The Hidden Formula to Writing Copy that Converts | Kerry Morrison

In the bustling marketplace of the digital world, getting noticed is the first hurdle.

The Hidden Formula to Writing Copy that Converts | Kerry Morrison

In the bustling marketplace of the digital world, getting noticed is the first hurdle.

But what’s next?

How do you compel your audience to pause, read, and ultimately, take action?

The answer lies in mastering the art of conversion copywriting.

Writing copy that converts.

This isn’t about being the loudest or the flashiest.

It’s about crafting a message that resonates, persuades, and moves your readers to act. It’s about discovering and implementing the hidden formula to writing copy that converts.

Join us as we delve into the heart of conversion copywriting, from storytelling and creating urgency to using proof, testing, avoiding common pitfalls, and leveraging the power of SEO.

What are the foundational principles of writing copy that converts?

No one will buy into a car salesperson who spews out jargon like a malfunctioning fax machine. Instead, think of your copy like a conversation at a dinner party, where you’re trying to woo potential customers, not bore them to tears.

Principle 1: Know your audience.

Get to know who you’re talking to. What’s their favorite band? What keeps them up at night? Your copy should feel like it’s written just for them.

Principle 2: Focus on benefits, not features.

People don’t buy products.

They buy better versions of themselves.

Make them see how your product or service can transform their lives.

Principle 3: Cut the fluff.

Brevity is the soul of wit and copy. Forget about using fancy words and industry jargon.

Principle 4: Appeal to emotions.

We, humans, are emotional creatures. So, appeal to their emotions, make them feel something, anything.

Principle 5: Use storytelling.

Remember that time when Uncle Bob captivated everyone with his fishing tale? Do the same with your copy.

Principle 6: Create urgency.

Tick tock, tick tock. People are more likely to act if they feel they might miss out.

Principle 7: Use proof.

Don’t just claim it. Prove it.

Use testimonials, case studies, or whatever you have at your disposal.

Principle 8: Test, test, test.

Keep testing different copy versions. You’ll only know what works best if you experiment.

How can I understand my audience better to improve conversion?

Deep diving into your audience’s psyche is like unboxing a set of Russian dolls. You think you’ve hit the core, but there’s always another layer.

The key to understanding your audience better? Empathy and a dollop of good ol’ research. Here’s how:

Surveys and interviews: There’s no replacement for a one-on-one conversation with your customers. Ask probing questions. Dig deep.

Review mining: This isn’t some Minecraft spin-off. It’s about finding gold insights in reviews of your products or competitors.

Social listening: Just like eavesdropping at the office water cooler, social listening helps you gauge public opinion about your brand.

Creating buyer personas: Personas are fictional characters representing different segments of your audience. Imagine what a day in their life would look like.

Analyze customer behavior: Use tools like Google Analytics or Heatmaps to understand how your audience behaves on your website.

Remember, the better you know your audience, the more your copy will resonate with them. And the more it resonates, the more likely they are to convert.

What’s the secret to focusing on benefits over features in my copy?

Let’s dive right in.

Think about it like this — people don’t care about what your product does.

They care about what it does for them.

The key? Flip the script from features to benefits.

Don’t be a laundry list: It’s tempting to list all your product’s nifty features, but that’s about as engaging as watching paint dry.

Paint a picture: Instead, use vivid language to show how their lives will improve. Make them imagine their lives with your product.

Solve their problems: People are looking for solutions to their problems. Show them how your product is their knight in shining armor.

Use testimonials: Nothing speaks louder than real people benefitting from your product. Include testimonials that focus on benefits.

The ‘So What’ technique: For every feature you list, ask yourself, “So what?” Keep asking until you can’t anymore. The answer? That’s your benefit.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re selling fast-drying paint (the feature). So what? It means your customers can finish painting faster and get back to their lives.

How do I cut the fluff to improve my copy?

There needs to be more space for waffling in writing copy that converts. Cutting the fluff can feel daunting, but once you get the hang of it, it’s as easy as pie. Here’s how you can do it:

Eliminate redundant words: Cut words that don’t add meaning. Instead of “I believe,” use “I believe.”

Avoid buzzwords and jargon: Keep it simple and speak like a human.

Use contractions: Instead of “do not,” use “don’t.” It makes your copy more conversational and engaging.

Break up your sentences: Long, convoluted sentences can confuse your reader. Keep your sentences short and punchy.

Use active voice: Instead of “The ball was thrown by me,” say “I threw the ball.”

Show, don’t tell: Instead of telling your readers what to think, show them and let them come to their conclusions.

And always remember, when in doubt, cut it out.

How do I appeal to my audience’s emotions to improve conversions?

Ah, the art of emotional appeal. It’s all about tugging at your readers’ heartstrings. But how you ask?

Use Emotional Triggers: These words elicit a strong emotional response. For example, words like “free,” “new,” “save,” and “now” tend to trigger positive emotions.

Tell Stories: People connect profoundly emotionally with stories. Use storytelling to make your readers feel something.

