Copywriting has one sole aim: To Sell (make people take action). Marketing copies remain the most critical and influential part of business marketing and advertising.
Convincing customers and clients that you or your product is the best solution to their problems, is how businesses make sales, generate leads, and close deals. This art of persuasion, when written down, becomes a copy.
However, it’s not every copy that converts.
Yeah you read that right. Some copies are smart but not compelling enough to make the reader tap that CTA button.
How do you know a good copy?
A great copy does not just sound smart or witty. It’s one that gets your ideal reader to buzz the CTA button and get to the last step in your sales funnel.
However, for a copy to be great and useful, some hacks must be present in it. We call these: the elements of copywriting. These elements help you sell naturally without sounding salesy.
Know your target audience: identify who you’re selling to. What’s the age range, gender, and income, etc. Are you selling to a particular location?
For example, If you’re selling to a particular age group, Millennials, you’ll need to tap into their emotional currency to write a copy that can resonate with them. They have words and slang that they can easily relate to. Thus, you’ll have to think like them to convert them.
While writing for middle-income people, include words that portray affordable but not too cheap to keep the product’s value intact.
Create your ideal buyer persona.
Things to take into consideration:
- Her fears and pains
- Her likes and dislikes
- Things that can move her/how she thinks
- Words that’ll resonate with her
- What questions she’s asking
- What exactly she’s looking for (this will help you determine your copy’s USP (unique selling position)
Know your product: This is the second thing you need to do before writing your copy. How much do you know about your product?
- What’s your product?
- What problem does it solve for your target buyer?
- What benefits do these features offer?
- How’s the product different from similar products? (This is the big idea of your copy. Every compelling copy has that big idea that gives the reader the aha moment).
You should be able to answer all these questions in a sentence. Thus, it’d be much easier to write the rest of the copy as it’ll become your writing GPS.
Do not get carried away by the product features that you forget to write what benefit or problem they solve for your ideal buyer.
People are reading your copy for themselves. Therefore, endeavor to address their pain points and proffer your product as the best solution to it.
To get the elements of copywriting right in your copy, you need to establish these two Ks. Therefore, do not take them lightly.
The 7 Ultimate Elements of Copywriting
1. Captivating, Delicious, and Meaningful Headline
The headline is the most critical part of your copy. No one is going to read your copy if the headline doesn’t capture their attention. It is your copy’s elevator pitch to your audience who has less than 5 seconds to scroll past. That’s why it’s a critical element of copywriting. Your headline needs to stand out and capture attention.
Spend enough time to work on your headline. If possible, write down 5 to 10 headlines for the copy and pick the one that works best.
Recipes you need for a delicious headline:
- Use power words in your headline. This evokes emotions and resonates immediately with your target audience. Which of these headlines will you click on if you’re looking for an app that’ll boost your productivity: (a) Mobile App That Increases Productivity
Best Mobile App That Skyrockets Your Productivity
The second one, right?
Check out Jon Morrow’s 801+ Power Words That Pack a Punch and Convert like Crazy for more examples of power words that’ll make you a better writer.
- Your headline should be clear, specific, and straightforward.
- It should be concrete so the buyer can imagine/visualize the results
- It should have an element of curiosity
2. Clarity, Brevity, and Relevance
Your copy should be precise, concise, and pointed.
The clarity and brevity of your copy will determine whether you confuse your reader or get your points across to them.
Can you communicate the idea in fewer words without a reduction in quality? Then, do it. People will glaze over long pieces but can read shorter pieces because they feel it won’t take much of their time. Endeavor to give maximum information in minimum words. Get rid of the irrelevancies, repetitions, and circumlocutions.
However, brevity doesn’t mean bare bones or stripped down. Take as long as you need to tell the story. (The length of the copy is dictated by the kind of product you’re marketing). The notion of brevity has more to do with cutting fat, bloat, and things that indulge the writer and don’t respect the reader’s time. Keep it tight.
Relevance means your copy clearly helps the reader do something that matters to them—you help them shoulder their burdens, you ease their pain, or you help them make a decision.
Things to consider for brevity and clarity
- Place the most important words and ideas at the beginning of each sentence. Get rid of the modifiers and qualifiers and focus on giving them the main idea first.
