Copywriting Secrets – Align Your Strategy With My Essential Copywriter’s Toolbox
Crack the code on crafting hypnotic copy that converts like crazy. This battle-tested toolbelt equips you with the must-know tactics to become a income-boosting wordsmith.
Hey there! Mattia here, your friendly neighborhood copywriting expert. If you’re looking to improve your copywriting skills and write copy that truly converts readers into buyers, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, I’ll be spilling some of my best-kept copywriting secrets and showing you the essential tools every copywriter needs in their toolbox.
What precisely is copywriting, you may wonder? Simply said, copywriting is the science of producing copy (words used on web pages, advertisements, promotional materials, and so on) that persuades people to do a specific action.
The ultimate goal is to align your copywriting strategy to your business goals.
For example, you may want people who land on your website to sign up for your email list, purchase your product, or schedule a call with your sales team. Effective copywriting is what motivates them to convert and take that action you want them to take.
So how do you write high-converting copy? I’m glad you asked! In this guide, I’ll walk you through the copywriting secrets and essential copywriter’s toolkit that I’ve developed over my 20+ years in the business.
Specifically, we’ll cover:
- Knowing your audience inside and out
- Crafting compelling offers
- Writing magnetic headlines
- Speaking your reader’s language
- Pushing their emotional triggers
- The power of social proof
- Urgency and scarcity
- Guarantees and reassurance
- Pricing psychology
- Crafting persuasive closes
- The importance of testing and optimization
Let’s dive in!
Know Your Audience
The first and arguably most important copywriting secret is to intimately understand who you’re writing for. The better you know your target audience, the better you can tailor your copy to resonate with their specific needs, interests, and motivations.
When getting to know your audience, look at both demographic information (age, gender, location, income level, etc.) as well as psychographic information (values, attitudes, interests, personality, etc.).
Some key things to research:
- Demographics: Age, gender, location, income level, education, occupation, marital/family status, etc. Look at customer data or surveys to create a demographic profile.
- Psychographics: Values, priorities, personality traits, attitudes, beliefs, interests, lifestyle. Social media stalking can provide some clues or use surveys.
- Biases: Pre-existing inclinations, opinions, or loyalties your audience may have. For example, iPhone vs Android, Mac vs PC.
- Emotional motivators: The deeper reasons why people buy. Look beyond surface features & benefits. Why does your product or service matter to them?
- Customer avatars: Create semi-fictional representative profiles of your target audience members. Include demographic + psychographic details.
Really immersing yourself in who your audience is and what makes them tick helps you write copy that speaks directly to their priorities, interests, and motivations.
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Craft a Compelling Offer
Your offer is the deal you present to convince readers to convert. To make your offer truly irresistible, keep these copywriting secrets in mind:
- Lead with benefits. Focus on how your product or service will improve their life.
- Include bonuses. Free gifts, discounts, and other incentives boost perceived value.
- Set deadlines. The urgency created by expiring discounts or limited-time offers can nudge readers off the fence.
- Engineer scarcity. High demand + limited availability also taps into urgency.
- Strategic pricing. Consider payment plans anchoring to higher prices or discounts off inflated prices.
- Justify value. Provide ample proof that your solution is worth the investment.
In short, you want an offer that stacks value while also tapping into urgency. Sprinkle in bonuses and discounts to turbo-charge it.
Write Magnetic Headlines
Your headline is often the first thing people see and their first impression of your copy. Captivate them with these strategies:
- Follow proven formulas. Tested headline patterns like “How to [benefit]” work well.
- Use power words. Words like “secrets,” “profit,” “discover,” etc. command attention.
- Speak to emotions. Curiosity, frustration, ambition – tap into these.
- Promise transformation. Imply the after will be better than the before.
Also, make them ultra-specific and target keywords your audience may search.
- “How This Strange Nootropic Eliminated My Debilitating Brain Fog And Made Me Limitless”
- “Land Your Dream Remote Job in 2023 With This Step-by-Step Framework”
- “Sick of Your Cluttered Home? Discover the Japanese Art of Life-Changing Decluttering”
Speak Their Language
Write like you’re talking to a real person, not a faceless crowd. Use these copywriting secrets:
- Mirror their words. Listen to your audience and parrot back their vocabulary.
- Conversational tone. Write as you talk. Ditch the stiff, formal tone.
- Avoid buzzwords. Skip the overused lingo only marketers use.
- Tell a story. Share case studies, origin stories, metaphors – give them a narrative.
Speaking plainly in your reader’s voice builds trust and rapport. And tell stories that resonate with their worldview.
Push Emotional Triggers
At the end of the day, people make decisions based on emotion and justify them logically. Push their buttons:
- Identify pain points. What frustrations and anxieties do they have?
