What makes good copywriting?
Good copywriting must follow five basic rules:
1. It must grab the readers attention with a compelling headline.
2. It must hold interest, by immediately delivering what was promised in the headline.
3. It must be absolutely clear what your message is.
4. It must have a strong guarantee.
5. It must produce the desired results.
Let’s examine each of the five rules, one at a time:
Grabbing the reader’s attention should be your #1 objective. On the Internet, you must assume the reader is merely “scanning” your sales copy. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that your sales copy forces readers to stop scanning and start reading your copy!
So, the first two or three words of your headline are critical. Research has proven that certain words or phrases that quickly get the reader involved, are the best “stoppers” or attention-grabbers for headlines – power words or phrases like:
FREE…ANNOUNCING……AMAZING…ATTRACTIVE…EASY…SECRETS…GUARANTEED…WIN… DISCOVER…MAKE MONEY…LOOK YOUNGER, LOSE WEIGHT, etc.
However, whatever words you use as attention-grabbers in your headline, keep in mind, you only have a few quick seconds to grab scanning readers by the eyeballs and pull them into your copy. So choose your words carefully and TEST, TEST, TEST!
After your headline does its job of pulling the reader in, your copy must keep the reader interested, by immediately delivering what was promised in the headline. Don’t try to be cute, and don’t string your readers along. For example, did you notice how I immediately got right into telling you about “5 Rules Of Good Copywriting?”
Always respect your readers time.
Next, it must be absolutely crystal clear what your message it. Don’t turn simple words into rocket science. You will only confuse your readers, and confused readers don’t buy.
That’s why it’s a good idea to “dumb down” your copy, and write so that a child can understand it.
That means staying away from big words or words that a child can’t figure out what they mean.
It also means staying away from long paragraphs, and long sentences.
If your copy looks too daunting, it won’t get read.
Do you see how easy it is to read this article? Write like that. Why? Because In the United States alone, one in seven people (more than 40 million people) can barely read a job offer or utility bill, which arguably makes them functionally illiterate.
The aforementioned figures don’t even take into account the illiteracy rates of other countries.
Unfortunately, many adults who surf the Internet lack good reading and comprehension skills. That’s why your copy should be simple and direct without actually “talking down” to readers. Did you know, research has shown that the longer and stronger your guarantee is, the fewer returns you’ll have? It’s true.
Unfortunately, many businesses shy away from making strong guarantees because they think that a large percentage of their customers will take them up on it. This is a myth.
Unless your product or service is absolute garbage, at most, only about 1-2 percent of your customers will ever take you up on your guarantee.
These percentages have remained constant for decades.So if you’ve been using a 30 day guarantee, up the ante and try 60 days, 90 days, or 6 months. This will give readers more confidence in your offer, and produce more sales.
And finally, it’s all about results. It’s not about style points. It’s not about writing award-winning copy. It really doesn’t matter what someone else thinks about your writing. None of those things matter. The only thing that matters are results.
Is your copy getting the desired results – whether the goal of your copy is making sales or pulling in leads, traffic, etc.?
For example, I’ve seen sales copy advertised in magazines and newspapers, that I felt was horrible.
But then I kept seeing those same ads repeated over and over again. That’s a clear indication that those ads are making money. Offline media advertising is expensive. Most businesses can’t afford to keep repeating their ads, unless they’re making money.
In closing, you don’t necessarily need to be the next Woodward or Bernstein to write good copy. Just follow the 5 basic rules presented in this article, and you’ll be just fine!