To explain in a single sentence, Copywriting is a way of writing that helps you sell your products or services better. But it’s not as simple as it looks. There are many nuances and styles of copywriting that works (and not works). Let’s look at the history of copywriting and how it has transformed into the digital world which helps us understand why it’s the most important part of your marketing campaigns.
Understanding Direct Response Copywriting
Decades back, before the internet, people were selling stuff differently. Let’s say you are trying to sell houses and you need people to come to your office, take a look at the model house and eventually buy a house. But the first step is to make people know that you exist and you have houses to sell.
You would have to print flyers, buy ads in newspapers or magazines, send postcards, etc., to tell your potential audience. But all these are expensive.
Now you have to make sure your ad performs really well as you don’t want to lose money on this. Let’s just take a look at two headlines for the ads and see which is better.
If your ad headline just says “Own your own home in the best location of the city” not many would read it. Yes, the location is important, but unless you explain the benefit of the location, your audience isn’t going to understand why they need it. Not many are going to read the ad nor respond to it.
Instead, just imagine seeing this headline for the ad “Your next home is just a 15-minute drive from your work and has plenty of space for your kids to grow and play.” If you are the right target audience (say someone who has kids and also working in a busy office) this headline really strikes the right chord in their mind.
They can imagine seeing themselves coming back home early, spending time with their family and having a healthy work-life balance.
If just a headline can make such a huge difference, what would be the effect if we could change all parts of the ad?
Let’s say, for example, you are running a full-page ad in a magazine with a reach of 100k readers and it costs $1000 (just to make the calculations easy). And your competitor is running the generic version of the ad and you are running an ad written by a professional copywriter optimized for your audience.
Out of 100k readers, only 100 people read through your competitor’s ad and only 10 people call to ask more details. And no one comes for a visit and buys.
Instead, since your ad is optimized, at the minimum 1000 people read through your ad and 100 people call. And now, even if 10 people visit the property and only 1 person buys a house, you have made a sizeable profit. This shows the power of writing persuasive copy.
Copywriting in the Digital World
The concepts are almost similar in the current digital channels. Instead of an offline magazine, you have an online website or social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
You have a short headline and description for your ad and your audience may click on the ad if it’s intriguing enough. The ad might take them to a landing page or a lead form where they can enter their details and you can collect their information.
The tricky part here is your audience has a much-reduced attention span than ever and you have only a few seconds to grab their eyeballs and make them read your ad. So copywriting has become much more difficult and harder. You need someone who can understand your niche, your target audience and how to bring out the right emotions in them.
That’s why most copywriters charge thousands of dollars for a landing page. And since the internet allows you to sell to anyone around the world, you can get much more returns out of a single landing page or email copy by just sheer scale.
Copywriting is everywhere you see online. Be it the ads you see on Facebook or Google, the landing page your visitors come to, the images and video you have, emails and messages that you send to your leads, blog posts you write, webinar scripts, autoresponder email sequence you send and more.
If you want to sell more and become profitable by hiring a copywriter who can persuade your audience, book a free call.
Srini is an entrepreneur+developer who realised launching a successful product is much more than building cool features. He has helped numerous startups and businesses build successful businesses for the past 13 years.