- Fan the flames. Pour salt on the wound. Get them nodding, “Yes, exactly!”
- Offer relief. Position yourself as the cure to their worries.
- Spark desire. Paint a picture of how great life will be after choosing you.
Once you’ve amped up those emotions, your solution will be incredibly appealing.
Stack Social Proof
People look to others for cues on what to think and do. That’s why social proof is so powerful:
- Testimonials. Sprinkle in positive reviews from real buyers.
- Spotlight influencers. Getting kudos from authority figures or celebs can wow.
- Manufacture authority. Even if you’re unknown, project expertise with thought leadership content.
- Borrow trust. Piggyback off recognizable, reputable names when possible.
The more credible voices who vouch for you, the more believable you become.
Urgency + Scarcity
Creating a now-or-never sense of urgency and scarcity taps into FOMO:
- Limit availability. Low inventory, only X spots left in this training, etc.
- Impose deadlines. The discount expires at midnight! Register by X date and save $$$.
- Risk reversal. Money-back guarantees, free trials, and generous return policies reduce risk.
- Stoke FOMO. Make them envision missing out on the benefits others are enjoying.
This combo motivates immediate action rather than “I’ll think about it later.”
Guarantees + Reassurance
Most people are at least a little uncertain before making a purchase. Ease their anxiety:
- Reduce risk. Sweeping guarantees take the pressure off.
- Obligate action. “If this doesn’t work, I’ll give you a $1000” type of guarantee.
- Personalize it. The CEO’s handshake guarantee feels warmer than a faceless corporation’s.
- Entertain them. Clever, funny guarantees are disarming. See Domino’s Pizza’s 30-minutes-or-less policy.
Reassure readers that you stand behind your product and they have nothing to lose.
How you present your pricing impacts perception. A few pointers:
- Engineer drops. (“Regular price $597, now just $127!”) Deals feel irresistible.
- Emphasize savings. (“Slash your electricity bill by $203 every month!”) Focus on ROI.
- Offer payment plans. Breaking costs into smaller increments is less intimidating.
- Bundle. Packing in “bonuses” drums up perception of higher total value.
Savvy pricing presentation minimizes resistance and sticker shock.
Craft Compelling Closes
Don’t leave readers hanging at the altar. Guide them smoothly through to conversion with these copywriting secrets:
- Clear CTAs. Tell them exactly where and how to convert. Buttons, links, phone numbers.
- Include response mechanisms. Having order forms, payment integrations, scheduling links, etc. removes friction.
- Remove roadblocks. Identify any speedbumps in their journey and pave the path.
- Make it easy. When the next step is obvious and convenient, they’re more likely to take it.
Your job isn’t done until you get them across the finish line. Remove every barrier standing between your copy and conversion.
Optimization + Testing
Here’s one of the most lucrative copywriting secrets I can share: the key to consistently improving your results is relentless testing and optimization.
- Track data. Use analytics to see what copy is resonating. Find your copywriting superpowers!
- Split test. Try slight variations in your copy and headlines to see what moves the needle.
- Continually refine. Winning variants become your new controls to challenge and beat.
- Measure ROI. Split test budget vs. revenue to see which copy has the highest return.
Keep meticulous records of what you test and how it performs. Rinse and repeat. This process compounds over time.
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But let’s move on now, there is yet a lot to cover!
Speak Their Language
To build an intimate connection and resonate with readers, you must speak their language. This means writing conversationally, using your audience’s own vocabulary, and telling compelling stories.
Mirror prospects’ words
Start by listening closely to how your target audience describes and discusses the problem you solve. What specific terminology do they use? What words and phrases come up again and again?
Pay attention to social media groups, forums, review sites, and anywhere else your audience converses. Look for recurring themes and word patterns. Then parrot those exact words and phrases back to readers in your copy.
For example, if your B2B product helps companies “align sales and marketing,” but your audience complains about “misalignment between salespeople and marketers,” that second phrase will land much better.
Repeating your audience’s vocabulary back to them creates a sense of familiarity and rapport. It shows you speak their language – both literally and figuratively.
Use conversational tone
Stiff, overly professional “marketing speak” is a turnoff. It comes across as disingenuous and robotic. Instead, adopt a casual, conversational tone like you’re explaining your offer to a friend.
Write simply. Use contractions like you’re and don’t. Address the reader directly with “you.” Ask rhetorical questions. Weave in interjections like “So” and “Now,”. Write as you talk.
This style helps form an intimate bond with the reader. Imagine sitting across from a prospect explaining your product over coffee. Put that natural cadence into your copy.
Avoid hype and clichés
While conversational, avoid relying on overused, generic industry jargon and buzzwords. These quickly identify you as an outsider.
