Copywriting Tips For Business Owners That Will Help Drive Sales
Everywhere you turn in your business, there’s something to be written, and more often than not, there’s a sales component behind it. From sales sheets to press releases to website content, good copywriting for service businesses is a must.
With so many opportunities to let copywriting drive your sales, it pays to know what you’re doing, or at least hire someone who does. So let’s go over the details–why good copy matters for your business and how to craft copy to drive sales.
Why Good Copy Matters
Words hold power, and if done right, the right ones lead to revenue–lots of it. When you can stop someone in their tracks, make them smile, or get their brain gears turning you’ve won half the battle. By making an impression on your audience with your words, they’re likely to stick around to see what more you have to offer.
Start with words, good copy matters. Let’s go through a few examples of good sales copy.
Trello’s copy sure makes you go, “Aha! I need that.” With words that explain the way this software company can create ease in your life, you gain a crystal clear idea of how and why Trello could be useful for you.
Simple, easy, clean, that’s what RX Bar’s got going on with the copy on their packaging. With just a list of ingredients, they’re not into hiding anything with fluff and B.S., making it quick to read and understand. In fact, they said it themselves, “No B.S.”
A sure sign of great copywriting is making people smile, and that’s just what GymIt did with this ad. They tapped into the real life stuff that we’ve all done–or at least thought about doing (lying about our gym memberships). Keeping it real, now that’s a gym we’d sign up for.
Types of Copy
Writing is everywhere we look in business. Social media, websites, eBooks, blogs, the list goes on and on. It’s familiar to see writing on just about everything. But what we may not always see is that where there’s writing, there’s a type of copywriting.
Depending on your type of business, you may put a few kinds of copywriting to use or you might use them all. Not all kinds of copywriting make sense for every business, and that’s OK. What’s important to know is which types you should learn to master and which ones you should delegate to other writers.
Take a look at the following types of copy and decide what’s worth learning for your brand.
As the more serious friend in the group, marketing collateral copywriting, or sales copywriting, has to get the point across clearly and efficiently. There’s usually not much room for fluff in marketing collateral–make business the first priority. Sales copy is going to be something like a product descriptions or an ad. Not to say that marketing collateral has to be stripped of all fun, but persuasion, simplicity, features, and benefits have to come first.
A brand’s website content is often the meat of their copywriting–a website is likely one of the places an audience member is sure to visit when researching a brand. Because of this, website copy has to have the following four components: inspiration, information, engaging content, and copy that converts. Great website content tells a story about a brand, in their voice, and ties that story into a brand’s products or services.
When it comes to content marketing, the main goal is to create a relationship and trust with your audience. Blog copywriting must portray that by giving readers something insightful, useful, and interesting–content that is not focused around selling a product or service. Insightful content will drive readers back to your site and encourage them to nurture that relationship with your brand by being a loyal part of your audience.
The two goals of any email marketing campaign are 1. Conversion and 2. Information. And in order for either of these things to happen, you have to write a subject line that makes your audience want to open the email. Once an email is open (because of great copy in the subject line), the goal is to get that to understand and actually read what’s written in the body of the email. For that to happen, copy has to be kept short and simple with many engaging headlines, and copy that’s broken up by images and graphics whenever possible.
Press Releases and Media Kits
Public relations’ main goal is to connect the public with businesses and organizations. When it comes to public relations, the appropriate copywriting is essential for portraying a company in the best light possible. PR copywriters have to write with a neutral, journalistic voice because getting across important details is essential, while also promoting a business in an exciting and positive way, of course.
In order to be successful online, your website needs good SEO copy. Strategic thinking is critical here because SEO copywriting really is a balancing act. To write great SEO copy on your website, it has to be focused on your typical customer’s behaviors and what they’re likely to search for online. And while SEO copy still has to encompass insight and creativity, it also has to include the right key terms to make Google happy–without seeming obvious that keywords are thrown into the mix.
Technical writing is all about in-depth knowledge and lots of research on a subject. With technical writing, it’s a must that you write like a real expert on the topic. This type of copywriting is often found in industries and areas like science, environmental, marketing, health, finance, government, and finance. Excellent grammar and formal language is a must with technical writing as it’s meant to sound as professional and high-level as possible.
In order to stay on-brand and always write in a way that resonates with your audience, guidelines have to be set. Messaging guidelines are essential for the copywriting process because they clearly identify how you can create copy for your audience so it will catch their attention–no matter where that copy exists. The Code does that for us. The Code contains a set of messaging guidelines for our clients to help them reach their audience and be seen, felt, heard, and understood.
Examples of Excellent Sales Copywriting for Service Businesses
The best method for doing great copywriting for your service business? Practice, practice, practice, and learning from other great copywriters. Study what’s working for them and what’s not, and try out the right techniques for your brand.
Here are some examples of excellent sales copywriting.
Urban Daddy’s email copy is rooted in fun and simplicity. First off, from the very beginning it catches your eye–“Enter Bandman”. Then, the email gets right to the point about what the email is about–rubber band guns. There’s not fluff or extra copy to distract the reader. The email says what it needs to say and that’s it.
