What’s conversion copywriting and how to apply it to your business (so your sales skyrocket)

Conversion copywriting is a technique for writing sales copy with a single goal: to convert more leads into real customers.

It uses persuasion strategically to convince the reader to make a purchase or hire a service.

This type of copywriting takes into account the design and structure since even if a piece of copy is flawless if it’s poorly structured or the design gets in the way, no one will read it.

I’m talking about those websites we all know with endless blocks of text, with hardly any white space and tiny font for what you need a magnifying glass.

In this post, we are going to explain the 22 essential elements that can’t be missing in conversion copywriting to make it easier for you to apply it to your business and boost your sales.

Are you staying?

So to the point.

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1. Study even the Smallest Detail of your Product/Service

You’ll think… “Of course I know the product/service I’m offering! ”

Yes, but you know it from your perspective.

Here what’s most important is to know it from your prospect’s perspective. Because you have to sell it to them, you’ve already sold it to you.

The best way to do this is by studying how your competition sells their product/service and how customers perceive it.

What kind of comments they make, what they like the most and the least, etc.

You should talk to your own customers too, so you understand their perspective and get a better grasp of why they chose your business over your competitors.

If you’re not directly involved in the manufacturing process (or you’re a copywriter and you’re working for your client) talk directly to the people who make the product to get to know it inside out.

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2. Know your Buyer Persona Better than you Know your Partner

You won’t be able to sell anything at all if you don’t know who you want to sell it to first.

Talking to your customers will give you a better understanding of what they are like and what concerns them.

You may have noticed: the most successful advertising doesn’t sell the product or service itself, they sell a very specific experience or major benefit.

Think of any well-known brand and their ads and you’ll get the picture.

Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, Fairy.

They all make a promise that will improve customers’ lives.

And to can reach them you need to know them inside out.

But, what happens when you’re just starting out and you don’t have any customers yet?

Then you will need to create the profile of your buyer persona to be able to put a face to your ideal customer.

Social media is one of the best places to find out what desires, fears, interests, etc., your prospects have so your copy will become more specific and compelling.

Spend as many hours as necessary getting to know your prospects so you’ll find the words that will make them choose you.

3. Use the Word “You” a Lot

No one really cares about you or your business.

So don’t waste your time talking only about yourself and what you do.

Speak to a single person, not an anonymous group of people.

The word “you” has a lot of power because the reader feels you’re speaking to him or her directly so they will be much more receptive.

4. Talk More about Benefits and Less about Features

This point is related to the previous one.

People really only care about what they get out of your product or service.

So talk to them about how you’re going to make them richer/prettier/successful/free/safe/etc. instead of just listing the features of your product.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to extract the benefits of your product/service but with a good amount of time you’ll be able to see them clearly.

By doing research you’ll also be able to get your Unique Selling Proposition, which is the big promise that you are already going to give clues about in your headline or email subject.

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5. Use Images and Video

To break the monotony of the copy.

We have an increasing attention deficit so it’s important to include images to accompany the copy.

Video also does magic when it comes to introducing yourself if your type of service (coaching, for example) has a very strong element of trust.

Also if you sell a tech product, a video can help to showcase the usage and main benefits.

6. Write Short Sentences and Vary the Rhythm

This Henneke Duistermaat’s post explains really well why rhythm and rhyme are more important than we think.

They work perfectly in advertising because our brain retains better phrases that rhyme or have rhythm than those that don’t.

It’s not about becoming poets, but more about being aware that copy with rhythm will sound better in the reader’s mind and therefore there will be more chances that they will read it till the end.

You can create rhythm by combining short sentences with longer ones and paying attention to how you end and start the next sentence.

As Joe Sugarman, one of my favourite copywriters said:

“The purpose of a sentence is to get the reader to read the next one.”

And if you can make your slogan or headline rhyme, all the better.

I recently discovered this site to find words that rhyme. You type the word you want to rhyme and it gives you a lot of suggestions.