For example, hyped-up claims like “groundbreaking,” “best-in-class,” “unmatched performance,” and “revolutionary” are clichés. So is technical lingo only fellow marketers understand.
Your audience cares about how your offer improves their life or solves their problems – not empty superlatives. Keep the focus on them by using plain,results-focused language.
Tell a compelling story
Facts and features are boring. Stories help ideas stick. Weave in anecdotes, origin stories, case studies, and metaphors that resonate with the reader’s worldview.
For example, telling the founder’s personal tale of overcoming adversity to launch the company taps into the underdog archetype. A case study illustrating how you solved a client’s problem makes the result tangible.
Stories that reflect the audience’s values, beliefs, hopes, and struggles form an emotional bond. Sprinkle them throughout your copy to complement logical arguments.
Push Emotional Triggers
Logical arguments alone rarely motivate buying decisions. You must make prospects feel the power of your solution on an emotional level. Push their psychological buttons using these techniques:
Identify pain points
Start by getting crystal clear on your audience’s hopes, frustrations, anxieties, and problems. What keeps them up at night? Where can you spotlight gaps between the status quo and their ideal world?
Spend time researching and listening to identify needs. Dig beyond surface features to uncover core emotional motivators. Empathize deeply with your reader.
For example, a busy accountant looking at your bookkeeping software isn’t merely thinking, “I want increased efficiency.” Underneath, she feels overwhelmed, stressed, and fears falling behind on work. She worries about letting clients down.
Knowing those deeper emotional motivations allows you to speak directly to them later when positioning your solution.
Fan the flames
Next, turn up the heat on those pain points. Really make the reader nod along and think, “Yes, this is so relatable and frustrating!” Pour gasoline on the problem.
To continue the accounting software example, you’d remind readers of the anguish of scrambling to gather receipts during tax season. The nagging fear of an IRS audit. The embarrassment of missing a filing deadline for a client.
Vividly demonstrate you grasp their challenges. Fan those flames of frustration to make the pain visceral. Set the stage for relief.
Now present your business as the aspirin to their pounding headache. Shift the focus to how you alleviate their worries and frustrations.
Spotlight testimonials from past clients describing exactly how your solution cured their issues. Use before and after examples. Offer guarantees to assuage concerns.
Position yourself as the white knight galloping in to rescue them from adversity. You offer a lifeline – seize this opportunity to drive that point home.
Finally, paint an emotionally compelling vision of the happier future awaiting after adopting your solution. Describe the hope, pride, confidence, security, and fulfillment they’ll feel.
For our accounting software, discuss how efficiency and automation remove stress and free up time to focus on the bigger-picture strategy. How impeccable books give peace of mind come tax season.
Stir up positive emotions associated with their post-purchase life to spark desire. Contrast this vision with the grim status quo to showcase your opportunity in bold relief.
Stack Social Proof
People look to others for cues on how to act. That’s why stacking credible social proof from respected sources boosts conversions:
Positive reviews from past customers pack an immense persuasive punch. Their first-hand experiences build trust.
For quality testimonials, select customers who represent your ideal client avatar. The details in their stories should reinforce your positioning and emotional triggers.
Include specifics like how long they’ve been a customer, objective metrics/results achieved, how your solution solved struggles, how it improved their life, and what sets you apart from alternatives.
If possible, gather video and written testimonials. Segment them by niche audiences like “software engineers” or “mobile notaries” so you can match testimonials to readers.
Rotate new testimonials regularly to keep things fresh. Variety beats quantity.
Collecting kudos from authority figures, experts, the media, celebrities, or brands known to your audience can provide tremendous social proof.
Even a short quote or blurb linking you to someone influential sparks instant credibility. It subconsciously tells the reader, “This company is legit.”
To land influencer endorsements, look up their past work and testimonials to find natural connections. Pitch them on why amplifying each other would be mutually beneficial.
Even if you’re unknown, you can demonstrate expertise and credibility through thought leadership content.
Publish helpful educational articles, videos, white papers, and other media that prove you’re a subject matter authority. Answer common questions to display insider mastery.
This manufactured authority establishes trust quickly through valuable information – not sales pitches. It proves you walk the walk.
Over time, you become a familiar industry voice prospects turn to. That makes you the logical choice when they’re ready to buy.
Given the choice between an unknown startup or a product from Amazon, Apple, or Samsung, which seems safer?
Highlight any connections you have to recognizable, reputable brands. Spotlight past case studies you’ve done with market leaders.
Borrow the built-in credibility of larger partners through logos and collaborations. Their stamp approval reassures audiences.
The more respected institutions willing to stake their name on you, the more it de-risks your offer in the mind of prospects. Stack up those trust indicators.
