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Copywriting is THE most important skill when running an online business.
Just think about what it means to do business online, where you never see your customers face-to-face. In the old days, a business owner could actually meet with their customers and talk to them. But that doesn’t happen with an online business. And here’s what that means…
If a business owner cannot write copy effectively, they WILL fail.
Why? Because copywriting is the art of selling through effective communication. It’s all part of what’s now called interactive marketing.
Interactive marketing is just as it sounds. It’s about engaging the consumer. It’s about getting them to interact with the sales copy. It’s about building relationships with potential customers so they begin to trust the seller and the brand. Once trust is established, they will buy.
And the best part is anyone can do it.
There is no need to be a great writer to be a great copywriter. They key is to write as if it’s a conversation with a friend and implement a few simple strategies…
15 Simple Secrets Master Copywriters Understand
Being a great copywriter doesn’t require a degree in English or Journalism. It doesn’t require a person to be the next Nobel Prize winner.
What it does require is honesty, casual conversation and the following 15 simple tips…
1. Study Great Copywriters
We learn from the work and efforts of the people who have come before us.
Even the greatest of the great have learned from others. No one who has achieved mastery in anything has done it 100% alone.
I can’t begin to describe how much others have helped me on my journey to online business success. And even today, I still reach out to experts and learn as much as I can from them.
In order to become a great copywriter, it’s so important to study the work of great copywriters and learn from them.
Study everything that is available.
Go to ClickBank and find the most successful products in various niches—these are the products with the highest Gravity Score. These are the products that sell. Study their written sales letters, their video sales letters. See how it’s done.
And when it comes to video sales letters, there is a super easy way to study them without having to watch them dozens of times. Just use the transcription service Rev.com. They are quick and affordable. And once you have the video script transcribed, it’s right there in written form. Study these transcripts!
It’s also important to keep things organized. And for that I recommend creating a swipe file.
I do this and it’s so effective. Create a file that categorizes all the different copy to be studied. Have a file for each of the following:
- Written sales letters
- Video sales letters
- Facebook ads
- Opt-in pages
- Thank you pages
When studying any kind of copy, there are certain things to look for. Here are some examples of questions to ask with each piece of copy:
- What is the common structure?
- What trigger words do they use?
- What pain points do they address?
- What kind of language do they use?
- What tone of voice is used?
But remember NEVER to copy! Don’t copy other people’s copy!
Copying someone else’s work is simply unethical—not to mention illegal. Use the work of others only as a template to learn from. Take what they have done and make it unique. Make it better. Give it a voice of its own.
And then use that voice to…
2. Tell Stories
Storytelling is THE most important part of copywriting!
No matter what type of copy it is, it absolutely must tell a story. Why? Because people are captivated by stories. Human beings have been telling stories for millennia. It’s in our nature to tell stories and to be able to relate to stories.
And for this reason, people remember stories.
But it’s more than remembering stories. When a copywriter tells a story, they become a real person, not just another brand. The story makes it possible for the audience to relate to the copywriter. It helps build a connection that bridges the gap. It helps build trust.
Storytellers outsell non-storytellers every single time.
Stories are the X factor of copywriting.
And storytelling is simple! To effectively tell a story, there is a formula to follow that will nail it every time.
But telling stories is just the beginning…
3. Visual Flow
The next thing to consider when becoming a better copywriter is the visual flow of the copy. I’m always surprised by how many of the very best copywriters overlook this aspect of copywriting.
How the copy looks on the page matters A LOT!
A nice visual appearance and flow of the copy will attract the eye and draw people in. To create good visual flow, just do a few simple things:
- Break up the copy into paragraphs of different lengths—short, medium, and long (no more than four lines).
- NEVER use long paragraphs that make the page look like a wall of text.
- Use short sentences. A single paragraph should never be made up of only one sentence (unless it’s a super short paragraph).
- Use variety when formatting by making good use of bold, italics, underline, CAPS, and color.
Ultimately, the visual flow of the copy should be pleasing to the eye, not overwhelming. And it should guide people’s eyes to the call-to-action. That is the true goal of any copy.
4. Build Relationships
People buy based on relationships.
Every single purchase a person makes is based on relationship, even if they don’t realize it. Think about it. What if a perfect stranger walked up to someone and said, “Buy this fantastic book on losing weight for $30.” That person would probably think the stranger was totally crazy.
But what if the person’s friend said, “Buy this fantastic book on losing weight for $30.”
That is a recommendation from someone the person has a relationship with. Someone that person trusts. And that person probably is going to buy it.
Building a relationship with the consumer is a crucial part of selling.
And in order to build that relationship, it is important to have multiple touch points with people on multiple platforms. Through these touchpoints, tell stories and be relatable. When people can relate to the seller or the brand, they will buy.
Marketers need to make it personal.
And that means getting in there and personally responding to people. Having one-on-one contact with people, responding to people’s comments, answering their questions.
Essentially, marketers need to show they care. That it isn’t all about making money.
Building these relationships is no easy task, but it’s totally worth it. And the best way to do it is through email marketing. Email marketing (which we’ll talk about in more detail below) requires great copywriting skills and is the best online business model there is.