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7. Verbs are the Engine of your Copy

So they have to abound more than adjectives and certainly much more than adverbs!

As Stephen King said:

 “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

Adverbs slow down the pace and most of the time don’t add important information.

When you write copy every word counts. You have to be thrifty, each and every word you choose has to be absolutely necessary. (And here I added an adverb 😊)

On the other hand, verbs have power, they are active words that invite action and insufflate life into copy.

Verbs like:

To triumph, to awaken, to accelerate, to jump, to launch, to forget, to desire, to crush, to evolve, etc.

Review your copy and consider substituting adjectives or adverbs for verbs.

Example:

“John touched the book gently.”

“John caressed the book”

8. Create an Outline Before you Start Writing

So you make sure to include all the relevant information in the right order.

When you write from an outline, ideas flow better because your thoughts are tidied.

Besides, having an outline makes it easier to start writing and avoid the panic of the blank page.

An outline of a sales page might look something like this:

9. Have a Conversation with the Reader

Conversion copywriting is not a scientific paper or a brochure with the features of your solution.

It’s a conversation.

Use simple, natural words that you would say in a conversation with a prospect if you were face to face.

It always helps to imagine someone real. Think of a specific client or a friend or family member who fits the profile of your buyer persona.

10. Add Credibility to your Copy

Nowadays with all those hucksters swarming the internet, it’s more important than ever that the reader trusts you and your product.

Credibility is made up of 3 elements:

  • Social proof
    • We’ll focus on this important point in the following section.
  • Authority
    • Make sure you show your knowledge about the subject, whether you’ve written a book, won an award, earned a degree, or had certain experiences.
  • Specificity
    • Talking in general is not going to convince anyone, you need to be specific so you can reach your prospects.  It’s useless to say that you are the best marketer in South Africa. But if you say that you’ve helped 50 businesses by creating 71 email marketing campaigns with an average sales increase of 20%, that’s something else.
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11. Back up your Arguments with Examples and Social Proof

This point is closely related to the previous one. Backing up your arguments will give you credibility.

Plus the testimonials and reviews from other customers will create what I call the “jump off the bridge” effect. If a lot of other people have jumped off the bridge, I’m jumping off the bridge too.

Success stories or case studies are also useful when it comes to selling tech solutions or a certain service.

They are widely used in B2B as they can be what your prospects just needed to decide your solution is exactly what they were looking for.

12. Anticipate their Questions and Clear Objections

Anticipating what your prospects are thinking will make you more convincing.

You can even write the question itself and then answer it.

Example:

How do we make sure our software is always up to date?

With automatic and fully secure scans of your device. No more reboot notifications at the wrong time. Updates are performed automatically during downtime.

Notice how in the answer to that question I also clear up possible objections from the reader. (secure updates, no reboot notifications).

Clearing doubts and objections is super important in conversion copywriting.

You must not leave even the slightest doubt.

That tiny doubt might be the reason prospects are leaving without buying.

13. Avoid Cliches

Cliches and set phrases disconnect the reader. Because they are dull.

The element of surprise is very important when writing copy.

The main goal is to keep prospects reading our page so we can give them all the arguments they need to buy.

If they get bored, they’ll leave and there will be no sale.

No “break-through technology” or “industry-leading company”.

Create your own metaphors and surprise your prospects.

14. Avoid overly Technical Words

And if you have no choice but to use them, explain what they mean.

Sometimes when it comes to explaining how a certain product works, there is no choice but to introduce a technical word.

What’s more, it can sometimes help us to increase our credibility.

But you always need to make sure that the reader understands them, and if not, explain them with simple and everyday words.

The same goes for acronyms.

Don’t just say CRM without first making sure your audience understands that you mean customer management systems.

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15. Focus on Being Relevant to your Specific Audience

When you do a good research of your customer’s profile, you know what they are interested in.

Chat with your customers and follow accounts on social media of people who fit your buyer persona profile.

Talk to them about what they care about and what they want to achieve.

