Copywriting Tricks

I bet you know how it feels:

You pour heart and soul into the copy.

Endlessly tweak the list of your app’s benefits until it’s absolutely clear how helpful it is. And then top it off with a killer call to action…

Only to have no one responding to it.

Your visitors bounce off without signing up, downloading a lead magnet or even getting on your email list.

Yeah…

You know, it doesn’t have to be like that. And it takes nothing more but a few simple tweaks to your copy to get visitors go crazy about it.

In this post I’ll show you 8 of my favorite copywriting tricks turning any copy into an irresistible sales machine.

Ready?

1. Show Visitors that You Understand Their Problem

You know, to sell you first need to build rapport with a reader.

Show her that you know how she feels. Tell her that you’ve been through the same hurdles she’s going through now.

But also, convey that you’ve found a solution.

One way to do it is by telling a story.

If you’re writing a website copy, simply tell a story how you’ve had the same problem and how you overcome it.

Just take a look at this Emu Joy’s landing page. Instead of boasting about the product, they tell a personal story about having a particular problem.

saas website copy selling

Why stories?

First, because we humans respond so well to them.

But also…

Because, according to this research, hearing stories activates not only the language processing areas of the brain, called Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas but also other sensory areas that help us experience the story.

And thus, instead of hearing just the words, we react to and build emotional connection with the story.

Stories also resonate with us for longer.

In one study, Jennifer Aaker, a marketing professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business asked her students to give a one-minute pitch.

Only one of her students used a story in her pitch, the rest stuck to stating the facts.

Aaker then asked the class to write down what they remembered about each pitch.

And the result?

5% of students cited facts and figures but…

63% however remembered the story.

Or use images to tell the user how they feel.

But you know:

Sometimes describing the whole story in words might just be too much.

In such situations, communicate emotions with an image or animated gif.

Here’s one example how I did it:

SaaS copywriting

See the post live here: http://blog.ahrefs.com/manage-cash-flow/

Why images?

For one, they are easy to consume.

According to some research, our brains process images 60000 times faster than text. The human mind can process only very limited information at a given time. And data that can be processed faster will take precedence in grabbing the reader’s attention.

Two, they grab attention.

You know, it’s kinda scary:

Humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish…

It’s true! We can concentrate on web content for a no longer than 8 seconds (in comparison, a goldfish’s attention span is 9 seconds long).

It comes as no surprise then that it gets harder and harder to attract the readers’ attention.

But a moving image can achieve this perfectly.

Three, they can also help direct readers to important parts of your content.

Think of it, if a copy element can attract and even hold the readers attention, then placing it beside a call to action or other content element you’d want a reader to notice would help achieve it, right?

Yup!

Where to find animated gifs for your content?

My favorite place is Giphy.

It’s a site featuring tons of animated gifs that you can search for by category:

giphy1

Or, and that’s what made me stick with it, by a phrase or expression.

Giphy2

Once you find the gif you want to use, simply click on it and you’ll go to a screen with plenty of options to include it in your content.

giphy3

2. Get a Visitor to Agree with You

Disclaimer: A full credit to Henneke Duistermaat for pointing this technique in one of her email newsletters.

This is one of the most powerful persuasion tricks:

Make the reader to agree with you and in turn, make her comfortable with what you’re telling her.

Dr. Robert Cialdini calls it the “Consistency Principle of Persuasion”. In short, it means that deep within we all desire to be consistent.

The significance of this behavior is that once you get a reader to say yes to what you say, she will be more likely to do the same to your sales message.

As Cialdini writes in his book “The Power of Persuasion”:

“Like the other weapons of influence, this one lies deep within us, directing our actions with quiet power. It is, quite simply, our nearly obsessive desire to be (and to appear) consistent with what we have already done (source).”

In other words, we tend to live up to what we have publicly said we’ll do.

How to use this in your copy:

Start your copy with a question or a statement the reader will be likely to agree with, i.e.:

Would you like to generate more leads from your site?

Has this every happen to you….

Here’s how I do it on my homepage:

smashing copy homepage

3. Base Your Copy on the PPPP Formula

This is a simple formula for converting copy:

Show someone a picture of a desirable outcome.

  1. Start by painting that Picture that gets attention and creates desire.
  2. Promise a solution to the problem.
  3. Prove that your solution works.
  4. And Push a visitor to make a commitment.

The formula is called PPPP from the four key words it includes:

Picture, Promise, Prove and Push.

Sean D’Souza wisely refers to this formula as understanding – “the acceptance when the product is relevant and high quality, and when the idea is sound and well-targeted”.

Here’s how Dropbox uses it on their tour page:

PPPP

4. Use The Power of Mirror Neurons to Influence the Reader’s Mind

Remember the last time you watched a very suggestive car crash scene i and clenched your stomach tight as if it was happening to you?

