Tested Advertising Methods
by John Caples
My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising
by Claude C Hopkins
Ogilvy on Advertising
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook
The Ultimate Sales Letter
The Copywriters Handbook
Make Ads Pay
Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing
How to Write Sales Letters that Sell
Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This
All marketing media needs to be tested to optimize it for ultimate success – whether you are writing for a landing page, crafting a sales letter or even just whipping up a quick ad for use on one of the pay per click networks. Trying out different layouts and words can lead to increased response and sometimes as a marketer it’s your job to do it.
In this article we look at how to test ad copy for optimum response.
So pull up a seat and take a look at what’s required in looking for the best results from your copy.
What Is Testing?
Testing your marketing material should be a critical part of your advertising strategy. Chopping and changing components to discover the best setup and content for optimum response is well worth the effort. It might be that your target market prefers a particular call to action over another one and you won’t find that out unless you test your ad copy with a few different arrangements.
In addition, if you are paying for an ad to be published either online or offline, you don’t want to commit large finance to something that just does not work for your audience. Discovering the most effective arrangement and content that converts to sales is crucial.
How Should You Test Ad Copy?
Several variations of the same ad should be tested. If you are using pay per click style advertising like Google Adwords, then you should also test whether CPM is going to work better for you than CPC (CPM is the term used for payment that is based on 1000 impressions of an ad and CPC is pay per click).
As an aside, some people say that CPC is the best way to pay for Facebook ads and CPM is better on Google Adwords. If brand awareness is the objective of your ad then you might want to go for CPM style even when you’re using Facebook.
Along with the different components of each ad, there are different themes to test too. Let’s take a look at some of the options when it comes to the testing of ad copy.
Ad Copy ThemesBuyers are motivated by different needs, some will be looking for more bang for their buck, and others for good customer service or fast delivery. Try these different angles for your ads:
Start out by creating several ads so that you test which approach is going to be most attractive to your audience. Quite often looking at the ads of your competition will inspire you and will also allow you to understand more about what they are getting the best response from.
How To Track A Competitor’s Ads
Print off their ads each day or week (depending on which channel the ads are being exposed on. Add the date that you printed it off and then follow up on the next ad time cycle.
You need to look for the changes that are being made to their ads. Nobody pays for an ad time and time again unless it’s working for them – so it will give you some kind of indication about what actually is working for them.
Control Ad Split Test Ad
A/B or split testing is the name of the method of testing when just one small change is made between two ads to compare which ad will have the best results. Take a look at this example.
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Huge Choice of Garden Tools
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Create Several Versions
Once you have ascertained which theme is working best with your target market, then it’s time to perfect it. Take each element of it and then write out 2 or 3 versions. Mix up what you’ve got and then cycle through the different possibilities as you test ad copy.
Here Are Some Examples Of Proven Approaches To Try Out On Your Ad:
If you are using an internet based ad and are linking through to a landing page, then keep in mind that your landing page will need to be in alignment with your ad. It’s going to need the same words used on it to confirm to the visitor that they’ve arrived on the right page.
Search engine researchers have discovered that people are more likely to click on an ad that uses the same words as they used when they were searching. It’s almost like they get tunnel vision for what they are looking for, so your ad will do best if its headlines uses the same words as the search term used. Keep in mind that you need to stay as specific as the search.
If The User Is Searching On The Term:“back yard blowing tools” and you use the headline “Back Yard Tools” on your ad, you could even put them off and they will click on an ad that will be more in line with what they were searching for. They are more likely to select an ad that states ‘Back Yard Blowers” as it’s more specific and niched.
Your landing page should also carry through the same offer that you used in a headline. Your visitor has come along with a particular mind-set that you have set for them and you don’t want to suddenly change it or they will feel put off and are most likely to leave the page.
How To Measure Your TestingWhen it comes to measuring your testing you need to do this in an almost scientific way in order to be able to depend upon the results. For each version, make a note of its content and keep these points in mind:
Keep in mind that if the search engines crawl every version of your landing pages they could well flag them up for duplicate content and could even penalise you. Keep the spiders out until you have chosen which page you want them to find.