Urgency and Scarcity
Creating a sense of urgency and scarcity taps into the fear of missing out (FOMO). Use these strategies judiciously to nudge readers off the fence:
Explicitly state limited inventory, only X spots left, capped enrollment, or production limits to spike demand.
But don’t lie – this backfires if skeptical prospects test your claims. For ethically sound scarcity, launch new products in small batches before ramping up production.
When debuting your catalog of handcrafted wool sweaters, start with a pilot run of 100 units. If demand exceeds your capacity, customers must eagerly await the next production batch.
Be transparent around production limits, not artificial caps. Making something available for “one week only” when you can restock endlessly is deceptive.
Discount expiration dates, registration deadlines, and other cutoff times force action before the opportunity vanishes:
- Use ticking countdown timers tied to specific dates for extra urgency.
- Highlight dwindling supply – “Only 5 units left at this price!”
- Remind readers of the penalty for delay – “Sale ends Tuesday. Reg. price $497”.
Ensure the deadline rationale makes sense, like the end of a tax season sale for an accounting product.
Use risk reversal
Money-back guarantees, free trials, and generous return policies reduce perceived risk:
- Take the pressure off by promising satisfaction, or they pay nothing.
- Free trials let readers test with no commitment. Lower the barrier.
- Make returns frictionless. Reduce anxiety.
Risk reversal says, “You have nothing to lose.” That tips many fence-sitters into action.
FOMO (fear of missing out) is a powerful psychological motivator. Show readers what they’ll miss by not acting:
- Spotlight thrilled customers enjoying the benefits.
- Share stats on business growth, income gains, or productivity increases they’re missing.
- Remind them others have already claimed limited spots or discount savings.
- Ask, “Imagine a year from now if you still haven’t solved this problem.”
No pressure tactics – just showcase through stories what they’ll continue lacking if they don’t act. FOMO provides the push.
Guarantees and Warranties
Most people feel uncertain before major purchases. Ease that doubt with guarantees and warranties:
Sweeping guarantees shift risk off the buyer’s shoulders. Don’t just guarantee satisfaction – guarantee success. Like:
- “If you don’t double your leads in 6 months, we’ll refund every cent.”
- “Lose 10+ lbs each month or get the next 6 months free.”
Go above and beyond expected guarantees to astonish readers and smash objections. Make bold promises that reframe the offer as no-risk.
Guarantees that obligate customers to take action can also work well. For example:
- “Find a lower price, and we’ll pay you $500.”
- “Keep the iPhone free if you can go a month without it.”
These dare customers to prove you wrong. And very few go to the effort to collect. But it builds immense trust upfront.
Make it personal
A money-back guarantee from the CEO feels warmer than a faceless corporation. Build rapport:
- Put guarantees in the founders’ voice on the About Us page.
- Shoot a video with the owner personally, ensuring satisfaction.
When possible, make it a person-to-person promise between the customer and the company builder. It’s more meaningful.
Add entertainment value
Clever, humorous guarantees also disarm readers and build affinity:
- M&Ms: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
- De Beers diamonds: “A diamond is forever”
- Domino’s Pizza: “Hot, fresh pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free.”
Make your guarantee rhyme, incorporate pop culture references, add humor, or use funny language to cut through skepticism.
Persuasive Price Presentations
How you present your price heavily influences your willingness to pay. Use framing and psychology to reduce resistance:
Engineer price drops
Highlighting markdowns off a higher reference price makes deals irresistible:
- Strikethrough former prices – “Was $197, now $67.”
- State percentage discounts – “Get 60% off for a limited time”
- Use counting-down language – “Slash the price from $499 to just $199.”
- Offer coupon codes – “Use FALLSALE to save 25%”
Just ensure your reference price looks reasonable. Big fake markdowns breed distrust.
Instead of focusing on cost, emphasize value gained – the problems solved and savings achieved:
- “Slash your electricity bill by $58/month with our smart home product.”
- “Save over $300 in bank fees each year by switching to Chime.”
- “Recover 2 workweeks of productivity per year with automated workflows.”
This “costs you $X but saves you $YYYY” framing puts the purchase in terms of ROI and usage value, not sticker price.
Offer payment plans
Breaking costs into smaller increments is less intimidating:
- “Pay only $19.99/month instead of $237 upfront.”
- “0% APR financing over 6 months – just $50/month”
- “3 easy payments of $33.33”
This works especially well for pricier products. $1,000 seems like a fortune but $100 over 10 months feels manageable.
Bundle to increase perceived value
Packing in bonus items inflates the apparent total value:
- Bundle a free ebook, 25 templates, and personalization blueprint with a SaaS subscription
- Throw in installation, free shipping, extended warranties
- Bundle multiple related products into a discounted package deal
Bundling boosts the perception of what they’re getting for the price paid.
