Want to make sure your copy has the best chance of converting?
Then you’ll want to review it before you test it. You want to make sure you’ve followed all the “best practices” to persuade your reader to take your desired action (whether that’s a click-through, a sale, an email opt-in, etc).
Of course, nothing beats testing to know for sure whether your copy works or not. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to do all you can beforehand, to increase your odds of success.
That’s why I’ve put together a simple 5-point checklist that helps you make sure you do your level best, each and every time.
These five points are the big things that can make the biggest impact on response. Sure, there are a ton of other things you can try to improve. But by focusing on these few basics, you’ll make sure the most critical elements of your copy are as good as they can be.
Let’s get started:
#1: Is the idea driving your copy relevant to your prospect’s wants, beliefs, and desires?
This is absolutely critical—especially in the digital age. Is the idea you’ve based your copy on relevant to what your prospect/reader really wants?
Not just what they want on the surface level. What do they want at a deeper level? Does your idea speak to both?
So take a good, hard look at your copy and make sure the answer is a resounding “yes!”
For example, someone looking to improve their golf game wants to lower their score. That’s the surface stuff. What else do they want?
They want to be able to hit the ball and make it go where they want it to go. They want to be able to impress their buddies at the range with powerful, straight, long drives. They want to sink a putt from any distance and have onlookers gasp in awe. They want to feel confident when they step out onto the course.
You get the idea… and your copy’s “big idea” should find a way to address those deeper wants/desires.
Just making sure this alone is on-target can carry your copy through, even if everything else is done poorly (most of the time). People will read and respond to what they care about.
This means you need to do your research.
#2: Does your copy make a compelling promise?
This goes without saying. But you must create a promise that will entice your prospect. A promise that speaks to his desires and the things he/she ALREADY wants.
If you’ve found your relevant idea, this shouldn’t be too hard to do.
Again, the goal here is to not only address the obvious stuff your prospect/reader wants… but also addressing the deeper, emotional desires.
The classic example of this is selling a drill. People looking to buy a drill don’t want a drill. They want a hole in the wall.
They want to be able to hang something up… or assemble a piece of furniture that fits their living room perfectly… and when friends come to visit, they want them to remark at how beautiful it all looks. So if you’re selling a drill, your promises should cover all those bases.
Doing this in your own copy takes some bit of thinking, but it will pay off in spades.
#3 Have you proved every claim, and made everything as specific as possible?
When it comes to writing copy that converts, your number-one mission is to overcome skepticism and doubt. One of the ways you do this effectively is with proof.
Make sure you back up your claims and promises with proof, at every opportunity. And when you do, make sure it is specific.
As the old adage goes, “Specifics sell.” So if you’re writing to sales managers of software companies about your new sales training program, you’d back every claim you make. Here’s a made up example of what that may look like without the specific proof element:
“Our breakthrough XYZ sales system is designed to help you put an end to lagging sales, and scrambling to meet end-of-month quotas. That’s because we have become the industry leader in sales training—helping your sales team generate more leads and set more appointments with qualified prospects.”
Now take a look at what happens when we add proof and specificity to back up the claim:
“Our breakthrough XYZ sales system is designed to help you put an end to lagging sales, and scrambling to meet end-of-month quotas. In fact, a recent independent study by ABC Research Firm, found that our XYZ system boosts sales-team lead-generation by 27% and appointments with qualified prospects by an impressive 42%.”
#4: Have you infused your copy with as much credibility as possible?
This is similar to, but different from, proof.
Instead of proving a specific claim, you want to make everything you are saying in your copy credible.
This can be accomplished by having as many testimonials as you can. Case studies work well too.
Another form of credibility would be third-party quotes that praise your company, your products, your services, etc. For example, if you were a stock broker, having a positive mention from Barron’s or the Wall Street Journal would be an excellent credibility-builder.
#5 Have you made an irresistible offer?
This is another critical item. A bad offer can sink great copy in no time flat.
So make sure you offer as much value as you can, in exchange for what you are asking from the prospect/reader.
It should be a no-brainer for them. They should feel almost guilty for all the value they’re receiving in exchange for what they are giving you.
So make sure to build up the value of everything you are offering.
And it goes without saying, part of a great offer is some form of risk-reversal. Offer a guarantee. Show the prospect/reader you’re confident in what you’re offering. The bolder, the better. Like this:
Let them test you out, and prove yourself to them. This will make sure you have an offer he or she can’t refuse.
So there you have it…
Your 5-point checklist for better converting copy. Make sure you go through these 5 points each and every time you write a piece of copy.
Are there more things you could tweak and test?
Of course. But if you want to develop the habit of always strengthening your copy, keeping it simple is best (besides, when’s the last time you used a 42-point checklist to make sure you did anything to the best of your ability? I know that for me at least, it would be too unwieldy and I’d end up not using it after the first two or three times).
This checklist is small enough for you to use it regularly… and precise enough to make a difference in your results.
Try it yourself, and let me know how it works by sharing in the comments below.