10 essential copywriting rules to influence your audience
Copywriting is the art of influencing your audience. Follow these 10 essential copywriting rules to achieve your goals.
Copywriting rule #1 — Write your copy in the second person — YOU
In copywriting, it’s not about the brand or the company; it’s about the audience.
Write as if you are in the same room with him or her and you are having a conversation.
Copywriting rule #2 — Write with your audience in mind
Selling to everyone means selling to no one, says one of the most important rules in sales and marketing.
That’s why marketers have buyer personas, to ensure that their messages reach and resonate with a specific customer.
Acquire as much information and insights on your customer as possible but go beyond the obvious demographic data: age, sex, marital status, job role etc.
Get into the mind of your customer and make sure you have an in-depth understanding of their problems and pain points, goals and aspirations.
Copywriting rule #3 — Mirror the emotions of your audience
What copywriters should never forget is that customers are people with emotions and more often than not, their buying decisions rely on emotions.
People buy when they are emotionally triggered and use logic to justify their purchase decisions.
When writing copy, speak to your customers’ emotions.
Let them know you are aware of how they feel. Empathize with their problems and show them the solution. When your customers see their emotions reflected in copy and design, they are more likely to keep your brand top of mind.
Copywriting rule #4 — Use your headline as the hook of your audience’s attention
We live in a busy world where there’s little time to catch our breath.
Social notifications glimmer on your phone’s display, the inbox is flooded with urgent messages and tight deadlines give you anxiety.
Your headline has to be so great that it prompts your customers to ignore everything else going on around them and read your copy. Imagine your headline as the hook with which fishermen capture fish. Make your headline relevant and enticing.
Copywriting rule #5 — Your headline should be short and clear
When writing copy, always remember that you are not writing a novel.
You could start with a one-page copy if you like, but be aware that you need to shorten your story.
Learn to deliver the punch in fewer words than your initial draft. Also, you can start with a long headline, but work to shorten it while maintaining clarity.
Exercise by telling the same story in 100 words versus 10 words. It’s not easy, but it’s achievable.
Copywriting rule #6 — Insert powerful words
If you google copywriting rules, which result do you click on?
When you see five headlines that are the same, you won’t be able to decide which to click on and read.
Your mind will automatically look for a different headline, a headline that gets your attention by differentiating itself from the rest.
These headlines contain power words such as top, essential (check the headline to this article), unbreakable, golden, powerful, critical, mind-blowing and so on.
If you want to learn how to optimize your headlines with power words, check out Headline Studio by CoSchedule, a wonderful Chrome extension that can work wonders for your copywriting.
Copywriting rule #7 — Turn features into benefits
Don’t talk about the product’s features in your copy.
Nobody wants to read technical details: how much horsepower, how many inches, how many colours, how many hours etc. Instead, turn those features into benefits for your customer.
The smartphone is so slim you can fit it into your shirt pocket. The camera is so powerful you can take a high-resolution photo of Betelgeuse, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. This pair of jeans is so comfortable you can dance the tango in them.
Copywriting rule #8 — Always end with a call to action
No matter how beautiful or smart or surprising your story is, it doesn’t achieve its purpose unless you include a call to action.
Let your audience know what you want them to do next. Use the call to action to direct them to the next step.
Do you want them to visit your landing page? Do you want them to click on your video?
Whatever it is, make sure your call to action is clear and easy to read.
Copywriting rule #9 Make your call-to-action specific
The call to action in your copy is very important. Avoid writing a generic call to action like Download or Learn more.
Remember that the main objective of your copy is to influence your reader’s behaviour and in this case, the expected behaviour is to click on a button. You need to give him a good reason to do so.
Download is the literal description of the action of download and Learn more is not strong enough.
Tie your call to action copy to the reader’s needs. Let them know how their lives improve by clicking on the download button.
Copywriting rule #10 — Make benefits measurable
What is the best way to influence your audience?
Tell them your product or service provides measurable results.
They can increase their sales 3 times or write with 90% fewer mistakes or get their Facebook ads approved within 30 minutes instead of 24 hours.
Find the one benefit that you can measure and turn it into a number. This particular number has to provide the best solution to your audience’s problem.
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