Relationships are so important that I dedicated a whole post to it: Relationships: The Secret Weapon of Email Marketing
The goal of copywriting is to get people to take some form of action. But before that can happen…
The marketer needs to catch their attention!
This is the job of the headline. The headline should really stand out. It should make the audience stop in their tracks and read or listen to the copy. To accomplish this, the headline should do at least one of the following:
- Shock the audience
- Bring about a sense of awe
- Be controversial
- Offer a “how-to” that catches the attention
- Ask an attention-grabbing question
The attention-grabbing headline in a written piece becomes an attention-grabbing introduction in a video. In a video sales letter, the first few seconds is the time to catch people’s attention and spark their curiosity.
Either way, the hook is what makes the audience stop in their tracks and keep reading or watching.
It’s what makes them want to know more!
6. Sniper Approach
This is all about targeting.
In the old days of marketing, large advertising campaigns would be sent out to a very large target audience. It was the best they could do with the available data. In this case, they used what is called the shotgun approach.
Shotgun approach = sending a general message to a lot of people and seeing what sticks.
However, with online marketing, we are able to target much more effectively. Facebook advertising is the king of targeting. They have so much consumer data, any marketer can access a highly targeted audience. And that means we can make the message much more specific—we can use the sniper approach.
Sniper approach = sending a specific message to a smaller group of ideal customers.
The sniper approach is targeting the exact people you want to reach.
However, in order to take the sniper approach, it’s important to do some market research. A marketer needs to know every aspect of their market in as much detail as possible. They need to know the niche in detail. They need to understand the biggest pain points in that niche. And they need to understand the jargon typically used in that niche.
The pain points of a niche are particularly important.
Make a list of these pain points. Get to know them well. Then create copy by reverse-engineering those pain points. This will ensure these pain points are specifically addressed in the copy.
And when talking about the pain points, it is important to discuss…
7. The “What,” Not the “How”
If the audience learns the “how,” they will not buy!
It is so important that copy never reveals the “how.” That is what the product is for. The product IS the how.
The job of the marketer is to write the copy so that ii reveals the problem and the solution to the problem. But NOT how the solution works. The whole point of the copy is to lead the consumer to the product. This product is the system that provides the solution.
It’s all about selling the sizzle, not the steak.
Say the marketer is selling a weight loss system.
The copy will explain about the foods that make people fat and why so many people have trouble losing weight. The copy will lead the audience to the product—the weight loss system—which is the solution to the pain point of losing weight.
Really, it’s that simple.
8. Know the Difference Between Copy and Content
Knowing the difference between copy and content is critical. Why? Because it’s necessary to know when to write copy and when to write content. Remember the previous point about giving them the “what,” not the “how”? Essentially:
Copy = the “what”
Content = the “how”
Now, when copywriting, it isn’t necessary to completely avoid writing content. But it is necessary to keep that content to a minimum and not give away the big “how.”
Think of copy vs. content as open loops vs. closed loops.
Copy = a series of open loops that keep people wanting more. This is the part that does the selling.
On the other hand, content = one or more loops that get closed by the end. This is the part that offers the solution. It’s purely educational.
So, when writing copy, be sure to stick to actually writing copy. Once a marketer gets too deep into content, they risk giving away too much of the “how” and then the sale is lost.
Even if they only get a mediocre version of the “how,” people will try to do it on their own instead of buying the product.
9. See the Bigger Picture
When writing copy, it is important to take the entire sales funnel into account.
Sure, at this point, the goal of the copy might be simply to convince someone to opt into an email list or purchase a low-cost product. But where are these consumers ultimately being lead?
Each piece of copy needs to have the consumer make a micro-commitment, and over time, these commitments will get bigger and bigger.
When the marketer knows the whole, they are less likely to make mistakes. For example, the marketer won’t offer a bonus at one stage that really should be a product later on. Instead, they will know how each piece of copy fits into the bigger picture and guides the audience through the funnel.
Not only that, but by understanding the bigger picture, it is easier to upsell the audience. And upselling can truly maximize profit.
Understanding the bigger picture also makes retargeting easier. If the customer doesn’t accept one offer, then it is simple to direct them to another lower-cost, lower-commitment offer instead.
And this means the marketer is less likely to lose the customer entirely. It’s easier to keep them in the funnel. Ultimately, when the marketer keeps the end goal in mind when creating copy, it is always clear exactly where to steer the customer.
And it’s easy to keep them interested every step of the way.
10. Learn How to Make Videos
Copywriting includes creating videos.
And right now, video is incredibly effective.
People love video! As I mentioned above, study video as well as written copy. Take it apart. See what works. And use this as a general template from which to create new and unique video copy.
Video doesn’t have to be complicated! And it doesn’t have to be intimidating.
The marketer doesn’t even have to be on the screen!
All that is needed is a PowerPoint video. And there is great software out there that can make any video flow and come alive, including Camtasia, Screenflow, and Screen-Cast-O-Matic.
All that is needed is the software, a decent camera, and a good microphone, which can be bought for less than $100.
That’s all there is to it!
All of the same principles of copywriting apply. And creating a PowerPoint video is an easy way to make sure all aspects of effective copy are included in the video.
