If you’ve written any kind of copy before, I’m sure you’ll agree with me – Copywriting is hard. The regular writer’s block, lack of ideas, and long hours required, can really drive you crazy. So if you’ve lost a few strands of hair and felt frustrated enough to kill someone when you’re writing copy, you’re left with 2 options, albeit each with their own problems:
- Hire a copywriter
Problem: Hiring a copywriter can be expensive and not everyone has the budget to hire one (although if you can afford to hire a good one, it WILL be worth every penny).
- Learn it and get good at it
Problem 1: Becoming good at copywriting, just like any other craft, requires a significant amount of time and effort.
Problem 2: Some of you might just hate writing itself. It’s just not your cup of tea and you want nothing to do with it.
So what if you don’t have the budget to hire a good copywriter, don’t have to time to become good at copywriting, and don’t really like writing all that much? Does it mean there’s no way out?
On the contrary, my dear reader. There is a simple copywriting framework anyone can follow to quickly and effectively write copy that sells.
But before you get too excited (please sit back down on your chair), I have to say this – The copywriting framework I’m going to show you is not going to turn you into a top copywriter overnight. If it was that easy everyone would be master copywriters by now.
As I said, mastering the skill of writing persuasive copy, just like any other craft, requires a lot of learning and practice Reading this article alone will NOT (read: NEVER) beat hiring a good copywriter, or years of dedication to the craft.
This article’s purpose is to serve as a guide for the “Lazy Man” to write as persuasively as possible, as quickly as possible, and without having to spend years becoming a “pro copywriter.”
In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not going to talk about the trite AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) that you always hear of. In my humble but accurate opinion, the AIDA framework is far too simplistic and will not help you write copy that is persuasive enough to motivate prospects.
The framework that I’m going to propose is more detailed than AIDA, but at the same time, simple enough so that you can grasp and implement quickly.
I call it the 4-Show (For show. Get it? Quite clever isn’t it? No?!!!!) Method. Why 4-Show? Because there are only 4 things you need to show your prospects to persuade them to take action:
- Show them why they should pay attention
- Show them why they should believe you
- Show them them how your product can solve their problems and why it’s the best solution
- Show them why they should act now
Let’s dive in!
1. Show them why they should pay attention
The first step to writing persuasive copy is to show your prospects why they should pay attention. If you don’t capture their attention, your copy will go unread.
The simplest way to capture attention is to ensure your headline addresses a problem that your prospect is facing. Write a headline that addresses on their most dominant problems or emotions. Show the biggest benefit they can stand to gain and portray your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) if possible.
Next, show them that you really understand their problems and what they are going through. Talk about the prospects’ frustrations.
Aggravate the problem. Make him feel the pain, but also show him that you “get it”. This builds trust, and shows him that you really understand him. You want to get the reader nodding as he reads and say, “OMG this guy gets me! He could really help me solve my problem!”
By showing them that you know their problems, you get their attention. So after you show your prospects that you understand their problems, you should then!
2. Show them why they should believe you
This is the part where you inject some proof into your copy. Proof is one of the most important elements in persuasion.
Without proof, nobody believes you.
And when nobody believes you, nobody buys. Inserting proof at the start (you have to insert proof throughout your copy, but more on that later) doesn’t have to be long and complicated.
It can be something as simple as “Hi, My name is John Smith, and for the past 7 years I’ve consulted businesses all over the world to help improve their digital marketing strategy. I’ve also been featured on popular blogs such as Marketingprofs.com, Copyblogger.com, and Seomoz.org.”
The key point is to show people that they can trust you. “Why inject proof now?” some of your might be asking. Well, because the next part that follows is!
3. Show them how your product can solve their problems and why it’s the best solution
That’s why before we make our claim that we can help them, we first show them that they can trust us. Your prospects are bombarded with hyped up ads everyday. They freaking run away from hype now.
When we first insert proof, our claim that follows becomes more believable. So here is the part where you state your unique promise – how your product can help them solve their problems in a unique way that no other competitors can.
Tell them why you are better than your competitors. Tell them your USP.
List out your product benefits (not features) in compelling bullets. Bullets are fantastic ways to persuade people because bullets are easy to read. We love reading quick short lists, and a series of bullets are quick short lists.
Sell experiences. Paint a picture and create visual images in their mind by asking them to imagine the experience they will get when they own your product. Build desire by tapping on core, hard-wired human emotions like Greed, Status/Recognition/Prestige, Relief (from pain), Freedom, Confidence, Pleasure/Enjoyment, and Revenge.
Think of ways to link your product to these emotions. And then finally!
4. Show them why they should act now
Finally, show your prospect why he should act now. Your prospect has many things to do. If he doesn’t need to act now, he won’t. He’ll be thinking in his mind, “oh I can probably decide later,” click away from the page, and never return. Sale lost. Game over. Give the reader a compelling reason to act now. There are a few ways you can do this.
1. Scarcity Is your product limited in amount? Are you running a special discount? If so, emphasize it. Scarcity sells.
2. Tell them what they lose out on If they don’t order your product now, what will they lose out on? For example, if you’re selling a weight loss product, they’ll losing out on getting in shape quicker, getting more dates, and not being able to take off their shirt on the beach.
If you’re selling an education product, they’ll lose out on improving their grades as quickly as possible, which is bad because the test date is getting closer each day.
3. Provide a money back guarantee By providing a money back guarantee, you reduce risk for your prospect. If you do provide a money back guarantee, emphasize it and show how they have nothing to lose. Therefore there’s no reason not to act now.
Give them a good reason to act now rather than later. And that concludes the 4-Show framework. But there’s more! Besides following this framework, I want to give you 2 bonus tips to ramp up the persuasive powers of your copy.
Bonus Tip 1: Turbo charge your copy by providing proof and evoking emotions throughout.
Provide proof – for every claim you make, provide proof for it. Otherwise, your claim will be perceived as hype. Give “reasons why” for your all claims. Make sure everything you claim is as specific as possible (specificity is a form of proof).
If you can demonstrate how your product works, do it (demonstration is also a form of proof). If you have endorsements by popular people, or organizations, mention them.
Evoke emotions. As mentioned, we humans are motivated by a few core emotions. Emotions create DESIRE. That’s why throughout your copy, especially towards the close, you should find ways to link product benefits to emotions or experiences that they feel as a result of buying your product. Constantly create desire in your prospects by tapping on core emotions and selling the experience after buying your product.
Bonus Tip 2: If you’re writing long copy, further turbo charge your copy by making your copy scannable with sub-headlines.
Fact: Many people scan web pages. No matter how good your copy is, very few people will read every word of it. The use of persuasive sub headlines allows your copy to be scannable, and thus captures your prospects’ attention more effectively. Sub headlines are just like headlines, except further down the page.
They serve as the same purpose as your headline – to give your prospects a reason to continue reading.
Write your sub-headlines just like how you would write a headline, and insert sub-headlines after a big chunk of text so that you recapture the reader’s attention.
And that concludes the simple 4-Show method to writing copy quickly and effectively, without having to be a copywriter. It is not the only way to write persuasive copy.
It’s just one of the ways that is simple enough for the non-copywriter to put out something decent. It won’t give you a 20% conversion rate. It won’t make you a master copywriter. But it just might lead to more sales Now go write some decent copy and make more sales, you lazy person.
You have no excuses now.