Your behavior was nothing else but the mirror neurons firing up in you.

These information-processing cells activate when we observe something happening and transfer some of the feeling onto us.

Even though in most part, mirror neurons relate to things and situations we observe, they can also fire up when we read suggestive copy.

But there is a catch, to activate mirror neurons through copy, you need to speak to a feeling that’s already there.

If you’re selling accountancy software, you need to speak to short on time business owner who’s tired of spending evenings and nights trying to keep his books in order, for instance.

5. Include Information Reducing the Perceived Risk

I’m sure you know:

Your prospects fear the consequences of buying from you.

  • Will your product really help them overcome their problem?
  • Will it work as described?
  • Will you be there for them if things go wrong?
  • Will their job be at risk if they buy from you and things go pear-shaped?

And so, the most obvious way to sell to them is by reducing the risk of buying.

In fact, as this research discovered, some people are willing to pay to reduce a perceived risk of buying.

Therefore when writing your copy include statements that overcome your prospects’ biggest perceived risks.

Here’s the copy I wrote for SERPs.com to help reduce the most common risks perceived by their prospects:

  • Data Security,
  • Uptime / App reliability,
  • Support.

serps

6. Describe Your Process

I know, this advice might seem completely irrelevant but stay with me as I explain it.

You see, showing your process overcomes one of the biggest sales objections:

How do you work things out?

Technically this would relate more to consultants rather than SaaS products but…

  • It can show potential users how you approach overcoming their problems,
  • It sets the expectation for the whole experience with your product,
  • It quickly communicates the most important aspects of your message,

Here’s how SpendHQ do it on their website:

spendHQ

And here’s the process Matsch apply to solve their clients problems:

matsch

7. Make an Irresistible Offer

It’s not a secret:

Nothing convinces customers to buy better than a good offer.

And there’s plenty of data to prove it:

A last year’s study from the Global Journal of Management and Business Studies discovered that customers typically build strong brand loyalty.

But… they also, as the research concludes, “hardly switch brand choices except in cases of irresistible sales offers.”

Your irresistible offer doesn’t have to take the form of actual sale. Copyhour for instance offers 2x money back guarantee:

CopyHour_com

Copyhackers on the other hand offers an incredible deal on all their eBooks:

copyhackers

But what makes an irresistible offer?

  1. Its outcome is easy to see. Looking at both examples above, it’s impossible not to get the offer right away.
  2. It alleviates pain or satisfies a deep desire. Again, both offers above make it easier to overcome main pain points. If you want to learn persuasive copywriting, getting a 2x money back guarantee or 7 great copywriting books for nearly half price certainly helps.
  3. Its value outweighs the actual cost. If you want to learn copywriting, paying money knowing that you might get twice as much back if you’re not interested is a deal.

8. Raise Credibility with Quotes and Testimonials

Want to know something?

No matter how much work you put into your copy, it’s going to fail anyway unless your readers think of you as a credible source.

Jeffrey Gitomer, one of the sales authorities often says that:

Only if clients know you, like you, trust you, believe in you and have confidence you’ll deliver what you promise…then they MIGHT buy from you.

In other words, if you want to sell, in person or through your copy, credibility is everything.

But what’s credibility?

BJ Fogg, defined it this way:

“Simply put, credibility can be defined as believability. Credible people are believable people; credible information is believable information. In fact, some languages use the same word for these two English terms.”

According to his findings, credibility is a perceived quality. It doesn’t reside in any person or piece of information.

It’s also multi-layered. In other words, our perception of credibility depends on our evaluation of many dimensions simultaneously. The two key credibility components however are – trustworthiness and expertise.

To assess credibility, according to Fogg, visitors use the Prominence – Interpretation system with two key steps in the process:

Step 1. Visitors notice something (Prominence) and,

Step 2. They make judgment about it (Interpretation).

Therefore, to be seen as credible, your website must display certain credibility indicators.

There are many of them, from trust seals to accreditations.

But when it comes to the copy, nothing beats testimonials and client quotes.

ade1

fresh1

serps1

It’s a fact:

When unsure what to do people often look at the actions of others to determine their own.

This is called a social proof although personally I prefer Robert Cialdini’s term, consensus.

For SaaS companies, testimonials and other social proof means a confirmation that it’s safe to use you instead of the “safe choice” app.

And I’m sure you know this problem very well…

After all how often do you have visitors admiring your product only to still sign up for the other, more known solution?

Unsure about what to do, they make the “safest” choice.

Including testimonials can help you overcome their objections and at minimum, give your solution a try.

And you know very well that in the SaaS world, that’s a lot!