How many emails do you get a day that you immediately discard because they look like spam? For me, it’s a lot.
If you are writing email copy, people are going to decide whether or not to open that email based on a snap judgment made after reading the subject line. Try to avoid numbers, percentages and “deal” notifications in the subject line. Save the specifics for the body of the email.
The point of the subject line is to get people to click it. So how can we make it more likely that they will? Consider using subject lines that are slightly playful, and prompting to the reader that they should open it. “You Should Probably See This” or “You Won’t Believe This,” are two examples of how this can look.
Here’s 164 more ideas for inspiration. We want to create a feeling for the reader that they’re missing out on something if they don’t check it out.
Copywriting of all forms is filled with fluff; sentences created just to fill space on a page without providing any actual value. Try your best to make every sentence interesting and valuable as a stand alone. As Hemingway used to say, “Write the truest sentence that you know,” and then write the next. If you focus on packing each sentence with value, the whole piece will come together in that way.
Write How You talk
The time I enjoy reading the most is when I feel like I’m in conversation with the writer. Before you set out to write something, ask yourself how you would speak about it in conversation. Typically that’s a good place to start.
When you take this approach, the writing comes across naturally and easy to read. Try to make your writing personable. Imagine you’re having a conversation with your target audience.
Conflict Creates Interest
What problem are you solving? It’s natural to want to advertise and promote the services of whatever you’re representing. But the customer needs to know why.
What solution are you offering? Instead of saying “Our product is the best and here’s why,” try something along the lines of “X is happening in the world, and our solution can help you avoid it.”
People are more incentivized and motivated by fear of loss than expectation of gain. Good copy should make people feel like they’re missing out on something if they don’t engage with what you’re offering.
Most people scan rather than read. You could have the most well written paragraph, but if it’s not separated into subheadings that jump off the page, many people will scroll right past it.
Try to break your copywriting down into as many subheadings as possible. If the subheading catches someone’s attention, they’re more likely to read the paragraph it coincides with.
Creating subheadings can also be a useful way to create scaffolding for your article. Before you start writing, think about 5-7 subheadings that could be used to break the idea down into tangible parts. This will make it easier for you to fill in the content.
Tell A Story
Copywriting does not need to be boring. People are a lot more likely to remember information if it is attached to a story.
What are some examples you can use to get your point across? Are there comparisons you can draw between your message and something that many people know or have experienced? Tell it that way. Compelling copy disguises a message in a playful story.
Make the First Line Pop
People should know exactly what they’re going to get from the first sentence of your article. How can you introduce the topic and establish your angle in that first sentence? Many people will decide if they will continue reading or keep scrolling based on the first line of text. Make sure to start with a bang.
Utilize Free SEO Tools
If you’re wondering what to write about, a good place to start is to research what is being searched for on the internet. What do people want to know about? How are they searching for it?
If you are writing on WordPress, Yoast Seo is a valuable plugin that provides suggestions to improve your SEO score. This plugin analyzes keywords to give you a score for readability and SEO. This insight can help you write your copy in a way that will captivate a wide audience, and perform well in click rates online.
Moz is another useful tool when it comes to writing successful SEO content. They can help you identify and analyze top performing keywords in your industry, and provide in depth competitive research. Using these keywords in your copy can help your article’s performance.
Headline Studio helps you write better performing headlines that will boost traffic to your articles.
SparkToro is an audience research tool that shows you the websites your customers visit, social accounts they follow, hashtags they use etc. They offer 5 free searches a month.
Keep it Simple
Make an effort to write simple, straight forward sentences. You can still write about complex topics, but the writing style should be kept simple and easy to read. This will also improve your SEO scores as readability plays into performance. If an article is written at too high a reading level, it will not perform as well and won’t reach as wide of an audience.
Know your Audience
Who are you writing to? Try to put yourself in the shoes of your audience when writing. Their baseline level of knowledge is likely different from yours.
Part of your job is to meet them where they are, and guide them to the conclusion you’re conveying. If you don’t identify who your audience is, you run the risk of creating vague copy that doesn’t grip the reader.
There’s a lot to take into consideration when copywriting. It’s equally important to focus on what your audience wants to hear as it is to focus on what will make your article perform well online. For further learning on copywriting, check out our Copywriting for Crafters class with Lisa Jacobs,
Keep these things in mind when writing your next article, email, newsletter or blog post.