Get The First Sentence Read
Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing. The art and science of direct-response copywriting involves strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action. So, what’s the primary purpose of your headline, your graphics, your fonts, and every other part of the content? The simple, surprising answer is… To get the first sentence read. This blog will help you understand the importance of copywriting that gets people to take action.
This is an extremely valuable way to go about structuring any writing, and it’s crucial to writing intended to persuade or sell. Many times we find ourselves so eager to arrive at our conclusion that we forget that the essence of making a persuasive point is how we get there. A strong, compelling headline is critical. Immediately focusing on the benefit to the reader. You must make a promise to the reader that you later fulfill, and you must back up everything you’ve said with very specific proof.
Keep it simple. Good copy is written in clear, concise, simple words that get your point across. It’s conversational. You can also fracture the occasional rule of grammar, if it helps to make your writing more digestible. Sentence fragments, one-sentence paragraphs, beginning with conjunctions and ending in prepositions are all fine, even desirable. And don’t forget to use plenty of bullets and numbered lists. Think your audience is too sophisticated for this? Don’t be so sure. A recent study shows that more than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges in the United States could not:
- Interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure;
- Understand the arguments of newspaper editorials; or
- Compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees.
The bad news is that these kids are more literate than the average US adult, which is not that surprising considering that the vast majority of US adults have less education. So … keep it simple and clear. No one will ever complain that your writing is too easy to understand.
Write Headlines That Work
Your headline is the first (and perhaps only) impression you make on a prospective reader. Without a headline or post title that turns a skimmer into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist. But a headline can do more than simply grab attention. A great headline can also communicate a full message to its intended audience, and it absolutely must lure the reader into your body text. At its essence, a compelling headline must promise some kind of benefit or reward for the reader, in trade for the valuable time it takes to read more.
According to some of the best copywriters of all time, you should spend half of the entire time it takes to write a piece of persuasive content on the headline. So if you have a blog post that is really important to you or your business, one that you really want people to read, you should downright obsess over your post title. Here are some interesting statistics. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece. The better the headline, the better your odds of beating the averages and getting what you’ve written read by a larger percentage of people.
Headlines, subheads and bullets should:
• Be USEFUL to the reader,
• Provide him with a sense of URGENCY,
• Convey the idea that the main benefit is somehow UNIQUE; and
• Do all of the above in an ULTRA-SPECIFIC way.
Copywriting that gets people to take action takes work and focus, but the effort will make you a more popular blogger and/or social media poster and MAYBE a more profitable businessperson overall. If your business needs copywriting, contact Denise Hood at 434 964 7511 or send this CONTACT FORM