A Human Being is Hard-Wired to Love a Good Story
Copywriting is a powerful communication tool. It was a basic form of writing back in the heyday of Madison Avenue, it found its power in dominating a whole page in the Sunday magazines of the 1970s where you could read about a gadget that you couldn’t live without.
Today, it’s still the most powerful form of marketing that convinces readers that if they don’t buy a particular service, or this or that product, they’re going to miss out on something where everybody else is already enjoying the benefits.
It works, copywriting. It can be the written word, video, or podcast, that isn’t the point. It’s the power of the content that makes all the difference.
It’s not easy to hit all the right notes and sing the song. To lull a buyer into clicking on a “buy” button is a tough game. But if you practice enough, your skills get better and your persuasive powers begin to glow like something magical.
Copywriting is about telling a good story. People love stories, they will sit a read for hours and days — right through to the end.
There’s just one thing that is important. It better be worth their time to read, and that means it should immediately connect with the reader’s emotions of fear, anger,want and longing, and many other normal everyday feelings that make the world go round.
There is another element to copywriting that many writers forget to include into their sharply focused skill set, without it the best copy will fall apart at the seams and be no better than last Saturday’s news, soggily drifting along a the gushing gutters of the internet.
A good copywriter should work like a magi about to do some powerful magic. To cause a change in the minds of anyone who comes into contact with your magic dust.
Ideally, the reader will be transformed into a believer , see the light, and no longer be able to resist the temptations of pushing a button to buy the product. The next step, they gleefully look forward to receiving the product. That’s what they are looking for when they began to read your copy on the page.
They were really hoping that your writing would be the final piece in the puzzle to convince them of their own ideas; that to buy the product is a good thing, a solid improvement and benefit to their life.
Crisp and clear writing that focuses on how the reader will benefit through owning and using the product, is elemental to selling with words. Readers want that clarity. They need guidance in the decision making process.
They want confirmation that what they are feeling is a good reason to buy the product. Copywriters lead readers through a logical story that will end with happy feeling of “all is right, and now is the time to buy”.
Know Your Client
Knowing who you are writing for is essential to copywriting success. Without the customer profile clearly positioned in your mind, your writing will be directed at everybody and nobody in particular. It will lack focus.
Copywriting may appear to work like magic, but really it’s about a communication between two people. The first is the writer who really feels good about the product, she believes in the qualities of the product, uses her writing skills to create an image for the reader to focus on.
Not the whole product, but focus on the greatest points of interest. Like a focal point in a photograph. The reader walks into the gallery and sees a picture that is attractive, they stroll over and start to look at it, something special in the title grabs their attention and causes them to read on. Their interest is seriously raised and they want to give it a chance.
The writer needs to dig deep and ask questions about what a product does, how it makes a person feel. What does it improve?
This is where your knowledge of who you are writing for comes in to play, you are writing for a person who, highly likely, wants the product, but is wrestling with justifications of spending the money for it.
They’ve lost track of the use the product will bring them, so they need you to show them again why they want it, and how to get it.
There might be something special in all those words, it might lead to a new idea about something they have been looking for in the product. That one thought, an idea that lights up their mind, might make all the difference to the sale. You have to find out where the pain point is, then press the release button with the right words.
Your Already Readers Know What they Want
The reader is already primed while you sit and write. You don’t create new customers as a copywriter, you attract potential customers who are looking for the right offer on something they already want or have a desire for.
They’re just not sure about who to buy from, which model is best, whether there’s such a difference between the basic offer or is it worth paying the full price and becoming a dedicated customer. They will read your story when they are not sure about the whole thing.
A primed reader is sitting on the fence waiting to be pushed into the greenest field.
They are reading for reassurance about things they already know about. It’s you, as copywriter, they are listening to, or giving the chance to, for fresh advice and a new perspective on their own needs.
When a reader starts reading, they are thinking two things; “I want to do something else other than read this”, and “I’ll give it chance, one more sentence and see what I find out”.
If you can hit the right points with your word combinations, the tone of voice that you have chosen, and some juicy phrasing that seems to hook a reader in, then you will have created some magic which will convert curios readers into buying customers.
You will get them to read another sentence with phrasing that means something to them emotionally, this causes them to keep reading. You are writing to overcome their emotions. To change their feelings about stopping and getting a coffee and cheese sandwich.
At the beginning, they may have started reading with an enormous hunger — for a sandwich and a coffee. It’s tough to convince a reader to put off getting a steaming coffee, but to read your words. But great copywriters do it, again and again.
Sometimes, and we’ve all experienced this, we can be in great hurry to be somewhere, getting ready to leave we quickly glance at a few words on the page. It pulls at something deep, we read another line, feel the tension of time running out, and then feel caught between something important to read and finish, and getting to the airport on time.
Great copywriting can do this. Somehow, great copywriters know how to write a story that tugs at human heart strings. They can tap into the hard-wired story desires that readers have.
A really good copywriter will work at her skills all of the time. Just like a novel writer, there is no end to learning about human nature.
You are not attempting to convert non-believers into buyers. You are, firstly, speaking to readers who want something that will satisfy something they feel. They have a vague idea about it, it might be food, or music, or education. But they want it.
They have so far read a few things about the object that motivates them and then found your piece of writing on the subject. A primed reader, but not yet convinced about going the whole hog to buy the product.
Taking them to the Buying Point, Kills the Pain Point.
That’s where they are headed anyway, but their pain-point might be satisfied by a better copywriter than you, that’s just the way life is. So long as they are reading your words, then you’re in with a chance.
Great phrasing that reminds a person of their pain points, words that slide nicely through the mind and eliminate their fears, smoothly but honestly talking to the person who wants what you’ve got, will bring them to the tipping point. They are buyers, the ones you are writing for.
That’s my point, write for your target market. People who want the product are actively searching for information to confirm their own suspicions and hopes, they need to change something. But they need a good story first, something to confirm that they are right in purchasing the product.
A website owner may already have an email campaign. The chances that they are not happy with the set up are probably high, especially if they have only been marketing for a short while.
A good copywriter can show them that they still have a pain point to deal with. By presenting questions about their funnel set up. The product they use may be a free version — many email campaigners think that if they set up a free version of all the moving parts in a sales funnel, they’re good to go.
It takes a bit of time to realise that they are missing out on a lot of goodies that can make life sweeter if they invest money into their business.
They are a potential customer, waiting to be converted into an unsatisfied prospect who will then be shown that a new upgraded version of email and customer conversion software is a good solution. They need a reminder that there is a snifter product (free), and there is the real thing for real marketing campaigns (subscription).
Potential customers who know that something needs to be changed, already have some knowledge of what they want. They don’t have time to read a book about the product, they don’t want to make it their life’s work to gather information, so they are actively, often unconsciously, searching for something that will convince them to finally buy the damned thing.
Copywriting is a big part of the customer experience. A good copywriter will think of everything, and then reach for the stars to see if there is one little bit of emotion that will tip the balance for the potential customer.
Potential buyers are highly motivated readers, video watchers, thinkers and calculators when they want to purchase a product. They are typically human in that taking notes, gathering information and watching just one more video about the product, might just be helpful.
As a copywriter it’s your job to stop that note taking process and get them to take action, to remind them that they know enough about what they want. Buy the damned thing and, I promise, you’ll be so happy you did.
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