It's important to note that selling online is a lot harder than offline because you lack the sincerity of voice and body language. That's where copywriting comes into the picture.
This complete copywriting guide for beginners will teach you everything on how to write web copy that sells and the best practical copywriting tips and tricks to increase sales.
Do you want to get more clicks, sign-ups and conversions? It's all about your copy.
If you want to be really successful in your online business, you'll have to learn the laws of effective copywriting. Anyone can learn how to create an excellent copy and that's what this lecture is about.
This is a long post with a lot of information, so use the table below for easy navigation.
What is copywriting in marketing?
Copywriting is an art of marketing that very effectively promotes your products and services.
It's one of the most important skills in online marketing. The purpose of a copy is to persuade a person to take a specific action. That action can be anything including
The big difference between online and offline copies is the simple fact that people can take action instantly by clicking on a button or a link.
Furthermore, you can measure the success of your online copy by tracking how many people clicked on your link or took a specific action.
The different types of online copies
Copywriting skills include much more than just writing a sales page.
A copy can be an advertisement, a landing page, a blog, an email you send to a list of subscribers or any other form of written text you use to promote your business. You can motivate a person to take any kind of action.
By integrating copywriting into your e-mails, websites, blog posts, ad campaigns, you can boost your conversion rate by a great extent.
A sales page is where you send your prospects to sell them a product or a service.
Through an opt-in page, you get people to opt-in for your email list with a free offer like an e-book, a white paper, a checklist, a webinar or any useful content. An opt-in page is usually much shorter than a sales page, with a brief copy that is often straight to the point. It focuses specifically on the benefits of grabbing that free offer.
An email promotion is an autoresponder message with a goal of making people click on a link. For example, with the subject line:
7 Quick Tips How To Lose Weight Effectively
In the body part, you might see some tips and a link to buy a product or download a free e-book.
Any advertisement that you create for your business, whether it's on social media, published on a relevant blog or website or even a search engine ad, is considered a copy.
In brief, an ad can incite action but it is different from content. Content is generally meant to provide value. It can inform, educate or even entertain.
Now let's look at what makes a copy successful and some copywriting rules. A copy generally has more components which especially applies to sales pages but not so much in case of ads or emails.
Define your target audience
First, you want to know your target audience.
Your target audience is the group of people you're selling your product to. It's essential to know who they are, what problems they have and how your product will solve those problems.
You want to know their:
You want to know what motivates those people to spend their money and buy your product.
On the other hand, you want to communicate with them in a way that they feel connected to you. The more you understand them, the easier it will be to sell to them.
For example, join online communities, forums, groups and observe their behavior. It's important to understand that you can't appeal to everyone. If you think too generally about your target audience, your copy won't be specific and powerful enough.
If you can't find out what they like, try to survey the customers that you already have. Ask them questions, what the main reason was they bought the product, what they liked about it, what didn’t they like. To do it more effectively, offer them something in return.
Once you know who they are and how they're thinking, you have made a good progress and you'll able to start developing your copywriting experience.
List the features and benefits
Now it's time to collect all the features and benefits of your product.
First of all, understand the difference between the two. Features describe the functions of your products, how it looks and works. On the other hand, benefits explain how the product improves the customer’s situation.
For example, the feature of a premium digital marketing course is that it's viewable on the phone with an app. The benefit of that course is you will get to know exactly how to increase sales in your business. In other words, the benefit is the end result your customer gets by buying your product.
Most of the time, not the features but the benefits will sell a product. Although, combining both are essential for a successful copy, focus on the benefits and also connect them with your audience.
Differentiate yourself from competitors
There is a crucial step a lot of business owners forget about. It is differentiating your product from others. It's also called USP or unique selling proposition.
You need to think about what makes you different and why people should buy from you instead of your competitors. You probably have many competitors selling the same stuff, so it's important to stand out from the crowd.
Try to add some uniqueness no one else is offering and answer these questions:
How is my product different from the alternatives out there?
Why would my customer buy this product?
Why is it better?
Take note of everything that makes it special or unique.
If you can't find anything unique, add an extra feature or a bonus.
If you sell digital products, you might want to add extra education, excellent customer service, community access, or one to one support to your offer. In case of physical products, added features might be some cheap but valuable bonus, free shipping, free assembly service, faster shipping and so on.
When visitors land on your website, you want them to notice this extra value immediately.
Sit down and do some brainstorming because coming up with something special is often difficult. Obviously, you should be aware of your customer's pain points and the problems your product solves.
Fortunately, analyzing your competitors is a powerful way to get some good ideas. Go ahead and check what they are doing well and wrong so that you can learn from these and take it to the next level.