- Make it clear. Don’t make the reader work hard to understand you.
- Criticize your work. Are there unnecessary words and sentences? Are you digressing into something useful, or is it a distraction for your reader?
- Edit! Rewrite! Edit!
- Swap places with your reader in your head and shape the copy into what will most resonate with him.
Empathy is a critical element in a copy. Your copy cannot convert if it lacks empathy and emotion. Great copy is one that shows you understand your reader’s pains, feel for him, and proffer the best solution. That’s the art of selling without sounding salesy. Nobody wants to be sold to. Nevertheless, they want to know that you care and there to help them with your product or service.
“Your ideal buyer should become like an imaginary friend that’s seeking to buy something. You should know your ideal reader so well that you can start a conversation with her at any time. You know when she shakes her head because you say something she disagrees with; what makes her smile or laugh; the questions she asks; how to charm and flatter her, and how to help out.” — says Meera Kothand in her book, The One Hour Content Plan.
- Think about your customer first.
- What is it that your customer is needing?
- Then, how can you uniquely solve that?
- How can you create compelling content and treat it from a different perspective from your competitors?
4. Keep it conversational. Speak to one person at a time
The importance of selling to one person at a time can never be overemphasized. Envision the ideal person you wish to read your copy; what actions can you imagine him doing while reading the work? Write to him instead of writing to a nameless and faceless audience that you know nothing about.
“Rather than writing for the masses, to an audience, I’ll never see or meet or hug, I imagine the person I want most to love my story. I envision them fully: What they’re wearing, how they’re sitting, how their eyes are moving, and so on. It helps me visualize when to slow down or speed up. Whether my words are too complex or easy, their reactions tell me when it’s time to use an example, or move the scene, or close the chapter.” — By Matthew Ferrara in his blog post, Write for one person.
Write to just one person at a time. ‘You’ and ‘yours’ should be your tone of writing. YOU is one of the most important words in writing.
Writing with ‘you’ focuses on the reader. She has a reason to stick through the length of your copy because you are writing for her. The buyer begins to trust that you care.
Write conversationally. And endeavor to connect the reader to his pain points time and again through examples and stories spread across the article.
If you’re just starting in copywriting: Endeavor to read the 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Copywriting (Copywriting rules to skyrocket conversion)
5. Make your offer Big, Bold, and Promising. (USP):
We will start with this: what are you selling, and how does it benefit the customer? You must distill this “big idea” down to a single, clear sentence. Clarifying and articulating your “big idea” is a crucial step in the selling process. What unique experience are you offering?
“You can do homework from now until doomsday, but you will never win fame and fortune unless you also invent big ideas. It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” – David Ogilvy.
Study your product to discover the big idea that is different from your competitors, then present it to your buyer in a way they can’t resist, by illuminating the problem they didn’t even know was there and how the features of your product or service are the best solution they’d ever come across.
6. Make the Copy Scannable:
People are not reading web content any longer. They scan them. 73% of readers skim content while only 27% consume them thoroughly, according to recent marketing statistics released by Hubspot.
Therefore, your copy needs to be formatted for skimmers. Endeavor to have this available in your copy as it’ll augment the other elements of copywriting.
Here are simple ways to do that:
- Use bullet points
- Highlight your main points
- Create subsections and subheadings (if the need be)
- Use plenty of white space.
- Keep the paragraphs short.
7. Include a call to action (CTA):
This is the most important element of copywriting. You have done all this great work and gotten your reader excited. Are you going to let him go like that? The difference between a lead and a conversion is the CTA. That’s why you can’t leave it to chances. Place CTA buttons at strategic places in your copy to help with the ease of conversion.
Your customers want them, and they’re the cherry on top of your copy. Don’t miss it!
Other elements of Copywriting to consider:
- Include trigger and power words in the body of your copy.
- Add a lot of white space with short paragraphs.
- Cut the fluffs and jargons (remember rule 2).
- Add some storytelling to the copy ( use testimonials if available)
- Words matter. Your words (what you say) and style (how you say it) are your most cherished (and, yet, undervalued) assets.
- Illuminate the problems and provide the benefits of your product as the solution, without sounding salesy.