Copy that POPS! (pops open wallets, that is) : PART 1
Pop. Fizz. Punch. PHWOOOAAAAARRRRR! That’s what you want your copy to do to people. You want it to make them feel something inside their organs. Whether it’s a deep belly laugh. A clenching of the sphincter. A pain inside the gallbladder. The job of copy is to make people feel something. You want copy that POPS.
But how, Ashleigh, I hear you ask. And that is the EXACTLY CORRECT QUESTION. It’s taken me a long time to learn this. And I am a copywriter. But I’m here to give you some popping copy tips that are going to make your life, and your writing, a whole lot ZINGIER (not easier. Because good copy isn’t easy. And that is the god honest truth).
Which leads me to point number one...
#1. Good copy isn’t easy
Copy is not content. There is a difference. Let’s examine:
Content informs. It educates. It entertains. It provides the reader with information that they either know, or don’t know, but in a way that makes them feel like they just spent a few minutes doing something valuable. Like when you watch cat videos while you’re meant to be working. You’re learning about the inner workings of the evilest creature on earth, misleadingly put inside the body of cuteness personified. This is education, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But once the video-watching is done, you’ll carry on with the 9-5.
Copy persuades. If you watch said cat video and then get in your car and go and adopt a cat, is that video then a piece of copy? YOU BET YOUR FELINE-LOVING ASS IT IS. (But really, copy gets someone to take action. And THAT’S why it’s not easy to write...because how do you move people to do (buy) something (your product or service)? Let’s explore.
#2. Be Specific with the juicy benefits (BENNIES ARE EVERYTHING)
Here is a sad, but real, fact. When you are trying to sell something...no one wants to hear about you. They don’t. They want to know what you (your service) can do for them.
My clients struggle with this. They want their entire life story on their website, for example. Now, you can talk about you and where you’ve been and what you’ve done, but that doesn’t mean that people want what you’re selling.
When you go to the store to buy a pair of jeans, do you consider who made them? Maybe if they’re Calvin Kleins or Levis, you do. But they’re FAMOUS. There are only a handful of brands out there that can command that kind of buying power, simply with a name. Nike. Apple. Coca Cola. Louis Vitton. It’s likely that you are not that brand.
So, what do you do instead? If we’re using the jeans analogy...you sell a pair that provides your customer with benefits. But, more than that, your copy has to lay out those benefits in detail. The benefits have to be specific.
Your jeans don't just make their ass LOOK AMAZING IN THOSE JEANS. Your jeans turn the wearer into a street-strutting, hair-flicking goddess of badassery that could teach Beyonce a thing or two about getting men to turn heads.
Your jeans aren't merely comfortable - they're a second skin, hugging every curve, as you whip around the grocery store and then pick up the kids, while you boss your business on the run and make everyone think 'DAMN, WHO IS THAT SEXY AF MAMA POWERHOUSE?'
Your service or product has to have benefits. And the copy has to lay out those benefits in detail. The benefits have to be SPECIFIC.
So, those jeans aren’t just flattering. Those jeans make George Clooney tear his eyes away from Amal and watch your fine self strut down the street.
Those jeans aren’t long-lasting. The quality is proven to last for ten years, even after traveling the world and being exposed to the heat of the Australian outback, and the depth of Winter in Iceland - all after hiking the Appalachian Trail and outrunning the Bell Witch.
They don’t just feel good - they make your body go ‘aaaaaaaaahhhhh’ with comfort, as you relax into them like you relax into a hot bubble bath.
You feeling me? Let’s move on.
#3. No cliches
Because cliches are boring. Everyone uses them. And what do they even mean? Again, we need to be specific. Instead of explaining why, I’m just going to leave some examples here, and see how you respond to them:
Your bottom line will improve in leaps and bounds
You’re going to make more money than the Kardashians on crack.
This is for the hopeless romantics
If you’re someone who loves the butterflies-in-the-stomach-can’t-eat-sleep-or-breathe-anything-other-than-the-feeling-of-head-over-heels-falling-in-love sickness, then this is for you.
Our solutions are tried and tested
After using our strategies, [insert company name] increased their sales figures by [insert amount], and had over [insert amount] people register for their new course. They sold out within hours.
#4. Keep it snappy and punchy
Short sentences win every time
Bold the bits of your copy that you really want your reader to see.
Edit edit edit. Take out anything extraneous or redundant.
Don’t be afraid of bullet points; they’re easy on the eye. Remember, inside their souls...people are lazy.
#5. Break the rules, poopy-pants
Write something that makes people blink and go ‘No! I can’t believe they wrote that.’ Make people snort their coffee up their nose with laughter. Make them FEEL something. When you break the rules, that’s what happens.
How can you break the rules?
Call them something, like poopypants.
Spell a word in a crazy way - sekshual vs sexual; pow-wah vs power
Write the way you speak (I say bomb dot com a lot. So, I write it in my copy and content too)
Your copy needs to grab people by the short and curlies and hold them tightly so that they stay on your page. Great copy will make an impression. It will be memorable. It’ll make people think about you long after they’ve left your website or your sales page, or your email. Don’t underestimate it.
Ashleigh is a copywriter who helps women find their authentic voices, so they can weave it into their business and their branding, and rise. Boom. For real conversations, join her Facebook group here - Make a Song and Dance: Female Business Owners, RISING
Which Grammy-winning superstar is your business? 86% of consumers say authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support.
Take the quiz to discover your brand’s unique voice and develop a melody that makes you memorable AF (basically you’ll be the online business version of an earworm!) And then create copy that rakes in the $$$s.