17 Jun 10 Copywriting Tips to Wow Customers and Kill the Competition
by Nick Bridwell
The world runs on words and pictures. So you better make your words matter. From emails to websites and blogs to brochures, it’s essential that you make your copy count. Here are our 10 copywriting tips to win customers and kill the competition.
1. Know Your Audience
The first thing you want to do when you write anything is think of your audience. If you’re writing for a client who sells streetwear in NYC, that’s going to be a vastly different voice than a client who sells lawn care services in Dallas.
If you’re writing for your own business, then think of your customers and write to them. The most effective way of narrowing down this audience is by creating customer personas. Once you understand your ideal customer, you’ll have an easier time creating content for that specific audience.
2. Learn How to Write a Killer Headline
You have an awesome idea for a blog, right? Congrats! Now what are you going to call it? A headline is your one chance to get someone to click through and read your article. It’s also your one chance to show up the competition.
When you choose your headline, make sure to incorporate enough of your main idea to get people excited, but not enough to give everything away.
Consider the following alternative ideas for a headline. Which would you choose?
- 10 Lush Landscaping Photos That Will Blow Your Mind
- Enjoy These 10 Landscaping Photos
- 5 Yards You’ll Love
- These Yards Will Make You Smile
If you picked “a”, you’re on the right track. First of all, the number “10” is the best number to use in any blog post. People prefer it exponentially over other numbers. Second, “a” is more engaging, captivating, and imaginative.
To increase your chances of success, try making a list of at least 10 headlines each time you write a blog.
3. Pick a POV and Stick With It
This blog is from the 2nd-person perspective. The 2nd person POV invites the reader to take part in the conversation. The POV you choose will vary depending on your brand and your degree of professionalism.
Study the various POVs and decide which works best for your audience. Then, be consistent.
4. Always Use Active Voice
When writing copy, it’s important to be direct. Cut all instances of passive voice.
Which of the following CTAs sound better.
- Our customers are helped by our pest control solutions.
- We solve your pest problems. Call us to learn more.
Which resonates with you? The first option uses passive voice. The second is active voice. See how the first option places the emphasis on the customers and moves into the past tense? This option lacks confidence. The second option is confident AND determined. Get to know “active voice”, and use the tools in Step 10 to learn more.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Contractions
If you do not use contractions, you will often sound like you are a robot. Like I did in that sentence.
Let’s try that again: If you don’t use contractions, you’ll often sound like you’re a robot.
Many amateur copywriters mistake conversation for informality. Most people read copy in their head like it’s a conversation. If you start writing like a robot, you’ll sound like a robot to your audience.
6. Break Up Your Paragraphs
An Instagram photograph of a pink poodle surfing has 3 seconds to catch your attention. 3 seconds! We’re living in a world where people scroll fast and they want to see content that is captivating and easy on the eyes. Otherwise, they’ll move on.
One way to make sure you don’t overwhelm your audience is to increase your paragraph breaks.
Have you ever turned to a page in a book only to find that the entire page was one paragraph? It’s intimidating, right? Don’t put your audience through that same experience.
Work in paragraph breaks in your copy. The increases in white space gives the reader a more enjoyable experience.
7. Incorporate Thought-Provoking Headings and Subheadings
You spent a lot of time coming up with a headline for your copy. You will also need to work hard on headings and subheadings.
Headings and subheadings are important in blogs, web copy, whitepapers, and e-books. They are essential for readership and for SEO. Make sure to maintain the tone of your content across headings and subheadings.
If your blog header is “10 Reasons Your Headache Hurts Like Hell”, then you are fine writing a subheader titled “You Have a Hellacious Hangover”. Now, consider an article titled “10 Medical Reasons for Painful Ongoing Headaches”. A sub-header titled “The Impact of Alcohol on the Body and Brain” is a more appropriate match.
Stick with your tone on header and subheaders and you will go far, Padawan.
8. Keep It Super Simple
Hear me out. Studies show that copy with a cornucopia of heightened vocabulary is often caustic, evoking malaise and leaving a reader peevish. That sentence seem a little “hoity toity”? You nailed it.
Did you think, “What is this guy trying to prove?’ You’re not alone. Studies show that “sounding smart doesn’t make you sound smart”. A high vocabulary in copy is often off-putting to the reader.
Write to your audience in a way that is inclusive, rather than alienating. You never want to force someone to leave the page to look up a word.
9. Focus on the Experience, Not the Features
Let’s say you’re writing a website for a classic car dealership. Don’t spend too much time writing about horsepower. Fanatics already know the torque difference between the ‘64 and ‘65. Sell them on the experience of the vehicle.
Here’s some sample copy:
You’ve waited your entire life for this car. It’s been your dream car since you could shift gears. Now, it’s so close to being yours you can smell the leather and hear the engine as you pull out of the driveway. Because a Ford Falcon isn’t just a Ford Falcon. It’s your hot ride out on the road to freedom.
You won’t find a single feature in the above copy. That’s because people don’t buy features, they buy dreams.
10. Know the Right Resources for Your Content
The sheer volume of tools available for the modern copywriter is overwhelming. Try a lot of them out and pick your favorites. Here are two you can use for free starting today.
Use Grammarly to check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Check out The Hemingway Editor to eliminate passive voice, simplify your vocabulary, and streamline your copy.
Did you find these 10 tips helpful? At LMH, our all-star copywriting team is on hand to help you learn more about elevating your content. Reach out to learn more! If you’re doing your copywriting after a long quarantine, you’ll enjoy our blog about returning to the office after the quarantine, too.