Copywriting is the process of writing persuasive, engaging, and informative content for the web. It’s a skill that anyone can learn, and with a bit of practice, you can become a master of this art.
To help you get started, here are ten terms every copywriter should know.
The Five W’s
If you’re new to copywriting, this might be the first time you’ve heard the term “the five W’s.”
The five W’s are the five key elements that every piece of copy should address: who, what, when, where, and why. In other words, your copy should answer the reader’s questions about who you are, what you’re offering, when they can expect it, where they can find it, and why they need it.
Addressing these questions helps to create a clear and concise message that will engage and inform your reader. So next time you sit down to write some copy, keep the five W’s in mind.
Headlines are essential for catching people’s attention and making them want to read more. But writing a good headline is not as simple as it sounds. There are a few key copywriting terms to keep in mind:
- Headlines should be clear and to the point—the more specific, the better.
- Use strong verbs to convey a sense of urgency.
- Make sure your headlines scale appropriately for the rest of the copy. Too small and it will get lost; too big and it will overwhelm everything else.
- Keep it short and sweet – ideally, no more than six words.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to writing attention-grabbing headlines that will make people want to read more.
A subhead is a short phrase or sentence that appears under the headline of an article or blog post, typically used to introduce the topic of the piece.
Usually, copywriters use the subhead as an opportunity to include a keyword or two for SEO purposes. While some copywriters view the subhead as an afterthought, it can be crucial in terms of engagement and SEO.
An effective subhead can entice readers to keep reading while also helping your article to rank higher in search engine results. So next time you’re copywriting, give some thought to your subhead!
A “teaser” is a copywriting term for a short, attention-grabbing headline or sentence designed to entice readers to want to learn more.
When used well, a teaser can be a powerful tool for getting people to engage with your copy.
Copywriters use teasers with a more prominent headline or call-to-action, which can be an effective way to get people to read your copy. However, using teaser copy sparingly and only when it is truly effective is crucial. Otherwise, you risk annoying your reader or coming across as manipulative.
Lead paragraphs are the opening paragraphs of an article or other piece of writing. Their purpose is to grab the reader’s attention and give them an overview of the subject matter.
The best lead paragraphs are concise, informative, and can often make or break a piece of writing.
If you’re stuck on how to start your next article, look at some of the tips below for crafting the perfect lead paragraph.
Body copy is the main text of a document, webpage, or ad. It generally contains the bulk of the information and is designed to be read by the target audience.
Copywriters must carefully select their words to ensure that the body copy is clear, concise, and practical. To do this, they often use various copywriting techniques, such as active voice and persuasive language.
Additionally, body copy must be easy to read and understand, making it an essential component of any effective marketing strategy.
Features and Benefits
If you’re new to copywriting, you may wonder what the fuss is about features and benefits.
In a nutshell, features are the qualities and characteristics of your product or service. At the same time, benefits are the advantages your customer will enjoy from using your product or service.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a new type of toothbrush. The features might include “bristles made of nylon for a gentle yet effective clean” and “a comfortable ergonomic handle.”
On the other hand, the benefits might be “cleaner teeth and gums” and “reduced gum inflammation.” As you can see, copywriters often use features and benefits to highlight a product’s or service’s value.
So, if you’re working on copy for a new ad campaign, keep these essential copywriting terms in mind!
Close and False Close
In copywriting, two terms refer to the end of a piece of writing: close and false.
A close is the final sentence or paragraph of a piece, which wraps up the main points and leaves the reader with a sense of finality. On the other hand, a false close is a final sentence or paragraph that seems like it should be the end, followed by another section. You can use this second section to introduce new information, reiterate a key point, or provide additional context.
False closes are often used in persuasive writing, leaving the reader unsettled and more likely to agree with the author’s conclusion. However, they can also be helpful in other types of writing, such as narrative fiction, where they can create a sense of suspense or mystery.
Unique Selling Proposition
What is a unique selling proposition? In copywriting terms, it’s a statement articulating the one thing that makes your product or service better than anything else on the market. It’s the key differentiator that sets you apart from your competitors.
Think of it this way: if you were going to buy a new car, what would be the one thing that would persuade you to choose one make or model over another? Maybe it’s the safety features, the fuel efficiency, or the price. Whatever it is, that’s the car’s unique selling proposition. And it’s the same with any other product or service.
Your unique selling proposition should be clear, concise, and easy for potential customers to understand. It should be prominently featured on your website and in all your marketing materials. And most importantly, it should be true! If you make false claims about your product or service, you’ll quickly lose credibility with your target audience.
If you’re looking to create a solid unique selling proposition for your business, remember to keep it simple, honest, and relevant to your target customers.
Tone of Voice
It’s essential to be aware of the different copywriting terms used to describe the tone of voice.
The three main copywriting terms are: formal, conversational, and colloquial.
You usually find formal copy in corporate communications, such as annual reports or official website copy. It uses language that is factual and objective, without any excess flourish.
Conversational copy, on the other hand, is designed to sound like a natural conversation. It’s often used in marketing and advertising copy, as it can help to build rapport with the reader.
Colloquial copy is the most casual form of writing and uses familiar and informal language. Colloquial copy is often used in social media posts or blogs, giving the reader a sense of the writer’s personality.
Whichever type of copy you’re writing, it’s essential to be aware of the tone of voice that you’re using.
Copywriting Terms You Should Know
As you can see, copywriting is about using and placing the right words to persuade people. But if you’re looking for help putting together effective sales materials or want a skilled writer to create magnetic content that draws in customers, I can help.
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