Creating a winning marketing campaign can seem like an impossible task to achieve, but, with the right tips, tricks, and tools, the process is simple and the results are astounding!
If you’ve been following my past few blogs, you know that there are some initial steps that you must take before you get to this point in your campaign creation.
But, at the risk of sounding dramatic, I would argue that all other steps aside – this is the #1 thing you need to know as you seek to build out a winning marketing campaign.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – each step is really about setting yourself up for success. If you skip ahead or fail to properly complete each process, you’ll notice that critical elements of your marketing campaign are missing.
And, while each step is critical to the overall success of your campaign, this step can make or break everything you’ve worked towards up to now.
So far, I’ve walked through the importance of setting goals, establishing ideal customers, understanding what motivates these customers, discovering and communicating your “why”, creating a target audience, crafting an irresistible offer, and choosing the right channels.
This week, I want to focus on copy: headlines, calls to action, body copy, power words, and more!
So, grab a pen, paper, and some coffee and get ready to write…
As cheesy as this may sound, the first thing you need to do for this step of the process is believe – believe that words have the power to evoke a response.
If you’re at all skeptical, then you won’t appreciate the significance of this step and your marketing won’t be nearly as impactful as it could be.
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I’ve seen the difference a word can make, and I have fully bought into the critical nature of this step!
Words are powerful. Several studies have shown that single words can determine whether someone will take action or not – it can be a simple as changing a CTA from “Receive” to “Get”.
The good news is that there are some great tools out there to make this process simple, as well as some easy guidelines that you can follow to improve your copy and generate more engagement and leads!
Crafting a Headline that Sells
For every one person that reads your email, direct mail piece, social media post/ad, blog (basically any form of content or marketing with short to long copy), almost six additional people read the headline.
If your headline can’t effectively sell your ad or your product, you’re losing countless engagement opportunities and potential sales.
The only purpose of your headline is to grab the attention of your prospect or customer and convince them to read your ad. It’s the advertisement for your advertisement.
I’m always shocked how many people are content with cute, humorous, nonspecific, or abstract headlines or even worse - no headlines at all.
You will never maximize your advertisement’s ROI potential with a poor headline.
If you want more sales, you have to increase engagement. If you want more engagement, you must get more people to respond to your Call-to-Actions.
If you want more people to choose a Call-to-Action, you have to provide tremendous value in your offers.
If you want to influence more people with your superior offer, you have to increase how many people actually read it.
That's what your headline does.
Uncommon, power, and emotional words will gain higher results - How To, Suddenly, Now, Announcing, Introducing, It's Here, Just Arrived, Important Development, Improvement. Amazing, Sensational, Remarkable, Revolutionary, Quick, Easy, Wanted, Compare, Bargain, Hurry, and last, but not least, Last Chance.
There’s a reason the people who invest millions in advertising, testing, and measuring results use these words and phrases often - because they work.
Today, consumers are too hurried. People don’t even have the time to pay attention to some of the content they pay for!
They are not going to pay attention to your ad unless you offer tremendous value (Explain: What’s in it for them?) and let the headline show it.
Consumers pick out what they want to read, listen to, and watch by headlines, so remember your target audience as you craft your headline. But, remember, they don't want your headlines to be misleading.
Writing Copy that Your Audience will Read & Respond To
There’s a common writing acronym that I think is incredibly helpful – It’s called KISS and it stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Consider it this way, you’re invading their territory!
Your marketing is sitting in their inbox while they’re at work and waiting in their mailbox when they get home. It’s interrupting their newsfeed on Facebook and disrupting their favorite TV shows and videos.
You’re interrupting the normal structure of their day. No matter how amazing your offer might be, your marketing is still a distraction from something they’d rather be doing.
But don’t let that discourage you. You simply need to follow certain best practices!
For one, don’t overload your reader with information - present the information to them as simply as possible and keep your writing as compelling as possible. Remove any unnecessary information and only provide the information that they need to know or that explains the benefits they will receive by responding to your marketing.
Keeping your readers engaged is the key to a successful marketing campaign and, when you’re writing to readers with a smaller attention span than goldfish (around 8 seconds), you don’t want to overload them with unnecessary and uncompelling information.
The final, and one of the most important elements of good copy is the Call to Action (CTA).
Rule number one is: Don’t be passive! There is nothing wrong with asking someone to do something – even with brand advertising.
You’ll want to use actionable words and phrases to compel the reader to do what you want.
Tell them what you want them to do and make sure you focus on what’s in it for them – that’s all they care about.
Again - Keep it simple. People need to know how you want them to respond.
In the same way, it’s important to observe that where you write matters just as much as what you write. I’m not referring to the difference between writing in an office and writing in a coffee shop.
Readers quickly move from reading to scanning (it only takes about eight seconds) and if your marketing isn’t drawing their eyes to specific offers, incentives, and CTAs, it will be tossed aside and forgotten.
Stay Ahead of the Game
Finally, when creating a powerful marketing message, it’s important to rely on data rather than on our own intuition and hunches. The market is always smarter than you and me, and research says there are rules to writing persuasive marketing copy.
The truth is, there’s an endless list of possible factors that could influence the results of your marketing.
You probably already know many of them. But, if you’re following best practices for your copy, you’ll at least know that any issue your marketing might have lies somewhere other than your copy.
That’s why this is such a critical step to creating a winning marketing strategy.
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Lauren Maples is the Copy Writer at J&L Marketing. She continually plans, writes, creates, and optimizes our marketing campaigns so our clients grow predictable sales through a proven marketing process.