It’s time to create highly engaging copy that converts

If you’re a copywriter or a business owner, you’ve probably heard of the Four C’s – four characteristics that elevate copy: clarity, concision, compelling copy, and credibility. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast… If you’re a lover of words, you probably know that compelling copywriting tends to be nuanced and somewhat detailed – qualities that don’t always lend themselves to clarity and concision. We dive into a few highly-converting copywriting hacks that can help you create cut-through copy that engages your consumers, boosts your sales, and develops brand memorability.

1. Craft a cut-through headline 

When Advertising Guru, David Ogilvy, stated that five times as many people read headlines as they do the body copy, it was way back in 1985. He explained, “Unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90% of your money.” Now, in 2023, we’re living in a world of distractions with limitless technology options, social media platforms, and businesses competing for our attention. So, it’s never been more important to create headlines that capture our consumers’ attention, deliver specific product or service details, and communicate what consumers have to gain from investing in them.

Our tips:

2. Use an active voice 

By using an active voice, you’ve got a better chance of engaging and persuading your target audience. It paints a clear picture of what your consumers are getting out of your business. Unlike the passive tense, an active voice will position your consumers ‘in the now’. It can also help you erase unnecessary details and verbose language from your copy. After all, you don’t want busy consumers to put your business in the ‘too hard’ basket if they perceive your copy as too hard to digest. Using active verbs in your headlines, body copy, and Call To Actions (CTAs) can help your consumers take action quickly and efficiently. 

Our tips:

  • Sprinkle your copy with active verbs like ‘Launch’ and ‘Grow’ without going overboard. You don’t want your article to feel clickbaity (yep, it’s a word).  
  • A good self-check tip is to review the first and last words in your sentences. If these words are active then generally, the rest of your sentence will follow. 
  • If you’re used to writing in the passive tense, you can use an AI-powered writing tool like Grammarly (it has a free version) to help you edit and review your writing. Many business owners use this tool to edit and review their communications, whether it’s an important email, website copy, or marketing collateral.

3. Don’t overlook your CTAs 

Besides your headline, your CTA is one of the primary pieces of information consumers look for when scanning sales copy. There’s nothing worse than having to scroll through an entire landing page to find a ‘Shop Now’ button right at the bottom or failing to find a business’ contact details. Your primary CTA should communicate the most desired action you want your consumers to take (e.g., ‘Shop Now’). Secondary CTAs are also a great tool to communicate any relevant, additional information about your business and guide your customers through the lead generation phase.

Our tips:

  • Take on the role of your target consumer and navigate to your website page with a clear objective in mind. If you own an e-commerce business, you’ll likely need a clearly defined CTA button on the homepage that directs consumers to a ‘Shop Now’ page or a ‘Browse Products’ page. 
  • Write a secondary CTA that complements your primary CTA and does not confuse consumers with competing directives. An e-commerce fashion business may include a primary CTA like, ‘Sign up today’ while a secondary CTA may read ‘I’d prefer to browse for now.’ This secondary CTA has a clear secondary direction that differentiates your copy from other businesses (e.g., those who use ‘Maybe later’).  

4. Speak your consumer’s language

Adopting an original tone of voice that mirrors that of your target audience is a fantastic way to build a reputable, memorable brand and develop a relationship with your customers. Gathering inspiration from your audience (e.g., on the ground) and your online audience segmentation data can help you shape your tone of voice. Start by writing your copy with all the information you want to include. Then, do a quick edit and revise your copy with your consumer in mind. 

Our tips:

  • Refer to your audience segmentation data in your brand book or your web analytics data (e.g., from Google Analytics). Use this information to craft your tone of voice according to the demographics and preferences. 
  • Take inspiration from your competitors and observe how they use language to speak to their target audience. Evaluate their copy strengths and weaknesses to develop your own.

5. Be truly helpful to your readers    

There’s a difference between copy that’s genuinely useful for consumers and copy that’s purely self-serving. Of course, your copy needs to promote your products and services (you’re running a business after all), but this motivation shouldn’t outweigh your ability to support and deliver knowledge to your consumers. By taking the time to understand your audience, their preferences, and their purchase and service needs, you can tailor your language and your content to get them where they want to be. Perhaps it’s a mental milepost, like teaching them something new, or a physical milepost, like fast-tracking their navigation and the lead generation process (it’s a win-win). Using helpful language, like ‘we’re here to guide you’, and putting the right processes in place to substantiate your claims can build consumer trust and safety and establish your business as genuine and authoritative.

Our tips: 

  • If you’re writing a blog (like this one), ask yourself if the copy you’re reading is truly helping you as a consumer. It’s a competitive business market, so your writing needs to offer more value than a generic clickbait article. 
  • Consider using actionable tips and insights (based on reputable research sources) that your consumer audience can benefit from. Adding hyperlinks to free software programs or trials in your copy can help small business owners with smaller budgets. 

If you’d like to learn more about our copywriting tips or you’re looking for specialist marketing or copywriting support, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our team today.

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