow.
And if your Copy is well-done, you can expect it to be your virtual salesperson 24/7, 365 days a year.
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