We all want to keep our readers glued to their seats. A good copywriter can make your business shine. Copy that is boring will get you nowhere.
Great copywriters have the power to convert a determined ‘No’ to an all-out excited ‘Yes!’
One of the key factors that attract people to read articles is the ad copy or subject line.
In order to make it big in the world of advertising, only writing high-quality articles won’t suffice.
You have to be able to hook your customers first. If your readers do not notice your article, what is the point of putting in all that effort?
And even if they do end up landing on your post, how do you make sure they go through your entire Ad?
That is why you need to amp up your copywriting skills to level pro.
Fortunately, I stumbled upon one of the best copywriting books ever written – The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman.
The book is so amazing that I couldn’t help but share a few tips that I learned from there with you.
The author breaks down the essentials of copywriting in the form of axioms. These axioms are life-changing pieces of advice. It will blow your mind.
I will be sharing 5 of these axioms here however if you’re serious about copywriting, I strongly recommend purchasing the book for yourself too.
So without keeping you waiting any further, here are 5 copywriting tips that will hook your readers and increase your sales conversions.
Tip 1: Copywriting is a mental process. The successful execution of the sum total of all your experiences, your specific knowledge and your ability to mentally process that information and transfer it to a sheet of paper
One of the biggest hindrances that many people face while writing copy is where to start. Most of us get stuck at this level.
The answer to this question is simple. The best way to start writing copy is to just start! Take a pen and a piece of paper, and just start.
Don’t worry about your first draft. Just keep writing whatever ideas come to your mind. You can always perfect it later.
The best copywriters in the world have admitted that some of the greatest Ads they have come up with were during the most unlikely circumstances. It is all a mental process.
Great copy is a combination of your general knowledge and your specific knowledge. When I say general knowledge, what I mean is all the information you have about the world.
The different products you know, the different books you have read, the various movies you have watched, your own life experiences and so on.
Specific knowledge refers to the knowledge of the product or service you’re working on. When you’re able to pull from the general and specific knowledge that you have attained. Your copy will start taking form.
To be great at copywriting, you need to start reading. Read, read and read.
Read as much as you can on various topics, this will be one of the most beneficial things you do for yourself.
Tip 2: All elements in an advertisement are primarily designed to do one thing and one thing only: Get you to read the first sentence of the copy
This might be a shocker to you. You may have heard that either the headline or the first few sentences of your piece are the most important elements of your copy, well it is time you change that belief.
The purpose of any element of an advertisement is to get you to read the first sentence. And the purpose of the first sentence is to get you to read the second sentence and so on.
If you’re confused about the different elements of an advertisement, let me break it down for you.
Image Source: The Adweek Copywriting Handbook
- Photo or Drawing
- Paragraph Headings
- Response Device (To give the reader a way to respond to the ad, example – discount coupon)
- Overall layout
Now technically speaking, each element has a different purpose, however, in reality, there is only one purpose to any of these elements, that is, to get you to read the first sentence.
Tip 3: The sole purpose of the first sentence in an advertisement is to get you to read the second sentence
If your reader is not enticed by the first few sentences of your ad, do you think that he would eventually end up reading your sales pitch?
Take the example of a salesperson trying to sell a product to the customer.
If the customer gets bored at the start itself or if he stops paying attention to the sales presentation, would that customer end up purchasing the product?
We both know the answer to that question.
You need to be able to hold the customer’s attention at the start of the conversation itself. This is the same when it comes to copywriting.
Keep your first few sentences as short as possible. Your first sentence should be so persuasive that it pushes your reader to the second sentence.
Tip 4: Your ad layout and the first few paragraphs of your ad must create the buying environment most conducive to the sale of your product or service
Another aspect that great copy needs to be able to do is create a buying environment in the mind of the reader.
One of the best examples on buying environment given in The Adweek Copywriting Handbook is as follows:
Picture you need to sell an expensive product to a prospect and you have the choice to pick 5 buying environments. You can choose from the following:
- At noon at a very fancy restaurant near the prospect’s office
- After lunch at the boardroom of the prospect’s office.
- After work at the prospects gym while working out
- In the evening at the prospects home while he babysits his three children
- Any of the 4 above might be an acceptable choice.
The correct answer is five because the correct answer to the question
“Which is the best location?” is simply “In the best selling environment for what you have to sell.”
If the product is a piece of exercise equipment, the best environment would be the gym. If the product was related to parents and children, the best place would be at the prospects home.
You need to be able to replicate the same sort of buying environment in your ad copy as well.
Once you build the readers momentum within the first few lines of your advertisement, it is important to start painting the buying environment for the reader based on the product.
Tip 5: Get the reader to say yes and harmonize with your accurate and truthful statements while reading your copy.
Great Advertisements are those that are able to resonate with the reader. Your copy needs to be able to make the reader say ‘Yes’ repeatedly in the first few lines of your advertisement.
Sales specialists follow the same technique by asking questions that are more likely to receive positive responses from their clients before moving on to their sales pitch.
This holds true for copywriting as well.
If you’re able to get your reader to say yes to seemingly trivial questions (that they are guaranteed to say yes to) before you move to your sales pitch, the chances of getting a positive reply increases.
In fact a study conducted by the International Journal of Research in Marketing showed that “the frequency of people’s compliance with a request can be substantially increased if the requester first gets them to agree with a series of statements unrelated to the request but selected to induce agreement.”
This is also known as the Yes-Ladder Persuasion.
I know it sounds like a gimmick, but I invite you to try this with your friends and family, you should see some interesting results.
Copywriting is a mental process that requires a lot of practice and patience.
The main aim of a copywriter is to get you to read each and every line until you’re ready to take action. You should be able to entice your reader and set the mood with your words.
What I have shared with you today is only 5% of what The Adweek Copywriting Handbook has to offer.
If you wan’t to learn more about copywriting and advertising techniques, along with actual ad examples, I strongly recommend getting a copy of the book for yourself too, you won’t regret it.
Odell Dias is the founder of RightlyDigital.com where Online Marketing concepts are made easy. He has over 6 years of experience in the Digital Marketing industry, helping brands and individuals alike to achieve their marketing goals. He is known as one of the best digital marketing freelancers for small-to-medium-sized businesses.