3 Basic Copywriting Rules Not To Be Broken
If you want to separate yourself from 99% of other marketers you need to know there are 3 basic copywriting rules you should never break.
Imagine for a moment that every time you wrote an email, a blog post, or a sales letter…
… that all of your readers would cling to your words like a baby baboon clinging to its mother’s back.
That’d be pretty cool huh?
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Like it or not your readers are looking for reasons to ditch your copy and get back to doing something else.
- Taking out the trash
- Reading other emails
- Focusing back on their business
- Watching the two hour special of “The Bachelor: The Women Tell All!”
They’re always looking for an excuse to stop reading your stuff.
However, by not breaking these 3 basic copywriting rules you’ll eliminate your reader’s excuses and keep them riveted to your ideas.
Whether you’re an internet marketer, direct sales professional, affiliate marketer, or a brick & mortar business owner you’ll be able to benefit from the basic copywriting rules revealed to you here within this article.
3 Basic Copywriting Rules That Most People Break
I recently read the book “Copy Logic!” by Michael Masterson and Mike Palmer.
In their book they talked about the 3 main reasons why people stop reading your copy.
- Confusing Copy
- Unbelievable Copy
- Boring Copy
As I discussed earlier, your reader is always looking for excuses to ditch your stuff in the trash and get back to something they perceive to be more interesting.
So if you eliminate their excuses and don’t break these 3 basic copywriting rules, you’ll be in good shape and your reader will be engaged throughout your entire piece.
1.) Confusing Copy
Confusing copy is deadly copy.
By that I mean… once confused, your opportunity to sell your readers on your product is dead.
Confusing copy will confuse your audience’s mind.
A confused mind:
- Seeks out something more familiar instead
- Makes no buying decisions at all
Think back to a time where you were in a position to make a buying decision.
Imagine that all of the sudden the sales person or sales presentation became very confusing to you.
Then you realized that you weren’t so sure anymore about how the product would benefit you or even what the product was supposed to do.
Was your next question…
“Should I get it in red or blue?”
You’re next question was probably…
“How in the world am I going to get out of this presentation without looking completely rude?”
That’s what I mean by a confused mind makes no buying decision.
In order to eliminate confusing copy you first need to eliminate esoteric points…
… in other words, too much detail about things only you care about.
Remember, this is not about you, it’s about the reader.
If you’re confusing them or talking about things that only you care about then you’ll soon find your copy in the trashcan.
Furthermore, industry specific language or jargon will tend to confuse people as well.
Just because you use these words or abbreviations every day doesn’t mean that your reader does.
Assume your reader knows very little about the specifics of your
industry or products and take the time to educate them about certain jargon if you feel it’s necessary.
2.) Unbelievable Copy
Have you ever heard the expression…
“If you can’t prove it, you should cut it.”
Unbelievable copy is typically copy that is based on either hype or generalizations.
“This 1 strategy will get you more leads than you could ever possibly imagine!”
That is unbelievable copy.
How does the author know what the reader has imagined?
Personally, I’ve imagined what it would be like to have 12 million leads.
Is the author actually claiming that this one strategy will help me generate 12 million leads???
So how would you fix this?
“This 1 strategy resulted in a 50% increase in our lead generation in the first month we implemented it”
“This 1 strategy helped us generate over 546 leads within the first 3 weeks we started testing.”
The last two claims can be backed up whereas the first one could not.
See the difference?
3.) Boring Copy
Don’t go on and on and on about a problem that your reader already knows that they have.
You don’t need to convince a homeless person how bad it is to be homeless.
Prison inmates don’t need to be convinced of just how crappy jail can be.
Chances are, if they’re currently experiencing this problem then they know just how difficult it is to deal with it.
However, a friendly reminder and a bit of agitation can do the trick nicely.
If your reader is suffering from a specific problem and your goal is to use your copy to sell them on a solution then I recommend you use the following formula.
- Address pain
- Agitate the pain (pour a bit of salt on the wound to make it sting)
- Share story about how you or someone else experienced the same pain (feel, felt, found)
- Present solution
- Call to Action
Using this formula will help you to avoid getting off topic or spend too much time on a particular topic that isn’t helpful to solving your readers problem.
How Do You Fix This??
Fixing confusing, unbelievable, or boring copy is not as hard as you might think.
The following 3 basic copywriting rules will help you craft more compelling and engaging copy that your readers will enjoy.
Write To One Person
Assuming you’ve defined your customer avatar that’s who you should be writing to whenever you write copy.
Whether it’s a blog post, a video, an email to your list or a sales letter you should always write to your specific customer avatar.
This is why your customer avatar is not a demographic but rather a specific person with a name, a family, and specific details about their situation.
If you haven’t created your customer avatar yet I encourage you to go here to learn how to create your customer avatar.
Bottom line is, it can be overwhelming if you try to write to the masses.
There are too many moving parts and opinions when you try to write for the masses and you’ll end up trying to please too many people.
Selling to the masses is a very difficult thing to do and you could end up muddying the waters of your message and confuse your readers.
However, when you write to one person (hopefully your customer avatar) you can personalize your writing more.
You’re able to establish rapport because you can connect with that one person through your writing.
Does this sound like something you could do?
I remember when I used to sell Kirby vacuums door to door.
As soon as I would get into a person’s home I would immediately begin vacuuming their floor.
I would get excited about showing them how amazing the vacuum was at cleaning their house.
I was excited to show them all of the different attachments and the different ways they could clean.
These people couldn’t help but get swept up by my excitement (no pun intended).
They were thinking…
“Gee… if this guy is THIS excited about cleaning our home with this vacuum, imagine how excited we’ll be to use this vacuum to clean our home.”
The point is… my excitement was contagious and that helped to sell them on the idea of purchasing this vacuum for their home.
Effective copywriting is no different.
Transfer the excitement you have towards your product into the words you put down on paper.
So how do you do this?
You add emotion to your words and sentences.
Let go… allow yourself to write what you feel.
Don’t be held back by what you think you’re supposed to write.
Instead, allow your feelings to flow from your heart, through to your veins, out of your finger tips, and onto your computer.
Ask Questions That Lead To A “Yes”
Assuming your reader is interested in what you’re promoting you can persuade your readers by asking them questions that lead them to say “yes”.
Check out the following questions to see what I mean:
- “If I could give you a marketing strategy that is guaranteed to bring in more leads and sales would you be interested?”
- “If I could get you a new cell phone with all of the features you’re looking for plus with enough monthly minutes and data for your entire family that falls within your monthly budget would you be interested in seeing it?”
- (this one’s completely generic) “If I could provide you a monthly service that provided you everything you need at a price you could afford would you be open to looking at it?”
The goal with these questions is to get your reader to say “yes” as they’re reading the question.
(It’s even better if they actually nod their head in approval as they’re reading)
By asking questions in this type of manner you’re readers are subconsciously agreeing with you and moving closer towards saying “yes” to an actual buying decision.
Can you see yourself doing this?
Now that you have an understanding of these 3 basic copywriting rules you’re well on your way to creating engaging copy that will persuade your readers.
However, there’s a chance that you’re still struggling to come up with ideas of things to write about.
If this sounds like you then check out our FREE report… 24 Sneaky Hacks To Create An Endless Stream Of Compelling Content