Most people hear the word copywriting and they immediately think of a skill that is only required for advertising. This is completely and utterly wrong. If you have a website then you need to know how to master the basic elements of copywriting.
Copywriting plays an essential role in your website’s ability to increase three vital areas. The first is increasing page views per visit. From your call to actions to your navigation, the copy that you use can make the difference whether visitors bounce or stay.
The second is increasing your email subscribers opens and clicks. Choosing the right copy for your lead magnet and even the signup button can easily double and triple the number of subscribers that you get.
By mastering copywriting you will also convince them to open your emails and click-through to your landing pages and finally increasing revenue.
The third is whether you are selling a course or selling coaching, the right copy on your landing pages can turn a little extra income into a six-figure lifestyle.
From reading just about every book there is and copywriting over the last 20 years I have found 11 tactics that consistently deliver incredible results. So let’s go ahead and get started.
Copywriting Tips – 11 Tactics You Should Know
#1 – Get active with your content.
Many copywriters are afraid to take risks, this is why the passive voice is used so much in copywriting. Today, active voice is what you’ll want to use whenever you create some content.
Not only is active content easier to understand but it also makes the content feel more personal to the reader. Here’s an example to convey this concept.
The first is passive voice, “we wrote this article about powerful copywriting tips to help people improve their writing”.
Now let’s hear that in active voice, “this article on powerful copywriting tips was written to help you improve your writing”.
The difference between the two is the emphasis placed on the subject matter. People naturally focus on the first noun offered in a sentence.
In passive voice you were talking about yourself, “we wrote this article about powerful copywriting tips to help people improve their writing”.
In active voice you’re talking about what the reader can do, “this article on powerful copywriting tips was written to help you improve your writing”.
So if you want your content to make a powerful impact make sure it focuses on the reader instead of yourself.
#2 – Make it emotional.
You’re watching the television show dedicated to funny videos. You see a kid walk up to his father who is trying to teach him how to swing a baseball bat. Except the kid doesn’t hit the ball, dad gets hit in that very sensitive area.
He sort of laughs, you sort of cringe. If your kids are there you might tell them don’t ever do that. This is the power of emotion. When you’re creating content you must provide emotion through your words.
The best way to do this is to show people what is going on instead of telling them. Here’s an example to illustrate this technique.
When you tell people what to feel this is what it sounds like. “Todd was angry he decided to do something about it”.
When you show people what to feel this is what it sounds like. “Todd gritted his teeth he needed to do something”.
Different content that connects on an emotional level is able to establish a relationship between the writer and the reader.
#3 – Include the Zeigarnik effect.
You’ve invested an entire season’s worth of time into a TV series, the final episode of the season is airing and you’re really into that plot. Then just as there seems to be a resolution to the conflict you’ve been watching, three faithful words flash up on the screen.
“To Be Continued”
Now even if it doesn’t say to be continued you get this same concept. It’s season ending series, so if you’d like to watch The Walking Dead you know what I mean by the way they end their seasons and not really knowing what’s gonna happen.
Of course you feel disappointed at first then as the days pass you start looking forward to the continuation of that series. You want to know what happens.
When you’re only a week or two away from the season premiere you can almost taste the anticipation. This is that effect or to put it in another way that’s easier to pronounce, you’re experiencing an open loop.
People naturally want to experience the completion of a thought or an idea. When that completion does not occur tension begins to occur. There might be anger after the tension but slowly given enough time that tension and anger evolves into anticipation and desire.
Your copywriting can include this effect by refusing to close an idea immediately. Keep the idea and the pitch open throughout the entire piece that you’re writing. This will cause more readers to engage with the content from the start to the finish because they want resolution.
Here are three ways I have used an open loop in my business.
The first is the email open loop. Many of my lead magnets take subscribers thru a sequence of daily emails. Each email will have a primary call-to-action and a closing sentence that hints at what tomorrow’s email will deliver.
The next is the blog post series open loop. The series or themed set of blog posts are a great way to keep readers hooked on your content. The last two paragraphs should start into a really juicy solution.