Here Are Some Steps That You Should Take In Order To Test Ad Copy Effectively:
ACTION STEPS TO TEST AD COPY
How To Write Copy That Sells – Use Benefits
As copywriters we’ve all read that the best way to write copy that sells is to use benefits. But what these articles don’t tell us is how to identify and communicate the benefits that are truly going to compel your readers to reach for their wallets.
In this article you’ll learn how to:
So what’s the difference between features and benefits?
Features are the specifications of a product. They include the color, the dimensions, what it does and how it does it. They are the facts. Benefits are what the consumer receives as an outcome of using the features. The most powerful way to use them is to identify them, then to dig deep until you can tie them into the emotional wants and needs of the prospect. Once you understand how to do this process, then you will be able to write copy that sells.
In order to provide us with an example, let’s look at how we could sell a green toothbrush to our readers.
Green Toothbrush Toothbrush company: It’s green and it’s got 300 scientifically shaped bristles.
Consumer: So? Why should I be interested – what’s in it for me?
Toothbrush company: Those 300 bristles are scientifically ergonomically shaped so that within just 90 seconds you can clear away all plaque even from the rear of your mouth and brighten your smile. You can be photographed knowing that you are going to have the whitest set of teeth in the photo. You can also relax when somebody leans over to you for an intimate chat, at work or at home. You can be confident that you don’t have bad breath as this toothbrush delves deep into the spaces between your teeth to clean.
That’s an example of how to sell using the benefits. Benefits are what the consumer will want to gain in exchange for a few of their dollars. Remember that the average human is a little ‘sheep-like’. This isn’t meant in a derogatory way, but if you’ve ever taught a class of adults before you will have experienced the state that humans go into when they are not in ‘leadership’ mode. They will need to be directed in all that they do, they sit their awaiting direction and you’ve got to give it to them.
Listing an amazing set of features won’t swing it with our readers as they don’t want to and won’t put the mental work into piecing together how those features may be able to save them time or help them in anyway. They need to have everything spelt out to them to see why they should buy your product or service.
No, your readers aren’t stupid, but effective marketing communication needs to be straight to the point. After all you are competing with dozens of other marketing messages every day and if you don’t get your message across with clarity and speed then you could lose them altogether.
How To Identify True Benefits And Use Them In CopySo what do you need to do to identify the benefits and use them?
Now you’re going to learn a 5 step process that can help you pull out the benefits and then get your message across to your consumers. We’re going to use the green toothbrush in order to demonstrate how you can apply this process to your own product.
1. Step 1 – use your resources. First off if you have existing happy customers then you should ask them what the benefit is of them using your product or service. Be sure to get specific and detailed answers. You should also ask any salespeople that you have too.
2. Step 2 –list all of the features of the product or service. Then take the three that are going to provide the biggest attraction.
a. 300 bristles
b. Scientifically v-shaped bristles
c. Angled neck
3. Step 3 – examine every feature to find the benefit in it from the consumer’s point of view.
a. Faster results from less brushing.
b. Bristles fit between teeth better for improved cleaning
c. Angled neck provides better reach to the rear of the mouth
4. Step 4 – connect the functionality of your product with the desires of your reader.
a. Smile will be brighter and whiter in less time from using more bristles.
b. Plaque and food will be easily brushed out from between teeth – no bad breath.
c. Less dentistry expense that comes from having fewer cavities.
5. Step 5 – now it’s time to drill down and connect your benefits to the reader’s emotional desires.
a. The good feeling that comes from knowing that you are going to look great in photographs with a full brighter and whiter smile.
b. The relief and confidence that comes from having sweet smelling breath. Ideal when it comes to building and keeping good relationships with colleagues, school friends and even most importantly – hot dates!
c. Being able to enjoy spending money on luxury items and not being the person who has not teeth in photographs.
Use Features To Support Your Copy
Features can help sell your product too. People like to think that they have made a logical decision and the features will give them some justification in making their purchase. The technical a product is – the prospect will be looking for more mention of features. So if you have a highly technical product then you’ll find that emotionally angled copy will be less effective and could even just annoy the technical reader. They are looking for a solution to a problem, and their purchase isn’t so much about want they want but about what they need.
Once you know how to pull out the benefits and connect them to the emotional desires of the consumer, you’ll have access to a powerful copywriting technique and you will know how to write copy that sells.
