Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Copywriting - The How to Guide.

What is it? Why do we need it?

Firstly, great copy needs to engage your reader - draw them in. Give them what they want to hear. Make them want to read the first line, then the second, then the third...

Forget everything else for a moment and keep that in mind; if they're not reading it, you're not selling it. Like a good story, your reader will find it enjoyable and feel they're gaining or learning something.

Easy so far?

Hopefully. Now we need to add some extra aspects because a story, after all, is just a story. We need to use that story to try and sell something, and that takes a little more effort because we still want the customer to read, and ultimately enjoy, our copywriting.

Let's just say I want to sell you the latest navigation app for your Android or iPhone4. I could tell you how popular the app is, how much research and development went into it, why I think it's worth the money I want for it etc., but would that make you want it? Or make you buy it?

At this point, you'd probably only buy if you actually needed it - for a specific reason or element of the app itself. Otherwise, there's loads of navigation apps out there so why pick that particular one?

But if I could include a few benefits of the app within the story (copy), you might be a little more intrigued. Let's dream a little and imagine my app gave you the ability to teleport yourself anywhere around the world? Yes, we're in cloud cuckoo land but teleporting is a major benefit, and that in itself would probably make everyone on the planet want to buy it. 

So the headline could read something like

Teleport Yourself Anywhere at Anytime for $4.99 

We now have everyone's attention! 

The reader might not yet fully believe it (I wouldn't), but I'm willing to bet they'd read the next line just to check it out. Why? Because of the human need to find out for themselves, make sure they're not missing out on something. It's a strong emotion and, at this point, you have them where you need them - interested and wanting more.

Forget the English teacher's take on how a sentence should be structured and what goes where, concentrate instead on holding your reader while you fire a few more must-have benefits at them. 

OK, that's a start to the blog and you can expect more on the subject soon. 

Right, I'm off to invent my teleporter app. 

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