In this article, mainly inspired by Robert W. Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook, my goal is to help you improve your copywriting skills to discover more about your audience and maximize your conversions.
Where do we start? Well, your objective when copywriting is to make sales and persuade your customer to buy your product. Just because an ad looks nice doesn’t mean it will convert and give you the results you or your clients seek. As advertisers, we look to entertain and amuse our audience into buying our product. But at times, we neglect or forget the benefits that clear wording and simplicity can have for our ROI. As you write your ad copy, keep in mind the following things.
Choose The Right Audience
It’s important to know who your audience is, what they do and what their values are. You don’t want to waste time answering inquiries or waste your ad budget on people who cannot afford the product or have no interest in it. So, as part of your copywriting process, you will need to determine information about your target customer.
Recently, my agency audited all of our digital campaigns and defined our client avatars. Through this process, we were able to create laser-targeted sales copy and skyrocket ROI. This helped us maintain the same digital ad spend while doubling conversions and click-through rates.
When creating client avatars, we took into account:
• Age ranges.
We also answered questions about our audience:
• What is the consumer’s main concern when buying our product or service?
• What motivates our buyer?
• What problems does this audience have?
We also implemented the study of features vs. benefits, as described in The Copywriter’s Handbook. In order to effectively create converting ad copy, start by creating a table that separates the features and benefits of your product or service. Features are aspects of your product that are technical or descriptive. Benefits are why those features matter to your consumers and what outcomes they’d receive by purchasing from you.
Think of an umbrella that has a wooden handle. The wooden handle is a feature of that product. But this wooden handle helps you get a solid and comfortable grip. This is a benefit. The umbrella is also made with an unbreakable cloth structure (another feature). This durable cloth material will keep you dry during strong rainstorms (a benefit).
It is important to talk about the features your product or service has to offer. This can make your product seem more appealing and unique from the competition. But you must remember that consumers are buying to reap the benefits, meaning you must answer their question: “What am I getting out of this?” The features are only the cherry on top. Customers buy products or services because of what they will do for them. Don’t neglect the benefits; make them heard! The benefits of your product should solve a major problem for your audience.
After looking at your chart, ask yourself which benefit/sales point is the most important, according to your customer. This should be the benefit you talk about in your headline, presenting it clearly and front and center.
Advertising headlines are designed to be the first copy your potential customer reads. The headline is considered the most important element in most advertisements because it’s sometimes the only part of the ad consumers will read.
The headline should state your main selling proposition, and the first paragraph should expand on it in further detail.
Your headline should also be able to arouse curiosity. In Bly’s book, he gives us the following tips for creating high-converting headlines. I tied in some examples I’ve seen used to give you a better picture:
• Draw attention.
• “For severe dry and itchy skin, we have the solution.”
• “Introducing Our New Dark Roast Coffee Flavor.”
• Select your audience.
• “Is Your Credit Card Interest Too High?”
• “Only For Digital Marketers In The E-Commerce Industry.”
• Deliver a complete message.
• “Prevent seasonal allergies with spray-on relief.”
• “We’ll cut your electricity bill by up to 50%.”
• Draw the reader into the body copy.
• “What do most business owners do that leads to failure?”
• “The $6 Alternative To Overpriced Meal Plans.”
Ad Copywriting Questions To Ask Yourself
• Does your ad copy match the promise you made in the headline?
• Is your copy interesting to read?
• Is it easy to understand?
• Does it persuade your audience to purchase?
• Is there a call to action?
• Will your audience be able to understand the terminology being used?
Ad Copy Tricks To Help Improve Conversions
• Avoid negatives. For example, it would be “100% Sodium-Free” instead of “No Sodium.”
• Use bullet points, asterisks or dashes to kick off each new section of your copy.
• Keep sentences short. They are easier to read than long sentences.
• It is much easier to communicate with simple words. They tend to communicate more effectively than big words and technical jargon.
• State the facts! The more facts you include in your copy, the better chance you have of getting the real message across and converting your potential customer.
If you are interested in learning more about copywriting, I’d recommend reading The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert W. Bly, Words That Sell by Richard Bayan, and 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries.
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Author: Alex Quin, Forbes Councils Member