Try this tactic with your next email marketing campaign. Really think through what type of subject line will catch the attention of your audience, and then make your point as quickly as possible, keeping it simple, easy to read, and short to understand.
Moosejaw’s CTAs are not your average “Shop” buttons. With something a little more actionable, and also relatable, this “Look This Cool” call to action is sure to make the Moosejaw audience want to click and convert. Writing CTAs that stand out is one of the greatest things a brand can do on their website, social media ads, and print pieces. This type of copy gets their customers thinking they’re doing something other than just shopping or subscribing or learning more. It gives them a sense that they’re getting something more out of clicking this button. And know what? Not many people take advantage of the opportunity.
Comb through your site and locate every call to action you can find. Is it generic, plain, and simple? Have you seen just about every other brand use the same copy for their CTAs? Switch it up with something a little more fun and a lot more engaging.
The Boring Stuff
Even something as boring as FAQs can become fun and worth the read if they’re full of great copy. Cards Against Humanity has never been boring, so they took that same personality to the boring stuff too. With these FAQs, the brand gives a sneak peak into who they are as a brand and gets people familiar with how they speak and interact with their audience.
Take a look at the boring parts of your brand–FAQ page, on-boarding material, disclaimers. See how the copy can be punched up to sound more like your brand.
Learning the scientific stuff about prebiotics and probiotics could be filled with scientific jargon and not-so-fun information, but that type of copy just doesn’t fit into Rowdy Bars’ brand. Rowdy’s main goal is to promote gut health to actual people–not scientists. SO their copy had to resonate with normal people who care about their health, while also being easy and fun to understand. “Bad bacteria” and “good bacteria” are used instead of high-level scientific terms, and the copy is complemented by fun, colorful, and easy to understand graphics.
In order for your information to be easily understood by people who aren’t experts in your industry, you have to make your web copy simple and clear. Make it fun and clear it up. Anywhere that you feel like your audience might get lost, reassess that copy and punch it up to be more on-brand.
* Full Disclaimer: This is, in fact, copy we wrote for one of our clients, and yes, we’re proud of it.
Writing Effective Sales Copy: Copywriting For Business Owners
Know Your Audience
If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how will you ever know how to resonate with them? Knowing your audience is much more than guessing about their age or gender. Really getting to know your audience and their characteristics comes down to getting familiar with their demographics, buying behaviors, marital status, income, lifestyle, habits, and so on.
Have you ever been caught in a situation where someone with a very specific expertise won’t stop talking to you about that topic? Ross from Friends is a great example. That guy will go on and on about his paleontology career. Don’t be Ross, read the room–not everyone is a dinosaur enthusiast.
Knowing what your audience wants, how they found your brand (and your copy), why they’re interested, and their desires and motivations will certainly help you get to know them. Then you can think like them and therefore talk to them in a familiar way that addresses their specific desires, fears, and motivations.
Sell Benefits and Value, NOT Products and Services
Ultimately, your goal is to get customers to buy your products and services, but more importantly you want them to buy your brand.
Here’s what we mean: if you sell your audience on what your brand is all about, they’ll become returning customers–loyal customers. If you only sell them on your products or services, they’ll buy your product and forget about your brand entirely. When that’s the case, they’ll most likely go somewhere else to purchase next time because they don’t remember your brand at all.
For example, if you sell soap, customers aren’t intrigued with buying the soap itself. What they want is to smell like someone a nice girl would go home with after a date. Or maybe your brand’s into giving back–providing hygiene and health education to underserved populations. In that case, customers are interested in supporting a socially conscious brand.
All in all, it’s not about the soap when it comes to the interest from customers–it’s about what that soap or your brand can do, so make your copy about that too.
Be Clear, Not Clever
Being clever is great. It can grab attention and get your audience giggling over your witty words, but clever can become dangerous if it obstructs the message. Being clear is far more important than being clever–tell your audience exactly what you want them to know.
The last thing you want is to write a CTA like a passive aggressive teenager: “Hey, so I found this soap and it’s kinda cool, or whatever. It’s listed on the products page if you want to check it out, but no pressure. Buy it or don’t, I don’t care.” Yuck!
Yes, it can be scary to outright request what you want, but how else will your audience know what to do? You can still make copy fun, but it has to be simple too.
Follow the Acronyms
There are two acronyms that help you remember the important stuff: AIDA and KISS.
AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
AIDA is the structure all of your copy should follow, no matter what type of copywriting you’re creating. Always make sure to incorporate these four points to grab the attention of your audience and make them do something after seeing your copy (like making a purchase).
KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid
Overloading your audience with too many words or more information than they need will only cause them to get lost. Once they’re confused or you’ve lost their attention, the game is over. So keep it simple, stupid.
The great thing about copywriting is that with practice you will succeed. Practicing different types of copywriting and putting different styles to the test will transform you into being a great copywriting for your small business.
Now, we understand that not all business owners have the time to practice, practice, and practice copywriting, so in those cases you’ll need to hire a copywriter to write for you.
Whether you hire or write copy yourself, copywriting should never be an afterthought–remember that words hold power and, if done right, and lead to revenue.
Not sure if you need a copywriter or want to take it on yourself? Schedule a free 15-minute chat with the Bareknuckle team and we’ll give you the honest truth.