Action Steps To Take To Write Copy That Sells
If you’re considering a career as a copywriter – either full time or as a sideline, you’d probably like some criteria to know if it’s a good fit for you. There are pros and cons to everything – of course – and copywriting part-time is no different.
It’s easier to make an informed decision when you have a way to get the ‘real skinny’. Well, here it is from someone who’s written copy for clients on and off for more than 20 years. Copywriting is a fascinating and fun profession. You can write in a vertical market where you have expertise and you can branch out and learn about other markets and professions you know nothing about. You expand your knowledge, learn a lot and get to explore interesting topics and ideas and get paid for it.
That said, it’s not all fun and fantasy.
You have to take what you learn and turn it into something useful for your clients – copy that really works and gets the job done. That requires creativity, focus and discipline. All of those things are enjoyable and great skills to have, but have them you must.
If you decide to work as a freelancer, you become a business owner and that means you must be willing to promote yourself, keep a schedule, deliver what you promise and make no excuses. That is, of course, if you want to stay in business and most importantly, get repeat business. It’s not hard to do, but for people who find those tasks onerous, that’s a downside.
You have to learn how keep your pipeline full of prospective clients while balancing your current workflow. That might be a con, but once you get good and have enough people who recognize your value, you’re well positioned to command excellent fees and create a full-time income, working part-time.
There’s a big pro – the ability to work part-time and earn excellent money. Sure, it takes work to build up to that, but you can build up to it on your own schedule and your own terms.
Another big pro is the freedom and flexibility a copywriting career offers.
You can work from anywhere – anywhere you can think and create that is – with no restrictions on your time. If you are most creative at night, work at night if you’re able. If your best window for creating is at the crack of dawn, start then and be done by lunch and get on with other things you want or need to do. The scheduling alone is a luxury most people never experience and it’s a wonderful way to live.
Ultimately the pros and cons are different for everyone depending on your strengths and your desires. And, obviously, nothing is perfect, but a career as a writer comes darned close.
Learn the skills you need to become a professional copywriter through our comprehensive online course: Mastering Direct Response Copywriting.
There are a few ‘tricks of the trade’ that will enable you to quickly clean up your copy and make it snappier, fresher, more concise with better flow. Sound good?
Keep your sentences short and to the point.
Keep your paragraphs short, creating a fair amount of white space in your document. White space makes your piece more approachable. Readers scan documents before reading and dense copy can cause them to put your copy aside for later – the kiss of marketing death. Some writers like to include two spaces between sentences. The two spaces have the same effect of adding more white space and making a piece easier on the eye.
Look for the word ‘that’.
It can almost always be removed, as can the words surrounding it to create a tighter idea and a shorter sentence. Try reading sentences aloud and you’ll find a new perspective on what works, what you can cut and what should stay. Just eliminating use of ‘that’ will tighten up your writing nicely.
When you use the word it, describe what ‘it’ is replacing and you’ll have more interesting copy that is easier to understand. Specificity brings clarity.
Use your verbs wisely.
Verbs are the heartbeat of your sentence. They are, of course, where the action is. Use descriptive verbs that create images in the mind of your reader. Instead of saying he walked slowly down the street, say: he ambled down the street as if he had all the time in the world. Do you see the difference? What does each conjure in your minds’ eye?
Find a reliable writer to read your work and critique it.
So often you’ll have the bones of a piece and it just isn’t flowing quite right. Your writing buddy can say: well, if you moved the top to the bottom and stopped telling the story after you include the personal part about…..and voila, you have a piece that’s near completion. Often you can’t see the obvious in something you’ve spent a lot of time on. Fresh eyes work wonders.
Finally, kill your darlings.
We all come up with great turns of phrase every now and then and we keep them in a piece even though they aren’t necessary. I almost never write a piece where I don’t get ‘married’ to one or two great sentences. Very often, clever as they are – they need to go!
A good writing partner can help you cut those darlings out of your copy. Trust me; it can be very hard to do yourself.
Want to learn the techniques, tools and ‘tricks’ for writing great copy?
Checkout out our upcoming courses including: the Thrill of Copy, Portfolio develop and our online classMastering Direct Response Copywriting.
