If you believe there is something to be learned from great success stories through the ages, there is a message to be had from the history of successful tag lines and advertising copy writing.
Take “Just Do It” or “Think Different” and similar iconic pieces of advertising conceived by legends of copywriting for legendary brands; they all have the same message: keep it simple.
The idea behind high converting copy is totally different than other kinds of writing whether that’s dissertation writing, producing academic or scientific papers, or creating writing of fiction. If copy writing bears resemblance to anything, it most closely takes after movie screenplays.
High converting copy is the sort that sets readers’ hearts racing. That is what movie dialogues are also supposed to do. Copy writing and screenplay writing both succeed when their result is something that the intended audience feels connected to and reacts with emotion and intensity.
Evaluate your sales copy based on the following four criteria.
Does It Create Needs?
Whether the product is an Ultra HD 4K TV or a new coffee maker or smart vacuum cleaner, the copy must create a compelling need to pull the user into the sales funnel. The copy must create the differentiation by highlighting the unique features of a product that make it a must-have.
Does It Speak with Clarity?
As memorable advertising tag lines and movie dialogues demonstrate, keeping things clear makes them memorable.
Everybody remembers lines like ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!’ or ‘Are you talking to me’ or ‘I will have what she is having.’ Those are short, clear and succinct lines!
In writing copy, it matters more than anything else to keep the copy clear as that will be the most compelling copy for the reader.
- Why clarity is so important is because your intended audience or users need to understand something complex — whether it’s a new Ultra HD TV or complex new healthcare legislation.
- Again clarity helps when it comes to explaining the distinctive features of your product or service. This will persuade them to opt for your TV or your company’s auto insurance plan vis-à-vis the competitor’s products.
- With clarity, you have the best chance of explaining how your product is superior to the competitor’s.
To use movie metaphor again, your story will make for a great and memorable movie when it’s a simple story told with clarity. James Cameron’s billion-dollar movies like Titanic and Avatar are testimony to that.
Does It Sound Casual and Fun?
An informal tone is what we are most familiar with and used to as that is what we use in everyday life. High converting copy should not deviate from the language of everyday conversation either if you wish to connect easily with customers!
Being informal means many things. It means keeping the copy conversational and focusing on the message rather than the grammar. In informal conversation — as opposed to interacting with the President or the Queen of England — we only use those words that are essential to convey our message. Effective copy should also do the same thing.
Informal copy also means using the latest slangs that have become cultural norms or standard bearers or accepted usage. After all, language is an evolving thing; as is grammar. As Steven Pinker has noted in his recent book and as other noted experts had noted previously.
Is It Quick to Digest?
We are all busy with our lives and overloaded with information. Certainly, we do not have the luxury of spending time trying to decipher marketing or sales copy that cannot be understood by a quick scan that takes 15 or 30 seconds.
After all, we live in the age of Buzzfeed and listicles when people do a quick scan of their smartphone screens while the car they are driving is waiting for the traffic signal to turn green.
So, use all the tools in the arsenal to write copy that is scanable — use short words inside short sentences. Bullet points and numbered lists also help the reader to scan the copy as do sub-heads. Images and white space help break the monotony of too many words and verbiage.
It’s always worth remembering that the copy you are writing will more than likely be read on a small smartphone screen rather than on a desktop computer.
As the readers scan the copy, you can help guide them by the correct use of bold, underlined, and italicized text as well as text with a different color to denote hyperlinks or even otherwise.