Copywriting to Crush the Competition

Copywriting is key to articulating your message. Writing words and copywriting are not the same.  The goal of copywriting is to increase your bottom line, create brand awareness and/or deliver a strong ROI. 

Our consumers are bombarded with ads and have less time than ever to absorb what you are trying to say.  Although there are no official figures, it is estimated the average person consumes between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day! Compare that to the 1970’s when consumers only encountered 500 – 1600 ads per day. The rise of technology and the internet is changing the landscape for businesses with more than 400 million active websites online and all of them vying for your attention.   

Copywriting is Key to Selling

Headlines can make or break your campaign. Words hold a lot of power. A headline compels a viewer to read more by grabbing their attention or eliciting an emotional reaction. You are going to spend less of your budget to reach more people and be more effective in getting your desired response.

The intent of the headline is to get you to read the next sentence.  The purpose of that next sentence is to get you to read the following sentence and so on throughout the article.  If you do not have a good headline or impactful first sentence, you do not have good copywriting and in turn your article is unfortunately not being read as you intended. 

Capture Attention - Immediately with Copywriting

Which headline compels you to read more?

Headline: Get rewarded when you shop at XX Retailer?

Subhead: Dress your best and get a free gift, it’s as simple as 1-2-3!

-OR-

Headline: Receive a $100 Gift Card – FREE!

Subhead: When you spend $500 at XX retailer November 1 – 10.

Years ago, when I started working for a retailer client, I was told that gifts with purchase did not work for their brand.  Baffled, I looked at the offer to determine if it was strong enough and if it had value.  It did.  Then I looked at the research to determine if the advertisements were being served to the target market.  They were.  The graphics were beautiful as well. So, what was wrong?

The copy was not compelling.  The $100 free offer was buried in the body of a dense paragraph and not mentioned in the headline aka the first sentence or even the second.  Though the free $100 offer was highlighted in the body copy, the reader never got there because they were not compelled to keep reading.

By changing the headline from the first example above to the second and keeping all else equal, the retailer went from barely distributing their $100 gift cards to depleting over 500 during the 2-week campaign!

Copy and the Bottom Line to Articulating your Message

By holding the audience’s attention, good copy ensures that your call to action is well communicated to the audience. Also, that the audience gets to hear your story. Good copy does not just resonate; it gets people to take action. Copywriting is meant to boost sales, traffic and/or brand loyalty

Most purchasing decisions are settled in the realm of emotions. It stands to reason that good copy that connects with your customers on an emotional level offers value from the first glance.

Keep it Simple

Wordy descriptions, heavy jargon and communicating in platitudes does not work. Lengthy paragraphs and complicated ideas are not effective in holding the attention of your reader. The best content is scannable, meaning when someone glances quickly at your ad they should get an idea of what it is about.  Think of a billboard and imagine you have a split second to capture attention, that is your headline.   

Most people are overloaded with information and they miss many of the words around them. Paragraphs should look attractive to the eye, be short, sweet and simple.  Try cutting down lengthy paragraphs to only a few words – challenge yourself to be simple.  

Good copywriting is not about using overthought words and improving your punctuation skills.  It is about understanding what your customers value and creating a value proposition that fulfills that need – from first glance. Copywriting is key to articulating your message, use it wisely!

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edangelt
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Active leader in her community working professionally as a communications strategist and advertising consultant and pursuing personal hobbies in health and fitness.

Edan Gelt
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