I’m sure you’ve heard about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It lists the needs of a human being from basic (the ones that ensure our survival) to advanced ones that make that survival more pleasant.
There’s a hierarchy of copy needs like that, too, with the ultimate goal of making your prospects convert.
For your prospects to give you their hard-earned $$$, your copy needs to be clear, relevant, valuable, trustworthy and actionable.
I know, I know. You’ve heard this before. #eyeroll 🙄
But since I know you’re not putting it into action, I thought I’d show you how to apply these abstract concepts in real life.
Here’s how it works.
How to make sure your copy makes your prospects open their wallets
Imagine a prospect who wants to buy bananas.
He’s a big banana fan, and he knows you sell bananas, but he’s not sure if they’re any good.
He lands on your website and sees this:
“Yellow boomerang-shaped berries” 🍌🍌🍌
…which, despite being factually accurate, is not a clear sentence.
If you think no one in their sound mind would put this on their website, may I remind you of “we provide solutions for success“, “turning vision to reality” and other the real life equivalents of “yellow boomerang-shaped berries”.
But back to our bananas.
Let’s try again:
…but bananas what?
You didn’t say what you do with them. Maybe it’s the name of your marketing agency. Or maybe it’s your take on the state of the world: “You all are BANANAS”.
In any case, this doesn’t indicate relevancy for the intent of our prospect.
2) “We sell bananas.“
🍌 Ok, this is relevant for your prospect’s intent.
…but not valuable enough to justify a buying decision. What’s the quality? How much do they cost?
3) “We sell fresh bananas. Just $1/kg.“
🍌 Ok, now he knows the price (valuable info).
But everyone says their bananas are fresh. Can you prove it?
4) “Fresh bananas flown in from Ecuador this morning. Just $1/kg!“
🍌 Although this won’t hold as a proof in court, being specific in your copy does make it sound more credible.
But how to buy them?
5) “Fresh bananas flown in from Ecuador this morning. Just $1/kg! [Buy now]“
Does your copy cover the main needs of your prospects?
I’m sure you have some paragraphs on your website you aren’t quite happy with. Or maybe a whole page that’s not working the way it should.
Check if your copy covers the needs of your prospects and is:
- Clear: Uses plain words and natural language. Each sentence can be understood only in one way – the way you intended it to be understood.
- Relevant: Matches the prospects’ intent. (Did they come to your blog post for copywriting tips? Don’t start it with a section on “What is copywriting?”.)
- Valuable: Matches their stage of awareness (Do you reaaaaally think someone looking for a copywriter needs to hear about “what’s copywriting and how it helps?”), lists important features, mentions benefits, anticipates and answers their questions.
- Trustworthy: Specific, rich in detail, uses social proof.
- Actionable: Tells them what they should do next.
Sure, there’s more things to consider when writing web copy. But this 5-point checklist makes any copy an 8 out of 10.