In your sales copy make reference to your specific buyer persona, call them by their name: “entrepreneur” “coach” “e-commerce” “mom” etc.

16. It’s not about You

It’s about your prospects. They are the protagonists.

Focus your copy around your prospects and make them see themselves reflected in the copy.

Don’t talk too much about yourself and your business, rather draw a picture in the reader’s mind of their lives improved after buying your product or hiring you.

17. Make your copy Exciting

People buy driven by emotion, not by analytical judgments.

Appeal to their senses and emotions.

What works best is to focus on the emotion you want to cause in the reader.

Do you want them to feel fear, or excitement or hope?

If you think about it, the best ads always appeal to an emotion. That’s why they work so well.

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18. Get to the point

Attention-deficit is becoming more and more severe.

Don’t beat around the bush and synthesize your message so your prospects gets the most important point.

Include the most relevant message at the beginning of the copy and use headings to reinforce that message.

People on the internet scan pages and only read what calls their attention.

When editing, make sure you go to the point and remove words and sentences that don’t add anything to the message.

Recommended article How to upload your web copy so people read it

19. Express the Value of your Offer

There’s no secret: people buy when they feel that what they’re getting is worth more than what they’re paying for it.

So you need to describe the great value they get when they buy your product or hire your services.

At the bottom of your sales page summarize everything they get for their money.

When it comes to a subscription, for example, you can divide the price into days:

“Having 24/7 access to the community of entrepreneurs that will help you make your own space in the market will cost you as much per day as a cup of coffee. And at a regular coffee shop, not at Starbucks!”

20. Add Haste

Most people are a bit lazy. “I’ll buy it another time”, “I’ll look at it tomorrow” “I don’t need it now”.

So you should push them to do it now because tomorrow it may be too late.

Add a sense of fear of losing it, so that they act now.

It could be a limited offer, limited stock or making them feel that if they wait any longer they will lose precious time.

What's conversion copywriting
What’s conversion copywriting and how to apply it to your business (so your sales skyrocket). #copywriting #conversioncopywriting #digitalmarketing #smallbiz Click To Tweet

21. Clear Doubts when it’s Time to Pay

There are still people who are scared of paying online.

Or they may still have some doubts about whether they are making the right decision.

That’s why when it’s time to make the payment you should reassure them by reminding them of the number of customers who have already trusted your business.

“150 companies already use our software”.

Money-back guarantee or the possibility of stopping at any time when it comes to a subscription also work very well to clear objections.

“If you are not satisfied we will give you a full refund. No questions asked.”

“You can unsubscribe whenever you want”

They need to feel they have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

22. Be Positive and Respectful

Your have given your readers a lot of good arguments for why they should do what you tell them.

But always with respect.

Never underestimate the intelligence of your prospects and you’ll gain their trust.

Even if you’ve decided to appeal to a negative emotion at the beginning of your copy (fear of pain, fear of getting old, fear of theft) you can still be positive when you introduce your solution.

We all want hope. Hope for a better life.

Conclusion

Conversion copywriting will help you convince your prospects that you are the solution they were looking for.

But only if you follow these techniques and practice as much as you can.

Your first piece of copy will probably be s**t, and the second and also the third one.

With the fourth one, you may start to see the light and with the successive ones, you’ll start to see results.

Study other sales copy and look at the techniques copywriters use.

Go get those sales!!!

What’s conversion copywriting and how to apply it to your business (so your sales skyrocket). #copywriting #conversioncopywriting #digitalmarketing #smallbiz Click To Tweet

Sobre Elena de Francisco

Escribo copy que engancha para negocios sin fronteras. Vivo en Holanda, pero escribo donde me pille. Mi entretenimiento favorito es aplastar textos zombis que no dan resultados y transformarlos en palabras que venden.

About Elena de Francisco

I write copy that hooks into prospects minds for businesses without borders. I live in the Netherlands, but I write everywhere. My favourite pastime is to crush zombie copy and turn it into words that sell.

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