11. Learn How to Create Webinars
Webinars are one step above video sales letters. And it is a highly effective form of sales copy.
A webinar is the absolute BEST way to sell high-ticket items.
And the webinar is now what video was just a few years ago. But not many people know how to create and present a webinar. Which makes creating copy for webinars a very in-demand skill to master.
What makes the webinar so popular? Simply put, it’s the new “face-to-face” form of selling.
The marketer and audience might not be able to actually see each other, but the webinar is live. They can communicate back and forth in real-time. Webinars are also longer and more in-depth than video sales letters. And this builds relationships in a way no other form of copy can.
The webinar really offers the best of everything.
It allows the marketer to interact with the consumer on many different levels. The marketer can reach a large audience all at the same time, yet be able to communicate with each person on a one-on-one basis.
The webinar really is all about delivering high value. It’s a little more involved to create a webinar, but it’s completely worth the time and effort.
For more info on creating and promoting a webinar, check out this blog post: 3 Proven Ways To Sell Any Type Of Offer Online
12. Learn Email Marketing
Email marketing is the basis of any successful online business.
I have based my entire business on email marketing. It has allowed me to make more than $100 million over the last 14 years! And despite the fact that many people think email is dead, it is very much alive and well. Just take a look at these statistics:
- There are 6 billion email addresses worldwide (Source: The Radical Group).
- A whopping 8 billion emails are sent every day.
- Email marketing has generated $2.47 billion in sales (Source: Forrester Research).
- For every $1 spent on email marketing the average return on investment is $44.25 (Source: Email Report).
What makes email so effective? Simple. Through email, a marketer can create and nurture relationships with their subscribers and customers.
Think about it. When marketers use advertisements to sell their products, they are reaching out to a cold audience. This audience doesn’t know them or their brand at all. It’s very difficult to sell to a cold audience.
But when a marketer is selling to the subscribers on their email list, they are selling to a warm audience. The people on the email list know something about the marketer. They like the marketer enough to have chosen to join that list.
And it so much easier to sell to warm traffic.
There truly is no better way to sell online than via email. And email marketing is easy!
Read this blog post to find out more about how to start an online business using email: The Email Lifeline: How to Start An Online Business Using Nothing but Email
13. Use Linear Thinking
People think in a linear way.
They are very logical in their progression from one point to the next. And they don’t like to be left hanging, wondering what comes next.
This is why it’s important to structure copy in a linear fashion. Using an ordered sequence to present information will keep people reading. If there are five steps, they will want to—or need to—follow the copy until they reach the end. That’s just how our minds work.
With this in mind, always present copy in a linear way, such as with a:
- Step-by-step system (“5 steps to….”)
- List (“11 ways…”)
- Diagram—People love visuals, as well as linear thinking, so diagrams attract and hold the audience’s attention
Not only do people want to keep reading when the information is presented in a linear fashion, it also keeps them on track. Without linear structure, people would get lost or overwhelmed. The linear presentation of copy creates a natural flow that makes it incredibly easy to pitch to people.
And it makes it easy to….
14. Sell to the Subconscious
Let’s face it—our subconscious mind plays a HUGE role in the decisions we make each day.
And that includes the decision to buy something.
All marketing is really geared toward the subconscious. How do we reach the subconscious? It’s about making an emotional connection. This is done through storytelling. The key is to create an emotional experience by touching people’s pain points, as well as their dreams and desires.
Show them where they are and take them to where they want to be.
The emotions will convince the subconscious to buy. Then the subconscious will convince the conscious mind to buy.
Copywriting, as with any other form of writing, can only be mastered by actually doing it.
Just start writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s horrible at first. Any marketer will learn faster by doing it than just reading and learning about it.
Yes, it is important to study and learn from great copywriters.
But it is even more important to put that learning into action. Create copy. Then create more copy. And then create more copy. NEVER stop creating copy.
Practice makes progress. Will the copy be the best the first time it is put out into the online world? Probably not. But as time goes on, it can be refined to determine what works better.
Keep creating copy. See what works and what doesn’t. And adjust accordingly.
It’s better to put out average copy and refine it than to never do it at all.
So, get writing!
Bonus: Get over the fear of selling
We have discussed 15 simple ways to become a better copywriter.
And NONE of it will matter if there is a fear of selling!
I cannot begin to describe how many people are held back by the fear of selling. And getting over this fear all starts in the mind.
When someone is marketing a product, something they truly believe in, they are helping others. And if a lot of value is delivered and the product is great, why not get compensated for it? After all, we all have to make a living. Being compensated for selling a product online is no different than a downtown store owner being compensated for selling products in their store.
Online or not, a business sells things that makes people’s lives better! And people can choose whether or not to buy.
The key is to have the confidence to sell it. This is the confidence of knowing that what is being sold is worth it. Will everyone think so? No. But that doesn’t matter. The people who do will buy.
Just get out there and do it!
In today’s technologically advanced world, there is no online business success without copywriting. It’s simply not possible to reach online customers any other way!
Fortunately, learning how to become a skilled copywriter isn’t just possible—it’s simple!
