Grab my summary from multiple copywriting books to give yourself a head start.
Copywriting can’t create desire. It can only channel desire that already exists. If a sales page is irrelevant to your desire you say “Who the hell would buy that”. But if the funnel is about something you deeply desire. It channels this. The best part? You think you are the one who come up with the idea. Because it’s what you already wanted.
Research before writing
- You first need to know who the audience is. Who is the person?
- What are their dreams?
- What keeps them up at night?
- Where do they hang out?
- What problem do they have?
- Create a Fact Sheet about your product.
It’s CONFIDENTIAL. So write negatives too. (10 pages, do the homework).
* Who’s been driving it?
* Color of the car?
* How many doors?
* Top Speed?
* Dent in the rear door.
- Write down 20 scenarios for which a potential client can come to you. Example: Digital print business.
- Individually numbered tickets for an event
- One day before big pitch, print the flyers you forgot
- Restock brochures for a trade show
- Create a Benefit list (10+ do your homework).
A benefit is what your product will do for the buyer.
Your car is heavy vs Your car offers protection in a car crash
Car is painted orange vs Car is so easy to see. Nobody will crash into it.
- Create the offer.
Your offer is the most important. Good copy won’t make up for a bad offer.
If You Will Give Me X Amount Of Dollars, I Will Give You X Product Or X Service In Return.
I’ll Sell You This New Caddy For $18,000 And I’ll Let You Drive It For A Week Free Before You Decide To Buy It… _Plus_, You _Don’t_ Have To Pay Me For It All At Once; You Can Pay Me Over A Period Of Five Years!
”Gary, I’ll sell you my 2-year-old Dodge pick-up for only $6,500.00 and I’ll let you drive it for a week free before you decide to buy it. I’ll also give you 5-years to pay me. Not only that, I’ll throw in a free diving trip to the Bahamas for you and Paulette and I’ll personally pay for ever drop of gas you use for the first 10,000 miles you drive!”
What is the primal desire of your audience?
There’s the reason they tell their wife and there is the real reason.
“I like convertible cars, I love the aesthetic.” vs “I want to impress people I look up to.”
* How would it feel if you have a website which works and earns for you while you sleep?
* How would it feel to be walking your 2 golden retriever down the lake and getting a notification that you just sold 1000 euro worth of merchandise from your website
* How would it feel to be at home with your children while still providing for them?
* How would it feel if the neighbours looked up to you because of your freedom.
The Big Idea
Emotionally Appealing Primary Promise + Unique Mechanism = Intellectually Interesting Appeal
Your product doesn’t have to be unique. You just have to find a mechanism and give it a unique name. Something that can be branded and stand out in a crowded market. Make up some plausible catchy name and explain the mechanism. Wait, that’s all?!
The Big Idea is how you open your sales message. Big bold promise that sparks curiosity. Gets the reader to think, “I want that! But how do they do it?” It’s the headline, it’s the lead.
The Unique Mechanism is how the promise is fulfilled. It’s the heart of your sales message. The Story is to tell how you discovered the unique mechanism.
- How to Outsource Work vs The 4-Hour Work Week
- Get Rich with Gold vs Invest in the “Secret Currency” used by wealthy families
- Invest in Kobalt vs The Goblin Stone used in Wireless technology
- New non-lethal weapon for police vs Bank 1,435% (Or More) On Law Enforcement’s New ‘Batman Gun’.
- Hogere web conversie vs 120% meer omzet met de Silicon Valley Strategie .
- Home workouts to lose 10kg in 90 days vs you can Lose 10kg in 60 days with “Muscle Confusion”
- Vitamin D for better health vs The Astronaut’s Nutrient
- A Hog Can Cross The Country Without Changing Trains buy YOU Can’t
They both tell the same idea. But the 4-hour work week, has a vehicle. ::A secret sauce or gimmick so to speak.:: This is the HOOK. Which people have to find out more about. WHAT IS IT?
A I D A – Landingpage formula
Features – Advantage – Benefit
/Imagine you’re selling an oven. One of its special/features/is a fast preheat system. The/advantage/of this system is that the oven heats up to 400º F (200º C) in just five minutes. The/benefit/is that a cook doesn’t have to hang around until the oven is finally warm enough. It makes cooking less stressful and you have a much better chance to get dinner ready in time even if you’re extremely busy./
Problem – Agitate – Solution
/“When you understand that people are more likely to act to avoid pain than to get gain, you’ll understand how powerful this first formula is. (…) It may be the most reliable sales formula ever invented.” ~ / Dan Kennedy
Problem and Agitation:
/To get action, you need a clean, great looking, landing page with effective copy, but finding a good designer on short notice is next to impossible and hacking code is no fun./
/Premise empowers you to quickly and easily build custom, graphically-enhanced landing pages without cost, code, or hassle. Plus, copywriting advice is delivered directly into WordPress for each landing page type./
- What I’ve got for you
- What it’s going to do for you
- Who am I?