Empathy: Show your readers that you understand their pain points and are here to help.

Make Them Feel Special: Make your readers part of an exclusive club.

Create a Sense of Urgency: Creating a sense of urgency can trigger fear of missing out, a powerful emotional trigger.

Remember, people buy based on emotions and justify with logic. So, weave emotional appeal into your copy to improve conversions.

How can I effectively use storytelling in my copy to boost conversions?

There’s no denying it — we’re all suckers for a good story. It’s how we’re wired.

To use storytelling in your copy, you must weave a tale that would make your grandma proud. And no, it doesn’t have to involve trolls or talking animals. Here’s how:

Start with a hook: An engaging opening line is your ticket to grab attention.

Introduce a protagonist: Your customer is the hero. Let them shine.

Add a conflict: All good stories have a conflict. In this case, it’s the problem your product or service solves.

Present a solution: That’s where your product or service comes in. It’s the magic potion that helps the hero win the day.

End with a resolution: Show the transformation. Let the reader imagine how wonderful their life would be after using your product or service.

Remember, your story is not about your brand but your customer and how you can help them overcome their struggles.

“A story woven well can turn ordinary copy into a captivating narrative, transforming your brand from a mere business into an engaging part of your customers’ lives.”

What are effective techniques to create urgency in my copy?

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Time’s running out. Nothing moves people to act more than the fear of missing out.

How can you add a sprinkle of urgency to your copy?

Limited time offers: A classic. “Act now before it’s too late!”

Limited quantities: “Only 3 left in stock!”

Seasonal or holiday promotions: Everyone loves a good holiday sale.

Expiring bonuses: “Sign up now and get a free ebook! Offer ends soon!”

Countdown timers: Nothing screams urgency like a ticking clock.

Incorporate these elements into your copy and watch the magic unfold.

How can I effectively use proof in my copy to increase trust and conversions?

“Trust me” might have worked in the schoolyard, but you need more than just your word in the marketing world.

Here’s how you can incorporate proof into your copy:

Testimonials: Happy customers are your best advocates. Use their words to do the talking.

Case Studies: Show them the numbers. Hard facts are hard to ignore.

Certifications or Awards: Show off your shiny trophies.

Press Mentions: Been mentioned in the press? Flaunt it.

Endorsements: If a trusted figure in your industry loves your product, let the world know.

By incorporating proof into your copy, you’re not just saying you’re trustworthy. You’re showing it. And remember, actions always speak louder than words.

How do I test my copy to find what converts best?

Welcome to the testing grounds, where the winning copy earns its crown.

But where do you start? Here’s a handy little guide to get you going:

A/B Testing: The old switcheroo. Test two versions of your copy to see which performs better. Tweak one element at a time so you know what’s causing the difference.

Multivariate Testing: Like A/B testing, but on steroids. Test multiple variables at once to see what combination works best.

Heat Maps: See what parts of your page get the most attention. Where are your readers’ eyeballs going? That’s where your key message should be.

Engagement Metrics: Keep an eye on bounce rates, time spent on the page, and other metrics that show how users interact with your copy.

Conversion Rates: The ultimate test. Are people taking the action you want them to take?

Remember, testing isn’t a one-and-done deal. It’s an ongoing process. The more you test, the more you learn, the better your copy becomes.

“Companies that use A/B testing are 2x more likely to report a strong positive ROI.” — HubSpot, 2020

What common mistakes in conversion copywriting, and how can I avoid them?

Ah, the pitfalls of conversion copywriting, as countless as the grains of sand on a beach. But fear not! Here are some of the most common mistakes and how you can sidestep them:

Ignoring your audience: Remember, your copy isn’t about you. It’s about your audience. Always write with them in mind.

Being too verbose: Don’t say in 10 words what you can say in five. Keep your copy concise and to the point.

Being too salesy: People can smell a hard sell from a mile away. Instead of selling, focus on helping your reader.

Not testing: What works for one audience will only sometimes work for another. Always test your copy to see what resonates.

Ignoring the ‘So What’: For every statement you make, ask yourself, ‘So what?’ This will help you focus on benefits rather than features.

By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to writing copy that converts like a dream.

What’s the role of SEO in copy that converts?

The siren call of SEO can’t be ignored. But how does it play into conversion copywriting?

Think of SEO as your street crier, shouting your message in the crowded marketplace of the internet. It attracts people to your stall (your website), but once they’re there, your copy sells.

Use Keywords: Incorporate keywords in your copy, but don’t overdo it. Your document should still read naturally.

Write Compelling Meta Descriptions: These are the snippets of text that appear under your webpage in search results. Make them enticing.

Use Alt Text for Images: This helps search engines understand what your images are about.

Keep Updating Your Content: Fresh content ranks higher in search engines. Keep your content up to date to improve your SEO.

SEO and conversion copywriting go hand in hand. Mastering the balance between the two can do wonders for your conversions.

Originally published at on August 3, 2023.

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