Effective advertising copy is all about selling. Whether you are selling a service, a product, a vacation destination or a home it’s about spreading the word and generating action. It might be that it’s not money that you want from your copy, it’s that you want to build your email marketing contact list. Once you know how to write effective ad copy, it’s something that can help you become a better writer all around as you learn how to eliminate extra words and use the tone that delights your readers.
Attract, delight and satisfy
Sitting down to write effective ad copy can be one of the toughest assignments that a copywriter can be given. In just a few seconds, you’ve got to the task of grabbing the attention of the reader away from all the other ads that he gets bombarded with. You then have to deliver your marketing message within a few words and stimulate the reader to take the action that you recommend. Throughout you’ve got to delight the reader and satisfy their need to know.
Your goal is to convince the reader to take action. Know that there isn’t any perfect formula that will get them to do what you want them to – but once you know the fundamental basics then you’ve got every chance of achieving your goal. In this article we explore these fundamentals and how to apply them for success.
Define Your Goal
Before you get started, you need to be fully clear on what it is that you want the reader to do. What are you trying to achieve? Get clear so that you can build the steps to take you there.
Identify your audience and let them know that you can help
Don’t attempt to sell to anybody and everybody – your ad needs to be written so that it will appeal to your target market. Before you start writing, find out all that you can about the people who buy what you have for sale.
You need to know the answers to these questions:
Find out why your existing customers are buying your offer and what they are using it to solve. The more you know about the issue that they are solving with your offering, the better. You can use this to communicate and prove that you know what they need and you can help them.
Headlines And Subheadings
This is what is going to encourage your reader to invest time in reading what you’ve got to say – so choose wisely. Only by attracting enough attention will you convince them to read further. Your most important words should appear in the headline.
The best headlines get straight to the point, but another style that can attract attention is the confusion style.
For example a question such as:
“Isn’t This What You’ve Been Looking For?” can encourage a reader to go further into the copy to find out what it is that they may have been looking for.
Be Specific And Make It Easy
The more specific you are the better. We’ve all read copy that goes on for a few pages without giving any real clues as to what exactly is on offer. If you cannot communicate clearly what you’ve got to offer within the first couple of paragraphs, then it won’t resonate with readers. They will get bored and leave.
You’ve got to make it easy for them to buy from you. If you know they will have some objections to what you are telling them, then answer them up front. Give them stats and facts that will prove that what you are saying is correct.
Educate And Add Numbers
Educate your reader quickly on why they should be buying your offering. What will it do for them? Gone are the days of the hard sell, selling these days is about providing solutions and educating.
People love seeing figures in copy. Researchers have found that press releases with numbers in the headlines get more views than those that don’t.
Write To Them And For Them
If your ad is going online, then write it for online readers. They scan rather than read every word, so help them out by adding subheadings, bullet points and ideally use black text on a white background. Paragraphs should be between 40 and 60 words.
When it comes to language, to write effective ad copy you need to use the same words that your readers use. Write in a style that they are familiar with in the way that they speak. If you write too formal, it could well bore them and you’ll lose them. Your readers also don’t want to learn new jargon in order to buy your product.
Keep your copy engaging and casual. Unless you are selling a highly technical product your copy should be written in the same way that you would communicate with a friend. Write in the present and stay upbeat and positive.
Imagine That You Are Speaking One On One With Your Reader.
Use ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ as much as you can. They don’t want to know about you so keep the ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘we’ words to a minimum. They want to know what you can do for them and what is in it for them.
Use The Premier Marketing Words To Get Straight To The Point
Words such as ‘protect’, ‘money’, ‘save $120’, ‘immediate benefit’ all sell well. They may sound like clichés to you, but they all promise a tangible benefit. This is very attractive to the reader as they can imagine a clear benefit and image of what your offer will do for them.
People like to think that they buy on logic, but it’s emotions that rule the world – yes, even the business world. Use them to your benefit by tying your product to the emotions of the reader. Remember that you’ll get the best response from being respectful and personable.
Don’t promise things that you are not able to realistically deliver. Your reader will see through it and it will do nothing but put them off. Communicate exactly what results your reader can expect from using the product or service. You should also add testimonials if there is space.
Highlight The Benefits
Sit down and brainstorm the benefits of using your product or service. List the features for your readers and spell out what those features will deliver when it comes to benefits.
Add A Strong Call To Action
Start with subjects and verbs. For example:
“See plans and pricing”
Verbs are very powerful and gain the best responses from readers.
