By Ellie Piovesana
You’ve got a product, you know your audience and you’ve found the best way of reaching them.
Now it’s time to nail some spectacular copywriting.
You should be.
But now we’ve got your attention, here are some great copywriting pointers.
Time is tight. Attention spans are short. That first sentence has to smash it out the park or they’ll be tuning out quicker than an old radio.
The trick? Get the good stuff up front.
Journalists are trained to do this. They hook you in with the juiciest details then flesh out the rest.
Even for the most experienced writers this can mean churning out some crappy copy first.
Think of it like panning for gold. Sift your way through the dirt and once you find that shiny nugget, put it right at the beginning for the world to see.
Tell a story
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What are the challenges they’re up against? What do you want them to know? How do you want them to feel?
Once you build up a picture you can craft a narrative that speaks directly to them.
If you’re a no win no fee law firm for example, you address your target market, offer hope, and establish sector authority.
“If you’ve been injured and you’re looking for compensation, call the experts.”
Charities looking for donations however, spend time setting a scene. They go in hard on the difficult detail to trigger an emotional response. They make you want to help then tell you how you can.
If you’re selling a product or a service, start with the problem. Put the reader slap bang in that familiar scenario then tell them how you’re going to make it all better.
This will get an eyeroll:
“The poop-a-scoop is a revolutionary product made from responsibly sourced bamboo.”
This will get a sale:
“Tired of picking up dog poo? Poop-a-scoop is man’s new best friend.”
Cut the BS
I once read (in another fantastic copywriting blog) that good copy isn’t a garden hose, it’s a nail gun.
What this means is, spraying words all over your lawn without focus or direction is a waste of resource.
“This should help to ensure that all of your customers can access any of the information that they require.”
“This ensures all customers can access the information they need.”
Make every word count. Earn the reader’s attention and don’t waste their precious time.
A trained eye can spot fluff and filler a mile off. An untrained eye with better things to do will simply be turned off.
Go over your work. Ask yourself, can I say this better? Can I make it stronger?
Remember; cliches burst bubbles. Verbs like can, could, might, may and should lack confidence and weaken your message.
And don’t get me started on ‘that’. Your writing is much better off without it.
Available now: Copywriting Masterclass Part I: Why words matter (and the three things you need before you write any)
Coming soon: Copywriting masterclass part III, Get a head, get noticed and never leave them wanting more