In this blog post, we have covered 15 simple ways to become a better copywriter. Let’s recap:
- Study Great Copywriters
- Tell Stories
- Visual Flow
- Build Relationships
- Sniper Approach
- The “What,” Not the “How”
- Know the Difference Between Copy and Content
- See the Bigger Picture
- Learn How to Make Videos
- Learn How to Create Webinars
- Learn Email Marketing
- Use Linear Thinking
- Sell to the Subconscious
And the bonus tip is the most important—get over the fear of selling!
Write some copy and go through each and every one of these tips during the writing process. Practice and practice until it feels more natural.
Anyone CAN become a good copywriter. And anyone who wants to succeed in online business MUST become a good copywriter.
And we want to help.
Sign up today for our FREE Copywriting Bootcamp and learn from master copywriters. Really, anyone who is serious about their online business cannot miss this bootcamp.
Copywriting IS the #1 skill for online business success!
Sign up for our Copywriting Bootcamp now.
See you soon!
Human beings are very visually oriented.
We love visuals. We love shiny things that catch our eyes.
And that can play to the any marketer’s advantage. This is not only the case when it comes to the use of images, but also how the text is displayed on a page.
Since copywriting is so important, that means how that copy is presented matters—A LOT.
What makes copywriting so critical?
Let’s take a look…
Copywriting is everything when it comes to online marketing!
Good copywriting allows a person to sell absolutely anything.
And this means that anyone who wants to have a successful online business MUST know the art of copywriting. Every business person who wants to become a huge success in the world MUST learn how to sell through the written word.
What makes copywriting so special?
Simply put, good copywriting makes a person a more effective communicator. And this is incredibly important when it comes to online marketing. We can no longer meet with our customers face-to-face. Most communication with customers happens online now.
This communication has to grab the attention, develop a relationship, convey information, AND make the sale. If it fails at any one of these, the sale is lost. Period.
But the good thing about copywriting is anyone can do it! Anyone can become a good copywriter.
I know this from personal experience…
My Copywriting Story
A teacher once told me that I would never be a good writer.
She actually told me to stay away from a career that involved writing. Now, I am sure she gave me that advice out of the very best of intentions. However, because of what she said, I stayed away from writing for many years.
I had formed a limiting belief that I was no good as a writer.
As time went on, I found myself in Medical school, yet I was not enjoying myself. I wanted to own my own business and control my own future. I eventually found my way to internet marketing—but to be a successful internet marketer, I had to learn how to write.
Fortunately, I found a mentor named Justin. He saw one of my early sales letters and he reached out to me. He said I had potential, but I could do better.
Justin invited me to a workshop and I did an internship with him so I could learn more about copywriting. And one thing he said has always stuck with me. He said…
“The most important skill in business is selling with the written word.”
So, I studied the masters. I practiced and practiced. And I learned how to become a great copywriter.
Not only that, but I’ve learned how to use one VERY overlooked aspect of copy that allows me to write better copy than anyone else….
How copy looks on the page matters!
Visual flow is THE #1 most overlooked aspect of copy. Believe me, I have looked around and even the top sales pages don’t use this strategy—if they did their conversions would be even higher.
Copywriters tend to focus on the words – but what about how it looks on the page?
What about the flow of the words?
Because no matter how great and compelling your words are, if no one reads them, it doesn’t matter.
If the paragraphs are too big or the writing on the page looks intimidating, people won’t bother. They’ll move on to something else.
We’re visual creatures. The page needs to be visually appealing for us to pay attention to it.
Think about where people’s eyes go on a page. It’s important to ask:
- Where do people look?
- What’s the flow of their attention?
- How do you draw and guide their focus?
Copy needs to be structured in a way that attracts the eyes and flows naturally. This flow can make or break any copy.
How to Create Visual Flow
Creating visual flow is actually very easy!
There are a few simple strategies that can be used to ensure the visual flow on a page will catch the eye and guide it through the copy. These include the following:
Break Up the Text
First and foremost, NEVER use giant paragraphs.
No one wants to see a wall of text in front of them. Keep the paragraphs shorter. They shouldn’t be any longer than four lines.
Keep Sentences Short
Sentences that are too long are difficult to read.
Keep them short and sweet. If they take up a whole paragraph, split them up.
Use Font Changes
We can do so much with the written word today. We have the ability to use bold, italics, and underline to make text stand out. We can use color whenever we want.
This adds a lot of character to the text and that makes it less boring. It also allows us to emphasize key points.
Images are a great way to supplement the copy and drive the message home.
Images can include diagrams, charts, or photographs—anything that adds to the copy. Just don’t go overboard. Keep the use of images minimal and minimize the amount of text in the images for the best results.
Switch Things Up
Don’t make all the paragraphs the same length. Use a mixture of short, medium, and long paragraphs.
Keep it Clean
The copy should always look clean and sleek, rather than messy or jumbled. If it’s too cluttered, it won’t attract the eye.
All of these tips will help any copywriter write captivating copy and avoid monotony.
Remember, visual variety is the spice behind any copy. This variety is created when the font, paragraphs, sentences, and images are combined in such a way that they attract the eye. And this keeps the copy fresh and interesting before the audience has read the first word!
