Copywriters: Know your audience and be crystal-clear - Chris Arksey
DO YOU know who you're selling to? That's the question you need to ask yourself before starting any sales copy.
Knowing and understanding your reader will give you a better idea of what words will work. And that's the first step to persuasion – using language that really resonates with your audience. If you don't know, make sure you do your research before you start writing.
With that in mind, here are a handful of copywriting techniques to help you convert your visitors into buyers.
One of the most important tricks is the headline. This needs to be good. Really good. The better it is, the more chance you have of getting the first sentence read and persuading your reader to keep on reading. People will expect a reward for giving up their time, so promise them one. Spell out what they're going to gain in simple, crystal-clear language. And remember, the opening paragraph is just as important. Use it to push that important promise.
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If you're used to writing in a formal, corporate style and tone, you need to get out of the habit. The trick to engaging with people in print is to write like you speak. Imagine you're talking to one customer face to face. Keep it clear, brief and conversational. Talk to them not at them. And direct everything you say to that one person, not a group of people – use "you" instead of "our customers", for example. You should also cut out any jargon, break up longer sentences with shorter ones and use contractions, like "you'll", "you're" and "we'll".
The "features tell, benefits sell" rule is another useful persuasive technique. Your average customer isn't all that fussed about the details. They just want to know what's in it for them. So, instead of listing the features of your product or service, spell out the benefits in plain English. Be careful with this rule though. If you're selling to experts and enthusiasts who want to know the details, then you might be better off plugging those techie features.
Engaging with your customers' emotions can really help you to persuade them. There are a number of techniques you can use to pull this off, such as telling a story, using power words and empathising with your reader.
Storytelling puts the reader in your shoes. It can make them see and feel things as you would. And once you have them here, it's up to them to persuade themselves.
Using power words such as "free", "quick", "easy", "please", "guarantee" and "now" can spark an emotional response from your reader and help you draw them in. When used carefully and in the right context, they can be very persuasive. So don't go mad. Cram them into every sentence of every piece of content you write, and they'll soon lose their power.
When a potential customer reads your content, they're looking for a solution to something. This is your chance to empathise with them. Find a problem, show you understand and relate, and offer your product or service as the answer.
Lastly, make sure there are a number of calls to action in your copy. This is where you tell the user what you want them to do. Whether that's to go on your website, call you, buy one of your products, fill in a contact form or sign up to a newsletter.
Or you can just let us do the hard work. Call us now on 01482 337144 or email our copywriter, Chris Arksey at email@example.com. Or visit www.strawberry.co.uk