Add A Sense Of Urgency
Getting your readers to act immediately is essential for them to act at all. Once they go off and start doing something else, you will lose them. If you can add a deadline to your offer then do.
Test Using Twitter
Twitter is the ideal place to test response to your headlines. The limit of sticking to just 140 characters makes it essential that all communication has to be short and to the point.
Use adverbs sparingly such as ‘with ease’ as they have been found to be the least popular in tests on Twitter.
You should find these steps provide some guidance as you sit down to write effective ad copy.
Action Steps to Take to Write Effective Ad Copy
Get a head start and learn to write copy quickly with our copywriting cheat sheet. Print this off to check that you are using the most powerful approaches to communicate with and stimulate action from your target market.
Engaging your market will not only result in more sales, but you’ll save time, effort and money by using these proven techniques.
The information is broken into easy to follow sections, just print it off and it keep with you as your craft your copy.
Get Into Your Reader’s MindsetUse Emotions To Sell
Tune into how you can emotionally satisfy the audience with your product. You need to identify and communicate how your product or service can satisfy them when it comes to their:
To be persuasive, you need to have a clear understanding about why the other party should do what you are recommending them to do. What is in it for them? What’s the benefit to them? In order to get what you want and give your readers what they want –follow this approach:
Thoroughly research the product and company
The more you know about your target market the better. Your goal is to tune into their emotions when it comes to this type of product and the solution that it offers.
In order to communicate with the target market effectively you need to know:
Craft A Compelling And Eye Catching Headline
Write Powerful Copy That Ties In With What Your Market Is Thinking About
Calls to action need to be action oriented. Start with an action verb such as ‘Register’, ‘Subscribe’ or ‘Download’. Create urgency by using special discounts or use adverbs such as ‘today’ and ‘now’.
EXAMPLES OF TYPES OF CALLS TO ACTION INCLUDE:
The Mild Approach
"Subscribe today for free information about how to quickly and easily ……”
Based On Urgency
Remind them that the tick is clocking and that they need to take action now.
“Act now. Offer available only until the weekend”
Based On Fear
Self-preservation is a big human emotion, play on it by stimulating the fear of loss.
“Don’t risk having an accident. Protect you and your family now with …”
Based On Benefit
Use an adverb tied to the benefit, for example you might find this on a piece of copy about vacations:
‘Plan a trip like this……”
Take Away Actions To Write Powerful Copy Quickly And Easily
1. Print off the cheat sheet and keep it handy for use when you write your copy.
2. Use the cheat sheet to develop your own reusable process to enable you to write powerful copy quickly and easily.
For copywriting to be truly persuasive, you need to know that it’s all down to human emotions. All buying decisions are based on emotion. By using emotion and then adding in logical reasons to back up what you have said, you’ll be able to make the sale.
In this article we’re going to look at how to connect to readers through emotions. It’s really all down to knowing what makes them tick. What are they frustrated about in life, what they love with a passion and what is it that they secretly desire? Find the answers to these and you’ll be in pole position to create some sales winning copy.
If there is one secret to successful copywriting, it’s the use of emotions. Even if you are writing for a B2B selling situation, it’s still people that you’re dealing with at the end of the day.
In this article we are going to look at:
But first, let’s get started with a few proven techniques on how to discover the hidden emotions in your copy so that you can connect to your readers.
First Things First – Emotions Is What SellsTo get started, you need to get familiar with how your audience thinks. You need to consider the answers to these questions:
Remember that no human does anything unless it suits them. That’s why it’s so hard to convince some people to do a favor for you unless it’s a win/win situation. It’s also why some people are very, very nice to deal with. It sounds very cynical to read in cold print – but at the end of the day the people who are very helpful gain something from helping people – they get to feel good. EVERYBODY is taking action with their own gain in mind.
What Are Your Readers Thinking About?
To promote your product, you need to be fully in touch with your prospects and what is going on in their minds.
What are their:
You can get to find out more about your target market by immersing yourself by living the life that they live. Do the activities that they do. Read the magazines that they read, visit the blogs that they read and go to the places that they go. If there are trade shows for these people, then go along to them and mingle.
It’s your job as a copywriter to get into the head of your reader and influence them by stirring up their emotions. You then need to demonstrate how your product can solve the pain suffered by the prospect.