Think of this variety in the flow of the copy as the copy’s visual rhythm—people connect with and enjoy a good rhythm.
And now, with these points in mind, let’s take a look at some examples of visual flow…
Examples of Visual Flow
Good visual flow is really quite simple to achieve. But sometimes it is useful to see some examples of what works and what doesn’t. What follows are examples of both poor and good visual flow.
Examples of Poor Visual Flow
The following examples show poor visual flow, which tend to result in boring, monotonous, hard-to-read copy.
Let’s take a look…
Written Sales Letter (WSL)
This is an example of a written sales letter. The goal of this WSL is to capture the reader’s attention and keep their attention so the marketer can make a sale by the end of it. However, this WSL struggles to accomplish good visual flow for a number of reasons.
How it fails at visual flow:
At first glance, it is obvious that this WSL is monotonous and boring. It’s just a bunch of text broken into paragraphs of roughly the same size. And a lot of these paragraphs are made up of one sentence. That means the sentences are too long.
There is larger bolded text that stands out. Visually, it looks like it should be a sub-headline, but the text is actually a part of the regular copy. The one image that can be seen is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t do enough to break up the monotony of the copy.
Overall, the copy looks like a giant wall of text and that’s just plain unappealing. Most people who look at this page wouldn’t even bother to read it.
This WSL will NOT grab onto and hold the reader’s attention.
This next example of poor visual flow is from a Facebook ad.
Although a Facebook ad is a very different type of copy than a WSL, the same strategies apply. The copy still has to have visual appeal and variety.
Here is the ad:
How it fails at visual flow:
At first glance, this ad looks like a big block of text, which is exactly what it is.
There is simply too much text all together. It creates one big, overwhelming paragraph. The text isn’t broken up and there is no variation at all.
Aside from the actual text, there is a link, which isn’t visually appealing either. This link should stand out and add some character to the copy. Instead, it blends in with the text so that it’s hardly noticeable.
The image is dull and very gray. It doesn’t catch the attention at all. Plus, it contains way too much text.
Overall, this Facebook ad has too much text and not enough visual stimulation.
Examples of Good Visual Flow
Now, we will go through some examples of good visual flow. And since we’ve gone through the strategies, the difference between good and bad visual flow will be obvious.
Written Sales Letter (WSL)
Here is another WSL. This time, it is clear that the visual flow is good. The eyes enjoy looking at this copy because it’s interesting and varied.
How it uses visual flow:
In this WSL, the variation of paragraph length is apparent right away. This makes it appealing to the eye. Some paragraphs are short, some medium, and some long. There is a good mix, which makes it easy to read.
The sentences are also short. Even in the longer paragraphs, there are at least two sentences.
Now, take a look at the format of the text. See how it varies? There is plenty of use of bold and italics.
And the text that looks like a sub-heading really is a sub-heading. It actually guides the reader’s eyes if they are skimming, helping them move from one section to another.
Ultimately, this example is easy to look at and read.
Written Sales Letter (WSL)
Here is another good example of copy in a WSL.
How it uses visual flow:
Again, there is good variation in this sales letter. The lengths of the paragraphs are well mixed and there is good use of short paragraphs. They stand out like bullet points and give the eye a break from the medium and long paragraphs.
Not only this, but the short paragraphs ask questions. They get the reader thinking and wondering and that keeps them reading.
There are many different text formats in this WSL, including bold, italics, underline, and CAPS. The sub-headline carries the story forward.
Overall, this WSL is easy to look at and read.
Now, here is an example of good Facebook ad copy. It’s long because it is posted right on the Facebook page as a status update.
How it uses visual flow:
Again, the visual variation in this Facebook ad great. There are plenty of short paragraphs and bullet points to break up the monotony of the medium and long paragraphs. This makes it pleasing to the eye.
And this ad includes as much format variation as Facebook allows in terms of CAPS, “quotes”, bullet points, and other text variations.
Notice at the bottom of the ad, there is a clear call-to-action box.
This Facebook ad also provides a clear example of good visual flow.
How it uses visual flow:
As with the other good examples of visual flow, this Facebook ad uses variation in the lengths of the paragraphs, short sentences, and bullet points.
In addition, there is great use of icons, such as exclamation points and arrows.
This ad clearly tells the reader what to do next.
Now, let’s look at an example of good visual flow on an opt-in page.
How it uses visual flow:
The first thing that stands out here is the use of a high-quality image. This is really important because it’s often the first thing on the page that the eye goes to.
Next, notice the catchy headline. It uses the trigger word FREE and it makes use of CAPS and underline.
There is not a lot of text on the page, which would be intimidating to the reader. And there is good use of bullet points to convey information.
The best part of the visual flow of this page is that it guides the reader in the desired direction—the flow leads the reader right to the opt-in button.
And that is the goal of this copy, to get the reader to opt in.
Here is another example of good visual flow on an opt-in page.
How it uses visual flow:
Once again, there is a high-quality image that immediately catches the eye.
The visual flow is great. There isn’t too much text, there are bullet points, and the flow leads the reader right to the opt-in button. And again, there is good use of formatting such as bold and underline.
This is an ideal model for an opt-in page.
