Developing Copy That Your Readers Will Remember
Identify Your Audience
Identifying your audience is the first step to writing memorable copy. Knowing your audience—what they like, what problems they have—is crucial for writing good copy.
Your copy should be customized and tailored for your target audience. You want to make them feel heard, understood, and spoken to. This means that your copy will be personalized and tailored specifically for your audience. In this way, you can use the copy you develop to tell your audience exactly what they need, strengthening your connection with potential clients. This also means you will want to address your audience personally to foster this connection.
Knowing who your audience is can influence your tone and the language you use. If your audience is industry-specific, using jargon may improve your credibility. However, generally you’ll want to avoid jargon and keep your copy simple. In fact, emails that are written at a third-grade reading level receive 36% more responses than messages that are not. The way you write will depend very heavily on the audience you’re writing to, so it’s important to identify who your target audience is.
To identify your audience, ask yourself these questions:
- Who would purchase my product or service?
- Who is my typical customer?
- Who is my ideal customer?
- What problems do they have that my product can solve?
- What do they like/dislike?
Understand Your Product
This is what you will be selling to your audience, so it’s crucial that you truly understand your product and its benefits. Writing about something you are very familiar with can lend you (and your product) more authority and credibility.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself about your product:
- Why is it important?
- What are its features?
- What value does it bring to its intended audience?
- How does it solve customers’ problems?
Include Clear Headlines
Headlines offer your readers a first impression of your brand and product. They determine whether your audience continues reading or ignores the rest of your copy. Without a captivating headline, only two out of ten people will continue to read the remaining copy.
Here are some questions to check how good your headline is:
- Does your headline answer a specific question your target audience has?
- Does your headline clearly state what value your target audience can gain from the rest of your copy?
- Does your headline make your target audience want to read more?
Hook Your Audience
A good hook, or lead, will engage your customers and make them want to continue reading. You need to ensure that you have a strong hook; one study found that you have around 20 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention before they lose interest.
To identify whether you have a good hook, ask yourself:
- Is your hook intriguing and creative?
- Is your hook clear and strong?
- Does your hook leave your reader wanting to know more?
Write for Scannability and Repetition
Readers scan a lot—not everyone reads every word of your copy. This means you must emphasize the key takeaways. You can do this by including headings, writing short, digestible paragraphs, and repeating important points throughout your copy. Be sure to establish some sort of hierarchy of information, with more important copy in larger, bolded, or emphasized text at the top of the webpage or email. Including bullet points and easy-to-read fonts is also a good idea.
Because few viewers will read every single word of your copy, it is important to repeat the key points you want to emphasize. Using synonyms can help drive your point home. You’ll want to include your most important points at least three times—once at the beginning, middle, and end. This can be especially helpful for scrollable landing pages, so you can include a link or call-to-action (CTA) button during these intervals.
This also means that it is crucial to trim your content. If a section is not relevant or does not provide value to the reader, cut it out. However, be careful not to trim things that need emphasis. For example, saying “a small fee of $5” rather than “a fee of $5” can influence the interest levels of your consumers.
If you don’t want your copy to be too long, you can always use hyperlinks that lead your audience to more information. In addition to legitimizing your claims, it can improve your website’s navigation and make things easier for people to find.
Here are some features to improve your copy’s scannability:
- Bullet points
- Emphasis (bold, italics, colors, text size)
- Short paragraphs
- Repetition of important points
Use Positive Language
The purpose of your copy is to try to get people to say yes. This means you will want to use positively-worded language rather than using negatives. As an example, instead of “don’t hesitate to call,” try wording it more positively—write “please call today.”
You can also improve your copy by asking questions that you know your audience will say yes to. Your questions can help you hook your audience, start a positive dialogue, and have customers feeling agreeable towards your product. Getting people to say yes means they are more likely to say yes to your sale.
Appeal to Your Customers’ Emotions
People like hearing stories; it’s part of the reason why we grow up on fairy tales and fiction novels. Using copywriting to tell a story can engage the interest and emotions of your readers. Applying imagery, suspense, and metaphors as tools to hook your audience can be beneficial for getting them to engage with your copy. If your story has a character, you can make the character easy for your target audience to identify with. In this way, you can use your character to help drive customers’ decisions in a positive and personal way.
Humans are also very loss-adverse. This means they weigh potential losses heavier than potential gains. You can leverage this by emphasizing a sense of urgency or scarcity, making your audience more likely to take action to prevent missing out.
Here are some things you can do to evoke emotion in your readers:
- Use strong and descriptive words
- Tell a story
- Emphasize the drawbacks of not using your product or service
- Create a sense of urgency using limited-time offers
- Mention scarcity to increase conversion rates
Have a Strong Call-to-Action
Your CTA, or call-to-action, is meant to prompt your audience to take their next steps with your brand, whether that be signing up for a newsletter or contacting you for more information. It is important that your CTA uses verbs to encourage your audience to take action.
Having a strong CTA often means being specific and tailoring your wording to better address your target audience’s needs. Check out the examples below for a comparison between a generic CTA and one that is more specific.
- Learn more
- Click here
- Buy now
- Get to know the product
- Collaborate with the influencers who matter
- Get better sleep now!
Leverage Social Proof
Leverage social proof by including testimonials from other users. This shows that your product is trustworthy and credible. If potential customers see that others are using your product or service, they are more likely to do the same. You can also emphasize any ratings, followers, or reviews your product or service has.
Here are some methods to leverage social proof:
- Showcase user testimonials
- Include a reviews section or a quote from a positive review
- Emphasize positive ratings
- Include your follower count on social media
- Use statistics, data, or case studies of your product or similar products
- Include success stories as a blog article or spotlight feature
- Mention how many years you’ve been in business
- Display any media coverage on your website or social media