Content Marketing

7 not-so-obvious ways to instantly improve your copy to convert

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Crafting copy to convert people into customers is hard. But as daunting as it can be at first, it’s a true superpower. 

Once you start to figure it out, you’ll see that it’s not as tough as you first thought. In fact, there are some very practical things you can do to tweak your copy almost instantly. 

These are tactics that will immediately spruce up your copy. You will increase your conversion rates, if you apply them to your copywriting today

And I’m not exaggerating…

The difference between good copy and bad copy is night and day…

So you’re going to want to pay close attention to these 7 tips that I’m about to share with you. 

They’ll help that random internet scroller stop and take a look at your brand because they couldn’t help it. 

They’ll help the stragglers that have been looking at your products finally make a decision. 

And even more importantly…

They’ll help you build a foundation of true raving fans that keep coming back for more.

1. Eye-catching headlines

Here’s what most people don’t realize: Headlines are the most important part of any piece of copy or article. 

A good headline hooks readers in and fascinates them. Headlines do 90% of the heavy lifting. 

Why? Because without a great headline, it doesn’t matter how amazing the rest of your copy is. 

If people never see what you have to say, what’s the point? 

This is why you should never take their readership for granted, especially in a world where so many things are fighting for their attention. You show people you care about helping them by doing your best to get their attention.

If you’ve made it this far, it’s probably because the headline of this blog did its job. That said, here are 3 high-level elements of a good headline that you should always consider.

Curiosity

It’s one of the most powerful ways to capture attention. 

Humans are naturally curious and have a tendency to crave resolution. So, if you’re able to spark curiosity with something that your audience is genuinely interested in, you’re off to a great start.

Let’s take a look at a basic vanilla headline: A Good Formula for B2B SaaS Growth

It’s not bad, but how can we make it more fascinating?

How about this: Copy and Paste This Strange Formula for Exponential SaaS Growth

Which one of these two headline variations is more intriguing to you? 

I’d put my money on the latter. Both headlines are based on the same subject, yet one is clearly more alluring than the other. The pulling power is very obvious when compared side by side.

Specificity

Being specific about what your reader can expect will make it much more compelling. There are several ways to be specific in your headline. One of the easiest is indicating a numerical value.

For example, the headline of this blog reads: “7 Not-So-Obvious Ways to Write Copy That Converts”

The number “7” gives your readers an idea of what to expect as well as a sense of order to the content they’re about to consume. 

People tend to gravitate toward things that are instantly gratifying. This gives them the impression that it’s going to be easy to digest “right now.”

Relevance

Let’s also keep in mind that no matter how interesting or specific a headline is… it has to also be relevant to your audience. 

No amount of wit can get someone to engage with your content if they have no genuine interest… unless it’s completely incongruent. This is what’s known on the internet as “clickbait” — something that tends to destroy credibility.

Even if I crafted the most clever headline possible for this blog, chances are you wouldn’t be reading this if you had no interest in copywriting.

It’s probably no surprise that everyone’s greatest interest is themselves. So, it’s best to directly call out your audience in your headline or highlight some kind of benefit to your reader. Try to incorporate self-interest into your headline whenever possible.

If you’re able to use at least two of these elements in your headline, you’re doing good. If you have all three, you’re golden.

2. Formatting

This can be a tricky one. 

On one hand, knowing where and how to format your writing can be extremely effective in increasing conversions. On the other hand, it can look really tacky if done incorrectly.

The problem I often see when I review copy is that there’s either way too little formatting or way too much. There has to be a balance. 

Excessive formatting will make it so that nothing stands out at all and will tire your readers’ eyes.

The formatting has to be modest enough that it doesn’t repel readers and tasteful enough to keep them captivated.

This takes practice and feedback from your peers to get down. Sometimes it takes a little over-formatting before you dial it back down. And sometimes under-formatting will be safer but can stifle the potential of your copy. 

It’s best to err on the side of overdoing something, then refining it. This way you actually get to learn from your mistakes.

That said, you want to format your words based on its importance.

But how do you determine how and what to format in your copy?

I suggest that you explore the possibilities of formatting. Bold, italicize, underline, and even highlight words or phrases based on importance. 

Here are my personal suggestions for formatting:

Italics — Use occasionally to emphasize words as you would in a normal conversation.

Bold — Use when you want to emphasize something that is important in your messaging.

Underline — Use when you want to double down on a word or phrase. This is of similar importance to bolding.

