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How to Copywrite for Marketing Campaigns

If you have ever purchased anything online, you’ve likely had this experience. You click on a link or an ad and go to a page with a product offer. Something about the landing page speaks to you in a compelling way. You feel a connection between your needs and the product or service that is being offered. Next thing you know, you’re adding the product to your shopping cart and entering your payment information.

What made you take that step? Maybe you saw the value in the product. Perhaps you quickly realize that the product resolved a need or a want in your life. Maybe you just felt that the product was something you wanted. Whatever the reason, the company's landing pages compelled you to take action. That’s copywriting.

Copywriting is one of the oldest and most powerful marketing tools and an integral part of having a successful business. In its simplest form, it is the link between your product and your customer’s need for the product. When done correctly, great copywriting can drive sales and boost your bottom line. When done poorly, it can drive away prospective customers and create a negative impression of your brand.

Below is a comprehensive guide to copywriting so you can leverage the power of persuasive writing to engage current customers and attract new website visitors and boost sales.

What is a copywriter?

A copywriter is a professional who specializes in writing persuasive sales copy for product sales pages, landing pages, email opt-ins, social media posts, and just about anything that requires a customer to take action.

Copywriters are obviously writers by trade. That’s the primary part of their job. But they also must possess specialized copywriting skills and search engine optimization experience so they can write persuasively.

Many experienced copywriters have a background in creative writing studied the psychology of buyers so they know what buttons to push in their language. They also understand your products in detail so they can highlight the right benefits to the right potential buyers.

You can find plenty of copywriters online. A simple Google search will provide results. There are also many freelance work sites that feature copywriters, along with other marketing professionals.

When interviewing full-time or freelance copywriters, be sure to review examples of their work, especially if they have examples in your industry.

How does copywriting differ from content marketing?

You may have heard the term “content marketing,” which is another form of professional writing. While content marketing and copywriting are similar, they are not the same.

As we’ve discussed, copywriting is persuasive in nature. It is meant to persuade a person to take action. Good copywriting convinces a person to buy the product or join the email list or make some other decision that moves them along the buying journey.

Content marketing is informational for the reader while being optimized for search engines. Blog posts, infographics, and white papers educate and inform the target audience so they may move closer to making a buying decision. High-quality content marketing can also enhance the knowledge and authority of the business so it has more credibility with potential buyers.

Assume you own an air conditioning company. An example of content marketing could be a blog post that educates readers on why it is important to regularly change their air filter. It educates your readers, provides them with free information, and makes you look reputable and knowledgeable.

A landing page where the customer can sign up for a discounted spring air conditioner tuneup would be an example of copywriting. You’re trying to convince the reader to take action (action words always help). There’s a persuasive element that must compel the buyer to register for the service.

Both types of writing are important, and both can influence your sales. However, content marketing and copywriting are two very different types of writing.

Why is writing copy important?

How important are copywriting strategies to business outcomes? Copywriting is important for a few reasons. One is that it can have a tangible, substantial impact on your sales and thus your business’s success.

If effective copywriting increases conversions by even just 1%, that can be enough to make or break a business depending on the volume of visitors and the price of your product.

The other critical part of writing copy is that it represents your brand to buyers---either through a social media post, website or email marketing.

Whether or not they take action, website visitors will walk away from the experience with a perception of you and your company. The copy on your landing page is your opportunity to convey who you are and establish your identity.

Should your copy be professional and serious? Maybe it should be fun and quirky? Maybe a sarcastic tone is appropriate?

There’s no right or wrong answer on voice and tone in copywriting but once you choose a writing style---stick to it . It depends on who you are as a business, and then it’s up to the copywriter to capture that tone.

7 elements of great copywriting strategies

What makes for great copy? There are a lot of different elements that could be on that list, but below are seven common elements you’ll find in effective copywriting:

Grammatically correct language

Copywriting doesn’t have to be 100% perfect grammar. It’s not like the English papers you had to write in college, where grammar errors are never acceptable.