The next step in an email marketing campaign would be the email itself. With that in mind, here is an example of good visual flow in an email.
How it uses visual flow:
An email is a longer body of copy, which means it has to be approached in such a way that it immediately draws the reader in. This is accomplished with the use of a very short paragraph right at the beginning.
This very short paragraph is the hook needed to get the reader interested.
The email then offers a good mix of paragraph length to break the monotony of the copy. The overall flow is broken up. And even throughout the longer email, there is a variety of text formatting, including CAPS, bold, italics, and underline.
Overall, this email is super easy to read and skim, which is incredibly important for longer copy.
The absolute #1 skill any internet marketer can have is copywriting – the ability to sell through effective communication.
Copywriting is the ONLY way to connect with the consumer and build a relationship with them. Yet there is one aspect of copywriting that is almost always overlooked, even by the top copywriters…
The use of good visual flow to make the copy more appealing to the eye.
I’ve learned to master the technique of good visual flow. And this has made me one of the best copywriters in the world.
And here’s the good news…
Good visual flow is easy to achieve—for anyone! To achieve good visual flow, all a copywriter needs to do is the following:
- Do NOT use long paragraphs—keep them to a maximum of four lines.
- Mix up the paragraphs by varying the length—use a combination of short, medium, and long paragraphs.
- Make sure the text is well broken up and draws the eye.
- Make use of bullet points where appropriate.
- Vary the text formatting by using bold, italics, underline, and CAPS throughout the copy.
- All images should be of high quality and their number should be limited.
- Never use too much text in an image.
- Make sure the copy looks clean.
When these strategies are used, the copy will have good visual flow and rhythm. It will draw the eye and guide the reader to the right spot on the page—which is the call-to-action.
Anyone who is serious about copywriting and internet marketing MUST understand visual flow. It’s like a secret weapon.
And we want to help more people understand these potent strategies! We want anyone who is interested in online business to have a good grasp visual flow and all other aspects of good copywriting.
That’s why we are offering a FREE Copywriting Bootcamp!
Join us at this bootcamp to learn from the masters. The experts we will have on hand have years of experience writing captivating copy that has good visual flow.
And they will guide Copywriting Bootcamp attendees through the copywriting process.
Just sign up below and be ready to learn how to create copy that will sell anything!
I’m looking forward to seeing you at our Copywriting Bootcamp.
See you there!
Watch this live demo (with the countdown timer on) to see how our exclusive tool builds unlimited, unique online businesses! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN2O_6Ru1u8
People buy based on relationships.
Customers are created when brands build relationships with people. And people buy from the brands they feel a connection with. This is a key point for anyone who is running an online business.
When it comes to the traditional form of retail business, the customer would walk into a store and they could speak with the business owner directly. These people could get to know each other by sharing information about themselves. By asking questions and engaging in casual conversation.
In today’s online world, we don’t have the opportunity to chat with customers face-to-face. This means we MUST make a connection with them online.
And this is where the storytelling comes into the picture.
Regardless of whether we can connect with the consumer face-to-face or have to do so online, the best way to make that connection a solid one is through storytelling.
In fact, there is no better way to build a relationship with people than through the art of storytelling…
The Importance of Storytelling
Everyone loves a good story.
The human race has been telling stories for tens of thousands of years.
Just think of all the myths and legends that have come out of every culture on the planet. Greek and Roman mythology. Irish fairytales. Even the Bible is laid out as a series of stories.
And then there are today’s modern forms of storytelling that come in the form of books, television shows, and movies. These methods of storytelling are incredibly popular for one simple reason…
They allow us to visualize what is being portrayed in the stories in the first person.
In other words, we can put ourselves into the story. We can imagine what it would be like if the events of the story were happening to us. We feel the feelings associated with that story and we begin to relate to the storyteller and the characters in the story.
The person who can tell a good story is infinitely more interesting than the person who can’t. Being able to tell a good story allows the storyteller to capture people’s attention and hold it. The audience becomes interested in what the storyteller is saying.
And this works in ANY situation—even when copywriting…
Storytelling And Copywriting
There is no skill more important for a copywriter to learn than the skill of storytelling.
This is absolutely the number one thing any copywriter needs to learn. Not only do stories capture the attention of the audience, they deliver a tremendous amount of value.
Though storytelling might seem out of place when it comes to marketing, it is highly relevant—more so today than ever before. Why? Because of the lack of trust the consumer has for corporations and the seller.
Let’s face it. The consumer has become incredibly wise and informed when it comes to marketing. They can easily search out a brand’s competition and are increasingly aware of the various marketing ploys that have been used over the years.
The ONLY way to counter this lack of trust is to build a relationship with the consumer.
Relationships are everything in marketing! People won’t buy from someone they don’t like or don’t trust. And there is only one way to open people up, engage them, and build relationships with them…
Start talking, tell stories, make them laugh, and relate to them.
Buying is an emotional process. When someone is deciding whether to buy something, there is a lot of internal struggle going on. The key is to break through that internal struggle by tapping into emotion and that is most effectively done through storytelling.
Storytelling uses the power of emotion to sell. And I guarantee, the storyteller will ALWAYS beat the non-storyteller.
