“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” — Leo Burnett.
The cyber-world is constantly changing and the competition is getting fierce. Businesses are being forced to adapt and implement new strategies to remain profitable. If you are an e-commerce copywriter or business owner in the know, you are already well aware of these changes. Otherwise, you are one step behind your competition, which is bad for business.
What secret strategies do successful brands and marketers employ and how can you use them to stay relevant? First off, let’s examine the core foundation — persuasive copy.
- 1 Introduction to Persuasive Copy
- 2 How e-Commerce Copy Works
- 3 Types of Copywriting
- 4 Effective Principles for Persuasive e-Commerce Copy
- 5 Conclusion
Introduction to Persuasive Copy
In this day and age, consumers are becoming more demanding about how brands engage them online. They want more value, with a focus on “why” and “how.” A copywriting e-commerce-based approach is one of the best ways to achieve that.
What then is copywriting? It is a style of writing that persuades or convinces people to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or following a brand. It uses emotional language that appeals directly to the prospect’s self-interest, making the individual feel compelled to act.
Persuasive copy plays a key role in the success of a website’s engagement strategy. It can effectively boost sales and increase your bottom line. As per records, 73% of companies pay content strategists, which shows a positive shift towards the use of copywriting.
How e-Commerce Copy Works
Copywriting for e-commerce follows a logical progression. As a copywriter, you need to understand the buying journey of your audience to develop compelling copies. Before purchasing anything, most consumers would do some research. By the time they reach your site, they already have a good idea of what they want.
Your job is to persuade them to complete the process, but not in the typical “buy now” approach. This is where copywriting comes in. There are two possible outcomes to this technique when marketing a product.
- Shoppers will purchase your product
- They won’t buy but will still find value in what you offer
The first outcome is favourable because you have a chance to convert leads into sales. The second one isn’t any less important since you can at least build a relationship with your prospects. The idea is to keep them engaged with your brand to the point that they become loyal visitors and then, repeat customers.
Types of Copywriting
Copywriting has different forms, with each one employed to deliver a specific message to an intended audience. Here are some of the main types of copy you should be familiar with:
An example of an excellent web copy — Image by Medium
Website Copywriting (Web Copy)
This is the type of copy that appears on your e-commerce website. It can be displayed anywhere, including the homepage, landing page, and product page, to name a few. Among the elements that make up a web copy are the headline (ideally six words long), the main text, appealing graphics, and the call to action (CTA), which may appear more than once.
A good case in point is the above-displayed web copy by Medium. The headline is clear and punchy, the main text offers visitors benefits, and the call to action is direct.
Not to be confused with SEO content writing, SEO copywriting refers to copy that is developed with the help of search engine optimisation. It uses the keywords and phrases that help web pages rank higher in the SERPs.
SEO content can appear anywhere on your website, although it is usually placed on specific pages that are geared towards generating traffic. Effective SEO copywriting entails:
- Targeting multiple keywords
- Formatting content for featured snippets
- Improving readability
- Implementing unexpected hooks
- Writing to convert
This form of copywriting is used to sell the benefits of your products engagingly. it requires using persuasive language, images and videos, and including customer reviews and testimonials.
For most e-commerce websites, copywriting product text is the first thing visitors read. Unlike sales copy, it is more straightforward and doesn’t contain any high-pressure sales tactics. Rather it:
- Paints a picture of what it feels like to use a product
- Connect consumers with the product’s unique selling points (USPs)
- Gives customers a sense of exclusivity about the product being designed with them in mind
A well-written product copy can increase conversion by as much as 75%.
Ad Copywriting (Ad Copy)
The goal of ad copy is to create texts that persuade potential customers to click on your ad and learn more about your product or service. It is used in paid search engine marketing (PPC) campaigns. It is the text that you see on a search engine results page (SERP) when you click on an ad.
An excellent ad copy is clear, concise, and relevant to the product and service being sold. It is also formatted for the SERP so that it stands out from other ads on the page.
Direct Response Copy
The focus of this form of copywriting is to trigger an immediate response, like purchasing a product or requesting a consultation. This is usually seen in banner ads and landing pages. Effective direct response copies have four things in common:
- A convincing call to action (According to HubSpot, personalized CTAs are 202% effective)
- Sense of urgency
- Persuasive tone
- Customer-centric language and layout
If you own an e-commerce site, such as an online store, and want to increase sales or your clientele, use direct response copy. Other forms of the copy are creative copywriting, email copywriting, social media copywriting, B2B copywriting, and B2C copywriting.
Statistics on Copywriting — Image by Owner’s Mag
Effective Principles for Persuasive e-Commerce Copy
At this point, you are wondering how to write convincing copy that will result in sales. Don’t worry, I have outlined these well-proven principles to get you started:
Identify Your Target Audience
To come up with persuasive copy, you need to know your audience. This means going beyond the obvious demographics, such as age, gender, and occupation. It’s time to dig deeper and find out what their needs and pain points are, and what they expect to get out of the experience.
Sites like Reddit and Quora offer a wealth of information about what troubles or motivates different consumers. For example, if you’re targeting young females who are looking for an alternative way to exercise, you can use fitness communities like the FitFam subreddit to uncover the burning issues.
Taking a generic approach to copywrite is equivalent to throwing darts at a board with a blindfold on. You’ll end up with more misses than hits.
Utilize Brand Storytelling
You can’t sell what you don’t understand or haven’t benefited from. In order words, you need to know your brand. You need not go into the entire specifics of the genesis; simply present a gripping story that wins the hearts of your target audience.
One of the best ways to develop a captivating brand story is to use a narrative framework that incorporates the Hero’s journey. It includes a memorable opening line, the problem or crisis (the protagonist loses or struggles with something), a quest (takes action), and a return (achieves a goal or triumph).
A study conducted by Headstream shows that if consumers connect with a brand story, 15% of them will purchase the product right away, 44% will share the story, and 55% are more inclined to buy it in the future. In my experience, those who share it with others will indirectly get you more customers as well.
Create Irresistible Headlines
A powerful headline is the linchpin of any successful copy. It is the first thing your readers notice and it will either motivate them to continue reading or close the tab in seconds. As shown by statistics, 20% of visitors read beyond a headline, which means that you have a small window to make an impact.
Failure to do so will result in a lost opportunity for you and your business. For this reason, you can’t afford to be bland with this piece of text. Your headline should be:
In addition to these requirements, your headline should be concise, short, clear, and highly engaging.
Infuse More Verbs and Fewer Adjectives
Verbs are action words and adjectives are descriptive words. The goal is to be succinct with your writing. Using more action verbs will not only make your writing compelling but also increase the number of actions readers are inspired to take.
If you want to get your point across as simple but powerful as possible, start by removing all adjectives and adverbs from your copywriting. They only describe your products and services but don’t address buyers’ needs.
One of my clients once told me that she was having a hard time selling her line of bath and body products. It turned out that her copy was stuffed with too many adjectives that diluted the original message. So, I replaced the adjectives (rich, creamy, smooth, delicate, and the likes) with stronger verbs (rejuvenates, nourishes, tones, soothes, and melts).
The change was instant, and she went from getting a few clicks per day to more than 10 sales a day. A tweak in words and you’ll be surprised at how many people will resonate with your message. If you don’t have a strong command of words, you may hire some of the best writing services to write compelling copy for you, while you brush up on this skill.
Despite the buzz surrounding e-commerce copywriting, many businesses still get it wrong and thus, miss several opportunities. While it isn’t something you can master overnight, there are ways to get better at it as discussed in this guide. I recommend that you learn and practice them more. Soon, you will be able to write high-quality, CTA-driven copies.