Tips for Improved Direct Response Copywriting
Did you know that there are almost 150,000 writers in the US?
One of the most in-demand and lucrative areas of writing is copywriting. However, to be a successful copywriter, your copy needs to sell.
Direct response copywriting rules when it comes to triggering an action on the part of consumers. Creating this kind of copy can be challenging, especially if you are new to copywriting.
Besides captivating the audience you also need to prove value, eliminate doubts, and compel the reader to take action.
The good news is that there are a number of proven formulas and tips you can leverage to quickly start eliciting a response with your copy.
Ready to rock at direct response copywriting? Read on to find out some of the secrets to crafting killer copy that drives results.
What Is Direct Response Copywriting?
If you're wondering "what is direct response copywriting," it is ad copy that drives the target audience towards a particular action. This could be something like:
Understand Your Target Audience
The first step to writing direct response copy is understanding your target audience.
Because direct response copywriting is designed for eliciting a response or immediate action, you have to know you are talking to when crafting it.
Knowing who your target audience is is important when creating any type of ad copy, but it is especially vital when you're doing direct response copywriting.
To effectively sell to them, you want to get as detailed an idea as possible about your target audience.
For instance, if your target audience is working moms, you can show empathy for their overcrowded schedule and tricky work-life balance, and simultaneously show how your product/service can help ease their time crunch.
Claim Attention With Your Headline
The headline is easily one of the most important elements of direct response copywriting.
Stats show that while 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, only 2 out of 10 will go on to read the rest. If you don't claim attention with your headline, readers will drop off like flies before they even start the first paragraph.
On the other hand, if you can craft a headline that demands readers' attention and gets them hooked, you'll have a better chance of leading them into your copy, and ultimately, eliciting a response.
If you are struggling to create a compelling headline, an effective trick can be to write your copy first, and then come back and work on the headline.
Leverage the AIDA Formula
Another powerful tip for writing direct response copy is leveraging the AIDA formula where ever possible.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. The objective is to grab attention, instill interest, create desire, and trigger action.
So for instance, let's say you are writing ad copy for a smart alarm clock call Sunburst Light Alarm.
To gain attention you could open with something like:
"Are you part of the 60% of people who hit the snooze button every morning, and, as a result, get up late, rushed, and anxious?"
If you are stuck for ideas on how to grab attention, using stats is a great way to do this.
To instill interest you could then say: "What if we were to tell you it doesn't have to be like this? The truth is, regular alarm clocks aren't designed to work with your body and set you up for success. Instead, they disrupt your sleep cycle, leaving you tired and groggy even if you get your prescribed 8 hours."
To create desire you can then say:
"The Sunburst Light Alarm's smart technology works with your body's natural sleep cycle to wake you up at the optimum moment in your sleep pattern. Instead of dragging yourself out of bed, you wake up naturally and gently with the help of the Sunburst Light Alarm, at the perfect time for both your schedule and your body."
To trigger action: "Ditch the snooze button anxiety for good by taking advantage of our wintertime discount sale."
This is just one example of how you can apply the AIDA formula.
Write Quickly and Edit Meticulously
There's a lot to think about when writing direct response copy. You've got to focus on reaching the target audience, captivating the audience, eliciting a response, etc.
All of this can quickly get you caught up in your head and stunt the flow of your writing. A great tip for breaking through this is to write fast.
Get it all out, even if you are second-guessing the copy.
Once you have a rough draft, then spend as much time as you need to meticulously edit and hone it down into a tight piece of writing.
Sell the Solution, Not the Product
One of the best strategies for successfully eliciting a response is to sell the solution, not the product.
This is one of the big differentiating points between general ad copy and direct response copywriting. Instead of waxing lyrical on all of the product's features, focus on how these features will benefit the reader.
For instance, with the above example of the alarm clock, the copy focuses more on how the reader will wake up easily and gently, than all the high-tech features of the alarm clock.
At the end of the day, consumers take action because they want a solution. They are essentially buying the effects that a product or service has on their life.
Concentrating on these will sell an offering far more effectively than long, boring paragraphs listing endless technical features.
Pre-empt Doubts and Objections
If you want your direct response copywriting to convert like crazy, another hot tip is to pre-empt doubts and objections.
Doubts and objections are some of the biggest friction points around conversion. Even if a consumer is strongly compelled to take action, an unanswered doubt could undo all your hard work and stop them at the last moment from converting.
If you pre-empt and address possible doubts and objections in your copy, this can remove the friction point and significantly increase conversion rates.
Common consumer concerns often center around customer service, additional costs, shipping, and returns. According to cart abandonment stats, almost 50% of consumers cite extra costs as their primary reason for abandoned carts.
Therefore, allay their doubts and make a point to advertise things like free trials, money-back guarantees, customer satisfaction guarantees, free returns, etc.
Take Time to Step Away
No matter how good you become at direct response copywriting, there will always be times when your brain gets stuck and you feel like you just can't craft the copy you want.
When this happens, take some time to step away, then come back and re-evaluate. Not only does this give your mind a break, but it might also give your prefrontal cortex the space it needs to generate ideas that will make your copy shine.
Direct response copywriting has to be tight, engaging, audience-specific, detailed, and to the point.
This is a lot to fit into a piece of copy, so be patient with yourself during the writing process.
Always Include a CTA
The primary goal of direct response copywriting is eliciting a response. Therefore, you must always include a CTA when writing direct response copy.
CTA stands for "call to action". A CTA directs readers to take a specific action. Here are some examples of common CTAs:
Sometimes the most effective CTAs are very simple and almost generic. However, feel free to get creative with your CTAs, especially when writing direct response copy.
For instance, in the alarm clock example, the CTA told readers to ditch snooze button anxiety for good by taking advantage of the wintertime sale.
Not only does this call the reader to action, but it also promises them extra value in the form of a discount.
Lastly, it doesn't just tell the reader to "buy an alarm clock" it urges them to put a stop to snooze button blues and all the associated negative effects. This has a stronger emotional impact than simply instructing the reader to "buy now".
Test and Monitor Your Copy
Last but not least, always test and monitor your copy whenever possible.
Testing and monitoring direct response copy will give you unique insights into what works, what doesn't, and where you can improve and increase conversion rates.
Drive Results With Direct Response Copywriting
These tips are a great starting point if you want to improve your direct response copywriting skills.
However, if you really want to become adept at writing direct response copy, then you'll need to go more in-depth. Direct response copywriting is an art that can't be taught in a couple of blog posts.
This is why we have created the Mastering Direct Response Copy course.
In this course, you will learn everything you need to know about direct response copywriting so you can leverage it as a profitable skill.
Check out the Mastering Direct Response Copy course today to level up your copywriting game.