There is one thing to keep in mind here. Don't make the mistake of differentiating yourself by lowering the price of your product. In this case, you won't be able to make a decent profit, and this is financial suicide.
Instead, focus on increasing value by adding things that cost little money.
Of course, this is also something that you need to test and change if necessary.
Make a compelling headline
The headline is the first thing your readers will come across. It is in fact so important that you should spend quite a lot of time figuring out the right one.
You only have a few seconds to make an impact on your viewers so use these well. If your headline fails to grab the attention of your potential customer, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your copy is.
Make it eye-catching and bold. You might also include a sub-headline which should reinforce the message of the headline. By visiting related websites, advertisements in your industry, you might find some excellent headline ideas you can incorporate.
Research the market and study other businesses.
Do some brainstorming and always create several headlines so that you can decide which one performs the best by doing some split tests.
Besides all this, you should always try to be as specific as you can in your headline. It means you shouldn't use round numbers or just some general information in there. For instance:
How To Save $942 In a Month With This Simple Technique
A specific number like 942, as opposed to a round number, tends to generate more attention and it's also more believable.
Long copy vs. short copy - How much copywriting do you need?
The body covers most of your written copy. It must provide detailed information and elaborate on the headline of your page.
In this part, you should answer the questions that your viewers may have about your product. It's required to include as much information as needed without being too lengthy.
Of course, the more complex a product is and the more it costs, the more objections a reader may have. Consequently, in case of a complex product, you need to make a much longer and detailed page to handle all the objections a reader may encounter.
Once you finished your copy, go through it again and make sure you're not repeating yourself with unnecessary information. Too much information might distract your visitors from clicking on the "buy" button.
Of course, the purpose of your copy is to motivate your audience to buy your product.
What is the AIDA formula and how to use it to increase sales?
There is a 4 step formula that can help you create a better converting copy and this can be applied to any product you sell. This formula is called AIDA which stands for:
It means you need to raise attention with a benefit-driven headline or video, maintain the interest with well-formatted copy and design, create desire by showing the benefits of your product and finally, encourage your audience to take action.
There are some powerful copywriting methods you can apply to help people make a decision to buy. The more persuasive your copy is, the more conversions you'll have.
Conversion rate is the measure of how many people took a specific action after seeing your ad copy, visiting your site, opening your email. For example, if a 100 people visited your website and 5 of them made a purchase or signed up for something, then your conversion rate is 5%.
As you may have noticed, people always have excuses that prevent them from buying. They might think:
"I like it but I'll come back later"
"I am not sure, what if it doesn't work," and so on...
You should be able to handle these excuses with the right techniques. By motivating your audience to take the desired action, you will be able to increase your sales.
Therefore, we are going to look at some techniques that can make your copy more persuasive.
How to integrate psychology and emotions into your copywriting
As you may already know, emotions influence buying behavior. The product or service you're considering to purchase must connect with you on some emotional level.
For example, you might buy shoes because you like how they look. Some other people buy them because of their brand and some other buy them because of their price.
Compelling copy affects people's emotions but most of the time, it's not enough on its own. Most people look for facts, information, and social proof before purchasing something. They want to support their emotional decision with a logical argument.
That's why there are reviews, testimonials, social proof, price comparisons and other marketing techniques that are so important.
Therefore, it's essential for marketers to learn both the emotional and the logical part of copywriting.
When writing a marketing copy, make sure to appeal to both parts of the brain:
Try to integrate emotions into your copy. Use emotional words, tell stories. For example, sentences beginning with the word "imagine":
"Imagine feeling confident about your retirement savings plan.”
"Imagine you don't have to worry about your future anymore."
Sentences beginning with "What would it mean to you if you":
"What would it mean to you if you knew you would be able to retire comfortably?"
Word 'feel' and 'feeling' are also good words.
These sentences put the reader into the right state of mind to want to resolve those feelings and take action.
How to write copy that's easy to read and understand
It’s a well-known fact that you only have a few seconds to grab your prospect’s attention before they click away.
People tend to read the headlines first. If it's interesting enough, they might read further, or they scan it. If it isn't easy to scan, they'll click away.
Most people generally scan the information and look for words and ideas.
Additionally, you need to take into account that people may read your online copy on different devices: on a desktop, on the phone or on a tablet.
Therefore, it needs to be able to guide your reader's eyes through the content on any device.
So what makes something easy to scan?
You want to keep your sentences simple and break up your paragraphs, too.
Having a clean design and plenty of space in margins makes it much easier for readers to concentrate on your content and sales message.
By using bullet points to illustrate the features and benefits or more, you can deliver a lot of information to your audience in an easily digestible format.
A call to action is a statement that tells your reader what they should do next. It might be something like buying your product, signing up for a free trial, calling you on the phone, signing up for an email list, downloading free stuff and many more.
