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 falling plane.
Your homepage is the most important real estate online. Yet it is shabby, clunked, stuffed with words that don’t add any value to your prospects.
A bad homepage damages your reputation. It tarnishes your brand. It takes your business down.
Use these simple homepage copywriting techniques to snowball your sales and amplify your influence:
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 homepages online barely scratch the surface of communicative marketing. Explain the outcome and let the message sink in. Let then 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. It’s like flushing down your dollar bills aimlessly. You are letting all your hot leads slip away in a snap instead of seizing the opportunity to help them, to get registered in their minds and to stay right there.
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. But did you know you can do that innovatively? For instance, inserting conversion metrics in your testimonials, including real stats from real people and getting to the nitty-gritty numbers make your prospects trust you more. It’s dear psychology at work! 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.
Optimizing your homepage is easy. You just have to make sure you’re checking the above list.
Persuasive writing only gets you so far. It’s like a click-bait headline. You love it at first and then you’ll hate the sender for cheating on you.
Whereas Empathetic Copywriting is all about connecting with your readers better. It’s about being in their shoes. It’s about sharing their excitement, understanding their pain, knowing their fears and empathizing with their frustrations.
If you can make your readers relive their emotions towards their pains or dreams by painting a picture, you have achieved empathy.
How to start connecting with your reader
To connect with your readers, you should first have understood them and should know them inside out. You should have the knowledge of the kind of people they are. If you can figure out the answers to the following questions, you will have a solid research material ready to write copy that converts beyond a doubt!
So the questions you should be asking are:
What makes your audience sad?
What makes them happy?
What keeps them worried?
What gets them excited?
What are their priorities?
What makes them feel threatened?
What are their biggest challeneges right now?
Write for real people with real emotions. Because logic makes people think, it’s the underlying emotion that makes people act. And conversion copywriting is entitled to make your reader take action.
It’s not like there is not going to be any kind of persuasion in empathetic copywriting. It means that the element of persuasion will come from a point of genuine care and goodwill toward your clients.
And that’s why, writing with empathy is what attracts your best of clients.
How to write with empathy
The first step to marketing is sorted brand messaging.
As a business, your core brand messaging should identify with your audience. And at the same time, it should clearly reflect your biggest strengths to evoke instant connection and collaboration.
Your core brand messaging should proffer your image in such a way that it instills trust and confidence in your clients. The message should inspire your reader to keep thinking about the transformation.
This shows that you’re in business for one main reason – to complement your audience’s weak points by giving them the exact solution they’re looking for.
You’re here to free your audience from that big fat suffering that’s been hindering their growth and transformation.
Imagine how much your clients will agree with you if your brand messaging identifies and empathizes with them.
Imagine how much your clients will adore you when you’re creating content only with the intention of adding value first.
How to keep your audience thinking about what you said
Do you remember the history lesson you learned in grade 5?
Do you remember the movie you watched when you were 10?
The reason you don’t remember the story from the movie and not the history lesson is because you mirrored and experienced the emotions played in the movie. You have associated and empathized with the protagonist. Likewise, help your readers re-live their pains and frustrations through your copy. Help your readers to imagine a life without these pains and frustrations and then place the capability of your solution.
This creative process of empathizing with your audience is what brings sales online.
KIP: The 3-step formula to writing with empathy:
Know your audience’s exact pain points
Identify with their struggles and acknowledge that in your copy
Promise them to end the struggle and bring growth and desired outcomes
Seal the gaps in your communication with empathetic copywriting
Empathy is when you make your reader feel heard, understood and important.
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.
Have you ever observed this – even in your relationships, listening and speaking out helps understand each other better than frowning and sulking?
When you synthesize your audience’s thoughts that they find difficult to express, you’re winning them.
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
Empathetic Copywriting works because it:
Doesn’t force/coax/pressurize/ your readers
Doesn’t come across as salesy
Doesn’t limit user personas to a set of demographic patterns but also cares about the audience’s tastes, traits, and behavior in as much.
Benefits of Empathetic Copywriting
Doesn’t repel your audience because you’re never giving them what they don’t want
Helps clarify instead of confusing the reader with unwanted information
Appeals to the person you’re writing for (imagine the horror of your reader not understanding you. Phew!)
Simplifies your brand messaging and content creation process (because you understand your audience better now)
Helps you lay a strong foundation for relationship marketing (which never fails when marketed to the right audience)
Marketing becomes less challenging with empathetic copywriting because you are aligning all of your content around your audience’s needs.
When you know how the reader feels and acknowledge that in your content, the reader acknowledges your empathy through – action, engagement, purchase.
Summary: How to write with empathy
First, understand your audience (their feelings, behavior, and thoughts)
Empathize and acknowledge (in your copy)
Propose your solution (the transformation you bring)
The above three steps don’t look anything like online sales from far far away isn’t it?
What do you do differently to empathize with your audience? Tell me in the comments.
Download this FREE guide to refer to Empathetic Copywriting offline.
Let’s admit this. A business cannot operate without content.
Content is the endocrine system that decides the fate of your business. No exaggeration. 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 spectacular content the brand has managed to create.
But creating compelling content isn’t an easy affair. It is a lot of hard work. And if you are looking to create content for your business or for your client, follow these 5 essential strategies to make your content evergreen.
5 Essential Strategies to create timeless content
Create content that can never be replicated
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 can never be replicated
The word “real” instantly makes anything come alive. Generic content is found everywhere. 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.
There is a very high chance of your prospects accepting you because of the real experience you bring to their table – which means better connections leading to higher conversions.
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 ordeals you have had with your past clients/customers. And this often happens because of miscommunication. I am sure you have learned your lessons from this.
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 and who you really are. That’s what it means to show and not just tell.
Help your content with the what happened factor and you succeed in eternalizing it.
Create content that is easy to use
The web is filled with content that beats around the bush. The same thing is said over and over again in a different way employing different patterns in the name of content repurposing or content upcycling. It is a waste of your reader’s precious time if you are telling them what they already know. Right?
Let’s look at an example. You often see blogs that start talking about salt harvest process when the headline clearly is meant to give you a recipe for microwave baking!
In the name of long-form content and comprehensiveness, you might be boring your readers. Don’t do that.
Follow the 3 check rule to make your content consumable:
Clear and concise content
Content with visual support to back your points quickly
Actionable content that inspires to do more
The great overwhelm
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. So, avoid all of this.
People are (enough) stressed with information overload, bring a breath of fresh air with content that lightens them up.
Cultivate your brand with helpful and actionable content that your readers appreciate and look forward to. – Content Primer
Double check your grammar and spellings
Grammar syntax exists for a reason. Bumbling with syntax brings unwanted confusion. Imagine this for a moment. Let’s say that the plural form of a mouse is “mouses”.
Did this just mess with your head? You have been wired to call more than one mouse – mice (Although I don’t agree with the logic here because etymology can sometimes be insane).
You instantly look down upon a piece of writing that might have a mice-mouses error like this one. Moreover, typos can get annoying as silly errors tend to change the meaning of a sentence completely leaving the reader baffled and thwarted.
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 can and will 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. Likewise, no one enjoys being under the shadow of unimpressive words and flabby stories. More about this in the next section.
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 it makes me gag.
What should you be doing instead to make your content NOT-boring?
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 2018! 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?