Before You Write: 5 Important Things to Remember about Effective Copywriting

1. It’s about changing people’s behaviours – Whether it is pitching for a sale or generating leads, the ultimate goal of good, effective copywriting is to entice your target audience to do what you want them to do and feel compelled to respond to an offer. Oftentimes, understanding how their minds work is an added advantage.

2. It’s about selling – Contrary to what most people think, copywriting is mainly about selling, followed by writing, and not the other way around. You may have an First Class degree in English Literature but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can sell.

3. It’s never about “me” – In any successful relationship, be it personal or in business, people want to be loved and understood. Likewise in copywriting, it’s never about your product, your company; not even your special offer or promotion!

This is where many businesses go wrong in their marketing efforts – they become overly in love with their products that forget their target audience’s needs and what they are motivated to hear and read. Always focus on your target audience and craft a compelling sales copy that they will pay attention to and act upon.

4. It’s about speaking your target audience’s language – Ever been in a situation where you’ve felt “left out” because you couldn’t understand a word someone else is saying? Sadly, the same thing happens in copywriting. Many writers who are just starting out assume that using big, impressive words will, well, impress readers.

The truth is, ordinary readers want to be engaged and seduced by simple, everyday language. Listen to how people talk. What common languaging, dialect or phrase would you use to describe your product?

5. It helps to build some sales experience – Depending on how some people describe it, copywriting is in fact, salesmanship in print. But the problem (and irony!) is, while most copywriters are armed with advertising degrees or relevant paper qualifications, many of them do not have practical sales experience.

If you don’t have any sales experience, then I strongly urge you to start observing how successful salespeople sell and close deals and then model after their selling strategies in your writing. This, I believe, is the difference between a copywriter who can write to impress, and one who writes to sell.

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