The First Rule of Copy That Converts

Clear copywriting is much like clean eating.

If you’ve encountered that term in weight loss blogs, lifestyle magazines, and recipe books, you know that clean eating doesn’t mean eliminating or adding foods to your diet. It’s about being mindful of what you put into your body.

Copy that converts works the same way. When you have a clear message, you have a compelling message that works to attract and engage prospective customers.

In our hectic world of deadlines and competing commitments, clarity is a rare feeling. However, when your copy evokes complete clarity, your prospects are more likely to respond.

Think of it this way: if you want converting content, the message needs to spark a giant light bulb.

This aha moment compels your audience to click buy buttons, call your office, or sign up for your lead magnet or upcoming webinar.

Clarity—that’s the ticket.

We write converting website copy, successful landing pages, and marketing emails that create an emotional revelation. Clarity is the defining attribute of our work, and that’s how we create content that audiences listen and react to. The following strategies reveal how to do it.

Speak directly to a specific customer, not to a broad audience. 

Stating your market as “anybody who needs my product” won’t cut it. (Believe it or not, I hear this answer all the time.) Defining your ideal prospects as “people in the medical field” won’t help much either.

Trying to be everything to everyone won’t generate sales or cultivate customer relationships.

The solution: write to an audience of one, a very specific customer.

Think of your customer avatar as one person with a very unique set of struggles and desires. Consider what your customer searches for, something that feels out of reach to him or her, and showcase how your business provides the answer. 

Remember: your audience is human—even in B2B marketing.  

Even if you develop software that streamlines recurring transactions for corporate giants such as Verizon and DirecTV…

Even if you sell heavy machinery for construction firms…

Your customers have human emotions, and human desires, and want human solutions—and this counts for B2B marketing as well. Don’t forget to dive into the emotional element of the solution you offer.

If you make someone’s job easier, you alleviate stress. If you help someone make more sales, you help your customers become more confident.

Don’t be afraid to think about personal details.

You want to define their lifestyle, hobbies, profession, anything you can that will help you speak to their needs and wants.

Be specific.

Where do they shop, eat, or drink?
What do they read?
Did they graduate from college, have a Bachelor’s or Master’s?
Are they active in their community?
Do they bike on weekends, or do they spend time with family?

Don’t limit yourself. Keep asking questions until you feel you know these people to a T. 

Concise language is paramount.

When our copywriters get together to discuss strategy, one book often comes up.

The Art of Plain Talk by Dr. Rudolf Flesch.

Dr. Flesch outlines how to say what you mean, mean what you say, and create impactful content. It’s not a copywriting or marketing book; it’s a guide to writing in a way that generates a reaction.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • There are two varieties of adjectives—defining and commenting. Defining adjectives provide necessary information and give meaning. Commenting adjectives add layers that may confuse readers.
  • Verbs serve to move action forward. When you choose powerful verbs, you eliminate adjective fluff.
  • Focus on one idea. Even though the human mind processes multiple thoughts and emotions at once, compelling content concentrates the thought processes to create a reaction.

Grammar is a serious matter.  

When our team sponsored #ICON14, Peter Shankman said one thing that sent a crowd of business owners to our booth.

And it only took three words to send people our way: learn to write.

For Shankman—and for us, too—quality writing shows your customers that you care about them and the positive impact of your solutions.

Words matter.

A lot.

When you keep that principle in mind, and you create content with a focus on clarity, that’s when you show your ideal customers that your business is the solution they’ve been seeking.

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