Is it exploitation?
Perhaps. But if you really can solve their problem and give them something that really will improve their lives then you should offer them your product. As Robert Collier puts it, the successful ad will “Join in on the conversation the customer is already having in their mind.”
Being able to tap into the thoughts of your prospects is what is going to bring you success when it comes to selling your product or service. You’ve got to get into the same mindset as your prospects. You’ve got to know what is on their mind all the time so that you can seamlessly join in with their conversation.
Psychologists and analysts are well aware that we walk around all day long with mindless chatter going on in our brains. It’s your job to write copy that is strong enough to get the attention of these people and to provide them with answers to the issues that are irritating them, annoying them but that will also meet their needs for:
To Identify The Benefits And Go Beyond
The easiest way to extract the benefits is to take a piece of paper and a pen. Now, down the left hand side write out all the features of your product. On the right hand side of the paper write down what that feature means to the prospect.
Think about the problems that your market has and which issues are solved by your product.
Let’s look at an example of the type of connection you can make between features, benefits and emotions.
Let’s suppose that we have a television recording device to sell to middle America, where the winters are cold and the recession has hit hard .
If you were selling by benefits only an example might be:
“Set the Clock and Record Your Favorite family movies”
And if you are selling with benefits and emotions you could write:
“Enjoy staying home this winter…. Set the clock and record your favorite family movies”
Not only does this headline clearly state the benefit of the device, but it taps into the feelings of the reader. It highlights that the winter is coming and it can be a miserable affair, but with this recording device the prospect will be able to gain more pleasure from it. They’ll be able to enjoy watching their favorite TV programs. It could also be read from the angle that many people are feeling the impact of the global economy and they won’t have to go out and spend money to enjoy themselves – they can do it in the comfort of their own homes.
Then you could go further and mention more about how they will feel when they are sat on the sofa with their family, with a nice hot chocolate watching some of the best family movies that have ever been produced.
Bring In The Logical Reasons
People like to think that they’re logical in their buying decisions, but that’s not really the case. If a married guy bought a fancy new Lamborghini, he’s not going to admit to his wife that it’s for him to get attention from young women when he goes out. He’s going to tell his wife that it’s all about the engineering, the braking system, the fact that it uses less gas than his old beat up Mercedes. He’s going to tell her anything logical but he’s not going to tell her why he really bought it.
When people get their teeth fixed, they’re not really looking for a set of chicklets that will chomp their food better, they’re looking to look good!
Once you use emotional advertising, you’ll start selling, but it’s critical that you pepper your copy with a few logical reasons to satisfy the logical side of the buying brain.
If you’ve ever bought something just a little expensive, then you’ll be familiar with this. You know that feeling when you’re undecided – should you really spend all your money on that state of the art bicycle so that you can look good in front of your cycling pals? Then you go back and check the details, reading through the specifications confirms that you are indeed making the right decision. After all, you’ve been having trouble with some of the hills in the city and having 20 gears will make it a lot easier. It’s also got a specially designed saddle so that you’ll be more comfortable than on your current ride.
Bonus tip: Use emotion and logic in headlines for a power punch!
Take a look at this headline:
“Look Good This Summer! 11 Steps For Weight Loss Success”“Look Good This Summer! is an emotionally attractive line. It conjures up a positive image. “11 Steps for Weight Loss Success” bring in the logical, rational side of things with the delivery of a process.
These two combined create a headline that is irresistible to the people who want to lose weight. It offers a promise and a benefit of reading more.
Remember as you work – think about your prospects. What is going to appeal to their mindset?
Take Away steps on how to add emotion to your copy
1. Sit down and write some power words for your product. Try these for starters:
Look in your thesaurus to find words that will further connect to your prospect. On our course we supply over 100 of the prime selling words that will help you to craft compelling copy.
2. Think about your prospects and answer these questions:
3. Write 10 to 20 headlines that combine both emotion and logic.
There’s nothing so exciting as being given a new copywriting assignment to work on, however it can also make you, as the writer feel challenged and a little concerned about promoting something that you know about to a market that you know nothing about.
That’s why it’s essential to prepare thoroughly before attempting to write an ad or promotional piece. Without extensive knowledge of the product and the market it is for, it would be very difficult to convince readers that they should invest in your offer.