Tactically frame pricing in these buyer-friendly ways to minimize resistance and hesitation.
Price presentation truly impacts decision-making.
Craft Compelling Closes
Don’t leave readers hanging at the altar. Guide them seamlessly from your copy to conversion with these techniques:
Give clear calls to action
Tell readers exactly where and how to convert after digesting your message.
- Include clickable buttons, links, phone numbers, QR codes, etc. that facilitate taking action.
- Use commanding language – “Claim your free trial below,” “Call now and quote this discount code.”
- If multiple options, order them from most to least desirable for conversion funnel
Don’t make people guess or hunt for next steps. Clearly, point them to where you want them to go.
Include response mechanisms
Minimize steps and friction between copy and transaction:
- Pre-populated order forms and shopping carts
- Click-to-call phone links to connect instantly
- In-ad CTAs to schedule appointments with Calendly-style tools
- Links to email signup forms, messenger bots, etc.
The easier you make responding, the higher your response rates will be. Always include direct response mechanisms.
Look for any speedbumps along the conversion path and eliminate pain points.
- Simplify forms. Only mandatory fields.
- Add trust symbols like money-back guarantees and security badges.
- Resolve technical issues. Broken links kill conversions.
- Allow anonymous shopping before requiring login or signup.
Identify and pave the smoothest journey from copy to customer. Remove all hiccups.
Make it easy
When the next step feels seamless, convenient, and obvious, customers are more likely to take it.
- Minimal fields on signup forms.
- One-click purchases.
- Saved payment details for repeat business.
- Simple navigation.
Eliminate all thinking and effort. When converting feels like the easiest, most frictionless option, sales lift.
Finally, use urgency sparingly. Remind readers why now is the ideal time to act:
- Expiring discounts or availability
- Rising prices
- Limited-time bonuses
- Shifting laws or trends impacting their decision
Strike a balance between informing and urging action. Don’t shut the door on future business. But remind them of the benefits of acting quickly within reason.
Optimization and Testing
Relentlessly optimizing your copy based on real-world data is crucial for peak performance. Follow these best practices:
Use analytics to identify high-performing copy and headlines:
- Clickthrough rates on links/CTAs
- Scroll depth
- Email open and click rates
- Page dwell time
Zero in on pages, offers, and copy that resonate. Find your “copywriting superpowers” to leverage across marketing.
Try slightly different versions of copy, offers, and creatives against each other:
- Call to action wording
- Offer details
Over time, winning variants rise to the top. Never stop challenging yesterday’s underperformers against new contenders.
Let data inform steady improvements over time through A/B testing:
- Turn winning variants into new control
- Try incremental changes against control
- If the new version beats control, it becomes control
- Rinse and repeat. Each cycle builds on the previous.
Keep a “living copy” mindset. Let experience continually inform changes and optimizations.
Beyond conversions, track revenue and profit generated:
- Sales per converting visitor
- Customer lifetime value
- Marketing costs
- Impact on brand growth
Combine conversion data with financials for the full picture. ROI is the ultimate arbiter of copy effectiveness.
Religiously studying data and challenging assumptions is vital to progressively sharpening your copywriting. Treat copy as living, evolving organisms.
There you have it – an insider’s guide to aligning copy strategy with business goals by leveraging the essential copywriter’s toolkit:
- Know your target audience deeply – demographics, psychographics, biases, emotional drivers
- Make irresistible offers with benefits, bonuses, scarcity, strategic pricing
- Write magnetic headlines following proven formulas
- Speak to prospects in their own words conversationally
- Activate emotions – both pain points and desire
- Harness social proof through reviews, influencers, and authority
- Build urgency with scarcity, deadlines, risk-reversal
- Provide guarantees and reassurance to reduce doubt
- Use pricing psychology – framing, anchoring, partitioning
- Guide readers seamlessly to conversion with clear next steps
- Continually test and optimize based on hard data
While part art, following this repeatable framework, sets you up for copy that truly converts.
As discussed, the key is deeply understanding your audience. What makes them tick? Speak directly to their hopes, frustrations, goals, and motivations.
Everything else – compelling offers, strategically stacked value, narrative flow – all stems from addressing real human needs. Start there, and a persuasive copy follows.
I hope these insider copywriting tips help take your conversions to the next level. Never stop meticulously testing new angles and variants. Over time, small but compounding copy tweaks make a major impact.
Remember, even expert copywriters constantly refine and improve. It’s a lifelong journey of nuanced optimization, not a destination.
If any questions pop up along your copywriting journey, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m always happy to help.
