How to write advertising copy? By focusing on your prospects instead of yourself. That’s going to be focus of today’s post.
Many advertisers want to scream aloud about how great themselves, their business, and their offers are. And they use their advertising as the platform to do so. But they forget one tiny detail: your market doesn’t really care about you or your business. They care about themselves, and how they can fulfill their needs and wants. And that’s what your advertising efforts should zero-in on.
Drawing from my experience as a direct response copywriter, I’m going to present you four ways that will help you present consumer friendly advertising:
- getting your prospect’s attention at once,
- keeping your prospect’s interests,
- delivering a clear brand message, and
- turning your prospects into customers
Mastering these four copywriting skills will help you understand what makes for excellent advertising… and what doesn’t.
So, let’s get to it and learn how to write advertising copywriting.
Get Your Market’s Attention Right Away
The first – and most important – job of an advertisement is to get the attention of the market right away. That responsibility falls squarely on your headline.
That’s why many copywriters spend more than half of the time of a project figuring out the headline they will use. Because in advertising, if the headline doesn’t work… then the rest of the copy is worthless.
To grab your prospect’s attention, your headline can go one of four routes:
- you can make a big promise to the prospect,
- paint a quick picture of what the prospect will get from your offer,
- state that fact, or
- ask the prospect an important question.
Whichever way you take, make sure that you’re mentioning something that is relevant to the prospect, and that you’ll deliver a resolution throughout the rest of the copy.
The “4 U’s” Formula
But how do you know whether a headline is any good? My favorite way to figure out a headline’s effectiveness is using the “4 U’s” formula – which I learned from Bob Bly’s Copywriter Handbook.
Developed by copywriting legend Mark Ford (FKA Michael Masterson), The 4 U’s Formula helps you find the strength of a headline by measuring its levels of urgency, uniqueness, ultra-specification, and usefulness. Those factors are what draws a wandering prospect straight to your advertisement.
Take the headline of this article for instance. On a scale of one-to-four, four being the highest rating, here’s how “How to Write Advertising Copywriting” stacks up:
- One for Urgency – there’s no sense of timelessness in the headline.
- Three for Uniqueness – a lot of articles teach you how to write copy, but not advertising copy.
- Three for Ultra-Specific – I could’ve been less specific by using “How to Write Copy” or even “How to Write.” I could’ve also been more specific by using “How to Write Effective Advertising Copywriting.”
- Three for Usefulness – the headline does have a promise; but I could’ve added a benefit to make more appealing.
“How to Write Advertising Copywriting and Start Selling Your Products Right Away” could be an alternative headline for this article, as it scores a four on each of the U’s.
You can use the Four U’s formula for any headline you’ll put out there. It will help you deliver more effective SEO titles, subject lines, envelope teasers, subheads, and bullet points.
Spark Your Audience’s Interest
Now that you’ve gotten the prospect’s attention, you’ve got to continue. Which is what the next couple of paragraphs will do.
Your “lead paragraphs” should spark the interest of the prospect. Get them hooked on your copy if you will. If you get the prospect excited with your headline but bring them all the way down with your lead paragraphs, you will lose a sale.
Your lead paragraphs should deliver on your promise right away while introducing your “Big Idea” to the prospect. It might sound like a tall order, but I assure you it is not.
Drawing from the knowledge I’ve gathered from the best copywriters in the world, as well as my own experience as a direct response copywriter, I’ve put together seven ways you can spark your prospect’s interest with your lead paragraphs
Seven Ways to Spark Interest
- Make your promise and offer right off the bat – don’t waste anyone’s time and go straight to the point.
- Invite your prospect – make the reader feel appreciate it before you present your offer.
- State the problem and your solution – show empathy for the prospect.
- Reveal a secret or unravel a system – give the prospect a dose of TRUTH.
- A testimonial – use a real-life story to let the prospect know that this is real.
- Tell a story – make it entertaining for the reader without losing sight of what you want to achieve.
- Pontificate – make a prediction of what the future holds for a prospect on a specific situation.
Those type of lead paragraphs will give your advertisement the “juice” it needs to keep your prospects’ attention.
You can use leads 1-3 to promote offers which value’s already known (gifts, subscriptions) as well as free items. While you can use leads 4-7 to promote offers in which you’ll need to create a perceived value – like a newsletter or consulting services.
Now that you have the prospects hooked on your ad, it’s time to drop the hammer. And this is where you deliver your brand message.
Deliver a Concise Brand Message
Now that the audience has interest in what you’re promoting, it’s time to expand on what you can do for them. This is now when you deliver your brand message. But you must be careful when speaking about your business.
Most marketers fail in delivering an excellent brand message because they want to go all over the place. They want to talk about everything, instead of focusing on what truly matters to the prospect.
Your brand message should (concisely) explain…
- who you are,
- what you can do,
- why what you do is important, and
- how you make it happen.
Everything else is just fluff – which you should get rid of. But what exactly should you present as your brand message?
The Four Elements of an Excellent Brand Message
To present a clear and concise brand message to your target audience, you must add these four elements to your body copy:
- what you’re about – present the main reason prospects should do business with you
- the result – illustrate to the prospect what the final goal is and how they will get there
- a prominent level of trust – show them that you’re not some8 yahoo off the streets; you’ve got cred!
- History of success – a record that highlights your ability to deliver positive results
Adding those four elements to your brand message give strength and balance to your advertisement. They let your prospects know that you’re legit and that they should do business with you.
In other words – at the risk of sounding redundant – your brand message should focus of building trust quickly with the prospect. So that then you can present your offer and (successfully) get them to take immediate action.
Persuade Your Prospects into Taking Immediate Action
OK… so now that your headline got your prospects’ attention… your lead paragraphs sparked an interest within the prospects for your brand message… and your brand message made the prospects fall in love with your offer… it’s time to do what we’re here to do – to get the prospect to become a customer.
Now, I want to make a point clear before we go on: by no means I want you to use this method to defraud people into buying products they want or need. You should use this copywriting method to present qualified prospects with an offer they consider worth of their time. I do not support scamming in any shape, way, or form.
Now that that’s out of the way…
If you fail at getting the prospect to act, all the above was for naught. Because – contrary to what some might make you believe – business do not survive on attention, likes, or buzz. It survives on new and repeat sales. And that is the ultimate purpose of your advertising.
Yet, how do you succeed at something that many people think as “extremely hard”?
Well, for starters, if you’ve got them to this point, your prospects have true interest in buying from you. They are just waiting for you to guide them through the buying process. It’s up to you not to drop the ball on the task.
How to Produce an Effective Call to Action
Here are four quick tips that will help you turn prospects into customers:
- Reaffirm your offer – make sure the prospect knows what they get for doing business with you
- Be specific – let the prospect know exactly what they need to do to get what you’re offering
- Add a guarantee – assure the prospect they have a choice in case your offer doesn’t satisfy them
- Spice the offer up – if there was a benefit that you couldn’t add as part of your body copy, then you can make it part of the close as a P.S
Use those four tips and you’ll produce calls to action that are easy-to-follow. But most importantly, your CTAs will be highly appealing to your prospects – increasing your chances at getting their business.
Oh wait… I just thought of an extra tip for your calls-to-action:
- Add some urgency – put a deadline on the offer so that the prospect acts on it as soon as possible.
How to Write Advertising Copywriting
This article went through the process of how to write advertising copywriting. You now know that you must get attention with your headline. Your lead paragraph should spark interest and your body copy must deliver a clear brand message. And to close it out, present a specific CTA to get the sale.
Do you have any comments or questions regrading how to write advertising copywriting? Let me know your thoughts. And if you feel this article will help somebody, feel free to share it.