This is a course that Stephanie took at the end of 2021.
COPYWRITING: process of using words to make thing sell better
readers want your copy to meet a need or solve a problem
good copyright should fix whatever headache your reader is having - like an Advil
3 AMAZING TOOLS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER COPYWRITER
https://www.onelook.com/thesaurus - great online thesaurus (added as a Google integration)
https://hemingwayapp.com/ - personal editor, measures stats like how many words, reading time, and reading level
https://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer - fun tool to score your headline, subheading, subject line
when writing copy, imagine you are writing for school children. This will make your writing crisper, simpler, and easier to understand
one word can make a massive difference in the outcome
POWER WORDS: trigger an emotional response in the reader (ex: secret, discover, free)
”because” is a highly persuasive power word that encourages people to comply with you, even if there is no logical reason to
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? (WIIFM)
“People aren’t interested in you. They’re interested in themselves.” - Dale Carnegie
Try to avoid using “we” and shift focus away from company to customer
WE centered - “Avocado Fitness is the UK’s leading gym with a wide range of fitness classes. We are proud of our instructors and unrivalled expertise. We are passionate about our revolutionary approach, and we take great pride in out state-of-the-art facilities.”
CUSTOMER centered - “When you join Avocado Fitness, you’ll find only the most cutting-edge classes. The instructors you’ll meet know exercise inside out. So set your goals as high as you like. And when you join our gym, you’ll find everything is fresh out of the lab, so you can refresh your workout as often as you like.”
Puts you directly into customer shoes, so easier to write for their needs, wants and challenges
Ask yourself “So what?” when reading to see if answering a customer question
FEATURES TO BENEFITS
Do people want the special mattress, or a good nights sleep?
People don't care about products, services, or features, they only care about what it can do for them and the results they will get from using it
Ex: blue tires are feature of a bike, not the benefit of it
Use “so what?” test
Feature - “This car has ABS Anti-lock breaks
Benefit - “You’ll have more control of your car, helping to prevent accidents”
Try to include both for more compelling copy (“Round brush head for a superior clean”)
Continue asking “So What?” to find emotional & deeper benefits
This car has ABS Anti-lock brakes
You’ll have more control over your car, helping to prevent accidents
This car will keep your family safe on the road
This shampoo contains panthenol
Penetrates hair for thicker and shinier hair
Beautiful hair that gets you noticed
An exercise app with new workout every day
Banish boring workouts from the comfort of your home
Look your best, with an exercise regime you’ll finally stick to
Use a grid like this to write your copy
Write a list of your features
Apply “So What?” test to translate them into benefits
Keep asking “So What?” to uncover the deeper benefits
Use this grid when you are ready to write
Always start copy with deeper benefits, as they hook people from the get go
Features tell, benefits sells
How can I help my reader solve a problem?
What emotions do I want the reader to experience?
YOUR PERSONA GRID
Figure out who your client is by creating a persona grid
Who are they?
What do they do?
What are their goals?
What are their values?
What are their interests?
What are their challenges?
Gender, married/single, kids, pets
Age, gender, education, income, location
Job title and responsibilities, experience, career path
More money, more recognition, industry awards, more time
ATTITUDE AND VALUES
Eco-friendly, budget-conscious, status-seeker?
What keeps your persona awake at night?
What could be their objective about using your product or service?
What language do they use?
What is their challenge in your industry?
HOW TO WRITE CONVERSATIONAL COPY
Most copy is too formal
Keep it casual like you are chatting to a friend in a coffee shop
Conversational copy boost conversions
Always write for one person (make them feel like you are writing just for them not a crowd)
Use simple language (if they have to decode, they are not learning. Keep it simple and short - like talking to kids)
Best, greatest, most
With exception of
Let’s circle back around
Let’s talk about that tomorrow
INSTEAD OF “You are invited to the launch of Tom’s Burger Hut on Saturday”
TRY: “Free on Saturday? Love burgers? Join us at the launch of Tom’s Burger Hut!”
Use short sentences and paragraphs (no more than 13 words MAX per sentence)
Remove sentence bloaters like really, very, almost, probably…etc
You can start a sentence with “And” and “Because”
Use contractions to make copy sound more human (We are > We’re)
TIP: Record yourself talking and write down EXACTLY what you said
Read copy aloud once you are done and re write until it reads easily - “If it sounds like writing, re-write it
CREATING A WINNING PLAN
Set your goal before you begin
Before you write anything ask yourself
What do you want the reader to KNOW after they have finished reading the copy?
What do you want the reader to FEEL after they have finished reading the copy?
What do you want the reader to DO after they have finished reading the copy?
I am writing a:
What do I want my reader to:
Pick ONE big idea
HOW TO WRITE A CALL TO ACTION
Need to tell your reader exactly what you want them to do
Be direct and use active language
Short, simple, strong
“Click Here” “Download Now”
Want to grab people's interest
Something that solves problem
Use power words
Hint at urgency
Make people feel like they can miss an opportunity
“Don’t miss out”
“Sign up before midnight”
“Register now, no credit card needed”
PAS and AIDA - YOUR NEW BEST FRIENDS
Problem - what problem does your customer have?
Agitate - tap into something customer is angry or resentful about
Solution - how does your product/service solve it?