In this article you’re going to learn a process for gathering information for your copywriting that will give you the confidence and direction necessary to produce a strongly influential piece that resonates with your audience.
First things first – research
Fortunately for copywriters, the web can provide all manner of material that can be used as part of both product and market research. In addition you should be asking your client to provide you with previous pieces of marketing, relevant articles, case studies and reports.
You should also receive any written material that has been used by the media. It’s quite possible that there is a press kit already in circulation. Ask if there are existing testimonials or reviews from satisfied customers that you can review.
Learn about the product/service
Spend time getting familiar with the website of the client. Pay close attention to the pages of the product that you have been asked to promote. Get clear on what it does, its features and the benefits that it delivers.
Most products have got direct competition whose sites can aid you with learning more about the market and the product. Ask for a list of competitive companies from the client and then take a good look at their sites to learn more about the industry and to understand who the competition are marketing their wares.
If you have been given the job of promoting a brand new product to a market, then you’ll need to ask the client for as much information as they have about it. There should be copies of drawings, plans, market research and reports on a new product that will all help you to prepare for your work.
Questions That You Need To Be Able To Answer About The Product Or Service:
When it comes to the audience that you are writing for, the more you know about them, the better. Their mindset is what counts when it comes to selling. You should be able to answer these questions with the help of the client and materials provided:
If you haven’t already been advised of this, you’ll also need to know what the goal of the copy is. It might be that it’s to sell the product and you will be provided with contact information to add to the copy. Alternatively the goal could be the collection of email addresses to build an email marketing list.
Get Your Information In Order To Write Good Copy
If you’ve already been working on answering the questions listed above, you should now be in possession of many notes about the product/service and the target market. The most effective step for you to take is to put the notes that you have into a structure. You’ll need to do this in order to write good copy. You can do this by typing them up on your computer. This will give your brain a chance to get familiar with them, process them and you’ll begin to formulate some creative thoughts on how you can use them to write your copy.
Another benefit of typing up your material is that you will have your points listed cleanly and in a workable order. Using scraps of paper, websites and other media to work from is very confusing and you’ll find it difficult to begin with a clear mind. The best writing comes from an organized mind and workspace and writing up your notes is part of attaining that ideal.
Write To Your Target Market
This is where your persona comes into play. Your persona is one person with a set of unique circumstances. For example, if you are promoting a service that offers a contract to baker’s ovens. You know that your persona could be:
The secret of relating to a market through the copy is to write to one category of buyers. You will need to identify all the types and categories of people who might buy your product. You then need to find a way to write to them so that they know that you understand their frustrations and that you have an answer for them. Only pick one category of person to write to in your message. If you can group several sub-categories into one category then that is ideal.
Other Tips On How You Can Write Good Copy
When it comes to writing the copy, then here are several tips that should make it easier to get going. Writers use their own approaches, and none of them are the ‘right’ way, just choose the one that makes most sense to you and enables you to deliver most easily. Don’t expect to come out with the ‘perfect’ piece of copy immediately either, it usually takes several drafts to come up with the best piece. There isn’t really a ‘perfect’ copy but there are different versions of degrees of ‘great’.
Keep in mind a technique that many experienced copywriters use. The will decide upon their headline and then start writing the body. Using this approach will give you a neat boundary around the marketing message that you want to deliver and will keep you and the reader focused.
Others find it easier to just get started with a draft and to create a winning headline later on. However you decide to approach the task, be aware that good copywriting usually takes several drafts until it’s suitable to send to the client. Whatever ideas you have about slogans, bylines and approaches, write all of it down. It will help you get warmed up and started on your assignment.
Once you get started and you’ve reached a sticking point, you need to walk away from your writing and do something else for a while then return. This technique can add energy back into your creative thinking that you thought you had depleted. It’s a great way to get a fresh perspective and ensure that your writing reads well and that your approach is sound.
The powerful call to action has a clear benefit in it. Humans need to see the benefit and understand what they will personally attain from it before they will take it. For example, if the goal of your copy is to get people to sign up for your newsletter, then you should write ‘join our newsletter’ on the submission button instead of just ‘submit’.
Now that you’ve been provided with a blueprint of a process to prepare to write good copy it’s time to make a start. Follow our action steps and create your persuasive copy.
