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5 Game Changing Copywriting Tips

08/02/2016

Become a more persuasive copywriter with these tips to help you improve your copywriting skills

Your business craves content that will persuade customers to take an action, like buying your product or joining your email list. It’s not always easy to write persuasively and effectively, though. Writing copy that shines is equal parts art and science, and it’s a craft that should be practiced and finely tuned. The next time you’re working on your copywriting skills, try using these five game changing copywriting tips. They’re bound to level-up the power of your copy, and the last tip might surprise you. 

1. “Write drunk, edit sober”

No, we don’t mean that you should literally reach for a bottle of whisky, a la Ernest Hemingway. However, the quote makes a good point: write your first draft freely and without judgment, and don’t try to edit as you write. 

After you’ve finished your first draft, walk away. When you return to your writing, intently pore over the text to identify where you can improve. Start with obvious offenders like typos, but also dig deeper. Make your sentences tighter and more concise by slashing unnecessary words and phrases, keep it simple so readers stay focused, and assess whether your target audience would be persuaded by what you’ve written. 

2. Write like you speak

Have you ever tried to read a document filled with technical jargon, only to physically feel your eyes glazing over? It doesn’t make for a pleasant reading experience, that’s for sure. Try this example:

The rhapsodic woman cantered down the pedestrian thoroughfare that evening, en route to the hippodrome.

If that last sentence left you scratching your head, it’s understandable. Flowery writing filled with fancy and descriptive words has it’s place… but that place isn’t typically in effective copywriting. Let’s give that example a more casual refresh: 

She skipped happily down the sidewalk on her way to the theater that evening.

While some copy does require complicated industry syntax, try to write like you speak whenever possible. Needlessly formal language won’t impress or persuade the bulk of your customers. Plus, if you regularly find yourself writing massive blocks of text that read more like a monologue than a conversation, this tip can help you nix that problem. Effective copy often mixes short and long sentences, uses short paragraphs, and relies on simple (but powerful!) words… just like speaking.

Remember this important caveat, though: if your speech is full of filler words like “umm” and “like,” it’s generally best to leave those out of your writing. 

3. Get emotional with your copywriting

Now that you’re no longer writing like a robot, it’s time to harness the power of emotions. 

Conveying emotion in writing is a powerful, powerful skill that’s worth developing. Don’t just take our word for it, either. Science backs up the idea that when we observe (or read) about something happening, mirror neurons in our brain are activated, transferring some of the feeling to us. 

But, you can’t force a reader to feel the way you’d like them to feel with words alone. You need to tap into a feeling that already exists. What stresses your customers out? What keeps them awake at night? What excites them, or scares them? Eliciting emotion is an effective copywriting skill, and you need to combine powerful language with knowledge about your target customers in order to tap into those feelings.

Lucky for you, there’s a way to create that power.

5 Copywriting Tips
 

4. Go easy on the adjectives

Adjectives are probably great for persuasive copywriting, right? After all, they describe things!

Don’t get caught up in that logic too quickly. Adjectives are often weak and should be used sparingly. You might think that descriptive words have a permanent place in your copywriting (and they certainly do), but we’ll let you in on a secret—verbs pack a punch that’s hard for readers to ignore. Here’s a generic example:

Our company is a really great market innovator with fresh ideas that will save you a lot of money. We also have friendly, hard-working employees for you to talk to. 

This doesn’t actually say much, does it? Let’s see how we can spice things up:

Our company pioneered new technology. Technology that saves our customers up to 40% each month. Our employees will welcome you with genuine a smile, and they always exceed expectations. 

Remember how we just talked about engaging the emotional side of your target audience? Verbs make that happen by infusing your writing with energy. Specific numbers, like the 40% example above, don’t hurt, either. 

5. Leave them wanting more

If you’ve ever impatiently waited for a TV show’s cliffhanger to be resolved in next week’s episode, you already know how powerful an open loop can be. Our minds naturally crave completion, and we prefer to know what’s going to happen next. Pro copywriters use this fact, luring in prospects with promises of “secret” knowledge, or with a series that lets readers in on new bits of information over a period of time. 

As a business owner, it can be incredibly tempting to overload your audience with information about your product or service, because you want them to fully and completely understand how your business can solve their problems. 

Don’t get carried away, though. Leave room for some mystery.

The easiest way to create an open loop is also quite simple: ask more questions, and then vaguely touch on the topics throughout your copy. Readers want to know the answers to the questions you’ve asked, so they’re more likely to keep reading. Once you’re comfortable asking questions, move on to some more advanced open loop techniques (that are still quite easy to implement). For example, when we wrote, “the last tip might surprise you,” at the beginning of this post, you were probably curious enough to keep reading. 

These five copywriting tips should help you kick your copywriting up a notch (or two). Which tips did you find the most helpful? And if that last tip about open loops was a surprise, be sure to let us know!

 

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