Have you ever experienced the frustration that comes with writing a copy no one understands or wishes to engage with? As a marketer, you must understand that a great sales copy with a strong value proposition always precedes conversions. But understanding this is only the easy part of the job.
Turning that chunky sales copy into a high-converting copy is doable. All you need is a framework, a step-by-step process that is tested and trusted. With a few proven persuasion principles, you can ‘tear down’ the oh-so-awful sales copy of any sales page and rebuild it into a copy that converts. Popular among them is the Claude Hopkins’ Scientific Advertising Rules which posits four principles — be specific, offer service, tell a story and be a salesperson. What a copy teardown does is to create a standard process for auditing copies, so as to eliminate all unstructured and opinion-based ways of reviewing copies.
Introduction to Message-Mining
Put simply, message-mining (also referred to as text-mining) is a process where useful information is extracted from an unstructured text. As far as copywriting is concerned, CXL Institute describes it as, “The process of scouring the internet (or other sources if available) for instances of your target customer voicing what they care most about when it comes to your product/ solution.” What this process entails is internet-eavesdropping on content that relates to your industry and using the content gathered to create a killer copy. You could either find key messages in your search or even direct language you can ‘take’ from your customer’s discussions about the product.
Mining Messages From Your Customers
Some of the best ad copies today are stolen directly from customers. Yes, you read that right. What is a better way to communicate with your customers than using their own language? By poring over consumer data from the internet, you find words, stories, phrases, and relevant messages that expose how ‘real’ people understand and use your product. This data can be found in treasure chests like customer reviews, focus groups, market research, surveys, etc.
Crafting Effective Unique Value Proposition
Now that you know what your customers want and what they do not want, how do you communicate that to them? To craft an effective Unique Value Proposition, you must ask yourself questions like, what makes your brand different? What options do you offer that the competition doesn’t? Why are you special and why should people patronize you and not other similar brands? Answering these questions will be the groundwork for crafting a UVP that works. In crafting your UVP, ensure it is clear, concise, and to the point. Use simple language that will immediately tell your visitor why they should patronize your brand over the competition.
A messaging hierarchy should do three things — capture the tone of the brand, communicate the brand’s objectives, and inspire its readers. The story you tell of your brand must be consistent and cohesive across all platforms. This is why you need a message hierarchy. These messages must be priorities that align with the tone and voice of the brand. This is not a Call to Action, instead, it is a Call to Value. In creating a message hierarchy, consider what the visitor would see on landing on the page, what purpose the message would serve, and what results in it would provide.
Writing the First Draft
It is now time to put everything learned on paper. With all the data you must have gathered from message mining, customer research, and so on, you can then start creating the headlines, subheadings, and the body of your copy. In writing your first draft, eliminate the pressure of getting it right. You should focus more on getting everything out of your head. There will be .several drafts after your first draft, so don’t sweat it.
Editing and Punching the Copy
Once the first draft is done, you can then move on to editing and sprucing up the copy. This is the best place to unsheathe your copy-knife and cut every unnecessary word, phrase, or even paragraph. Cut all repetitions, wordy sentences, grammatical/syntactic errors, and everything else that could impede the flow of the copy.
One proven way you could ‘punch up’ your copy is to add humor. Well, not a lot of people are good at that but adding a few UNFORCED humorous remarks could spice up your copy. This is also the perfect time to add in mined content. Just do the lifting and fill up the holes you might have noticed while editing. Also, switch jargons for casual language, so your readers understand you better. Be specific and avoid dropping hints or nuances.
Conversion-Focused Formatting and Layout
Everything about your copy matters — including the formatting and layout. There is a specific kind of layout that reduces your bounce rates and ensures your well-written copy gets the attention it deserves. This layout involves your headlines, the number and length of your paragraphs, the page’s visual appeal, how you segregate the content, and its overall user-friendliness. Navigation on the page should also be seamless, so you can help the readers find all the relevant information quickly and perform certain actions too. When stuff gets hard to find, visitors are displeased and therefore take their patronage elsewhere.
Petdoors.com Home Page Performance
The Petdoors.com website is great for finding economical and weather-friendly doors for your pets — cats and dogs especially. While trying to optimize the home page and increase conversions, it was discovered that the motivation factor needed to be removed from the website. This is because a good majority of the users already knew what they were there for. Once that was done, conversions picked up. What this reveals is that a high-converting copy needs zero-padding or fluff. Remove everything that is unnecessary or else it would drag the conversions down.
Final Exam — Product Messaging and Sales Page Copywriting
Practice your new skills by choosing a landing or sales page and rebuild its sales copy, using the processes outlined in this article.