- What you need to do next
Ron Simpson Formula for Viral Content:
Ron wants to organise a chicken waffles dinner with friends at a befriended restaurant. Nobody responds to his invite message. He rephrases it using this formula.
- Variable 1: New – (Most people haven’t eaten chicken waffles)
- Variable 2: Exlusive – (The whole restaurant is for us)
- Variable 3: Weird/Unique (Black tie dress code)
- Variable 4: Mix it (Something which doesn’t fit here normally, DJ playing only R.Kelly all night(Didn’t age well))
The combination of 3-4 variables creates something which will never happen again. Therefore FOMO. You have to be there or miss out.
Now it sells out in minutes.
4 U’s for Headlines
Rules of Copywriting
1) Write with your eraser
You get 100 bucks for every word you rub out from your title:
/Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done => Work collaboratively. Get more done/
2) No one cares what you can do
Everyone cares what you can do /for them/
/The worlds first portable digital media player => 1,000 songs in your pocket/
People only want the 4 primal desires. Sex, Money, Fun/Comfort and piece of mind.
3) Avoid the passive voice
It’s indirect and awkward:
/Bigger fish will be fried by me => I’ve got bigger fish to fry/
4) Speak with conviction
* Don’t say “We help” say “It’s how”
* Don’t say “alternative” say “replaces”
* We help /you make a podcast =>/ It’s how /you make a podcas
*An email/ *alternative* /inside your company => Slack/ replaces /email inside your company/
5) Avoid Goobloygooks
* Amazing, tremendous, supercharge. Spin in het web. If it triggers “Market-speak-alert” delete it. Stay under the BS radar.
6) Write a Slippery Slope
Write something that pulls your reader down your page:
/Social media intelligence for your startup => Do you know the value of your Facebook content?/
7) Think “Call-to-value” not “Call-to-action”
Buttons which amplify “value” over “action” usually perform better.
- /Sign up now => Create your website/
- /Get started => Hire top designers/
8) More periods, fewer commas.
Periods mean short sentences. We like short sentences.
Commas mean long, painful sentences, like this one, which /New Yorker/ writers think are clever, but real people find torturous, because they wind on and on without actually saying anything.
The things is that people usually think they are very smart but in reality they are not.
You think you are so smart. You are not.
9) Use value based messaging
People don’t want a better toothbrush. They want a brighter smile:
/Introducing the new and improved Colgate => Smile like you’ve never smiled before/
10) Kill adverbs.
They’re flowery. They’re vague. They try too hard:
/Effortlessly create email lists from LinkedIn => Create email lists from LinkedIn/
11) Get specific
You can’t bullshit specifics:
/Save more on your AWS bill => Save an average of 33.7% on your AWS bill/
12) Your first line is crucial
The first line of your copy is crucial. If people don’t read it, they’re not going to read your second line either. Make it short.
/We focus on nearly every muscle in our body, yet neglect the one area we value most, our face. => Your face has 43 muscles./
13) Call out the customer you serve
People pay attention when they know something is specifically for them.
/A creative hub for anyone and everyone => A creative hub for 150,000 authors/
/All-in-one social automation => Turn followers into customers/
14) Copywriting is selling
Don’t romanticise it. The goal isn’t to be clever or cute. If you don’t sell. You don’t have a business. The goal is to inspire action:
/Request a demo => See Drift on your site/
15) Measure & Test
Test your writing in the wild. Numbers don’t lie. Run a poll. Create Google Ads.
16) It’s forbidden to be original
You think you are so smart. You’ll start with a blank page. You are not. Never reinvent the wheel. Use a swipe file. Steal. Copy. Remix.
17) Don’t think of ‘your audience’ think of an individual person you are writing for. Write to one person, not a million
18) Read it aloud at the kitchen table
If your partner cringes, re-write it.
19/ Tell stories
They’re more memorable than facts and figures.
20) Don’t persuade
Let the reader /be persuaded/.
21) The big win is in the offer and clear communication what you offer. Not magical tricks
Homepage Layout Template Example Homepage Lay-pout
Best Performing Headlines
- Open loop: “You’ll never believe what happened next”
- Audacious Claim: “The BEST DJ of Ibiza”
- Question: “Do you know what all millionaires have in common?”
HeadLime – Remake
CTA Button BuzzWords
Some Headline Templates
- The 3 things every [insert target audience here] must know before…
- The [insert target audience here] field guide to…
- 10 questions to ask your…
- What [insert target audience here] need to know about…
- The 5 big mistakes [insert target audience here] make when…
- [Insert target audience here] industry insiders secrets to…
- 8 way’s [insert target audience here] can get… right now
- Exclusive offer for [insert target audience here]
- What they don’t tell [insert target audience here]
- Startling news for [insert target audience here]
- Turbocharge your [insert target audience here] business/results
- The [insert target audience here] insiders advantage
- How you stack up against your competition
- The best kept secret in the [insert target audience here] industry
- The worst kept secret in the [insert target audience here] industry
- The [insert target audience here]’s new best friend
- VIPs only