Updated: Sep 13
Your Copy Shouldn't Be the Jumbled, Scatterbrained, Incohesive Mess of Words That It Is
People give their attention to the things that grab their attention. When it comes to words, this is best achieved when writing is clear, precise, and structured in such a manner as to appeal directly to the target reader.
Presenting a message to your customers that is clear, precise, and structured in such a manner as to appeal directly to their desires will ultimately improve your business.
It's shocking, but true: if you put some thought into your writing and actually care about what you're creating, people will notice — it can make all the difference between an indifferent shrug and a fanatic devotion.
Yes, your copy should be customer centric.
Your copy should be customer centric.
This is the most important part of your sales pitch. If you're not talking to your customers, you're not selling to them. And if you're not selling to them, then what exactly are you doing?
The best way to talk to your customers is by addressing their concerns and answering their questions. You can do this by asking yourself the following questions:
What are the primary challenges my customers face?
How can I help ease these challenges?
What's in it for my customers if they purchase my product or service?
Yes, your copy should be purposeful.
Your copy should have a purpose.
And I don't just mean that it should get the job done. Your copy will only get you so far if it's not purposeful.
Your copy needs to drive a customer action. And that action could be anything from clicking a link or making a purchase to signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook and even sharing your goods on social media.
The point is that you need to have a clear purpose for every piece of copy that you put out. And when I say "clear," I mean crystal-clear.
You have to know exactly what action you want someone to take and then write with that in mind at all times.
Your copy should be designed to lead them through the process they need to take so they can achieve their goal as quickly as possible with minimal effort on their part.
If your copy isn't driving results, then it's not doing its job — regardless of whether it looks good or feels good or even sounds good when read aloud by someone else.
Yes, your copy should be focused.
Your copy should be focused.
I know you’re a human being, and that means you have an emotional side to you. People like you, want to help you, and want to believe in what you do.
This is all great! It means that you can connect with people on an emotional level.
It’s great that you have emotional appeal and connect with people authentically.
However, it's important to keep in mind that sales copy is a technical document — not a place for personal narratives or stories of your life experiences.
You need your copy to be focused on one thing: making the sale. How can you do this? Well first, by removing any distractions from your writing – such as mentioning things like:
Your company history
The fact that the product was made by hand (which is not relevant)
How much effort went into making the product (again, not relevant)
Anything else that doesn't directly relate back to making the sale.
Yes, your copy should be visually appealing and easily digestible.
Your copy should be visually appealing and easily digestible. In fact, you could even say that it should be "easy on the eyes."
This doesn't mean that your copy needs to look like something out of a magazine or a major retailer website. You don't need to have a beautifully designed website or blog (although it certainly helps).
It just means that you need to make sure that your words are easy to read and understand.
Your copy should be short and sweet. It shouldn't ramble on and on about nothing, just because it can. That's going to bore your reader and make them not want to read any further.
You want your reader to find what they're looking for quickly and easily, so they'll keep reading more of what you have to say — hopefully leading them down the path to purchase!
Yes, your tone and style should reflect your brand.
By now, we've all heard about the importance of having a consistent voice. But what does that mean?
In short: your tone and style should reflect your brand.
Your writing style is an extension of your brand. It should be consistent across all of your marketing materials, from emails to blog posts, from social media updates to sales pages.
If you're selling luxury goods, for example, then you'll want to sound like someone who's at ease with wealth and success. Your writing should be confident and elegant — not hesitant or unsure — because this is how people expect wealthy people to talk.
If you're selling something more mainstream (like pet supplies), then you'll want to sound like someone who knows what they're talking about — someone who can help their customers solve problems with ease and confidence.
In either case, write as if you're talking directly to the customer on the other end of the computer screen or phone line (or on paper).
No, you don't need to use fancy words to prove that you're a knowledgeable professional.
You want your copy to be clear, concise and easy to understand. This is a good thing. It means your readers will be able to take in the information you're presenting without having to stop and think about what you've written.
Not only that, but it makes you look like an authority in your field. Your copy should flow naturally from one sentence to another - it shouldn't be a jumbled, scatterbrained mess of words that are impossible for anyone to make sense of.
You don't need to use fancy words or complex sentences in order to prove that you're a knowledgeable professional. You just have to write clearly and concisely.
No, using long but distinctly irrelevant words doesn't make you sound smarter; it makes you waste your readers' time.
One of the most common mistakes I see in website copy is the use of unnecessarily long words.
I'm not talking about words like "utilize" and "optimize," which have a place in certain industries and contexts. I'm talking about words like "prerogative" and "fortuitous," which are just so much fluff.
The problem with using these long words is that they make you look less professional, less intelligent, and less trustworthy.
Here's the thing: No one will ever mistake you for a smart person if they read your copy and come across sentences like this...
"As such, it is our prerogative to ensure that we optimize all our processes in order to ensure that we can increase our profitability and maximize our productivity."
The fact is, it doesn't make you sound smarter; it makes you waste your readers' time.
No, you don't get extra points for being overly verbose.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: People don't read. They skim. They scan. They take in only what they need at the time and move on with their lives.
And that's okay! You don't have to get them to read every word of your copy. All you have to do is get them interested enough to click through to your landing page or give you their email address so that they can receive more information about whatever it is that you're selling.
You have to write snappy, attention-grabbing copy that will entice people to buy from you.
If people sense you're being condescending, they won't care how smart you are or how much you know about the topic at hand.
People are drawn to intelligence. They're open to learning from someone who seems like they know what they're talking about.
If you don't believe me, think back on some of the teachers you had growing up.
Who were the ones you enjoyed learning from?
Who were the ones you didn't care for?
The difference between these two groups is the sense of authority they had in the classroom.
The teacher who commands respect has a sense of confidence and charisma that comes across in their words and actions. They are able to command attention, because people want to be around them and listen to what they have to say.
In contrast, teachers who can't get their point across end up being condescending towards their students.
And if people sense that you're being condescending towards them, then they'll tune out immediately and won't care about anything else you might say after that point.
In short: don't be condescending; be authoritative instead.
Writing is important to build trust with customers
The truth of the matter is that your copy should be carefully crafted, precise pieces of writing.
It takes confidence and conviction to stand behind what you're selling, but if you lack the ability to convey that clearly in writing, you may never get your message across. And with all the options available today, there's more competition than ever before.
So give some thought not just to what's being said, but how it's being said. It will help you put your best foot forward no matter what you're trying to sell.