Right before you give them what they’re yearning for, you wrap up the post and ask them to stay tuned to the next blog post.
And finally the sideways video series. The three-part video series is one of the most effective ways to come across as an expert and produce a tremendous amount of revenue.
Use the open loop at the end of the first two videos by telling them what’s coming up in the next video. A single email post or video is only going to create a topical relationship between you and your audience.
The open loop allows you to immerse your audience with your best content. By the time they’re finished you are a trusted commodity.
#4 – Is to ask the journalistic questions.
When you go to college to earn a degree in journalism one of the first classes will teach you to ask six basic questions during any interview. Who, what, where, when, why and how. By asking these questions you can pry more information out of the interview subject.
When you can answer these six questions in your copy writing efforts then you’ll be able to convey a sense of trust to the reader. They’ll feel like your content is real, personable and accurate.
Those feelings add value to what you’re offering which makes the reader more likely to consider your call to action later on. Let’s use my blogging course as an example.
Let’s start with the who: the course is taught by Mike Erwin who built his blog from 0 to 1 million monthly visitors in less than 18 months.
Now let’s move on to the what: the course is made up of 18 video modules which walks you through Mike’s proven system for growing and monetizing blogs.
Now the where: the video modules can be accessed online through our membership site and you can ask Mike questions directly through our private Facebook group.
Then the when: you will be able to join the course and our exclusive community during a special 7-day launch window.
Now the why: this course is not just a blogging course by the time you are finished you will have a virtual MBA in internet marketing.
And the how: after you watch Mike’s free master class how I got to 1 million monthly visitors you will be able to sign up and get instant access to the course.
If you’re ever having trouble creating an outline for a landing page then I suggest that you start by answering these six questions.
By answering these six questions it’s gonna basically lay out all the sections that you need for your landing page and help you craft the intros, the headlines and the sub headlines for the entire page.
#5 – Use scarcity to spur action.
Scarcity is one of the most effective ways to get people to take action and buy your products. Amy Porterfield makes well over a million dollars on every course that she sells.
Each of her courses are only available for a grand total of seven days. If someone does not buy a course during that period then they have to wait until next year to get it.
Because of time scarcity, courses with a limited launch window will get more than fifty percent of their sales in the last 24 hours.
Here are 3 of the most effective ways to use scarcity.
The one-time bonus – At the end of my master classes I offer a one-time bonus for anyone that signs up to my course within the next 30 minutes.
The price increase – John Lee Dumas increases the price to his course a couple of times each year. He sends an email to everyone on his email list letting them know that the price increase is coming in seven days.
He follows that up with three more emails and then he increases the price by 10%. This creates a sense of urgency and causes a huge spike in revenue every single time the final one is sent.
The limited spots available technique – When it comes to webinar copy a simple phrase right below the register button can increase your signups by over 300%. That phrase is “limited spots available”.
This has also been effectively used for coaching sessions and mastermind groups. Whenever you are crafting your offer always find a way to create a sense of urgency with one of these scarcity tactics.
#6 – Focus on your hook.
The best marketing hooks catch people off-guard by surprising them. They’re typically emotional and promise a benefit or solution. Some of the most popular hooks in online marketing are coupons, contests, free downloads and free consult.
These hooks are strategically placed in the sales funnel to move prospects closer to the buying decision. For my marketing services I offer a free one-on-one consultation.
The consultation request goes to my personal assistant and she calls them back to gather more information and schedule the appointment. Then I call them and have a conversation about what they are wanting to accomplish.
If I tried to sell them marketing services that cost between fifteen hundred and twenty thousand dollars a month on my landing page I would never get any new clients. The free consultation hooks them into a phone call that leads to a proposal.
#7 – Titles, headlines and subheadings hold great importance.
I’ve discussed the importance of titles and blog posts many times. The title or heading of your landing page or ad copy is just as important. Here are a few headline formulas that are consistently used by the top advertising firms.
Keep it simple and be direct. An example of this would be “free marketing consult with the CEO”.
Tell them the benefit. An example would be “earn one thousand dollars on the side”
How to headline. An example is “how to grow and monetize your blog”.
