Low sales? It might be your business copywriting.
Whether you’re copywriting for a local business or a large multinational, your goal remains the same: generate interest, increase subscribers and drive action. If you can master conversion-focused copywriting, you'll convert followers into customers and drive new sales.
While digital agencies work with clients to improve business copywriting, you can improve your business's marketing efforts just by knowing a few tricks of the trade. Here are 10 writing tips that business copywriters frequently use sharpen their sales copy.
1. Use actionable headings
Site visitors are drawn to copywriting that catches their eye. In your headings, remember to use 'action' verbs where possible. These words are more likely to speak to the reader, ask them to do something or offer them a promise. And don't forget about formatting: headings, titles, subheadings and bolded text not only act to break up the text, but also create a sense of urgency – an imperative for visitors to read on.
2. Be authoritative
There is nothing quite like a person in uniform, right? Well, the same goes for business copywriting. Your customers will be more willing to trust your business if someone with authority does, too.
So, if your products or services are endorsed by experts in your field, then include this in your business copywriting. The right endorsement from a leading academic, governmental body or independent organisation might very well be the tipping point for a customer conversion.
3. Use customer testimonials
For centuries, merchants and marketers have been using 'social proof' to sell their products, often in the form of a customer testimonial. Why? Because they simply work. Be sure to include quotes and pictures from happy customers alongside your business copywriting. Thankfully, it's not difficult to include: most content management systems make it easy for businesses to insert a testimonial block into your website. A few well-placed words of sincere praise will go a long way towards converting customers.
4. Ask for a small commitment
The word ‘contract’ can be scary for many potential customers. But by swapping out ‘contract’ for ‘commitment’, you can avoid that immediate recoil. A customer commitment does not have to be binding, but often, if their expectations are satisfied, they won’t bow out later. A '10-day trial' or 'first-month-free' trial are a great way to get a small commitment from the customer. Once they've made a choice to at least try your product or service, they'll be much more willing to make a purchase.
5. Be short and concise
This has been said often enough, but be aware of sentence structure. Short and sharp sentences will make for copy that drives action. Enough said?
6. Be specific
Know who you are writing for. Being specific to your audience will help create trust and rapport with potential customers. Advertising campaigns, digital or otherwise, should focus on the audience so the message is consistent with their values and attitudes, and wants and needs. So, how can you increase specificity In your copywriting? Try including data or numbers – and don't round up or down. The more specific, the better.
7. Be polite
Maybe good manners aren't everything when it comes to business – but they sure go a long way in your business copywriting. A well-placed 'please' or 'thank you' in your copywriting will make your business more likeable – and no doubt encourage more customer conversions. For example, after a customer has made an enquiry or purchase on your website, you could forward them to a 'success' page with some encouraging messages:
- 'Thanks for visiting us!'
- 'Why not check out our other products and services?'
- 'Thank you for your subscription!'
- 'Please don’t hesitate to contact us.'
8. Call your reader to action
A call to action (CTA) is used across the board in marketing communications. When it comes to copywriting for the web, however, a call to action might look a little different. Typically, this CTA comes in the form of a button that might say 'shop', 'go', 'see' or 'visit'. There is much debate on where these prompts work best, but generally speaking, the more prominent, the better.
Also, consider what your customer conversion goal is. If it’s to purchase something from your store, then place a shop button at the bottom of the page, giving the reader an easy option when they're finished reading the page, increasing the chance of conversion.
9. Get excited
No one likes flat, boring writing. But at the same time, few of us like being shouted at. your copy needs to find the right balance for your business or brand. And note that being excitable doesn’t mean using a string of superfluous adjectives. And it doesn't mean stuffing your copywriting with exclamation marks, either. Rather, exciting or emotive language acts to entertain your readers. And all it needs is a bit of creativity. Sometimes a topic might be a little dry, so dress it up, take it out for the night and dance with it till dawn.
10. Be relevant
There is no point writing and posting an article about the latest Godzilla film when you’re trying to sell jewellery unless of course, your entire range is inspired by the reptilian nightmare). Remember to write for your reader – and that means staying relevant to their needs and interests. Being relevant also means being timely. Up-to-the-minute copy is ever-important in the fast-paced world of digital. Ask yourself questions like:
- Is my article on-brand?
- Is it useful or entertaining for my audience?
- Is it interesting now? Is this topical for my readers?
- Have similar websites published content like this, and if so, how did that content perform?
Carefully constructed business copywriting can be a powerful way to get ahead and drive new sales. That's why digital agencies place great emphasis on the creation of conversion-focused copywriting. They are the experts and can see the results. So, whether your writing your own copy or finding a specialist to do it for you, keep these tips in mind. Your sales team will thank you.
Looking for conversion copywriting for your business? Talk to a content specialist about your needs.
Digital360 on 15 May 2017
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