Compelling content that converts looky-loos into money spending consumers is something every business owner needs.
They’ve read your headline and they’ve clicked. But their hand might still be hovering over that Back button. Writing compelling copy that converts will keep them on the page and make them want more. It’s important to look at your FIRST SENTENCE as a separate element from the rest of your content and not lump it together with the main content you write. Your first sentence should help the reader make the transition to the rest of your content and make them WANT TO keep reading!
Copy is writing that sells, so by definition, it has to be compelling. Does your copy also have to be concise? Yes. Does it have to be clear? Absolutely. Brevity and clarity will ensure that your message is one that folks will absorb, which is important if you want your words to be read and understood with ease. That said, the clearest, most concise copy ever written is still a bust if it doesn’t compel its readers to act.
Compelling copy fascinates its target audience and drives them to pull the trigger on a call-to-action (CTA). It does this by capturing their attention, unearthing a pain they’re desperate to assuage, and presenting a mutually valuable, solution-driven call-to-action. If you want to write compelling copy, then you have to do a lot of research and even more critical thinking.
Let’s break it down …
Writing Compelling Copy
1) Know Your Audience
In order to be effective at nearly any trade, you must know your audience. If you’re a kindergarten teacher, you wouldn’t spend your days reading Shakespeare to your class. If you’re a mechanic, you won’t spend your days telling customers funny jokes about cars rather than fixing them. If you’re a comedian, you wouldn’t stand on the stage and cry buckets about how your girlfriend dumped you and ran over your dog. If you KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE, really study what makes them tick and what things will cause them to act, you will be in a much better position to convert them to happy customers. If you know what you’re customers are looking for BEFORE you write your copy, it will be easier to highlight irresistible benefits throughout the content. Benefits that give your audience exactly what they’re looking for and also relieve specific pain points, making the offer all the more compelling to the right audience.
2) Exploit Exclusivity – Personalize!
If you really want to stand out from the masses of competition, make your prospects feel special. Tell them they’ve been “hand-selected” or “randomly picked” to receive your offer. Isolate them … but in a good way. Make them feel important. People love feeling important. In fact, self-esteem, or how we view ourselves, is near the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. That’s how important feeling important is to people. It’s a need marketers have been exploiting for decades.
3) Make it emotional.
When it comes to converting a prospect, the features of your product or service will only get you so far. Why? Because features appeal to your prospect’s logical brain. And purchases aren’t driven by logic. They hinge on emotion, which explains why good commercials make us want to laugh or cry or pick up the phone to call our mommy.
4) Draw analogies and metaphors.
A confusing or dull message is rarely compelling, mainly because people don’t pay much attention to what they don’t perceive to be valuable. If you think about it, most things in life boil down to value. It’s a potent human driver. Therefore, as a copywriter, your job is to first and foremost figure out the value in what you’re selling and then put it into clear, concise, and compelling words. The latter is almost always harder to do. And if you’re new to copywriting, it could feel almost impossible, like trying to thread a needle while riding a horse. That’s where analogies and metaphors can lend a hand. 🙂 They’re especially effective at putting concepts into perspective.
5) Create some urgency
The more relaxed and comfortable we are physically, the less eager we are to move. Nobody plops down in their favorite La-Z-Boy, puts their feet up, cracks a beer, and thinks, I can’t wait to get up. No. People don’t like moving when they’re in a comfy position. Same goes for people in a comfortable state of mind. Therefore, if your copy leaves readers with the impression that your offer will always be there, patiently waiting for them to pull the trigger, they may use that as a justification to not convert on your call-to-action. They’ll sleep on it, consider their options, and weigh the pros and cons. And after all that, they may very well do nothing at all because you gave them the chance to talk themselves out of it.
Next time, create some urgency. Set a deadline, using time-sensitive language like “This offer ends tomorrow,” or “Last chance,” or “These savings won’t last forever.” You can also play the scarcity card, reminding them that “There are only a few seats left” or that “Supplies are limited.” The point is to make your prospects feel uneasy about waiting. Strange as it sounds, the more uncomfortable they are, the more likely it is they’ll be compelled to act.
6) Tailor your Call-To-Action (CTA)
When you want lemon with your water at a restaurant, you ask. If you need help finding the milk at a grocery store, ask.
In business, you’ll want to ask potential customers/clients that are reading your content to take that next step with you. Just like you were told when you were a kid – “If you don’t ask, you won’t get.” That’s why a CTA, or a call-to-action, is one of the most compelling elements your copy can possess – as long as it’s well-executed. In other words, don’t settle for the standard “Click now” copy every time. Instead, strive to make your CTAs simple and potent; creative and forthright. Most importantly, make sure to play to your specific target audience. For example:
If you have samples of your product to get people hooked,
try “Get A Free Sample Now” CTA
If you know your target audience to be curious and discovery-oriented,
give them a “See How It Works” CTA
Now, are you going to compel everyone?
You won’t. Not even close. But don’t let that bother you. Copywriting, like any craft, is honed over time. So keep failing. Keep stubbing your toes on the hurdles. That’s natural. What isn’t natural is writing effective copy that converts. That’s where these tips and techniques can help. Practice them and, over time, you’ll steadily compel more people to take action more often.
If you need professional help, you can always call on Creative Juices for help, advice, or even just to chat about the marketing needs of your business. We’re hear to lend a hand if you need it – contact us.