And finally the give away useful information. The example for this one is “free masterclass on using webinars to convert sales”.
Always take your time on creating your headlines. I recommend brainstorming to come up with at least 20 different headlines for a landing page. This will allow you to pick out the best one yourself or be able to test to identify the clear winner.
#8 – Understand the difference between cost and value.
You walk into a grocery store, there’s a giant yellow sign that says bread 50 cents. It’s normally 2 dollars so that’s a pretty good deal. You start thinking about whether or not you should purchase that loaf of bread. Then you see another sign, fresh bread four dollars.
You can smell the bread cooking in the ovens behind the glass display. Your stomach begins to rumble. Which loaf of bread are you going to purchase?
There’s a large chance that you’re more likely to purchase the fresh bread than the bread on sale even though it cost a dollar more. So why does this happen? Because the words we read engage our senses.
Even though the only difference between the two signs is fresh in the description people are more likely to purchase the item which offers the best overall value to them.
If you want immediate satisfaction a warm loaf of soft bread is often better than a day-old crusty cheap bread. That doesn’t mean one loaf of bread has more value than the other, each has value. It’s the consumer who decides which has the most value to them.
In your copywriting the smallest details matter. When you’re describing what you offer you’re competing with hundreds if not thousands of other writers promoting something similar. You want to offer fresh bread not just bread.
Amy Porterfield sells her course on how to create webinars for right at $1,000. There are plenty of other courses and webinars for as low as $99. People pay ten times more for her course because of the value.
She personally uses webinars to generate millions of dollars in sales. I have no problem paying a thousand dollars for her course because of the results she has achieved with her own business. Whatever you are selling try and focus on the value and not the price.
#9 – Let your readers save time.
While reading, most content today isn’t read word for word. It’s not that your words are unimportant it’s just that people are super busy today and feel like they can’t sit down to read 1500 words of brilliant copywriting.
Modern readers want to pick and choose what they read. This means they will first skim the content to see if it has value. If it passes the first test then they will pick out the key points that they want to spend time on.
From a copywriting standpoint this means you need to have more power in your content when it comes to your key points so that you can keep people reading once they start the skimming. There are a number of ways that you can do this without really changing your writers voice.
The first is to add bullet points or numbered lists that naturally catch a skimmers eye.
Next you want to use subheadings within your content for every 150 to 250 words of content. In addition you’ll want to reduce your paragraph sizes from four to five sentences to two to three sentences.
Use formatting options like bold text and italicize text to indicate a specific point of importance. Colored text can also work but avoid underlining the text since hyperlinks tend to be underlined.
And finally break up your content with infographics, videos, images and other forms of media.
The same tactics to get people to read through your blog post will drive people deeper into your landing page.
#10 – Be yourself
A writer must focus on what they know. If you’re writing about an unfamiliar subject then research it before writing about it. Don’t try to pretend to be something that you’re not. This is why writers must write what they know.
Anyone can point out common concerns, it takes an expert to point out the real value proposition of any product or service, to prove there is nothing the reader should worry about.
#11 – Use the a AIDA formula.
This formula works well for sales copy but it is also beneficial for virtually all copywriters. It’s called the a AIDA formula and its goal is to keep the reader focused. Here’s what the formula entails.
A is for attention. You grab the attention of the reader with a meaningful title or headline and a compelling thesis statement.
I is for interest. This is where your copywriting must enhance the purpose of your thesis statement so that readers can see the value of what is being offered to them.
D is for desire. This is the push to transition the reader from wanting to have what you offer to the feeling like they need it.
The second A is your call to action. It’s the prompt most readers need to actually act upon the information they’ve just read.
Copywriting Tips – Conclusion
By mastering these 11 copywriting tactics your website will be able to seduce your readers into becoming buyers. It really does make a huge difference to the bottom line when you apply these principles correctly throughout your landing pages.
I’ll leave you with a quote from David Ogilvy who is largely seen as the greatest copywriter of all time. “You cannot bore people into buying your product, you can only interest them in buying it”.