However, the grammar can’t be bad or unprofessional. Even if you are going for a quirky or funny tone, you still have to convey a sense of credibility and professionalism. The grammar that is flat-out wrong or bad will turn away prospective customers.

Compelling headline

The most important element of any type of copywriting is the lead or the headline. You only have a few seconds to capture a reader’s attention.

The headline has to immediately grab their attention, speak to a need they may have, and convey that they are the correct audience for that product. A headline is usually only a few words, but you can’t overstate its importance.

Emotionally connective writing

The landing page copy has to connect with the reader. The language itself doesn’t have to be emotional, but it has to speak to the emotion that would lead the buyer to move forward.

Going back to our air conditioning example, the copy might focus on wanting to keep the buyer’s family happy this summer by keeping them cool. Or it could focus on the money they’ll save with a more efficient unit.

Focus on benefits, not features

Along those same lines, the copy shouldn’t focus on the features of the product but rather on the benefits the website visitor will receive from those features.

Instead of writing about the technicalities of a car’s design, a car company could instead focus on how smooth and quiet the ride will be. Write about the customer’s experience in using the product, not your experience in designing or building the product.

Direct, clear language

Brevity is your friend. Don’t write long, chunky paragraphs that are tough to get through. Write compelling copy that is scalable with clear, simple language that is easy and quick to comprehend. Again, you’re not in your college English class when you’re writing sales copy.

A strong call to action

The goal of writing copy is to get the reader to take action on your landing page. Thus, the copy should have a “call-to-action” or CTA. This could be a button to buy a product or a form to submit an email address. Whatever it is, the CTA should have strong, direct language that persuades the reader to take action.

Target audience specific

Finally, it should be clear that the offer is meant for that specific reader or target audience. Share how people just like them have benefited from the product. In our air conditioning example, they may talk about how homeowners in that neighborhood have benefited from the service or how business owners in that area have saved money.

Types of copywriting you see everyday

Copywriting is all around you every day. Some copywriting examples you probably see in your day-to-day activities include:

  • Billboards
  • Web pages, like landing pages or product sales pages
  • Emails
  • Customer surveys
  • Radio ads. Yes, you’re listening to them, but they were still written.
  • Newspaper and magazine ads
  • Social media ads
  • Catalogs
  • Direct mail pieces
  • Flyers and signs

Once you understand what copywriting is, you’ll start noticing it everywhere.

How to copywrite: 3 copywriting tips to be successful

Wondering how you can learn how to copywrite? Just like any skill, mastering copywriting takes time and experience---and maybe a copywriting course or two. However, there are a few things you can do now to turn simple words into compelling copy for your own business:

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

As mentioned earlier, don’t write from your perspective as a seller. Write with the buyer in mind. How will they benefit from the product or offer? What emotions are they feeling when they make a buying decision? What is the need on their end that your product resolves?

Write directly to the buyer about what their experience will be once they move forward.

Edit and cut and then do it again…and again

Your first draft probably isn’t your best version of the copy. Write the first draft and then put it away for a bit and work on something else.

Then get it out and read it from the perspective of your target customer. Cut unnecessary words. Rewrite elements that don’t work. Then repeat the process. Editing is a critical part of the writing process, and it can make your copywriting projects much more effective.

Try different versions

In many cases, you won’t know what works until you see results. Try a few different versions and compare the results. Does one type of copy get more conversions than others? That’s a great way to discover what resonates with your target audience.

Implement strong copy in your email campaigns

Email is one of the most powerful forms of copywriting because it allows you to communicate directly with your current and potential customers on a 1-to-1 basis. It’s also extremely cost-effective.

Copywriting with email starts with the subject line. You have to catch their attention so they’ll open the email. That’s step one.

Then you only have a few seconds in the body to hold their attention and get them to click through to the next step. Again, editing and revising can be helpful.

So too can testing various versions among the same audience. Mailchimp provides data and feedback on your emails so you can compare what works and what doesn’t. And with our easy-to-use campaign builder, you can put together visually appealing emails in no time at all.

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