It's an essential element of your copy because if you don't tell your audience what to do next, they are less likely to take action.
For example, when using a call to action on a sales page you usually ask for the sale. When using it on an opt-in page you typically ask for their email address.
Every opt-in and sales page should have a call to action. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's unnecessary because it's too obvious. If you use it the right way by making it appealing, you might increase your conversions to a great extent.
In case you want to choose a great funnel builder, check out my guide - Best Sales Funnel Builders
Use psychological triggers that compel people to buy
Psychological devices are different persuasive strategies.
By merely using the word "because" you can persuade others. It's a psychological tactic that works. Instead of just telling your prospects to do something, tell them the reason why.
Another one is embedded command tactic. For example:
"Here's what you get when you sign up for our service."
The embedded command is emphasized: "sign up for our service." It's embedded into a sentence so people don't read it as a command, yet it can help persuade them to take that desired action.
Different ways you can create urgency to increase conversions
A lot of people might decide not to buy your product now but come back later, even if they're excited about it. In most cases though
they never come back to buy it.
To handle this problem you should create a sense of urgency.
You may say that the price will increase in 2 days.
Another option is to offer some bonuses but only for a limited time.
You can also limit the availability of a product. For example:
"Act fast! Only 3 tickets left!".
If you sell physical products, free delivery with conditions can also be powerful. For example:
"Free shipping on all orders over $50".
Placing coupon codes in your email and sending them to customers after signing up is a very efficient way of increasing conversions.
You might also place a countdown timer on your website that creates urgency.
Add money back guarantee to your offer to make the buying decision easier.
Remember, make your readers act and buy now. Don't let them leave.
Boost your credibility with testimonials, social proofs and case studies
Earlier I mentioned that people buy based on emotions but you have to support it with logic and facts.
Therefore, testimonials, social proofs, case studies and different statistics are powerful ways to add credibility to your offer. People are looking for feedback and want to see that your website and product are legitimate.
Testimonials should provide detailed information about how your customers used the product and the specific results they achieved. They don't have as much power as they used to in the past, nowadays people might think that testimonials are just made up but it's still worth using them.
Ask your previous clients to write a few sentences about your product. It's even better if they are in video format.
Examples from a sales page:
Additionally, you might support your copy by including case studies, social sharing tools, statistics and other relevant data. For example, increasing your online presence with social sharing tools is also very powerful. This way, people can share or like your website.
Consequently, it builds more trust by showing potential customers how many people shared or liked your site.
How to talk about the price in your sales process
Price is a core component of any sales copy as well. It may be the first thing people are looking for when they land on your site.
Try to reframe the price by comparing it to something more relatable:
"For less than a cup of coffee a day, you can have it."
"For the price of a cinema ticket."
Or you might compare your services to other people's services or your price to its real value. This way, you can demonstrate cost saving.
Example from a sales page:
Another incredible pricing technique is to use "useless" price points.
Apply this when you sell more than one item or sell one in different packages. For example:
1-gigabyte hosting space = $5
standard pack virtual server = $20
1-gigabyte hosting + standard pack virtual server = $20.
We can see that the price in the middle is useless, but in reality, it's not. People begin to compare them and it makes the last one look like an excellent deal.
And one more example of useless price from a sales page:
According to some research, prices expressed as a little less than a round number have a psychological impact.
For example, 19.99 or 3.98.
So people tend to perceive these prices as being significantly lower than they actually are, even if they are aware of this. Consequently, you should always try to apply this clever pricing strategy.
Include a 3D cover for your products
Another essential copywriting technique is to include a 3D cover of your product on your page, even if it's a digital product. 3D covers can make your product more attractive, and your customers feel like they're getting something valuable. It helps them to visualize it.
When selling digital products online, they need to be appealing to your audience to make a great first impression.
Additionally, by representing visually what they're going to receive, it will look more professional and of higher quality. There are lots of different software packages out there you can make 3D covers with.
Write an FAQ section
With an informative FAQ, you can handle all the common objections your readers might raise regarding your product. They might have concerns about the quality of the product, how to use it properly, for whom the product is right for and so on.
You need to address all these to win your customers.
Split test your ideas to boost conversions
Actually, your page is never completely finished. There is always room for improvement.
By doing some split tests, you will know exactly which version gives better results.
Split testing means you create two versions of your page and change just one element on one of your pages. You might split test more than one thing after each other including the headline or the call to action buttons and so on.
Split testing tools allow you to drive half the traffic to one page and the other half to the other page. During each test you should analyze how your audience is reacting to them by driving targeted traffic to these pages.
This way, you can continuously improve the effectiveness of your pages by trying out different techniques.
