This is a guest post from Speech Architects.
When someone clicks on your website or sales page, to convince them to keep reading, you have exactly as long as a cheetah takes to accelerate from 0 to 60 m.p.h. - an absurd three seconds flat. You won’t need sorcery or voodoo dolls to make that happen, but rather well-written, jargon-free words that talk about them first and foremost, instead of how great your product is.
Great copy stops people in their thoughts, excites them, makes them to look forward to experiencing your product or services and, and as a bonus, oftentimes, price becomes a triviality, because they feel that you understand them and their needs.
You don’t have to be an expert to write great copy. Here are some quick essential tips that can immediately help you transform the copy on your site.
1. Tell a story with your words.
The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”
- Steve Jobs
Make your reader feel something. Don’t simply serve them a product description, make them imagine their life with it. See this hat description from J. Peterman: “The Hat, the Attitude, and You. The hat that conquered the Australian outback. Practical when waltzing Matilda across deserts and through forests, dashing in Melbourne, too. Has a movie-star aura but will last longer.
Crushable Outback Hat (No.4052), in water-repellent wool felt. Rolls up and tucks away into your knapsack, shakes right back into shape. Excellent for cold, damp August days in Barramunga. Imported.”
Don’t you want to take this description on a romantic getaway to Bali and launch sky lanterns into the night sky? What sets this piece of copy apart is that it paints a picture and sets the product in a story.
2. Write about your client, not about you.
It’s very easy to get carried away and start talking about how great your product is, how hard you’ve worked to come up with it and give a lengthy saga about the entire process. The truth is, nobody cares about that. People care about what your product will do for them, not how many decades you’ve been in business for. See this short description on the “About Us” page of Spotify. It’s all about the end-user:
3. Write in your client’s words.
Take this example: Nobody has been dreaming to buy an automated service that will synchronize their schedule and provide an efficient way to book online appointments with their clients from other time-zones. What they do dream about is someone to take care of booking their calls without the back and forth emails. And that’s exactly how Acuity Scheduling does that, in simple and plain English, jargon free-and human language:
4. Your client wants to know about the benefits, not features.
Some industries may seem more complex than others, and hence you might feel that that’s where you need to come full front and heavy on describing the features. But, really…you don’t.
Remember what Steve Jobs said when he introduced the iPod? He didn’t drown us in technical details. Instead, he told us that we’ll have enough space on it to listen music for a trip to the moon and back.
Take the Insurance industry. It’s a very complex and overwhelming industry with multiple complicated plans and hidden footnotes. A new company that came and shook the market of insurance is Oscar. But instead of outlining the specific features of their plans that made them better, they highlight the benefits first: “No referrals on any plan, ever. See the doctor you want without asking for permission.”
In other words, you need to sell the good night's sleep, not the mattress.
5. Don't be afraid to use humour and be unconventional
Some brands are afraid of not being taken seriously if they don’t use “traditional industry” terms or go another way. Yet, if done correctly, this is a great way to stand out in a sea of sameness.
Take Cards Against Humanity for example. Their “'99% Off' Black Friday Sale” is everything from funny, real to insane.
Funny? You bet! Did they go against the current? Absolutely. While everyone was offering crazy deals, they kept the same exact prices they had through the year, and still managed to make a sweet sale.
Understanding great copywriting goes so much further than just the copy on your website, About page, or product description. When you want to attract top talent, a job description that uses great copy has higher chances to make a top performer to apply for it. Your Bio that appears for a panel or conference, an investor pitch presentation that captures with great storytelling and powerful persuasion public speaking skills. But, about this, we’ll get back in another post. Even your Tinder profile or the car that you want to sell or house to rent, will get you great results when using great copywriting.
When a reader feels understood, they will trust you more. A simple as that sounds, that’s the secret.
If you need further help with writing great copy for your website, and you don’t want to sweat the words for it or don’t have time to create a captivating storytelling element, do what you know best, and let us handle those details for you: [email protected]