A Good Example of Storytelling
Storytelling is actually quite simple. Everyone has an imagination. Tapping into that imagination will open up all sorts of possibilities. Here is an example of storytelling that shows how easy it is…
I was driving down a road, heading to work, on a rainy day. The rain was coming down in buckets, my windshield wipers barely brushing it off before the windshield was coated with water once again.
As I rounded a bend in the road, I suddenly saw someone in a red jacket. I thought it was a friend of mine and I wondered what he was doing out in the rain. I pulled over on the right-hand side of the road to get a closer look.
And that’s when I saw it…
My friend’s red jacket was unmistakable. But no one was wearing it. It was caught in a tree, blowing in the wind. I got out of the car despite the rain and went over to the jacket. Reaching into the pocket, I found my friend’s wallet and keys. I looked around me, but my friend was nowhere to be seen.
How did his jacket get there?
Now, I bet everyone remembers the key points from that story. That the weather was rainy, the jacket was red, that I pulled over to the right-hand side of the road, and that jacket wasn’t being worn, but was caught in a tree.
Do you see how those points stuck in your mind? And this isn’t difficult to achieve. Stories sick in people’s minds!
All you need to do to become a good storyteller is master the following five steps…
The 5 Step Storytelling Formula to Sell Anything
Anything and everything becomes easier when the process is broken down into simple steps and storytelling is no different.
These steps will provide everything a copywriter needs to write a compelling story. A story that will capture the attention and imagination of the potential customers and completely engage them.
And it all starts with the…
Details are necessary for effective copy. The key is to find the right balance of detail.
There must be enough detail that the audience can visualize the story. However, there can’t be so much detail that they can’t see themselves in that setting.
In other words, don’t make the details so specific that they have trouble seeing themselves in the same situation.
For example, in the story I presented above, if I had said it was 6:30 in the morning and I was driving my 2014 red Mercedes to the hospital on Lakeshore Drive where I would perform my first heart surgery of the day, this would have turned the audience away.
There is so much detail, the audience would have trouble imagining what it would be like to drive a red Mercedes and what it would be like to be a heart surgeon.
Unless the audience has actually done those things, they will not be able to relate. The details are too specific. But everyone can relate to driving along a road heading to work in the pouring rain.
The detail needs to be just enough that the audience can place themselves in the copywriter’s shoes, but not so specific that they can’t picture doing the things in the story.
And ultimately, it’s all about visualization…
2. Visualizing = Memorable
When the visualization is done well the details of the story are memorable.
The more the audience can immerse themselves in the story, the more they will remember.
And the more they remember, the more they like and trust the copywriter. I cannot stress enough how important this is, because the more they like and trust the copywriter, the more they will buy.
But this will only be effective if they can visualize themselves in the story in the first-person.
Visualization is incredibly powerful!
You see, the subconscious brain cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. That is why we feel such strong emotion when we wake up from a dream or a nightmare. It is also what happens when we convince ourselves of something, whether it’s real or not.
Consider this scenario…
Imagine someone spending every morning for two months thinking their new neighbor is stealing their newspaper. The person has managed to get the paper a handful of times, but most mornings they miss out. And that means they miss their morning ritual of sitting on the porch at 7:30, drinking their coffee while reading their newspaper.
They have asked the neighbor, but the neighbor says they got their own subscription when they moved in. But the person doesn’t believe the neighbor. The timing is too suspicious. And so, resentment builds. The person stews about it every day.
Then one morning, the person sees the newspaper delivery person. It’s someone new. They have been throwing the newspapers onto the porch every day, but they aren’t a good shot. The papers have been ending up in the bushes!
It wasn’t the neighbor’s fault, after all.
Shortly after finding this out, the neighbor shows up and asks to borrow the person’s lawnmower. At this point, the person knows the missing papers aren’t the neighbor’s fault. But they have imagined the neighbor stealing the paper for so long that it’s hard to get past it. They still feel resentment toward the neighbor—and all because of something they imagined!
Now, that is powerful!
The key when telling these stories is to weave in details that will tug at the senses. When the story requires people to imagine what something feels like, sounds like, looks like, smells and tastes like, they will engage even further.
These sensory details will pull the reader in. It will help them imagine themselves in the storyteller’s shoes and they will feel the appropriate emotion. They will feel the story is happening to them.
And this makes storytelling so effective when it comes to selling.
3. Emotional Rollercoaster
Life is full of emotional ups and downs—and that’s actually a good thing.
After all, we don’t know what good feels like if we have never experienced bad. Plus, no one actively seeks out monotony.
For this reason, it is important to keep the emotional level of the copy in constant fluctuation. If a copywriter always keeps the audience feeling good, they won’t sell them. If they always keep them at a low, they won’t sell them.
Listen, I know no one likes the negative. But all positive can be just plain boring. Or worse, people might think there’s a catch or that the copywriter is just exaggerating.
And if this happens, the audience won’t hang around for more.
So, to keep things exciting for the audience, it is necessary to do the following:
- Walk them to the low so they feel the pain –The copywriter expresses that they know how they are feeling and how hard it is. Basically, the copywriter creates awareness around a problem and shows that they can relate. They use story to show they have been through the same thing.
