Copywriting is one of the first skills taught to new business owners who venture into the online space. But what is copywriting – and what does a copywriter do?
At first glance, copywriting seems to be as simple as, well, writing. But copywriting is a rich subject with many subtle nuances that make it fascinating to learn and use. Not to mention, copywriting is an essential skill every business needs to understand to succeed.
This article will define copywriting so you can understand precisely what copywriting is and how it works.
You will also learn why copywriting is essential, its purpose, and some beginner copywriting tips and techniques to get you started.
Curious about how to become a copywriter? Read all of our articles here, or start with these posts:
- How To Become A Freelance Copywriter
- How To Become A B2B SaaS Copywriter
- How To Make $100,000 A Year As A Freelance Copywriter
- How Much Does A Copywriter Make? Salaries For Freelance And In-House
What Is Copywriting?
The definition of copywriting is the art and science of putting words together to influence people to take a specific action. This copywriting definition encapsulates all the tools, techniques, and formulas used in Copywriting.
Copywriting is an art form because there are many guidelines and best practices. There are no hard and fast rules. Many “rules” can be broken and still lead to your desired results.
Copywriting is also a science because we need to measure and test our results to see what works and what doesn’t. Math and economics always play a role in copywriting decisions over time.
How Is Copywriting Used?
Copywriting is most often used in lead generation and sales. But it can be used in any situation where you want to encourage people to take the desired action.
Using this definition of copywriting, here is an example to illustrate how copywriting is used in business.
Let’s say you own an e-commerce company, and you’ve written some informative blog posts that are starting to rank on Google and attract visitors who might be interested in your products.
A percentage of them might land on your articles, enjoy them, browse your site, and buy. But, the ratio is usually relatively low. You can implement copywriting principles to increase the percentage of users who land on your articles and buy your products.
First, you can set up a pop-up form that offers a discount for new customers when they join your email newsletter. Copywriting is the text that encourages people to sign up. Its purpose is to encourage people to take the desired action.
To encourage people to sign up, you can use a headline, some body copy, an opt-in form, and a button. These elements will use words to convey the offer and encourage users to act on it.
A percentage of your visitors will opt-in if your offer and copywriting are good enough. Then they will be more likely to purchase from you than if you didn’t have the opt-in form and just left them to browse.
This example showcases how copywriting can generate leads and later convert them into customers. Copywriting is often used in almost every form of digital media. And at every stage of the customer journey.
- Copywriting can be used on social media to encourage people to read your new blog post.
- Copywriting can be used in an email blast to encourage subscribers to check out an affiliate offer.
- Copywriting can be used on a sales page to encourage visitors to buy your course.
- Copywriting can be used in a YouTube video to encourage viewers to like the video and subscribe to your channel.
You cannot do business online without implementing some form of copywriting. Whether you know what you’re doing or not.
Let’s discuss why copywriting is so important.
Why Is Copywriting Important?
Every business wants people to buy its products and services. Every social media influencer wants people to consume their content and follow them. Every affiliate marketer wants people to check out their affiliate offers and make a purchase.
All actions taken on the web require some encouragement to take them, even if they are as simple as:
- Subscribe now!
- Sign up!
- Add to cart!
- Enroll now!
As online attention spans continue to drop and short-form content platforms like TikTok dominate the market, it’s more important than ever for businesses to capture people’s attention and hold it for long enough to make an offer and close the deal.
Yes, the quality of your product or service still matters. But you can have the most excellent product in the world and still struggle to sell it. Especially if your copywriting and marketing efforts can’t compete with everyone else.
At the same time, as we are in one of the best times to build a successful business online, we are also in the most competitive era and it’s only going to increase.
Copywriting is vital to online business success in 2022 and beyond.
The Purpose of Copywriting
On the surface, the purpose of copywriting is to get people to take the desired action. However, when we peel back the layers, it goes much deeper than that.
Good Copywriting Is Designed to Connect With People
The best copywriting speaks to people on an intellectual, emotional, and even spiritual level. If you can connect with people this way with your marketing messages, you can create brand ambassadors for life.
This goes beyond “buy my stuff” or “follow me.” Your copywriting can communicate how well you understand their problem and what they’re going through. Then it presents your product or service as the perfect solution.
The first purpose of copywriting is to grab someone’s attention. And there’s no better way to do that than to connect with them on a deeper level.
Good Copywriting Increases Desire for Your Offer
Once you have a person’s attention, the next step is increasing the desire for your offer.
The copywriting greats over the last 100 years developed tried and true techniques for increasing desire. We will go over one of them in the next section.
You must speak to your prospect’s pain points to increase the desire. You must understand where they are in their lives and use that knowledge to light a fire in them.
Make them want what you have to offer even more. Make them want to solve their problem even more than they already want to solve it. Make them want to solve it now!
Then you have set the stage to make an incredible offer and close the sale.
Good Copywriting Makes a Great Offer and Seals the Deal
Next, your copywriting must present an offer that is hard to resist. Your offer is the solution to their problem. It’s the answer they’ve been seeking.
But your prospects still want a good deal, so make them one!
This is when you create an offer that is so enticing and can so clearly solve their problem that it’s difficult to say no.
This is also where you implement other copywriting principles. Like risk-reversals and money-back guarantees to help your prospects feel safe spending their money with you.
Many people think they’re done once they close the deal. But savvy copywriters know this is just the beginning of the relationship.
Good Copywriting Builds a Relationship to Create Repeat Buyers
Finally, your copywriting should help build a relationship with your audience. And create repeat buyers and brand ambassadors who will tell others about your products and services.
Copywriting is used throughout the customer journey. It never stops.
Copywriting Tips and Techniques for Beginners
Here are some tips and techniques you can use to get more sales even as a beginner copywriter.
Problem, Agitation, Solution
“Problem, Agitation, Solution” is one of the most tried and true copywriting formulas.
First, state the problem your prospect has. Are they struggling with something? Do they want something they don’t have yet? Is there a roadblock in their life? State the problem clearly.
Next, pour a little fire on it. Build it up a bit. Poke around and agitate the problem to make it sting just a bit more. State why the problem is such a big deal for them. This increases the desire for your offer.
Finally, present your offer as the solution to your prospect’s problem and go through what it is, how it works, and why it is the solution to their problem.
This formula works in all selling environments.
Do Your Market Research
Don’t skip this! Market research is one of the most underrated aspects of effective copywriting.
Market research helps you truly understand your prospects’ problems deeply. It enables you to improve your product or service to help as many people as possible. And it allows you to use your prospect’s language to speak to them on a deeper level.
Don’t write a word of copy until you have researched your market to understand their pain points and the language they use to describe their problem. It makes your copywriting more straightforward and more effective.
Remember You Are Speaking to Real People
Sometimes we forget that what we’re writing is going to be read by real people like us. For every email, every home page, and every blog post you write – there is one human at the end reading it on their computer. Humans that like to laugh, have fun, and read interesting, engaging things. They’re not numbers, and they’re not dollar signs.
For the most part, you are speaking to real people with real problems, desires, and goals. They have family and friends. They have a past that might be difficult, a present that might be challenging, and an uncertain future.
The more you can speak to them like real people, the more they will get to know, like, and trust you.
Connecting in a conversational, human way will shine through in your copywriting and become a win-win for everyone involved when they buy your product or service and can solve a pressing problem in their lives.
Wrapping It Up – What Is Copywriting?
Copywriting is a deep subject.
However, the science part of it is tried and true. The copywriting greats have come up with formulas that have stood the test of time.
Learn these formulas and apply them to your copywriting efforts. And you will be well on your way to success.