Write Professional Copy, Without Hiring A Professional
Updated: May 4, 2022
Copywriting is the backbone of advertising. Often, marketers will make a copy that is supposed to blow up their offer and exaggerate their products. The real goal of a copy should be to show people what makes your offer interesting and illustrate this in a way that is interesting to the people you are targeting.
Making an ad interesting enough to pull in customers doesn't require professional copywriting. The main thing should be to focus on what you're selling and market it accordingly.
Copywriting can be complex; between focusing on your target market, your product, and where you're marketing, there are a lot of aspects to consider when writing a good copy. Although, it doesn't stop there. Your copy must also pull people in and get them intrigued about your offer.
Distinguishing yourself from every other ad we see online every day can be a challenge. To combat this we need to think about the difference between a good copy and a bad one, and what type of copy will work for your business, and which ones won't.
What Makes Copywriting So Complex?
Writing isn't a simple task, even for professional copywriters. Copywriting especially, requires a lot of attention to detail and being able to analyze your target market, and write specifically to that. For small businesses, and people who don't do copywriting constantly, it can be intimidating.
This can mean that because it seems like a more professional form of writing, small businesses often fall into a common copywriting tendency that hurts your business more than helps it.
Small business owners often try to force effectiveness into a copy with 2-6 words. The reality of this is that it is almost impossible to make a copy effective with that few words.
Trying to squeeze your offer into a small phrase will make your business fall into the same category as other businesses doing the same thing. There are only so many phrases you can use that are around 5 words. This means that a lot of businesses doing this approach end up saying the same thing in their ads; you'll end up having no differentiation from your competition.
Good copywriting is a powerful tool, your copy is one of the things you can control and change for free and still see huge results.
Let's look at somewhere where copywriting changed the whole dental care industry:
In the early 1900s, barely anyone used toothpaste; to be more specific, around 7% of people brushed their teeth and used toothpaste. This changed when one great copy was written about the uses of toothpaste and why people need to start using it and brushing their teeth regularly.
This masterpiece of a copy didn't just say “Buy our toothpaste for whiter teeth '' since that approach has already been used and failed. The copy did not state anything like this, its main catch was that the film was created by not brushing your teeth “Robs teeth of their whiteness”.
This made a bigger impact on the general public, as it told people they are being “robbed”, which obviously nobody likes the idea of being robbed.
This ad campaign, because of the great copy, made the 7% of people who brushed their teeth boost up to around 65%. This is because the message focused on something people will react to rather than simply saying the benefit of toothpaste. Claude Hopkins, the copywriter who wrote it, knew to focus on what people are ‘missing’ from not brushing their teeth, not what could happen if they suddenly did.
What Makes Your Copy Go From Bad to Good?
When copywriting, people often try to make themselves stand out too much. Rather than saying the uniqueness of your offer, make your target market feel it as well. Let's say you're deciding between two approaches. One which focuses on an introduction, and uses words like “I”, or one that gets straight to the point and includes words like “you” or “us”.
Clearly, there are two significant differences; the first writer is speaking about themselves and introduces everything in a short copy, while the second gets you intrigued right away and makes you feel like you are a part of the copy as well since the writer uses “you” and “us”.
However, this is not the only thing you have to focus on in a copy. Some other things to make people interested right away are as follows:
Images, or something a person can imagine easily.
Jump into the topic right away.
Create a sense of scale (something you can relate yourself to)
Address the reader directly, make it personal
These focuses will make your copy pry into a customer's mind and make them feel something, not just read it and forget about it a minute later. You have to make your customer feel an emotion, which will then lead to them taking action, which is what we want. Create a sense of excitement and eagerness in the reader. Essentially, you have to show the reader why they should be excited rather than telling them they should be excited.
How To Get Good Results From Your Copy
When we say be specific, we don't mean tell people the specifics of your product and what each attribute does, tell them how it will make them feel, make them imagine it.
Let's say you're advertising a new line of headphones. Don't write your copy saying “the sound quality is at the top of its game”. That won't catch a person's attention as much as something like “A live concert experience wherever you are”. While both of these statements focus on the same thing, the sound quality, one gives you something you can measure, while another makes you eager to experience and feel the sound for yourself.
Don't Make Your Copy Confusing
When it comes to making a copy, don't make it confusing, use simple words and phrases. If possible, use words that people would use in everyday life to describe their problems.
There's a tactic called the Bar Stool Test, this is a way of determining if your sentence will fly, or not. This strategy is: would you say this sitting on a bar stool, in a bar, to a friend? If the answer is anything other than yes, rewrite it.
A few other guidelines to reduce confusion and keep your copy simple are as follows:
Use one idea per sentence
Don’t use more than one comma per sentence unless in a list
Use the word “you” to create instances of active voice
Address Pain Points
Talking about pain doesn't seem like it will appeal to customers, you're right, it doesn't, but it works. Addressing pain has been seen to increase conversion rates significantly. Address what your target customer is missing, and how you'll fix it. Let's look at an example of addressing pain; a marketer is advertising a new scheduling app. If the copywriter writes “a new way to manage your events” it probably won't get many conversions.
On the other hand, if the writer makes the copy “Scheduling pro sorts your events so you can leave the repetitive work behind” it will get a lot more traffic. The copy states something that many people with busy lives have to go through making a slightly different schedule at the beginning of each week.
Make People Eager
Lastly, we'll look at curiosity and how it can boost your copy in ways you may not have thought about. The psychology behind curiosity is a tool for marketers, as it gives us many different ways to make a great copy. Let's look at 5 ways that you can make people curious with your copy, as said by George Loewenstein:
Ask a curiosity inducing question
Start a sequence of events, and don't finish it in the copy
Do something unexpected
Imply you have information that they don't
Imply they used to know something that they've possibly forgotten
In your future copies, try to use 2 or 3 of these methods. Curiosity-inducing copies will lead to you having much higher conversion rates.
Great curiosity-inducing copies can include three different types of curiosity levels.
It asks a question, it implies the reader doesn't have the information that the writer does, and how unexpected it is.
Ultimately, the copy makes or breaks your business. Increasing your conversion rate, getting those sales numbers up, and more. You don't have to be a professional copywriter to create a good copy, focusing on the key aspects of a copy and knowing your target market is what will make your copy effective, not great writing skills.