Highlighting — Use this to even further emphasize a word or phrase you want to get across. But use it sparingly as it’s very difficult on the eyes.

These can all work well in boosting conversion rates. Experiment with using different formatting elements in your copy. Try combining the elements together. After a while, you’ll gain an intuition for when and where to format.

3. Readability

Remember writing in school? They taught us to write essays that often had bulky paragraphs with many sentences. Sometimes multiple ideas within the same paragraph…

But academic writing is not copywriting. If that were true, there would probably be a lot more writers who could make a career out of writing.

You’ll find that copywriting does not follow the conventional grammar and formatting rules of writing for academia. If you’re not used to it, you may get nervous when you see it.

Copywriting wants to be understood. Academic writing wants to sound smart.

So, if copywriting intends to influence, persuade, and convert — then clarity needs to be a priority.

Your audience needs to feel your copy was “an easy read.”

Did you know that the average American reads at a 7th grade level and below? And only 2% of Americans have high literacy levels! 

But here’s the thing: Even lawyers don’t want to read things that give them a headache. They already do that every day at work.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Woody Guthrie once said, “Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.”

The Hemingway Editor app is an incredible tool I use to check the readability of my writing. It tells you the grade level of your writing and even analyzes areas that you can improve.

The bottom line? If conversions matter, then readability matters.

4. Spacing

This is such a critical element to readability.

A good rule of thumb is to never have more than 3 sentences within a paragraph. In fact, more than 3 sentences is pushing it. Your chances of converting will decrease.

Spacing keeps things concise, direct, and easy to digest. Usually, the more white space there is in your copy, the better. This can vary depending on the type of copy that is being written.

Creating spacing in between sentences creates an “avalanche effect.” It causes your reader to keep reading. If you want to persuade people to take an action, it’s crucial that you get your message across…

And if you want to get your message across, then they need to read everything. It’s our job to guide them to the finish line.

Imagine if this entire “spacing” section was one or even two big paragraphs…

Does it inspire you to read it? Most likely not. 

Bulky paragraphs create eye fatigue and it’s exhausting to look at. Break down your writing. It’s one of the easiest things you can do to your copy right now to increase conversions.

5. Conversational

Great copy reads like a conversation. It sounds like a normal conversation you might have with a friend.

What does that look like in writing?

It’s simple. Questions come in where they should naturally come in. The writing sounds like it's addressed to one person. And the words read as how one would talk in real life.

You might have even caught on that this entire blog sounds quite like a normal conversation.

6. Sensational

People buy things through their emotions. Not logic.

Think of the time you bought some Ibuprofen because you needed to kill the pain. 

Think about getting your car towed and how fast you would find the money to get it back. 

Think of the huge overnight lines people will endure when Apple launches a new product. 

The notion is completely true, yet for some reason, I see this ignored time and time again.

How, you ask?

Have you ever read something that bored you so much, you nearly fell asleep? It’s everywhere. If you fail to captivate people with your words, you fail to influence them.

This is especially true when it comes to copywriting. When you’re speaking to someone live - you have the advantage of tonality, inflection, and other nuances working in your favor…

But if all you have is the written word, you must do all you can to transfer the right emotions to your audience. 

Use words that give people sensations like excitement, joy, humor, urgency, envy, etc.

Most copywriting focuses too much on convincing people through logic. You need to win their hearts through emotions before facts and statistics. The truth is that the copy itself already appeals to the logical side of our brains.

Remember this: People buy things emotionally first, then rationalize their decision with logic.

The worst crime in copywriting is being boring. 

7. Strong and Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

At last, you need to tell people what to do with a CTA. The CTA should be powerful and as clear as possible. 

People look for every reason NOT to do something, so they need a good reason to take action. And if the rest of the copy did its job, then your audience should know exactly what that reason is for them.

Having no CTA is the number one reason your audience isn’t converting. It’s shocking to see how often I see this mistake. If people aren’t guided to do something, it’s very likely that they won’t do it.

Final Thoughts

These 7 copywriting techniques are simple enough to apply immediately into your copy. Simple, but very powerful. 

  1. Eye-catching headlines
  2. Formatting
  3. Readability
  4. Spacing
  5. Conversational
  6. Sensational
  7. Strong and Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs)

They’ll instantly improve your current copy. And at the bare minimum, these elements are what you should consider when you write your copy in the future.

Now go apply these tactics and make more sales!

If you want to learn more about copywriting and converting, check out these resources:

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