5 steps to better copywriting

You might not consider yourself a copywriter, but if you’re in business you’re probably writing content about your business every day. Whether it’s an email to a current or potential customer, an article for a newsletter or a post for your website, your writing skills can mean the difference between increasing and languishing sales.

So how do you enhance your copywriting to improve the way you sell your business? How can you make the content for your next email, article or post more interesting and engaging?

Below are my 5 most important steps to better copywriting. It’s certainly not a complete list, but it will set you on the road to writing better content and hopefully winning more business.

  1. Headings and subject lines must be catchy and encourage the reader to take the time to read the rest of the content. Above all, headings and subjects must never be dull. Imagine you receive an email from your accountant and the subject is ‘April Newsletter’. Chances are you’re going to delete it straight away. Compare this to a subject such as ‘Reduce your taxation in 3 easy steps’ or ‘Finance tips – plan to retire in comfort’.
  2. Once you’ve attracted people to your email, article or other copywriting piece, don’t lose them. Make sure your introductory paragraph is appealing. Like the heading and subject line, the introductory paragraph is a key to engaging people. To further increase engagement, highlight benefits more than features. Rather than focussing on how your staff has completed a customer service course, tell customers how friendly and helpful your staff are; highlight the comfort and durability of a new sofa more than whether the leather has come from grain-fed cattle who listen to Beethoven! This doesn’t mean features aren’t important as some customers will want to know about them, but always remember to focus more on benefits.
  3. Never forget to include your call to action. What exactly your call to action is will depend largely on your business and the content of your copywriting. It may simply be asking people to contact you for more information or completing a form to receive your newsletter.
  4. Use conversational language. How do you know if what you’ve written is conversational? Simple – read it out. In fact, reading out what you have written is a great way of checking your copywriting before hitting the send button or posting your new article to the website, as you’ll often pick up errors you’ll miss by reading alone.
  5. Have someone else read your copywriting. A friend, a colleague or someone you trust for their brutal honesty is the best bet. It helps if they can spell! In addition, particularly for your important copywriting pieces, such as content for web pages and brochures, consider hiring a copywriter. Copywriting is a professional skill and at the very least it can pay to have a specialist revise your content after you’ve written it.

As I mentioned earlier, this is not a complete list. But by following these five steps your content will almost certainly improve. Who knows, one day you might decide to give away your current profession to become a copywriter!

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