Attention - open with a bang - bold statement, fact or question
Interest - use features and benefits to hook interest
Desire - make them feel desire by showing them their life with your solution - paint a picture of success - use social proof
Action - spur readers to action and tell them what to do next
The 4 U’s - Headlines
Has to “tick” one of the following categories:
Will want to click and open right away
EX: “The Perfect Way To Grow Your Instagram Today!”
“Now”, “Today”, “Quick”, “ASAP”
Our brains love something unique
Write something that grabs attention, try to paint a picture or suprise
People love to know what they will get out of reading something
Be as specific as you can and show the end goal if possible
Don’t be afraid to add data - people like specifics
If in doubt, be helpful, it is a guarantee to get your reader’s attention
Try to offer a benefit in headline
Solve a problem
Quick-fire Headline Tips
Ask questions - “Are Your Too Clever For Success?”
Include numbers - “9 Productivity Tips For Ridiculously Busy People”
Keep it simple and direct - “How To Cook Bacon in The Oven”
Make a bold claim - “Become A Millionaire By Age 25”
Buy don’t use clickbait - “Supermodels do this to look amazing. Click to know what they are.”
*Brain dump at least 20 title options. Even get friends or team members to vote or give edits.
Pocket Guide - Press Releases
Goal is to get publicity for yours or your clients business and sometimes a bit of improved SEO
Can be competing with potentially 100’s of releases, so has to grab attention
To see if your story is newsworthy ask yourself these 3 questions:
Is the story new?
Is there anything remarkable, weird, or dynamic about it?
Can you imagine your customer talking about it in the pub?
The 5 W’s
Opening line needs to summarize entire story in 20 words or less
Who, what, when, why, where?
Try to include all 5 in the first sentence
Keep your press release concise
Keep it to 300-400 words and no more than 4 paragraphs
Don’t write a 30 sentence when a 10 word sentence will work
Avoid buzzwords, acronyms & jargon
Use bullet points and numbers
Bullet points add visual interest
Numbers add credibility
A classic press release template is:
Release Date - left of page
Headline (One sentence) - centered in page
Subheading - centered in page
Body Paragraphs (no more than 3)
End notation (-ends-) - centered in page
Contact details - left of page
Boilerplate - left of page
Typically most to least important information
When adding in a quote:
Quotes should add insight and opinion
Don't include facts and figures (that is the job of the body paragraphs)
Keep it conversational and natural
Try to include a quote from the most senior person available
A CASE STUDY describes how a company solves a challenge with a product or service - and what the results of that looked like
Basically a customer success story
Case study is a sales tool for a business
Name the customer
No more than 50 words
Can swipe from company’s linkedin intro or from website
What keeps the customer up at night?
What problems were the customer facing before the product?
Showcase the winning strategy
Toot your own horn
Keep it short - 2 to 3 paragraphs
Show the results
Back up with as much data as possible
Keep tp 2-3 paragraphs or bullet point list
Include a testimonial and picture if possible
Aim for 500-800 words
Make it easy to read and avoid huge chunks of text
Add interest with bullet and numbered lists, bolded test, boxes, and headlines
Use images (preferably not stock photos, try to use photos of your actual product and real people)
Spend time on a really good headline
ALWAYS end your case study with a call to action
How To Interview For A Case Study
Always ask open ended questions to avoid one word answers
Try to use the exact words and statements of your interviewee for added case study credibility
Try to probe for specifics using phrases such as:
Tell me more about that
Why was that surprising?
Who benefits the most from this?
How to Write Emails
How do you stand out in an inbox?
Always address the reader by name
Show common ground if possible (How was your vacation? Baby?)
Write for one person even if you are writing for many (instead of “you all” change to “all”)
Use conversational tone
Be direct, use the word YOU
Spend time writing a REALLY good subject line
Use simple language
Keep it short and descriptive
Avoid spamming words like SALE, HELP, PERCENT
Don’t use cheesy lures and clickbait
Use a formula instead of a template as it is more elastic and can be adjusted to your specific clientele
Keep it concise
No one likes long emails
More likely to flag down attention if offering something useful
Add your call to action at least twice and make it clear
Clickable link, reply to the email, download the report
Use the P.S. to either repeat your call to action or add urgency
P.S. You've only got 24 hours to grab this deal - don't miss out!
Better to be sent from a real person as opposed to a company
How To Write Web Copy
It is essential that people understand exactly what you are trying to communicate
Write for your reader first and the search engine second
Always write for your target customer
Helps you shape your copy to their exact needs
Will make it more absorbing to your reader
Be a problem solver
Once you know your customer and the questions they are likely to ask, present in your copy as a problem and solution
Posing questions in copy forces people to answer them in their heads
Get to the point
You have about 3 seconds to grab someone's attention when they land on your website so put the most important information right at the top of the copy
Don’t be vague
Try to avoid generalities and broad statements
Want to paint a specific picture
Focus on features and benefits
List all the features of your product and then list benefits of each
Keep asking “So what?” to dig deeper
Use the right language
Imagine you are writing for school children
Short and simple beats clever and creative
Keep it conversational
Don't be afraid to show some personality
Remove jargon and buzzwords
Use the word “you” a lot
Imagine you are talking to this friend in the coffee shop
Make your copy audience-friendly
Top load with the most important info first
Write for skimmers with plenty of headings and subheadings
Keep paragraphs to 4 sentences or less
Keep sentences to around 12 words or less
Include links to other pages and resources
Check for typos and errors
Makes your business look messy
Have someone read over or take a little break before correcting