Sometimes what you think is fascinating and sexy about your product is as dry as dust to the average person.
So how do you polish it up into a prize that’s worth its weight in gold?
The answer is in your copywriting.
And if you know a few tricks of the trade, you’ll find your words can bring your product to life – and you a wholly engaged audience.
Here are some simple rules.
1) Don’t be wishy-washy
‘Probably the best lager in the world’.
Unless you’re Saatchi and Saatchi and your product is Carlsberg, steer clear of the word ‘probably’.
While you’re going out of your way to be truthful or to cover every contingency, using words like ‘almost’, ‘nearly’ or ‘probably’ makes your statement flimsy and ineffective.
To pack a punch be definitive.
2) Turn the features into the benefits
When he looks at your copy the only thing your customer is thinking is “What’s in it for me?” So don’t go on about facts and figures. Writing benefit-driven copy will let your customer know how your product will help them. TIP: If you’re not sure how to extract the benefits from the features here’s a simple way to work it out:
Just add the words ‘which means that’ to the feature:
Feature: Our machine is ergonomically designed which means that…
Benefit: It’s easy to handle
Do you see how the benefit means so much more to your customer than the feature?
3) Formatting for emphasis
Give your writing personality and a conversational tone but don’t overdo it with bold, italics and highlighting. Remember that ALL CAPS MAKES THINGS HARDER TO READ, and can seem unduly aggressive. Exclamation marks are good to convey enthusiasm but don’t be overzealous. My advice is to use these tools to give your writing sparkle but use them sparingly to avoid tackiness and overkill.
4) Cut out the fluff
Far too often people think that big words or wordy expressions impress. Let’s be clear about this. Big words are your enemy! Remember the Kiss Principle – Keep it Simple Stupid – is the mantra of all good writers. No one has the time these days to decipher long and drawn out messages. So don’t use inflated language when short concise words will do:
Not ‘macro-anything’ but ‘big’.
Not ‘exhibit a tendency to’ but ‘tend to’.
I guarantee your customer will thank you.
5) Get emotional
Ask yourself what are your customers really hoping to buy when they go shopping for your product or service. For example, are they buying a food mixer, or are they buying freedom from having to use a hand whisk giving them more time and less work? Your copy must sell the emotion, not the product. What’s driving them to buy: is it greed, desire, fear, hope, envy…? Tapping into your target’s key motivators will give you the hook you need to reel them in.
6) Write in their language
Writing for a specialised market? Grab an industry mag and check out the lingo. Using a style and pitch that your reader is comfortable with will help build rapport, trust and lead to better conversions.
7) Tell a story
People are hardwired to respond to stories. Whether you use storytelling on your About Us page, or in a testimonial, this technique will trigger an emotional response in your reader and capture the imagination like no other. For more on storytelling check out my next post which will dive deeper into this effective copywriting strategy.
Finally – a tip I’d suggest is keeping a swipe file of the best writing you find. Direct mail, email, wherever it may be – if you see some great copy, study it and see out how it works. Copywriting is your salesperson in print. It pays to get it right.