- Then walk them to the saving grace – The storyteller tells the audience what can be done, how they found the solution to the problem. They tell the audience how they were saved.
- Then the storyteller brings them back down again – They do this by telling them, “But I don’t know if you qualify.” After getting their hopes up, they are now not sure if they will be able to find relief.
- Then it’s time to bring them back up, give them a way to qualify – This is the final up and it helps ensure the audience will take action. After all, they almost lost out once and they don’t want to risk that happening again.
If a copywriter can run the audience through the various emotions, it will make the reader feel whole. Your copy can’t be all happy or all sad—or it WON’T sell.
But the story has to have more—it has to have…
Telling a story is all about relatability—the audience MUST be able to relate to the copywriter.
After all, who wants to buy something from someone they can’t relate to? From someone they can’t identify with?
If the copywriter has a story about coming from a wealthy family and going out on his own to make his own way, with only his trust fund to support him, there won’t be many people who can relate to that. No one cares about the rich kid with the trust fund who went on to make more millions.
But most people CAN relate to coming from a middle-class family.
Maybe the copywriter grew up in an average family where both parents worked. He tells the story of how he launched his own business with his parents support and guidance. Or maybe he started his own business despite the fact that his parents wanted him to get a college education.
Maybe the copywriter grew up in poverty and started with practically nothing, but had the dream of one day helping support his parents. Of course, not everyone is poor. But nearly everyone can relate to financial struggles and caring for their parents later in life.
The point is that these are stories that people can relate to.
Essentially, the story needs to be “normal” enough that anyone can relate to it. They need to know enough about the situation in the story, whether it’s their experience or someone else’s, to be able to relate to it.
It’s critical that the copywriter choose ground that is relatable. This will ensure the audience gets hooked by the story, draws them in, and creates a level of trust that can’t be developed any other way.
But it is also important to use the old strategy of cliff hangers…
5. Open Loops
People love to be left hanging! Really!
Just think of the last episode of the last season of your favorite television show. Where did it leave off? I bet it was something that left anyone watching it wondering what will happen and cursing having to wait until the next season to find out.
This is an open loop—something that leaves the audience wondering and wanting whatever comes next. And it is these open loops that draw people into the story.
When it comes to copywriting, open loops are simply questions or concepts presented throughout the story that people want the answers to.
And as long as the copywriter has done a good job of making the story relatable and drawing people in, they trust that those questions will be answered at some point.
To make open loops truly effective, they have to leave people wanting more. But there is a very fine balance that must be achieved.
No open loops = content
Content is different from copy. Closing all loops doesn’t engage people in a way that makes them want to buy. And people simply won’t buy.
On the other hand, leaving too many open loops provides little value. People won’t be hooked. They won’t be effectively drawn into the story. There won’t be any good information that makes them want to go deeper. And again, people won’t buy.
But when open loops are fed into the story in such a way that people are sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to find out what will happen next—that’s when the copywriter has them. That is when they will buy.
The key is to sprinkle in just enough open loops to ensure this happens.
There is no more powerful way to build relationships than to tell people a story.
The human race has been telling stories since before we had the written word. Even the cave paintings found all over the world tell the stories of the people who drew them. And that is why…
Storytelling is THE #1 skill for any copywriter to have.
With the growth of online business and marketing, the days of building a relationship with the customer on a face-to-face basis are fading away. At the same time, customers are smarter and better educated.
This is why it’s so important for every copywriter to become an amazing storyteller.
Any good copywriter must be able to weave words together to create a story that will end with the audience trusting them and ready to buy.
Fortunately, storytelling is easier than most people realize. To recap, these are the five steps to storytelling that can be used to sell anything:
- Details—Make sure there are enough details that the audience can see themselves in the story. But don’t add so many details that they can’t relate.
- Visualizing = Memorable—The more the audience can visualize the details of the story, the more memorable it will be. Use the senses to draw out the details and make them vivid in the minds of the audience.
- Emotional Rollercoaster—People need the emotional downs to truly appreciate the ups. Bring them down to the lowest point, make them feel it is hopeless. Then give them something that brings them back up again.
- Relatability—The audience MUST be able to relate to the story. If it isn’t a situation that nearly everyone can imagine experiencing, then the story will be useless and the audience will NOT buy.
- Open Loops—Create open loops by adding cliffhangers to the story. By leaving the audience questioning what will come next, they will be more engaged and excited and this will help them trust the copywriter even more.
Storytelling in copywriting is incredibly important. The storyteller will win the customer over the non-storyteller every single time.
This is why any copywriter who wants to succeed CANNOT get it wrong.
And this is why we are inviting all of you to our FREE Copywriting Boot Camp!
At this boot camp copywriting experts will dive more deeply into the art of storytelling and show how it can transform copy.
They will teach how to create a story that will ensure the development of a trusting relationship with the audience.
This Copywriting Boot Camp is not something anyone serious about online business can afford to miss. It is critical to the success of ANY online business.
Remember, copywriting is the most effective skill any business person can have.
So visit the link below and sign up for our free Copywriting Boot Camp today.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!