Action Steps To Take To Write Good Copy
Once you learn how to create attention grabbing headlines, then you’re a lot closer making people want to pull out their credit cards to buy your product or service. Writing good copy takes skill and experience – however, there are some proven formulas that will get you on your way to being able to achieve this.
When you browse through a magazine or the newspaper you only read a few of the ads. You don’t have the time or even the interest in reading them all. Some of them might be promoting goods that are of great interest to you, but you’ll skip by them. There are so many ads competing for your attention and then there’s also all the other emails, websites, letters and television content doing all that it can to catch your eye.
This is why it’s essential that as a copywriter, you put your efforts into creating a compelling and attention grabbing headline. Whether you are writing an ad, a blog or a piece of content for your site, putting a little effort into creating headlines that attract the attention of your readers is well worth it and you’ll be financially rewarded.
Professional advertisers know that they have just 3-5 seconds to get the attention of a reader, if nothing stands out then they’ll move on.
David Ogilvy, the marketing advertising guru says:
“The headline is the most important element in most advertisements. It is the telegram which decides whether the reader will read the copy.On average five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Before we get started, be aware that you’ll rarely be able to create the optimal headline straight off – no copywriter can. It will take brainstorming, editing and possibly a bit of daydreaming for something powerful to emerge.
Target Your Market
One of the most important steps in the copywriting process is knowing your audience – inside and out. You should be aware of their concerns, fears and what excites them before you write a single word. All of your writing has to be about your reader, not about you.
Before you even start thinking about writing anything – you’ve got to be absolutely clear about the type of people that your product or service will appeal to. You need to know what problems they have that you’re offering can solve. You need to spell out the benefits of why somebody should be interested in what you’ve got – this needs to resonate clearly in your headline.
The headline is the most important piece of any copy. It’s the biggest piece of bait that you can use to encourage your reader to carry on reading to the next line. Then you have to convince them to read the next line, etc.
“What’s In It For Me?”
As with all copy, it’s important to clearly communicate the answer to the reader’s question ‘what’s in it for me?’ Why would they want to continue reading and spend time reading your copy – what reward is there? Whether it’s your blog post, your article or your ad you need to include the most outstanding benefit in the headline. Stick to just one idea, if you go with more you’re at risk of diluting your headline and therefore it won’t have the same powerful punch!
The Most Effective Headline Types
There are a handful of headline types that have been found to be highly effective. Proven over time, these headline types have sold billions of dollars worth of products and they give copywriters a great starting point when coming up with their own.
Of course, you can test your own approaches, but these proven headlines have been effective in thousands of ads. They can and should be taken to recycle, edit and apply to your own products so that they grab the attention of your readers. Remember that good copywriting isn’t so much about reinventing the wheel when it comes to writing, it’s about making sales.
So What Are These Most Effective Headline Types?
Many copywriters use headline swipe files to give them a little help. Here is a collection of headlines for you to recycle from. Swipe files provide generic headlines that have worked well in other campaigns, a space is left for you to add a verb and/or your own product. Of course, every market has its own nuances so take care to select a headline that will work well in your market. Headlines can be tested for their effectiveness through Google Adwords, in a blog post or even on social media such as Twitter to judge the likely response from them before scaling up to a full sized sales page.
Research has proven that if you use a capital letter at the beginning of each word, it’s more attention grabbing in a headline than not. It’s also proven that black writing with a white background is most effective. Also, consider using “quotations” to catch the eye.
Using SEO When You Create Attention Grabbing Headlines On Web PagesThe headline tag is one of the most important parts of any webpage when it comes to search engine optimization. It’s what tells Google what your page is about and will go towards Google’s determination of where your page fits into the search results index and where it will ultimately be displayed on the results page. If possible, use your chosen keyword closer to the beginning of the headline as you will fare better with your results.
Persuasive And Attention-Grabbing Words To Use
Here is a selection of words that have been found to be highly persuasive when it comes to copy: You, You’re, Your, Proven, Guaranteed, Winning, Breakthrough, Amazing, Shocking, Remarkable, Surprise, Increase, Reduce, Why, Mind-blowing, Daring, Greatest, Secrets, New
Action Steps To Take To Create A Powerful Attention-Grabbing Headline: