Do you want to improve your ability and increase your skill at writing content that convinces, inspires, and persuades your readers that the solution you offer is right for them and compels them to take action and make the click? …Get Into Copywriting!
Whether it’s a blog post, social media post or ad, website copy, or any online content meant to get a prospect to take a specific action, there’s a foolproof copywriting formula that does just that.
Following a formula will help stimulate the flow of your creative juices and minimize the time you would spend trying to figure out what to write and how to present it.
Everything from the headline to the body introduction and content, to the call to action, can be optimized to get the best possible response from your readers.
In this post, I will share a few of the formulas and techniques that I’ve found helpful, and some excellent resources that’ll help you master the skills of writing marketing copy that converts.
Here’s the catch though…All the formulas, techniques and strategies won’t do much good if you’re targeting the wrong people with the wrong solution in your content. Or if your content isn’t relevant to the stage of the buyers’ cycle they are currently at.
That’s why research is so important to good copywriting, and ultimately to get the click. It enables you to match the message with the audience and the solution.
How to Find & Connect With Your Audience: The Short Version
Find your target audience. Analyze your product or service so you’ll know what type of consumer will benefit most from it. Ask yourself what needs it fills, what problems or pain points it solves. Then use resources like Facebook Insights and other social media listening tools to find more information on the traits and tendencies of your target market and where they’re likely to hang out.
Create user personas. When you can visualize who you’re talking to, you’re better able to write to them with words they’ll understand and have an emotional connection with. And, by combining demographics with psychographics, you’ll get a more complete grasp on who is likely to buy and why.
Understand your audience’s problems. Get to know their struggles and pain points so you can make an emotional connection with them. When you have a good understanding of your readers’ needs, it’s much easier to create content that connects features and benefits with those needs.
Keyword Research. What keywords is your target market using to find solutions that fit their needs? What intent does their choice of keywords indicate? What stage of the buying cycle do these keywords show that your prospect is at – awareness, consideration, or conversion?
These are important factors for you to consider as you conduct your keyword research. When you look at it, user intent is more important than search volume or competition because it lets you know which stage of the buyer’s cycle the searcher is at. That will make it easier to target your content to the buyer’s specific needs at that stage.
Use Google Analytics to track your results and understand what’s working. Google Search Console also provides detailed and valuable information on search queries, clicks, impressions, click thru rate and content rank.
Tweak Your SEO: 7 tips help you get more clicks
- Track the current state of your click-through rate
- Focus on improving page titles
- Test page titles in order to pick the most effective
- Improve URL structure to make it descriptive
- Pay attention to your meta descriptions
- Make use of rich snippets and structured data
- Make page loading speed a priority
The Headline Is “The Most Important Sentence On The Page”
Now let’s get into the secrets I mentioned, which are not really secrets at all, once you know them.
The most important part of your message is what people see first. You know for yourself that first impressions set the tone for any further engagement, and in a worst case scenario can cause someone to disengage completely.
Here’re a few tips to make your first words so good, so relevant, and so promising of value that they can’t be ignored and they compel your content to be read:
Exploit The Curiosity Gap
There are four general types of curiosity, i.e.,
1. Perceptual curiosity: drive for novel stimuli
2. Diversive curiosity: a more general stimulation-seeking behavior linked to boredom
3. Specific curiosity: a desire for a particular piece of information
4. Epistemic curiosity: a general human desire for knowledge
Marketers are more concerned with Specific and Epistemic Curiosity because they deal with sharing information, resources and services people need, want and demand.
A classic example of headlines that evoke curiosity is the “How To_______” type of headline…Example: How to Write Content That Converts
Use The Scarcity Principle
Things that are rare or in short supply have an unusual attraction on people. Probably due to the survival instinct kicking in to make sure we get what we need to survive and thrive.
Copywriters use specific words and phrases to stimulate those kinds of “I’ve got to have this now” feelings. Words like: “Hurry!”, “Exclusive offer!”, “Limited time availability!”
Scarcity is often used in headlines and/or the call to action, and it is quite effective.
Also known as Listicles, research indicates that using odd numbers gave a 20% higher click-thru rate. Why?
Personally, I think people are so used to seeing words and images in the content we read that numbers really stand out, catching our eye, and drawing attention to what’s in the content.
Create Attention-Grabbing Body Content… On Demand
The Before, After, and Bridge formula is really great for highlighting the benefits of the product or service that provides the solution. The before section paints a picture of the problems or issues the reader is experiencing.
From there you draw the picture of what their world would be like after the problem is gone.
Then comes the Bridge, where you show how the product/service takes them from where they are now, to where they want to be.
You may already be familiar with the PAS Formula (Problem, Agitate, Solution), and the AIDA Formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action),
but did you know about the 6 +1 Formula?
It uses elements from both PAS and AIDA. And It’s really great for getting people to take action.
It goes like this:
Step 1: Context. Establish context by answering the question “Who are you, and why are you talking to me?”
Step 2: Attention. Grab the audience’s attention.
Step 3: Desire. Make your audience want something.
Step 4: The Gap. Now that they know they need to take some kind of action, establish the gap – in other words, explain the consequences of not taking action. Do this by answering the question “What if nothing changed, and what would that mean?
Step 5: Solution. Once you’ve established the gap, quickly offer your solution.
Step 6: Call to Action. End with a call to action.
Call To Action Formulas
This is where the meat and potatoes get the gravy that makes the offer compelling and irresistible. There are so many options for crafting your call to action, that after choosing the ones that are most likely to get you a click, you’ll need to test them to eliminate the weak and ineffective ones.
Calls to action follow a different formula than your regular website copy. They also work best when they are relevant to the stage of the buying cycle your readers are at. Remember, those stages we touched on earlier?
Awareness At the awareness stage your call to action might direct your reader to go deeper into your website where they can find more info about you, your products/services, and the features and benefits they can expect and look forward to.
“Learn More”, and “Take A Tour” are classic examples of a CTA aimed at increasing readers’ awareness.
Consideration “Start Your Free Trial Now”, and “Try It Free For ____# of Days”, are the type of CTA’s that lead readers into the consideration stage. Here they’ll evaluate how well the solution you offer can solve their problem.
Conversion “Sign Up Today!”, “Buy Now”, “Only [# PRODUCTS OR SPOTS] available. Lock in your order now!” These and other strong power phrases that tap into the emotions of your prospects help them make the decision to commit to the solution you offer.
The point is, no matter what the stage, your CTA is more effective when paired with and relevant to the content being read.
Here are a few classic CTA’s that you’ve probably seen online before:
Get [DISCOUNT] while supplies last!
If you can stimulate the user’s sense of time or supply using the Scarcity Principle — limited, running out, etc. — you’ll increase their desire and need to click the CTA.
Experience the [BENEFIT OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE]
“Experience” is a sensory word. When you use sensory words along with an emotional benefit, you’ll have a powerful CTA to work with.
Order your [PRODUCT] today.
The word “today” is similar to the word “now.” Remember, instant gratification is a universal appeal for just about any CTA. If you are promising something today, it’s much more likely to produce action.
Where To Go From Here…
For the sake of brevity, I am only able to share a few of the many copywriting formulas, strategies, and techniques you can use to get more clicks on your content. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stop here…
If you’re ready to go on the business adventure of your life…ready to get a panoramic view inside the minds and hearts of the people you serve with your products/services…ready to master the skills of using words to write powerful copy that converts …
Then I encourage you to take the next step to Boost Your Click-thru-Rate, Get More Sign Ups, and Increase Your Sales!
I hope you’ve found this post valuable and that it helps you move ahead with your online marketing journey.
As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.
All the best,