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Copywriting

This week, while working through CXL Institute’s Scholarship program where they have numerous minidegrees from Growth Marketing to Conversion Optimization, I was working through copywriting.

What is copywriting?

Copywriting is the process of writing persuasive marketing and promotional materials that motivate people to take some form of action, such as make a purchase, click on a link, donate to a cause, or schedule a consultation.

(Source: https://www.awai.com/what-is-copywriting)

Where to start?

Before you can really start writing copy for your ads or even landing page, you need to understand what are the benefits of your products, your company’s differentiating factor, possible objections of your customer or client and possibly have an incentive in place to make the deal even sweeter.

But, first you need to have a few things in place to ensure your landing page and supporting ads make an impact together. So, what I’ve learnt is that you first need to do a copy drill-down and assess if you have everything in place to make your customer’s experience as seamless as possible. A good place to start is with these three principles, in essence:

  1. MEClab’s Conversion Sequence Heuristic
  2. Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion
  3. Claude Hopkins’s Scientific Advertising

I know that we normally jump right into the role of a Marketer and jump away with a lot of jargon and superlatives, but at the end of the day if we try putting copy on a website or landing page and we are not very specific in our offering and we do not make it as easy as possible for our client or customer to get what they came there to do, we will be losing a lot of customers or clients. 

Make the client or customer believe that the product or service you have available is the answer to their question and make the copy as easy to understand as possible. Give them a one-liner or elevator pitch they will not forget AND remember, not everyone can be your ideal client. So, make sure when you write copy, either in your ads or landing page, that you call out to your ideal client – Make sure they know that this offering is ideal for them.

A little history on Claude Hopkins

Claude Hopkins was essentially the first conversion optimizing copywriter in history, dating back to 1866 when he was born. In essence, running A/B tests on advertisements to better understand how people will respond.

Just a small summary according to Wikipedia – Claude C. Hopkins (1866-1932) was one of the great advertising pioneers. He believed advertising existed only to sell something and should be measured and justified by the results it produced. He was also a man of honesty, a man who only spoke the truth and provided a benefit to his clients.

Hopkins’s Rule #1: Be Specific

“Platitudes and generalities roll off the human understanding like water from a duck. They leave no impression whatsoever… People recognize a certain license in selling talk as they do in poetry. A man may say, “Supreme in Quality” without seeming a liar, though one may know that other brands are equally as good… But just for that reason general statements count for little. And a man inclined to superlatives mustt expect that his every statement will be taken with some caution.”

(Source: CXL Conversion Optimization Minidegree)

Hopkins’s Rule #2: Offer Service

“Remember that the people you address are selfish, as we all are. They care nothing about your interest or your profit. They seek service for themselves. Ignoring this fast is a common mistake and a costly mistake in advertising.

The best ads ask no one to buy… [They] are based entirely on service. They offer wanted information. They cite advantages to users. Perhaps they offer a sample … so the customer may prove the claims without any risk. Some of these ads seem altruistic.

But they are based on a knowledge of human nature”

(Source: CXL Conversion Optimization Minidegree)

Hopkins’s Rule #3: Tell the Full Story

“There is no fixed rule on the subject of brevity. One sentence may tell a complete story on a line like chewing gum. It may be an article like Cream of Wheat.

But, whether long or short, an advertising story should be reasonably complete.”

(Source: CXL Conversion Optimization Minidegree)

Hopkins’s Rule #4: Be a Sales(wo)man

“There is one simple and right way to answer many advertising questions. Ask yourself: “Would this help a salesman sell the goods? Would it help me sell them if I met the buyer in person?”

Some argue for slogans, some like clever conceits. Would you use them in personal salesmanship? Can you imagine a customer whom such things would impress? If not, don’t rely on them for selling in print.

When one tries to show off, or does things merely to please himself, he is a little likely to strike a chord which leads people to spend money.”

(Source: CXL Conversion Optimization Minidegree)

Types of copy

During this course I found that you get four types of copy:

  1. Attention-capturing copy (SERP Snippet, PPC Ads, Display Ads, FB Ads)
  2. Persuasive copy (Home Page, PPC Landing Pages, Product Details Pages)
  3. Transactional Copy (Cart Page, Order Summary, Checkout Page and Signup Page)
  4. Confirmation Copy (Payment Success Message and First-Time UX Copy) – This last point is not covered in this minidegree.

What I took from this and Conclusion

It is important to set up a checklist to work from when working through and assessing a landing page. CXL provides over 600+ resources when you enroll for a minidegree of which one extensive checklist is made available to you, I could almost not believe my eyes when I clicked on their resource tab!

With everything in conversion optimization testing is important. Many times a small change, changing your copy from being company-centered to customer-centered can make a big difference. So, make sure that you read through your copy a few times. Make sure that you ask other people to also go through your website, but make sure it is your ideal customer, that when they give feedback, it is most probably questions and feedback that other customers or clients might also have!

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