Copywriting Secrets – Common Questions and Answers to Master the Science of Persuasive Writing
What are some copywriting secrets of the pros?
The pros have a toolkit stuffed with copywriting secrets that elevate their persuasiveness. Like a magician fooling an audience by manipulating perception, expert copywriters subtly guide readers’ emotions, psychology, and decisions.
Let’s pull back the curtain on some of their top secrets:
- Hyper-targeting: Master copywriters get ultra-specific about their audience. They identify precise psychographics like income level, values, frustrations, and biases. This hyper-targeted message resonates like it was written for one person.
- Emotional triggers: Persuasion is not logical, it is emotional. Savvy copywriters identify their prospect’s deepest hopes, anxieties, and desires. Then they tap directly into those psychological drivers.
- Urgency: Timelines, limited-time offers, dwindling inventory, and expiring discounts all create a now-or-never fear of missing out. This sense of urgency pushes fence-sitters to act now rather than delay.
- Social proof: Credible third-party endorsements such as celebrity partnerships, expert reviews, client case studies, and testimonials are social cues that build trust and confidence in the buying decision.
- Guarantees: Bold guarantees with money-back promises and free trials reassure anxious prospects that the risk lies 100% with the seller, not them. This removes roadblocks to purchase.
- Storytelling: Data alone is unmemorable. Copywriters turn brand stories, case studies, and metaphors into compelling narratives that hook attention while building affinity.
- Optimization: Unlike fixed advertisements, digital copy is constantly refined through split testing headlines, offers, layouts, and more to incrementally boost performance over time.
So copy isn’t just about fancy words – it’s strategically engineering the customer’s emotional experience to guide them to conversion. That’s the copywriter’s sleight of hand.
How do you learn copywriting?
Becoming an adept copywriter takes study and practice:
Master the fundamentals
Learn classic formulas for headlines, leads, persuasive frameworks like AIDA, and psychological triggers. Study examples from masters – Eugene Schwartz, John Caples, and David Ogilvy.
Read wide and deep
Consume books on advertising history, direct marketing, research studies, neuroscience, and behavioral psychology to incorporate lessons. The more multidisciplinary knowledge, the better.
Analyze successful ads
Deconstruct what makes existing high-converting ads effective. Reverse engineer why their messaging compels action.
Observe real conversations
Listen to real people – not marketers – discuss products and topics related to your industry. Pay attention to the words, emotions, and questions that come up.
Like piano scales, regularly practice writing copy, headlines, and leads. Hone your craft through repetition and output. Write daily.
Learn from critiques
Share your copy to get constructive feedback from experienced marketers. Don’t take it personally. Critique makes you better.
Split test relentlessly
The market’s the ultimate critic – nothing matters but results. Test new copy variants against the control to see what improves response.
Let data reveal customer psychology – which messages and offers resonate and which fall flat. Pivot based on real-world numbers, not opinions.
Cultivate empathy and powers of observation. Notice body language, facial expressions, and subtle reactions to pick up on hidden thoughts.
It’s a continuous learning journey. But absorb these lessons, and you’ll be lightyears ahead of most marketers.
What makes a good copywriter?
The best copywriters blend creativity with psychology to persuade:
Imaginative: They ideate fresh angles to tell brand stories and make offers compelling. Their minds overflow with ideas.
Empathetic: They connect with the reader’s worldview to identify their deepest pains and desires. Good copywriters get people.
Disciplined: They religiously split test to figure out what messages resonate. The market, not egos, determines good copy.
Strategic thinkers: They know positioning the offer strategically matters more than flowery words. This clarity guides copy.
Skilled writers: While not always elegant wordsmiths, they can translate ideas into crisp, clear copy that compels action.
Psychology buffs: They employ tactics from behavioral economics, cognitive science, persuasion frameworks like Cialdini’s, and more.
Data-driven: They obsessively analyze metrics to optimize copy, offers, and creatives based on real-world results.
Chameleons: They blend into the perspective of the audience to write using their language, frames of reference, and emotions.
Unorthodox: They test unconventional approaches and angle – weird formats, humor, shocking claims. Different wins.
Part art, part science, the best copywriters combine creativity with psychological shrewdness to write copy that moves markets.
How do you use copywriting to increase sales?
Copywriting boosts sales by engineering the customer journey from awareness to purchase. Strategically guide readers by:
- Grabbing attention: Hook interest with compelling headlines focused on customer needs.
- Addressing pain points: Connect with frustrations around the status quo. Highlight gaps between their reality and ideal.
- Offering relief: Present your product or service as the antidote to their struggles. Position it as the hero.
- Building desire: Paint an emotionally compelling vision of their life after adopting your solution.
