What’s the point of having a website when nobody scrolls past your hero image?
If your value proposition doesn’t catch your prospect’s attention and fails to lead them past the following copy, you’re losing business faster than a descending aircraft.
Your homepage is the most important real estate online. And a bad homepage can tarnish your reputation.
Homepage copy should highlight the benefits your reader can reap out of working with you. It should talk about how you’re capable of pulling them out of their current situation and building a bridge that enables them to move closer to their goals.
Use these simple homepage copywriting techniques to empathize with your audience:
Replace “I”, “We”, “Our”, “Ours” with “You”, “Your” and “Yours” to make your copy appealing to your prospects instead of tooting your own horn. Let the message on your website invite them already. Show them you’re here..solely..to serve them. Prove it to them that they are your priority and you’re nothing short of value.
Make sure you state what you do – loud and clear. You could be a startup owner, creative entrepreneur, agency owner or an angel investor – whoever you are – Say it. Declare it. Announce it. But do it in a way that highlights the one biggest benefit you offer, the one big problem you solve for your prospects.
Highlight the outcome of your product or service. You are in business for a reason. You work hard for that one purpose – to help your clients. But a majority of the homepage copy found online barely scratch the surface of communicative marketing.
Explain the outcome and let the message sink in. Let them relate, imagine, desire and own the outcome. Then, they’re ready to buy.
Offer an incentive. A homepage without an incentive is a waste of your online real estate. You are letting your hot leads slip away in a snap instead of catalyzing the opportunity to bring them closer to your brand.
Show them what it’s like to work with you. Let them taste your work. At first, give immense value. And then give some more. This goes without saying.
Include conversion metrics in your testimonials, include real stats from real people and bring the number game on. This makes your prospects trust you more. It’s like feeling safe to get treated by the same doctor who treated your uncle earlier rather than landing up in a certain Dr. Strange’s office. It’s pure human psychology at work.
Optimizing your homepage is easy. You just have to make sure you’re checking the above list.
If it’s a physical product, they want to know exactly what it’s made of.
If it’s a service, they want to know what they get.
If it’s a solution, they want to know how it works.
Once they know the details, they’re ten times more likely to buy from you.
Now, why does this work?
The ever-curious human mind stops releasing the stress hormone, cortisol, the moment it understands that you are in a familiar environment.
By giving out the exact details of working with you, you’re creating a safe, future environment for the reader by telling the reader’s brain that:
You’re in a safe, familiar environment
You’re with someone who knows how you feel and empathizes with you
You can stop being in the fight-or-flight mode
Marketing is about understanding your audience, empathizing with them and inviting them to know more about your offer – nothing more, nothing less.
You’re here to talk about how you can free your audience from that big fat suffering that’s been hindering their growth and transformation.
How to keep your audience thinking about what you said
The reason you remember the story from the movie you watched when you were 10 but not the history lesson is because you mirrored and experienced the emotions played in the movie.
How you can use this technique to win your audience over:
Pinpoint your audience’s exact pain points and address that in your copy
Identify with their fears and anxieties and acknowledge that in your copy
Promise the desired outcome (and deliver it in your product please)
What not to do in your copy
Okay, if you don’t keep the conversation going between you and your reader, the connection dies.
So, make your reader feel heard, understood and important.
This is how you roll:
It is when you DON’T make them feel zoned out – they start relating to you.
It is when you DON’T make them feel like a faceless speck from the masses – they start valuing you.
It is when you make them feel understood – the chemistry of liking strikes.
So it all boils down to understanding your reader. Inside out.
When you synthesize your audience’s thoughts that they find difficult to express, you win their trust.
When your audience feelunderstood, they take the first step toward trusting you and believing in what you have to say. This tells them that you know where they’re coming from – a point of stress and struggle – a point that YOU have surpassed – a point in place they want to be
How to develop a memorable voice and brand personality through copywriting
Now that you know what to say, let’s focus on how you say it.
Your voice is nothing but your thought process – how you identify what to say and when.
Your tone is the language and mood and feelings you use to convey the message.
