Eight Tips for Writing Copy that Converts

Well-written copy has the power to affect the public’s perception of your brand. It drives profitability and helps your business achieve its goals by convincing your target audience that your product or service will solve their needs and offer value.

So, how do you write copy that generates business? Here are eight ways:

1. Consider your target audience.

Who are they? Put yourself in their shoes. What problem do they have that you (better yet, only you) can solve? What do you want them to do after reading your copy? (See Tip #8 for more on this.)

2. How will your audience read or interact with your copy?

That is, via what channel? Brochure copy is very different than social media copy—and even more different than billboard copy. Think about where/how your audience will be reading your copy and determine how to best reach and engage them via that specific platform. Will they see it in passing? Or will they be a captive audience, perhaps in a waiting room, on a bus, or standing at a gas pump? The amount of time people have to digest your copy is an important factor to consider when writing it.

Your job is not to write copy. Your job is to know your visitors, customers, and prospects so well, you understand the situation they’re in right now, where they’d like to be, and exactly how your solution can and will get them to their ideal self.
—Joanna Wiebe, Founder, Copyhackers

3. Focus on the benefits.

Lead with the benefit, then back up that benefit with features. Instead of selling a product or service by focusing on what it is or what it includes (the features), write about how it will help the person using it (the benefits). For more on features and benefits, check out this blog post.

4. Why should people choose your brand?

How is what you offer different and better than what your peers/competitors offer? Why should people choose you over them? Like #1 above, what can you offer that no one else can? This is your value proposition. Read more about value propositions here.

Consumers do not buy products. They buy product benefits.

David Ogilvy, The Father of Advertising

5. Write as a conversation.

Write your copy as if you’re having a conversation with someone sitting next to you. Don’t lecture. Don’t drone on and on. Show, don’t tell. If you were your target audience, what would motivate you to take action?

6. Keep it simple.

  • Write what you mean, clearly and succinctly. Don’t use jargon or flowery words that muddle your message.
  • If you can say something in 100 words or 20 words, say it in 20.
  • Avoid overused clichés. They can show a lack of original thought or laziness. (Think of it like using someone else’s melody in your music.) Plus, they are often specific to one language and could create a communication barrier.
  • Use active voice. It’s much clearer to write “The dog chased the ball” than “The ball was chased by the dog.”

Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer.

Shirley Polykoff, Pioneering Copywriter

7. Embrace the power of headlines.

Include attention-getting headlines that provide a quick benefit or takeaway for each section. Headlines aren’t just for a visual break—although they help with that, too. Some readers might scan your copy, so conveying the most important information/benefits you want them to remember (the “why” they should purchase from you) in headlines is key—it could be the only parts they read.

8. Tell them what to do.

Even the best copy can fall flat if you don’t include a clear, direct, and concise call to action (CTA). Craft an action-oriented, benefits-driven CTA that creates a sense of urgency and clearly tells your target audience what to do. Here are a few examples of simple yet effective CTAs compiled by HubSpot.

When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.
—David Ogilvy, The Father of Advertising

While there isn’t an exact science to copywriting, these tips are a great way to enhance your copy and better reach your target audience. Put them to good use and you’ll be seeing conversions in no time!

Need help writing copy that converts? Contact Us.

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Novak Birch

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