- Urgency: Use scarcity tactics, expiring discounts, or deadlines to nudge immediate action.
- Overcoming objections: Address potential dealbreakers head-on before they arise. Reduce anxiety.
- Social proof: Back up claims with credible third-party endorsements, reviews, and testimonials that provide social validation.
- Minimizing risk: Sweeping guarantees, free trials, and bonuses reduce perception of risk in buying.
- Clear call to action: Tell readers exactly where and how to convert – phone number, link, promo code, etc. Remove all friction.
- Follow up: Email, remarket, incentivize return visits – continue nurturing post-purchase.
That’s the sales funnel enhanced through strategically crafted copy at each stage. Follow this blueprint for copy that sells.
What makes a good call to action in copywriting?
Your call to action is often the most critical part of copy. Make CTAs that convert with these tips:
Clarity: State exactly what you want visitors to do – click, signup, buy, call, etc. Don’t make them guess.
Sense of urgency: Phrases like “Act now before prices increase on March 1st” spur action.
Benefits: “Discover how to double sales” sells better than “Download the guide”. Focus on their gain.
Active voice: “Claim your free trial now” beats “Free trial available”. Active CTAs sound more exciting.
Contrast: Make the CTA stand out visually from body copy via color, size, format, or placement on the page.
Directional cues: Underline links, add clickable buttons, use pointers or arrows – make it clear it’s clickable.
Reduce effort: Pre-populated forms, one-click purchase, and auto-scrolling to the CTA remove friction.
Singular focus: Keep one primary CTA per page or ad to avoid choice paralysis. Don’t distract.
Relevance: Match the offer, tone, and format to your audience and campaign objectives.
Testing: Regularly A/B test new CTAs, placements, formats against old to lift performance.
Follow this CTA formula, and your calls to action will guide visitors smoothly to conversion.
How do you start a copywriting project?
Launch copywriting projects poised for success by:
Pinpointing the objective: What specifically should your copy accomplish? Form a crystal-clear goal – signups, trials, purchases, etc.
Understanding the audience: Research demographics and psychographics. Discover their wants, needs, fears, and behaviors. Compile insights into “buyer personas”.
Determining the offer: Identify the core proposition. What’s the lead magnet, tripwire, flagship product? Outline all the offer elements – positioning, products/services, pricing, bonuses, guarantees, etc.
Finding a compelling angle: Uncover the customer story and emotional drivers. Why this offer, why now? Identify your golden nugget insight.
Outlining content structure: Map the narrative flow. Lead with the key tension, transition into problem discussion, highlight deficiencies of current solutions, present your alternative, add social proof and urgency cues, then call-to-action.
Selecting formats and placements: Determine which formats – landing page, email, social posts, ads, advertorials, direct mail, etc. – are best for reaching your audience and executing your messaging.
Plotting measurements: Define conversion and KPIs to gauge performance. Set measurable targets to benchmark success. Outline tracking methods and analytics.
With meticulous upfront planning and research, you’ll craft copy that directly speaks to your goals and audience. Follow this roadmap for every campaign.
What makes a great copy headline?
Your headline is often your first (and maybe only) chance to grab attention. Craft irresistible headlines with:
Audience-focused: Make the headline hyper-specific about your reader – their identity, desires, fears. This draws them in.
Problem-focused: Highlight a shared frustration, inadequacy, or curiosity. “Is your dull desk job making you depressed?”
Solution-focused: Present your fix as the antidote. “How Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Will Make You Feel Like A Pro Photographer”.
Use power words: Terms like new, secrets, guarantee, amazing, shocking, stunning, etc. command attention through emotional weight.
Bold specificity: Ultra-detailed headlines keep people reading – “How a 22-Year-Old College Dropout Earns $36,195 a Month Selling Chocolate Bars on eBay Without Paid Ads”
Curiosity gap: Ask unexpected questions, hint at valuable secrets, and peak curiosity to keep them hooked.
Location/time cues: If relevant, incorporate location and timing details to make the headline extra targeted – “This Tuesday in Dallas – The #1 Stain Removal Trick Busy Parents Need to Know”
Social proof and authority: “World-Famous Pastry Chef Shares His Italian Cream Cake Recipe”
Incorporate benefits: Don’t just hook attention – convey the usefulness and payoff of reading more.
Riveting, ultra-specific headlines targeted at exactly one reader’s desire make your copy unskippable.
How do you get ideas for copywriting?
Jumpstart ideation for fresh copy angles with:
Customer conversations: Discuss their challenges, workarounds, dream solutions. Hear their natural language patterns. Identify emotional hot buttons through organic dialogue.
Support calls: Listen to common customer issues, misconceptions, feature requests. Use their voice.