I’ve always loved Mailchimp copy. And you know what makes readers love Mailchimp? The tone. It’s easy, flowy and minimalistic. Notice the adjectives I used to describe the tone? That’s how you develop a personality around your brand.
Look at this example here.
The above form makes it want to sign up and see how easy it can actually be to get started with a Mailchimp account. You too, right?
That’s the magic of having a distinct voice and tone. People actually listen to you speak.
You too can develop a tone. Let’s run through these examples quickly to find out how.
1. People are addicted to cell phones.
2. Smart screen toxicity is harming youngsters.
What sounds more vivid and powerful to you? 1 or 2?
The first statement is normal that uses everyday words.
But the second one? It’s exactly pointing out who it’s harming the most – the youngsters. What is harming? – Smart Screen Toxicity. It’s done in an unconventional manner – yet without using any jargons that a layman wouldn’t understand. That’s how you develop a voice.
How not to sound in your copy
Let’s get straight to the point.
Don’t sound like you and your competitor are cut from the same cloth
Be different but never be inappropriate
Think aloud, but don’t harm
Don’t force/coax/pressurize/confuse your readers
Don’t limit user personas to a set of demographic data but also care about your audience’s tastes, traits, and behavior in as much.
Don’t talk. Make a statement.
Okay, these are the 6 big tips to follow every time you start with a copywriting project.
To practice, today you go back and pick a page of copy.
Rewrite the page by applying the tips and techniques you read just now and tell me how you feel about it at the end of the exercise 🙂
Content is the endocrine system that creates the image of your company. Content is what makes your company a brand.
Pick any big name and you know about it because of the reach the company has had. This kind of outreach is a product of consistent content marketing efforts the brand has invested in to reap the benfits of consistent lead flow in the long term.
But creating on-brand, value-based, educative content is not an easy affair. It takes months of planning and consistent creative efforts to come up with content your audience revere.
Employ these 5 essential strategies to create timeless content that attracts your best seeker.
5 Essential Strategies to create timeless content
Create content that is hard to copy
Create content that is easy to use
Double check your grammar and spellings
Create content to connect with your readers
Do not deviate from purpose and context
Create content that is hard to copy
If you want to make your content an experience, it has to be unique and individualized.
To make it unique, use excerpts from your own business interactions. Talk about events that occurred between you and your clients. Narrate de facto episodes and instances in your content.
The one thing people can’t steal from you is your experience. It’s exclusive to you. Now, how do you apply this idea and use it to your advantage to create content?
Talk about your work process that highlights the direction your prospect is hungry for. When you highlight your work process in a blog or case study or any of your company marketing material, you’re instantly checking off objections in your audience’s minds by:
Feeding their curiosity – by giving the exact steps they’ll be walked through during your work process
Eliminating anxiety – by mapping out clear directions
Establishing authority – clear processes are a result of the experience that comes from the learning you’ve applied from your failures
Content that connects relieves your audience and builds their confidence because they now believe they’ve found the solution they’ve always wanted. It’s like going to meet your audience at a point where they are, instead of asking them for directions.
Banking on the not-so good-things
You can bring your negative experiences and present them as valuable lessons. To show you how – nobody knows about the challenges you have faced in coming up with the robust system you have now. I am sure you have learned your lessons from this. Turn this experience into a shareable excerpt that instills trust and confidence in your readers.
By talking about these learnings, you demonstrate your openness. Plus, you are bringing a real story that has lived with you. Real stories are charming because everybody wants to know what happened to your product/event/client meeting at the end. That’s what it means to show and not just tell.
Help your content with the what happened angle and you will be, remembered.
Create content that is easy to use
The web is filled with beaten content. It’s either overused or still greasy.
Starting your headlines with facts and figures used to be a thing where an average writer would stick an unimportant stat in the headline just to make it more believable even though the headline never explained how it was beneficial. And when you do that, you almost never convince your reader to actually click on the headline. All your effort goes in vain.
