Updated: Jun 2
You’re writing your own business copy and you’re getting a few engagements or likes from the people in your audience who have felt touched by the message that you’re sharing but nothing is really coming of these newly developed potential leads. Your writing is compelling and emotionally driven. It’s geared directly to the people who you serve and your service solution is the obvious choice for their needs.
Why aren’t they clicking?!?
The simple answer: You’re not writing copy, you’re writing content.
You’re being informative and helpful, compassionate and interesting, but you’re not driving people into action.
Copywriting is words that get people to take action.
You can’t just assume that your audience knows what to do next - You need to give them direction and tell them what to do. We call that a Call To Action (or CTA, for short). Having a clear CTA within the content that you’re creating is what transforms your content into copywriting. Having a strong and clear CTA is what levels-up your copy and turns it into amazing copywriting.
To make your CTA as effective as possible, you’re going to want to put some consideration into some of the finer details.
What’s your desired outcome in writing this piece of copy?
It doesn’t have to be the sale, just a goal: drive brand awareness, elicit engagement, grow a group, create an email list, and yes - land the sale. When you have your intentions set, it’s easier to guide your audience on the journey that you’re hoping they’ll take.
Sometimes it’s hard to choose what you want your readers to do. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get them to love your brand, give you their email, follow, like and comment on your content, never mind buying all that you have to offer! Here’s the thing, “A confused mind doesn’t buy” (Ryann Dowdy, Sales coach at Uncensored Consulting).
So, PICK ONE.
Once you have your outcome in mind, you can establish the type of emotional appeal that you want to leverage: problem or solution-focused. A problem-focused appeal draws upon the negative emotions associated directly with the established pain point (Forget the drowsy, unfocused mornings of a bad night’s sleep with this product/service...) while a solution-focused appeal draws upon the positive emotions associated with how life would be without the established pain point (Embrace a refreshed and motivated start to your day with this product/service...). Either way, keeping your copywriting goal-oriented as you address your audience’s needs will make your CTA more effective.
Prioritize brevity and use verbs to drive action.
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If your audience has been nurtured well and is familiar with what you have to offer, a simple directive - do this - can often be enough to drive people into action. Leading up to that kind of certainty, you may need to play with a few different CTA methods to stir up a reason for your audience to take action. Where you’re sharing your copy plays a significant role in how you present your CTA. You may need to include more detail depending on the platform you’re using.
There are two common ways to motivate your audience into action: (1) Show them an immediate result - do this BY doing that (“get a free eBook by joining this online community”) - so they can get that instant feeling of satisfaction when they do what you’ve asked. (2) - do this BECAUSE of that (“Sign up for this copywriting course because you’re wasting time without a content calendar”) - which is a very helpful tactic because it already answers the audience’s primary question: Why? Tying all of these reasons for action back to your offer - the main focus or goal - will make your CTA more effective.
Having a firm understanding of how your CTA is being received can significantly affect the results of your CTA. Expertises intersect in a fabulous way when great copywriting combines with an insightful design and strategic formatting. Colour vs. white space, alignment, visuals, and emotive imagery are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wide array of variations that can be used to amp up your copy. If you do not have the skill yourself then collaborating with an expert in that field will do wonders for the success of your desired outcome.
One particularly effective use of web design in copywriting is the “button.” Buttons are those colourful, clickable, hyperlinked boxes that contain your desired action words. Nearly anyone can - and everyone probably should - include buttons in their copywriting pieces as it’s a simple and extremely effective strategy to increase engagement and sales. Copyblogger found a 45% increase in their conversion rate when their CTAs looked like buttons instead of plain text. So, learn how to put buttons in your copy or find someone who knows how; it’ll be worth it.
Always check the analytics.
Find out what’s working and what's not. You may find that the simple directives work better on some platforms and not as well on others. Perhaps you're getting more clicks when you incorporate video, appeal to the solution, or answer their “what’s in it for me?” question. Testing out which CTA works best, when, where, and for whom is all a part of market research for your business. Understanding this aspect of how your audience interacts with your content and copywriting will allow you to get to know your ideal audience better and provide more opportunities to serve them better in the future.
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