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December 21, 2023

Compelling Website Copy: Thinking Like a Writer

By Erica Follette 4 Minute Read

Copy is writing that sells, so by definition, it has to be compelling. Does your copy also have to be concise? Yes. Does it have to be clear? Absolutely. Brevity and clarity will ensure that your message is digestible, which is key if you want your words to be read and understood. That said, the clearest, most concise copy ever written is still a bust if it doesn’t compel its readers to act.

If your goal is to write clear, concise copy, then you can train yourself to do that. But if you want to write compelling copy, then you have to do a lot of research and even more critical thinking. So, let’s break it down!

What is Copywriting?

Copywriting consists of the words, either written or spoken, marketers use to try to get potential customers to take action. Copywriters are trying to get people to feel, think, or respond -- or, ideally, to do more research on a company, product, or service. And where a blog post like this one has the luxury of hundreds of words with which to get their point across, copywriters only have a few words to make their case.

How to Write Compelling Copy

Before you start your next newsletter or landing page, try working through our list below. Some things will require time and thought, but the effort will be worth it when you walk away knowing exactly how to frame your message to achieve the best response.

Get to Know your Target Prospect

The most effective fishermen vary their bait depending on the fish they aim to catch. Fishermen also adjust their technique depending on the time of day, the water conditions, and the season. They soak up as much information as possible about the fish and its environment, ultimately using their learnings to attract and, hopefully, hook something. As it happens, marketers operate similarly; learning as much as they can about their target prospects before formulating their message and exposing the prospect to it. Doing so makes it easier to highlight irresistible benefits throughout their copy. Benefits that relieve ultra-specific pain points, making the offer all the more compelling to the right audience.

To accurately and efficiently isolate your target prospect's problems, start by answering a series of questions about their personal background, their company, any challenges they face, and goals they are looking to achieve. In other words, create a buyer persona. As a result, you’ll compile an abundance of invaluable information that you can then use to attract attention and inspire action.

Make it Emotional

When it comes to converting a prospect, the features of your product or service will only get you so far. Why? Because features appeal to your prospect’s logical brain and purchases aren’t driven by logic–they hinge on emotion. As marketers, we are quick to brag about our great products that help customers “do X better” or “make problem Y go away.” However, it turns out this appeals completely to the wrong half of the brain.

While facts and hard data can help prove the value of a product, the left half of the brain that processes this information has essentially no role in emotional processing, which we know plays a key factor in decision making. The left brain is all words and numbers while the right brain communicates in feelings and images. So, how do you appeal to the right half and arguably the more influential half of the brain? When trying to invoke an emotional response, include images or videos on landing pages or service pages to accompany your copy. 

Avoid Weasel Words

Weasel words are used by companies who want their statements to maintain some plausible deniability. Copywriters tend to use them a lot, especially if their product’s promise is weak. For example: “Reduce hair loss with our new shampoo!” (i.e., you won’t cure it.) or “Rent from as little as…” (i.e., you’re probably going to spend more.) Weak and listless, is that how you want your brand or product to come across? Of course not; so avoid the weasel words when you can. Your writing will be stronger, more authoritative, and more compelling. 

Create a Sense of Urgency

Nobody sits down, puts their feet up, cracks a beer, and thinks, “I can’t wait to get up”. Instead, the more relaxed and comfortable we are physically, the less eager we are to move. Same goes for people in a comfortable state of mind. Therefore, if your copy leaves readers with the impression that your offer will always be there, patiently waiting for them to pull the trigger, they may use that as a justification to not convert on your call-to-action. 

They’ll sleep on it, consider their options, and weigh the pros and cons, and after all that…do nothing. To reduce the risk of this, create some urgency–set a deadline, using time-sensitive language. The point is to make your prospects feel uneasy about waiting. Strange as it sounds, the more uneasy they are, the more likely it is they’ll be compelled to make a decision. 

Tailor your CTA

If you want something, typically, you have to ask for it. Why would copy be any different? That’s why a CTA, or a call-to-action, is one of the most compelling elements your copy can possess–as long as it’s well-executed. In other words, don’t settle for the standard “Click Now” copy every time. Instead, strive to make your CTAs simple and to the point; most importantly, make sure to play to your audience. For example: If you’re experimenting and going after a new audience, then give them a “Start your Free Trial Now” CTA. Alternatively, if you know your target persona to be curious and discovery-oriented, then give them a “See how it works” CTA.

Now, is your copy going to compel everyone? No, it may not even come close. But don’t let that bother you. Copywriting, like any craft, is honed over time. If writing effective copy doesn’t come natural to you, that’s where we come in! At Vendilli, we have a full team of marketing experts ready and waiting to help you. To make an appointment for consultation, fill out our contact form or call us at (412) 530-5027.


Erica Follette
About the Author
Erica is a Content and Customer Service Specialist at Vendilli. In her free time, you can find Erica binge watching Netflix shows, practicing martial arts, drinking way too much coffee or tending to the needs of her spoiled dog and reptiles.

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