Easily consumable content is:
Clear and concise
Actionable (not just inspirational)
The great content overwhelm
Let’s talk about the other face of marketing – Content Fatigue
Do your readers a favor, save them that unwanted stress! If the gurus tell you to write a minimum of 2000 words and the content you are creating doesn’t stretch that far, then do not write 2000 words just to keep up with a random rule.
Write for your readers, not for rules.
Creating flubby-dubby conundrums or writing lengthy unwanted stories, stuffing images unnecessarily, throwing in stats at the drop of a hat makes your content forced and coerced. Avoid. All of this.
Is grammar and spellings everything?
Although the internet may forgive you for typos, sometimes, bumbling with grammar and syntax can get annoying.
You instantly look down upon a piece of writing that that calls more than one mouse mouses instead of mice. Agree?
Sometimes, typos can get annoying as silly errors tend to change the meaning of a sentence completely leaving the reader baffled and thwarted.
“Their wasn’t a way out” – sounds awfully misleading and confusing. Yes?
But, in a quest to obsess over grammar, syntax, and spellings, don’t ignore the big work.
Typos can be forgiven if the content is exceptional. – Adam Connell
Adam Connell, the chief wizard behind Blogging Wizard goes on to say – “We’re only human, so mistakes happen. That said, when people find typos, it can cause them to question the credibility of a website – particularly in sales copy or any page that someone would use to evaluate a buying decision.
Ultimately, how significantly typos impact your results can largely depend on the type of content and exactly who your audience is.”
So, if you do not want to risk your position, it is best to avoid typos and severe grammar errors that question your credibility.
Create content to connect with your readers
We write and create content to communicate what we know and express what we think. This is just one side of the story.
Your readers read your content because they want to learn, know, make aware, be informed and ultimately feel how they want to feel. That is why, it is important to write content that influences, and not just informs.
Sharp writers choose each word with piercing precision. – Henneke Duistermaat
No doubt Henneke is the best of writers. She knows how to evoke your senses. Look at the choice of her words – piercing precision! Isn’t that incredible? Your word selection makes or breaks your content. Because there’s no choice – you have to be empathetic when you’re writing. You have to give your audience what they’re searching for. If you promised a solution in your headline, deliver it. If you promised a result in your headline deliver it. That’s how you connect and keep your readers.
Do not deviate from purpose and context
Are stories overdone? We all know that marketing pushes stories like it’s the bloodline of the marketing system. Stories are being pumped into content like never before.
But, what we see today, especially in email newsletters is a bunch of irrelevant, irreverent stories with a connection so weak that you begin to hate business emails.
What should you do?
Cut the crap and deliver what is needed. Even if you have to break rules.
When the whole world is drumming about using stories in your content, it is alright to go without it if you do not have a worthy story that connects.
I have seen emails with subject lines like “My mother’s death anniversary + Fast action bonuses“. I find this kind of subject lines obnoxiously careless and insensitive. You too, right?
Capitalizing on your mother’s death and mixing business by writing a story in the email about how loving your mommy was – an absolute NO!
It is a huge turn-off and people unsubscribe. You don’t have to bring your mother’s death anniversary to build context. It is off-putting.
So please, avoid using such click-bait headlines and cheesy marketing tactics. It is 2020! If you promise something in your headline, make sure you keep your promise by delivering what you are supposed to.
Tip: Check how to write promising headlines and also keep the promise.
Evergreen content is continuously improvised and nurtured. It is not a one-time task, it is a process. So, to summarize:
Timeless content is – exclusive, consumable, grammatically correct, evoking and in context.
What do you do to make your content evergreen? Do you have anything else to add to this list? Tell me in the comments below.
Copywriting. This term can be condescending, I know.
The word “copywriting” can evoke baffling questions like these:
Is copywriting about copying? Is it copy-pasting?
No kidding, such questions are asked for real.
So, what is copywriting?
Copywriting is the art and science of putting words that absolve the reader’s objections and persuade the reader to take a pre-defined action.
Good copywriting is backed by a thorough study of the psychological behavior of the business’ audience. It involves a step by step procedure that gathers detailed information about the target visitor.