By the way, I'm using Thrive Themes to create my pages, split test the things I want, and to implement lots of other marketing strategies.
You can also read my Thrive Themes review.
Split testing different ad copies and email subject lines are also highly recommended.
One more example:
Get their email address with an incentive
Not every website visitor of yours is ready to buy your product.
You should take the opportunity to capture their email address with a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a free incentive for joining your email list. It's usually a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, ebook, whitepaper or video.
Make sure this gift is strictly related to your product. Always list the benefits of why they should join your email list and use an appealing call to action.
Obviously, you need to have an autoresponder for your email list. To help you choose one, check out my guide: The best autoresponders.
In case of a sales page, using an exit intent popup is the best way to trigger this lead magnet.
Now, you might be wondering what is an exit intent popup. Basically, it works by tracking visitor's movements on a page and appearing when he or she is planning to leave your site.
Once they signed up, send them follow-up emails about your product but make sure they're useful and have educational content. It's an awesome strategy to promote your product to your audience indirectly.
Another good incentive is to offer a discount coupon immediately on this exit intent popup.
Your price was perhaps too high on the sales page but with this discount, you might be able to convince your visitor to buy your product.
Tools like OptinMonster make it easy to create different popups, forms and add visitors to your mailing lists.
Great copy needs great design
Now let's talk about how your professional website should look like.
Nowadays building a website with drag&drop website builders is quite easy but creating a website that generates sales is much more difficult.
Pro tip: To quickly build up a complete website, I recommend Simvoly. It's a very affordable and advanced builder. If you want detailed info, check out my Simvoly review.
If your website visitors can't figure out during the first 5 seconds what your site is about, then there is a strong possibility they click away and leave. I know this sounds like a very low time frame to create a great impression but that's just the way it works.
You can ask some of your friends to tell you in 5 seconds what your website is about. If they can't tell it to you, then your site failed. So you need to make some changes.
Do you know which part is usually responsible for this failure? As you may already know, it's your headline.
Here’s a headline example:
Your design should clearly communicate your brand and the message you are trying to convey. Keep it clean and easy to read.
Excessive use of fonts or colors will give your website an unprofessional look. I suggest you do not use more than two or three primary colors and fonts. Besides, web browsers need to download all the fonts you're using on your site which can result in poorer performance.
Keeping consistency is also important. It means that navigation menus are in the same place throughout the website, text links have the same color, website icons are from the same family, the color palette is simple, form elements and submit buttons look the same, etc.
When people visit your website, what they are looking for is clear information on how you can solve their challenges. A lot of unnecessary details would simply distract and confuse your visitors.
Place more call to action (CTA) buttons on your site and make sure they are consistent and their colors stand out. Yellow, orange, blue, red are good examples. The less time visitors have to spend looking for them, the sooner they'll take action. Make them big enough to grab attention.
By using a back-to-top button you can improve your website's user experience, especially if you have a long page.
Nowadays it isn't enough to just make your website mobile responsive. You need to give mobile users a unique experience. Easy navigation is key. You have to think about the fact that mobile users engage with your content only for a shorter period of time.
That's why you need to create a simplified version of your desktop website and avoid too much info such as animations.
How to learn from successful sales pages
One of the best ways to create high-converting sales pages is to observe the ones that inspire you to buy.
Visit other websites related to your business and analyze how they have built their pages to generate sales. You might find effective strategies there that you can use on your pages.
Make sure not to copy their images or text. Instead, check how they're communicating, what style and design they're using, how they're presenting their offer, what elements they incorporated into their marketing strategies and so on.
Look for ideas, then build your page with your own words and images.
I think the best places you can go to find successful sales pages are JVZOO, Clickbank and Warriorplus marketplaces. They have thousands of products from different vendors in every category. Go and check them out.
Before building any sales page, I highly recommend you to take a close look at the successful ones.
How to write web copy that sells: conclusion
Remember, copywriting is a skill that you need to learn to be able to build and grow your business.
When starting it for the first time, it might happen that your copy won't be the best one but the more you practice it, the better you will become.
Another option is to outsource the whole thing if you really have no time. Even if you do outsource this task to someone you need to be able to decide somehow just how efficient your site is and how it could be further improved.
After studying this copywriting guide, now, you have a solid knowledge regarding how to write web copy that sells.
Please note, if you have an opt-in page or a simple website, you usually don't need to use all these different sales techniques. Subscribing to an email list is not such a huge commitment but it's essential to list the benefits your audience gets.
Copywriting is all about providing solutions to problems. Don't wait any longer. Go through this guide again if necessary and take action now.
What do you struggle with when it comes to copywriting? If you’ve found this guide useful, please leave a comment or share this post on social media.
Furthermore, should you want to talk to me in private just connect with me on Facebook.