No, I’m not talking about “Copy-righting”. You know, the “©” symbol you see after protected intellectual property? I’ve brought up copywriting to business people before…and they’ve looked at me like I was trying to interest them in a ketchup-flavored Popsicle. It’s only when I explain that copywriting is their sales message in print or web…that the clarity falls into place. Now, I understand if people don’t know the definition, but I truly think many businesses miss the mark even with the concept of their message.
To be straightforward, I could write several pieces about the merits of copywriting, but I’ll start with an overview to get the knowledge train chugging. We’re just scratching the surface here.
What is Copywriting?
Well, we can start with the hard fact that you don’t have a business without it. Unless you’re a 1950’s door-to-door vacuum salesman with no print materials (And I wouldn’t recommend that business model nowadays), copywriting is just about the most important part of your business.
Copywriting isn’t just the act of writing your sales message, there are meticulous steps that a good copywriter takes BEFORE writing a darn thing – ensuring effective positioning of your brand.
Steps such as:
- Intensive Market Research
- Developing a Customer Profile
- Determining your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
- Creating your Sales Funnel
It’s less about writing and more about marketing. The writing part ONLY follows the core concept of why your business exists – to meet the needs of humans.
Before any copywriters who might be reading this decide to flame me with their impeccably placed words – know that I’m a copywriter myself – and this is an extremely simplified version of how a sales message would be laid out. There are several nuances surrounding this formula, and sometimes can even work on a less direct level.
But here are 5 steps to an effective sales message:
- Gain (or earn) your prospect’s attention
- Identify your prospect’s problem (and let them know you understand)
- Position your offering as the solution to their problem
- Prove the value of your solution (back up your claims)
- Call-to-action (ask the prospect to buy)
A few key items to remember when crafting a winning sales message: First, we (humans) don’t like the idea of being sold…and we purchase based on emotion. Yes, it doesn’t matter who we are or what we’re buying – emotion is the reason, whether we want to admit it or not. And finally…we back up our buying decisions with logic. That’s how the purchase “sticks”.
The Power of Copywriting
The best copywriters can deliver a message in such a way that draws the prospect in. It’s a personal experience. The prospect is reading the message in their own voice. If the copywriter does his/her job, the prospect will feel motivated, empowered, and compelled to purchase. A good sales message should be the best part of a prospect’s day.
As copywriting legend John Carlton would say…a copywriter’s job is to crank up a spark within the prospect enough to get them off the couch to take action.
You want a little insight into how powerful copywriting can be? A sales letter was sent to homes in the U.S. from 1976 to 1988 that generated over a billion dollars in revenue for a popular credit card company. This letter was written once…and generated THAT much revenue.
Copywriting and Digital Marketing
The same principle applies here…you can’t market without copywriting. In fact, copywriting is the foundation of writing Google or Facebook ads, gaining SEO rankings, and branding. It’s used with online sales funnels, landing/squeeze pages, and even webinar or VSL’s (video sales letters).
Online influencers even use copywriters when posting their daily or weekly YouTube videos. Don’t assume that content just flows out naturally. The core purpose is to spark interest to buy from whatever their brand is offering.
There is a TON more than can be written about the purpose, structure, and power of copywriting. And perhaps I’ll have more to share in the future. But just know for now that a business cannot exist without it. It’s the very foundation of your message and marketing. The great news is that if you hire a good copywriter for your business, you’ll be well on your way to connecting with your target audience and bringing in enormous revenue.