In the digital age, copywriting is synonymous with web copywriting or direct response copywriting. Web copy is written to lead the target prospect to act on a CTA.
Copywriting is an intense process. As a copywriter, it is your responsibility to know your customer’s business in and out. The business functions, benefits, features, USP, value proposition, objections, problems, FAQs, mission, vision, audience and so much more.
What does a typical copywriting process look like?
Ideally, a copywriter gets business information from the client in the form of a questionnaire with specific answers. Specificity is the key. It is up to the copywriter to ask questions that fetch unambiguous information avoiding back and forth communication.
Based on the information in the questionnaire, the copywriter studies the customer info and derives a customer profile.
The copywriter designs a wireframe sketch to make the copy come with a flow. The wireframe sketch decides the fluidity of the copy.
The positives and features of the product or service are aggregated and converted into benefits.
The copywriter comes up with a clear value proposition that tells the purpose of the business website. No beating around the bush here. It has to be clear and concise.
This is followed by rounds of editing, search engine optimization and testing the copy.
Note: A prospect is determined by the business whose products are designed for a certain demographic.
Why should a copywriter know everything about the company?
To define the value proposition
You are writing copy for the company’s customer. You are writing copy to convince the prospect. The prospective visitor comes with many questions. Answering all their in-mind questions on-page is the goal of web copy.
In order to answer their questions, you should know the business inside out. If you do not know about the company functions and operations unique to that company, your value proposition fails. If you do not know why the company does what it does, you fail to get the purpose in words.
The value proposition is the most distilled version of the company’s prime purpose.
To understand and reproduce the purpose
When the “why” is not projected strongly, there is nothing that moves the prospect to establish an emotional connect. The emotional connect is not about instantly liking your brand. It is about a feeling your words can evoke
Let’s talk about a common activity you and I both do. Do you feel good shopping on a website that sells the products you love at your happy price? Do you see the key-points here? Love..Happy!
Ultimately, you do what you do to make yourself feel the way you want to. Even if it means trading money.
Jim Keenan, the author of Not Taughtsays you cannot sell to your prospect if the prospect doesn’t perceive value in your product or service. The “value” here can take any form. But it eventually boils down to a feeling. An emotional state of content that happens after an action.
Great copywriting is about salvation, not sales. – Aaron Orendorff
When you invest your money in a worthy product, you willingly trade your hard earned money because you have assigned a value to the product. That is all a customer pays for – Salvation. And, copywriting is the art and science that brings out the value out of a product and projects it in the form of words.
If you succeed to provide that reason of fulfillment your prospect is looking for, you have written good copy. That is when your copy becomes convincing. You don’t need to put any more effort, even in terms of fancy-glittery graphics. They do not matter. All you have to do now is drive your prospect to take an action. The sale is just a resultant action. And, congratulations! You just sold your product.
How to edit your copy?
To get the most pristine version of your copy, try removing one random word from one random sentence of your final copy. If you see a discrepancy, in any form, you put back the word and publish it. If not, repeat the distillation process.
Good copy is achieved when if you remove a word from the line, it obstructs the meaning of the sentence terribly.
Why is copywriting called copywriting?
The above definition implies that anything worthy of being reproduced to preserve its existential value is copy. This highlights the monumental importance copywriting holds in the business world.
Why every business needs copywriting?
When I began my career as a copywriter, I wondered what copyblogger meant. It sounded weird. I get it, the word is formed by the amalgamation of two words copywriter and blogger. But why? Why would anybody do that?
Now, when I know why every business needs copy, I fully understand the profound reasoning behind naming the legendary website CopyBlogger. In simple terms, CopyBlogger is a resource that teaches you conversion blogging or business blogging but not limited to blogging.
It is all about conversions. You cannot grow your business without conversions. Can you?
You need copy to convert.
Copy that converts + A well positioned product = Sales that spike your revenue
And after all, sales is the ultimate goal of any ethical business. Now that you know why every business needs copywriting, what are the steps you are going to take to write copy?