Forums and communities: Lurk where your audience hangs out. Discover worries, desires, likes, dislikes.
Trending topics: Piggyback on currently viral cultural moments. Align your messaging to what’s buzzing.
Original research: Conduct surveys, interviews, focus groups to uncover original insights or data points.
Press and influencers: Repackage insights from industry experts into helpful list posts, how-tos, myth-debunking articles. Provide unique framing.
Data mining: Analyze customer analytics for patterns in behavior, demographics, psychographics, location, funnel drop-off points, etc. Identify opportunities.
Reviews: Aggregate common complaints and benefits highlighted. Address the former, amplify the latter.
Search data: See what keyword and long-tail questions prospects ask around your topic. Craft copy that answers those queries.
Steal swipe files: Deconstruct persuasive messaging in highly-shared ads. Never totally emulate, but model what works.
Looking outside your business reveals troves of ideas and insights waiting to be molded into fresh, breakthrough copy angles.
How do you become a better copywriter?
Becoming an elite copywriter requires:
- Voracious learning: Read classics like Scientific Advertising and Ogilvy on Advertising. Follow top copywriters sharing knowledge online. Continuously expand your skills.
- Studying psychology: Learn techniques from compliance professionals like Robert Cialdini and therapists to understand motivations.
- Flex writing muscles: Practice writing every day across formats – tagging social posts, writing cold emails, drafting pitches. Output sharpens abilities.
- Analytical eye: Religiously pore over metrics tying copy elements to outcomes using to identify winning strategies.
- Cultivate empathy: Listen more than you speak. Observe people’s responses. Imagine their inner monologue as they read your copy.
- Survey the greats: Deconstruct breakthrough advertising from masters – David Ogilvy, Eugene Schwartz, Gary Halbert, among others. Analyze why it worked and model techniques.
- Split testing: Challenge everything. Never assume your latest copy is the best it could be. Let the market decide through A/B testing.
- Measure ROI: Know precisely how copy converts – calls, leads, sales. Tweak based on profitability tied to copy.
- More tools: Expand your repertoire – add video, graphics, infographics, interactive content. Combine creativity and metrics.
- Avoid stagnation: Seek fresh angles constantly. Beat creative burnout through variety.
Great copywriting requires lifelong learning. But stay curious, and your skills will never stagnate.
How do you learn technical copywriting?
Mastering technical B2B copywriting requires:
- Learn the subject: Understand in detail how the product/technology works, industry terminology, applications, use cases, and target roles.
- Talk to experts: Pick the brains of product marketers, engineers, support reps, and technical account managers to absorb specialized knowledge.
- Do customer research: Interview target users about their technical needs and pain points. See where your product fits in their workflow.
- Study up on the problem: Immerse yourself in the problem space your technology tackles. Understand objectives, priorities, and challenges of affected roles.
- Simplify messaging: Avoid overly technical language. Explain benefits using easy analogies, stories, and metaphors. Less jargon, more clarity.
- Focus on human impact: Emphasize how technology improves actual people’s lives, not abstract capabilities. Paint the big-picture progress.
- Learn from critiques: Ask industry experts to review your copy for inaccuracies. Iterate based on feedback.
- A/B test approaches: Swap highly technical vs. simplified copy. Gauge emotional impact vs. specs appeal. Take the winner forward.
- Stay current: Continuously keep up with news, new tech, shifts, and trends in your space. Weave details into copy to showcase your expertise.
Getting comfortable simplifying complex tech comes with experience. But apply these principles, and you’ll grow trust and comprehension.
There you have it – a marketer’s overview of my essential copywriter’s toolbox, including actionable tips for crafting high-converting copy based on timeless persuasion principles.
As a quick recap, we covered:
- Researching your audience demographics and psychographics
- Making irresistible offers
- Writing gripping headlines
- Using your reader’s language patterns
- Activating emotional triggers
- Leveraging social proof
- Incorporating scarcity and urgency
- Offering guarantees and reassurance
- Strategic pricing and presentation
- Building frictionless paths to conversion
- The invaluable process of constant testing and optimization
While copywriting is part art, part science, following these guidelines will put you light years ahead. Remember, great copy is all about understanding your audience and speaking directly to their deepest desires and motivations.
The rest is just practice, persistence, and maintaining your obsession with testing new approaches.
I hope these copywriting secrets have sparked some ideas you can apply to your next promotion.
Let me know if you have any other copywriting questions! I’m always happy to help fellow marketing masochists.
Remember, compelling copy catalyzes conversions. Keep honing your skills, keep researching your audience, and keep relentlessly testing. With the right messaging framework, you can guide consumers smoothly from awareness to sale.
What’s your next big idea for breakthrough copy?
To your success, Mattia