The thing that makes copywriting different than other forms of writing is making people take action.
The “action” is different for every type of business and goal, but the biggest thing is getting people to go, “Yeah, I need to do this.”
No matter what you write, there are three rules you need to follow and know:
Who you’re writing to
Why they should care
How they can take action now
Quality copywriting is really that simple and that complex.
Who You’re Writing To
If you don’t know who you’re targeting with your words, no amount of beautiful prose will help you.
Think of it this way: No amount of good copy for a baby product will ever convince me to buy a baby product. Why? Because I don’t have a baby. It can be the most beautiful copy ever written, but it doesn’t matter.
You have to know exactly who you’re writing to so you can get your copy in front of them.
Copywriting gives you the ability to turn away someone who isn’t looking for your product or service. However, the last thing you want to do is turn away people who are the right people - something I see companies do all the time.
You need to know: what they care about, the pain they already have from this problem, and why it matters to them.
The best place to find what you need is to ask your current customers/clients or to read reviews of people who buy similar products and services to yours.
Seriously, reviews are a GOLD MINE and rarely do people take advantage of them. Reviews are a direct look into someone’s mind who already bought something. Sure, you can get the opinions of a lot of people who want to buy something, but getting the opinion of someone who already did? GOLD.
Comb through them, mark up repeating phrases, note why they love or hate things… You should end up with countless words you need to use and sprinkle throughout your copy.
Why They Should Care
Answering someone’s WHY is the biggest step I see most sites miss completely.
Sure, you have the best productivity system on the planet, but who cares? Why does it matter?
This is also called the “benefits” section.
(If you don’t know, features are the specs of the product: sizing, how many chapters in a book… more of the tangible aspects. Benefits are the non-tangible aspects: how it makes someone feel, it makes them more money, it changes their life, etc.)
What makes this product or service different? Why does that matter to their life? What will their life look like after they buy from you?
You can’t get to this step without doing the first step. If you don’t know who you’re writing to, you can’t answer why they care.
This is the difference between writing copy that you know your best friend would love and writing copy that appeals to “any 30-year-old woman”. The more narrow your focus is, the better your copy will perform.
Most brands and websites want to stay generic so they don’t turn away anyone, but by not turning away anyone, you also turn off your potential customers. Huge companies can enjoy being generic, but if you want to stand out you need to draw a line in the sand.
Attracting passionate instead of lukewarm people will always keep you in business.
How They Can Take Action Now
This is the last place where most people get caught: actually telling people what to do.
Instead of saying, “Buy it now”, they say, “Oh, you know, whenever you wanna buy it, that’s cool. I also have these other blogs you can read and stuff, don’t worry about it, take your time.”
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to lie and create deadlines where they don’t exist.
For example, when people tell me there’s “LIMITED DAYS” or start running a countdown timer for a digital product? …. fuck off. You and I both know digital products don’t sell out, they’re an unlimited product. Sure, there might be a deadline because a class is closing or it’s being taken off the shelves for a bit, but don’t lie. Buyers are smart and they can smell these kind of tactics from a mile away.
You simply want to guide them to the next logical step.
It could look like:
They watch a YouTube video you’ve uploaded and find it valuable
So then you pitch your free download in exchange for them getting on your email list
In your emails, you mention your smallest product for sale and how it could help them
If they buy your small product, in there you mention your bigger products or even a service they could use that you offer
Let people know what you offer, but don’t create fake urgency. Your reputation is far more important than a few extra dollars here and there.
Remind them often of these next steps. It doesn’t have to be pushy, it can fit in organically in almost any message you send.
Find your people, know what they care about, and show them how to take action.