Business Growth Blog

Your prospects are bombarded by marketing messages everywhere. Today, there’s so much clutter, making it hard to get through to people. If you have boring copy, it’s even harder to get people to pay attention. Graphics might attract attention, but text sells. Learn how to write effective copy and format it properly to improve your sales.

That’s the topic of this episode of Fordify. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

The Problem

There’s so much clutter online and around us today. It’s harder and harder to get a message through to people. The second problem is: some of you, the way you write copy is sales prevention. You have a cure for insomnia. If you can’t sleep at night, go print out your web pages, go print out your brochure and put it beside your bed and then start reading them before you go to sleep, because it’ll probably help you go to sleep. Because your copy’s that bad. The third problem is: maybe you have

The third problem is: maybe you have really great copy but you’re sending it to the wrong market. You have to make sure that those two things are aligned.

The Importance of Effective Copy

You see, as I said earlier, copywriting is everywhere. It’s on your headlines, your email subjects. It’s on signage and brochures. Everywhere that you promote your business value propositions is copy. Think about this way: graphics might attract attention but text is what really sells. So you can have the best marking piece in the world but if the copy isn’t effective and if it’s not laid out and formatted properly, which we’re gonna dig into in a little bit, it’s not gonna work.

The Good News: You’re Already an Effective Copywriter

That is if you write like you talk. You see, a lot of people, when they get ready to write copy, it’s like they take their head off and they stick it on the shelf or they hire a “copywriter” that’s supposed to understand them. Look, you can write great copy. You understand your products and services and why people do business with you better than most anybody’s ever going to, so you have to make sure if you’re the business owner, marketing director—or whatever your role is in the company—you have to make sure that the copy is in everyday English, that’s conversational, that it speaks directly one on one to a person.

Let’s Talk About How to Write Better Copy

Now before you can really write effective copy you need to get in the copywriting mindset. You have to intimately understand your prospect. What keeps them up at night? What are their pains? What are their fears? What are their desires? Now beyond just the prospect you have to understand your products and services and your industry. So to prepare, get into the copywriting mindset.

The next step is to do a brain dump, get your first draft out in conversational copy do not get in the edit mode. You know there are two modes: left brain and right brain. The right brain’s creative and the left brain’s analytical. Stay in the right brain mode. Stay in the creative mode. Just do your first draft, don’t worry about editing, don’t worry about spelling, just dump it all out. You need to capture your message, tell the story. What’s the story? What’s the journey that you need to take your prospect on to get them to the specific action step you want them to take? Write the first draft as creatively as you can. Let it sit, let it rest. Then you can always come back and edit later.

So now you got your brain dump, let’s take a look at a 9-Step Proven Formula for Writing Effective Copy.

  1. Headline
  2. Subhead
  3. Benefits
  4. Features
  5. Solutions
  6. Social Proof
  7. Credibility
  8. Call to Action
  9. Risk Reversal

Let’s take a look at each one individually. Your headline is your most important element of writing effective copy. You should spend the most time on your headline, because if they don’t read the headline they’re not gonna read any further. So headlines are number one.

Then a subhead. Now your subhead should explain and help clarify what the headline is. So maybe you have a really weird, creative headline. If it’s too weird, make sure that the subhead explains it to help keep the reader in going from one step to the next step.

Now benefits. Now that we’ve got your prospect’s attention from the headline and subhead, the benefits have to speak to them. What are the emotional things that they’re gonna get by using your products and services? What are the end results?

Then features. How they get those benefits? The features described how and the benefits are the why.

Then after the features, you’re gonna take a look at some type of an actual solution. They know what you do and why you do it and how you can do it, but how do they get it? Like how much does it cost and how do they take action? Do they fill out a form? What do they do? What’s the solution? What are they buying? What’s the next step in your funnel?

Then you have to show trust and credibility. Maybe you’ve been in business for 25 years or 10 years or you’ve helped 10,000 people or so many people have bought this product or you’ve got five-star reviews on Amazon. Whatever the credibility is, that should go next.

Then, of course, a very specific and measurable call to action. So don’t just put for more information call. Make sure it’s something specific that helps engage your prospect to actually take the action you want. Now number nine is kind of a bonus, it’s risk reversal. Depending on your products and services you might offer a guarantee. Now in my

Now number nine is kind of a bonus, it’s risk reversal. Depending on your products and services you might offer a guarantee. Now in my business, the guarantee is I’m going to deliver on what I said. I’m not gonna guarantee that you’re gonna get x amount of sales because I’m not responsible for you. I’m responsible to you. But whatever you’re selling you might look at do you wanna have a risk reversal? Because guarantees and risk reversals help increase your sales.

So once you plug your copy into this nine-point template, here are some BONUS TIPS you can use.

You need to go back to your copy and look for all the instances where you’ve used “I or we” and see if you can turn it to “you or your.” You see, you want the focus of your copy on the prospect. You wanna talk 80 to 90% about them and what it’s gonna do for them and less about you.

How Long is Too Long?

Well, it’s never too long only too boring. So you wanna look at the length of your copy and ask yourself is there something you can cut out because obviously the shorter typically the better. But the length of your copy should be in direct proportion to how difficult the decision is that you want your prospect to take. The more difficult and more expensive the process, the action step, the more copy that you’re gonna need. Make sure that you format your copy for readers and scanners.

Format Your Copy for Readers and Scanners

Think about it like the story within the story. See when I look at your copy and it’s laid out, let’s say it’s on a webpage, if I see things that are bold and underlined, and I see a picture that kinda attracts my attention and helps me visually syntax down through the document, that’s writing a story within the story. That means that I can basically scan it, look at the bullet points, look at the headings, and I get the gist of it. Then of course, for the readers, you need to make sure you put more content that goes into more depth. Now here’s the mistake most people make. If you only write for the scanners, you’re gonna lose a lot of your market that want more information. If you only prepare your copy for the reader, then people like me who are scanners aren’t going to read it. No way!

Get Valuable Feedback

Now once you write your copy, you’re probably going to want to share it with people to see what they think. Now keep in mind that if you share your copy with someone who’s not your target market and they aren’t looking at it through the eyes of that prospect, they’re feedback won’t be very relevant. Now what I recommend is that you actually test your copy with a small demographic of your target prospects.

What Now?

So your call to action is to go back and look at your copy to apply the strategies and tactics that we just discussed. I guarantee it’s going to help you improve your copywriting and it’ll improve your sales. Make sure to share this video and/or post with anyone involved in revenue-generating activities in your business.

I’d love to hear your feedback. What’s worked for you, what hasn’t? Or maybe you’d like me to review your copy. I’d be happy to do that on an upcoming episode.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Fordify to get notified about the latest episode.

Posted on May 17, 2017 in Marketing by Ford Saeks.

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