Direct response copywriting is a marketing or advertising strategy in which the copywriter’s goal is to generate an immediate attention and achieve measurable outcome(s). It’s a form of writing that’s meant to sell a service, product, or brand by directly speaking to the target audience and prompting them to take relevant action.
Content Marketing vs Copywriting
Both content marketing and copywriting requires you being more creative, compelling and thoughtful. At its core, both aspects require you to create content.
But the main difference is that while content marketing is educational in nature, copywriting is more advertorial in nature.
Content marketing is geared towards educating and nurturing them on key trends or important topics in your niche. It’s not necessarily aimed at generating sales but more at getting your brand persona identified and understood. The goal is to have your audience to get to know, like and trust you.
Direct response copywriting is geared towards stimulating your reader to take action. Its goal is also to deliver value but it’s typically written for making your prospects or customers buy your products or services.
Some examples of content marketing content include:
- White papers,
- Email Newsletter
Some examples of direct response copywriting content are:
- Sales letters,
- Web page content,
- Direct mail letters,
- Social media ads,
- Landing page content,
- Video sales letter script,
- Email campaigns
How Do You Know if Your Direct Response Copy is Working?
If copy on your marketing channels (e.g. website, social media, landing pages, emails) is eliciting a response or engaging your audience (e.g. reader, prospect, customer) on personal level or prompting them to make favorable decisions, it denotes that your copy is sticking and gaining traction.
For example, actions such as
- Getting clicks on your article because of a captive headline,
- Your social media ad getting shares,
- Subscribing to your page after reading your post,
- Downloading a freebie,
- Purchasing your products or services via landing pages.
These actions indicate that your copy is getting read or watched and that it’s stimulating prospects, readers, customers to take an action on what you’ve to say.
Here are 8 ways you can get more mileage out of your direct response copywriting.
1. Structure Your Copy
If you want your direct response copy to deliver the impact you’ve intended it to make, it needs to have a logical structure. Start with a catchy headline that not only gets your audience’s attention, but also communicates what the rest of the copy is all about.
Provide context and get into the details of the subject matter. Delve into the larger themes or sub-themes and expand upon the ideas.
Your goal is to make reader or customers feel they’re making informed decision.
To emphasize your points, think about adding relevant facts, statistics, testimonials, anecdotes and useful stories.
2. Keep it Persuasive
Your copy is all about persuasion. Incorporate relevant emotions (anger, laughter, sadness, frustrations) in your copy in such a way that it relates to the audience.
Ensure that you are conveying your target audience’s pain-points, challenges, desires, likes, dislikes in your copy. It allows you to immediately strike a chord.
3. Write for Conversion
Maintain simplicity. Don’t make your copy cut and dried with mindless fluff or abstruse words. Keep your copy simple that even a 4th grader can understand. The heavier the words you add, the more it kills simplicity. It confuses them and kills your conversion.
4. Use Power Words
Next, make sure you use certain “power words” to really drive the conversion rates. Power words are persuasive words that are used to get the reader’s attention and provoke an emotional response.
For instance, words that add urgency to an ad campaign have a greater impact than those merely highlighting product features.
If you were to write “Limited time only” or “Last three days to apply” in an ad campaign, these words will make your offer more desirable.
Similarly, words that play on exclusivity such as “Members only” or “Sign up for details” or “Accepting only 10-people for our done-for-you services” or “the offer expires in 48 hours” also have a greater impact on the audience’s emotions.
Power words help you provoke specific sentiments among consumers that compel them to make purchasing decisions. They help you shape the narrative and add appeal to what you’re selling.
5. Focus on Benefits
Write copy for your audience, i.e., focus on the benefits or outcomes. Make it clear to the audience from the get-go. Don’t focus on the features but rather, focus on the outcomes.
As Dale Carnegie famously said people are only interested in themselves. So focus on WIIIFM (What Is In It For Me). That’s the only channel that people tune in to. By telling them how your product or service immediately transforms their life, takes away their worries or alleviates their pain-points, they become more receptive to what you are trying to say or sell.
6. Keep it Conversational
Your copy has to flow. Keep it conversational. Keep it about “You and Me”. It’s as if you’re talking to someone over a cup of coffee, educating them about your services and making a sale. Adding a story will add personal touch creating even a deeper connection with your audience.
7. Keep Social Media in Mind
Write in such a way that people can scan your copy. This is especially important if you’re writing emails or creating a copy for social media ads since most people will read it on their smart phones. Don’t create long paragraphs. Keep it short. Break your paragraphs after 1, 2, 3 sentences.
Add bullet points. Create meaningful sub-headlines within copy. Add images.
People who’re surfing on the Internet or Social Media are mostly on the go and are in “scroll” or “swipe” mode. Keeping your copy digestible improves your chances of reaching out to them.
8. Have a Strong Call to Action
Finally, don’t forget to include a strong call to action (CTA). The whole point of direct response writing is to prompt a positive response from your audience, and a good CTA does exactly that. It tells them precisely what action they need to take and how to they need to go about it.
Don’t hesitate to ask your audience to make a purchase. Don’t assume that just because your copy is good, your audience will buy your products or services. In fact, if you don’t explicitly ask, you will not get the sale.
Makarand Utpat is a digital marketing consultant, a published author, and a sales specialist who helps businesses take their ventures to the next level with his branding expertise. Get in touch with him for further assistance on direct response copywriting and other digital marketing strategies.