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Everything You Need to Know about Direct Response Copywriting

It’s estimated that consumers see as much as 5,000 ads in a single day.

As a marketer, how do you broadcast your brand in today’s digital world? How do you set yourself apart from your competition?

You can do so through effective direct response copywriting. The key is to understand your reader.

Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about direct response copywriting.

What Is Direct Response Copywriting?

Direct response copywriting is when you direct your audience to take a certain call to action (CTA). The CTA may be purchasing a product or service, filling out a form, or making a phone call to your business.

An example of direct response copy would be a landing page that has a form for you to fill out.

Tips For Effective Direct Response Copywriting

One major benefit of direct response copywriting is that you can measure results in the form of the action taken. Whether it’s phone calls or forms–you know whether or not your copy is working.

Read on to learn the best tips for successful direct response copywriting.

Set a Goal

Before setting up a landing page or writing copy, you want to know what your main goal is. Your CTA may be for a customer to click to call, but what is your end goal?

Do you want customers to sign up for your service? Do you want them to sign up for your email newsletter? Or, maybe you’re having a huge online sale and you want to sell a specific amount of product.

Once you set your main goal, you can come up with a plan to direct readers to that goal.

Know Your Audience

To get your readers to take action, you have to understand your audience.

This is going to depend on your industry. You should have a general idea of who you’re selling to and their key demographics.

You can learn more about your customer base by conducting market research such as surveys or questionnaires. You can also analyze the web traffic on your website.

What you write in your copy will depend on your reader. You’re going to speak to an audience aged 60 and up differently than an audience between the ages of 20-45.

Make It About the Reader–Not Your Brand

When you write copy, remember that it will be about the reader, not about your brand.

To capture their attention, you want to present a relatable problem. For example, if you own an electronic repair shop, you can present the common scenario of cracking your mobile phone screen. Almost everyone has, at one point in their life, dropped and damaged their phone.

The next step is to offer a solution. For an electronic repair shop, the solution would be to fix your cracked phone screen.

Now, you have to explain why your solution is the reader’s best choice. Maybe you offer a quick turnaround or a customer satisfaction guarantee.

You may also want to provide proof of why you’re the best. This can be in the form of positive reviews or a testimonial.

When writing, use the second person and talk about “You” the reader instead of your brand or company.

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The Headline Matters

Studies show that 59% of people who share articles across social media don’t click on them. That means that only 41% of people who share articles are getting past the headline.

This shows the power of headlines and how they influence us. This also reflects our short attention span in the digital world. The truth is, a piece of content has to be truly captivating in order for us to click on it.

When crafting your content, you have to focus on the headline. If the headline isn’t interesting, chances are readers won’t get past it.

Tips For Writing Engaging Headlines

How to write engaging headlines? It’s about using powerful yet concise word choice that gives the reader an idea of what your content is about.

You should also conduct keyword research and target keywords that have a high search volume. This way, your headlines are optimised and more likely to appear in search result pages.

Another tip is to use specific numbers instead of vague statements. Instead of writing How To Be the Best at Copywriting, you should write 8 Tips For Being a Succesful Copywriter.

Use Specific Details

Using specific numbers and details are important for writing any type of copy.

You don’t have much time to capture the attention of a user. The average user will spend only 10-20 seconds on a webpage before leaving it. However, if you’re offering something interesting or valuable, they’re more inclined to stay.

The best way to show value is by getting to the point quickly with specific details.

Copywriting is not the type of writing where you set the scene and build up suspense. If you’re having a flash sale, tell the reader right away.

Instead of telling readers there are deals and discount, tell them your shoes are 30% off or that you’re offering a buy one get one free discount for socks. If you’re sending out an email newsletter, make sure to include “sale” or “discount” in the email subject.

Don’t Be Afraid of Longform Copy

You’re told to be concise and to the point, but does that mean you should stay away from longform copy?

The answer depends. Think about the process you take when buying a product–especially an expensive product such as a computer. You’re going to spend a good amount of time researching different computers and reading about their specifications and features.

When you narrow down a computer, you’re going to read through dozens and dozens of reviews about that computer. You’re probably going to read user reviews and professional reviews.

You’re going to want to do as much research as you need to make sure you’re spending your money on a good product.

Therefore, whether or not you need longform copy depends on what you’re selling. Some products and services require additional information so that users can make an informed purchase.

Provide a CTA

You get visitors to your page or to open up your email. They read your copy, they’re interested, now what? Now, you have to provide a CTA.

There is a thought process behind the call to action button. Visitors are on your page and they’re wondering what to do next. By offering the next step, you’re increasing your chance for a conversion.

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The CTA you use will depend on what your goal is. If your goal is to sell x number of sneakers, your CTA will be Buy Now. If you want visitors to download your e-book, you’ll have a Download Now button.

To provide effective CTA buttons, here are some tips.

Your CTA button should be a colour that stands out from the rest of the page. You want the user’s eye to navigate to the button. However, it shouldn’t be so large that it takes up the whole page.

The colour of the button should contrast the colour of the rest of your website. If the colour blends in with the rest of the website, users may barely notice it.

The CTA should also use compelling wording that gets someone to click. Start off with a command word such as:

  • Buy
  • Discover
  • Join
  • Try
  • Schedule

An example would be Download Your E-Book Now. If you’re offering something of value such as a free trial, make sure to include Free Trial in the button text.

You want to show your reader that what you’re offering is of value right now and they’re missing out if they don’t sign up or click. You can create a sense of urgency through the wording on your copy and CTA button.

Test Your Copy

How will you know what works and doesn’t work when it comes to direct response copywriting? The key is to test.

Test whether it’s more effective to write Download My Free Trial Now or Download My 10-Day Free Trial Now. Test different command words. Test whether you get more conversions with a blue or red CTA button.

You’re not going to know what works unless you test. And the more you test, the better you can get at understanding what works with your audience.

What should you be testing? Some aspects you should be testing include:

  • Headlines
  • Pricing
  • Wording for your CTA
  • Placement and colour of your CTA
  • Wording for your offer

You can change only one aspect of your message and see which yields better results. Or, you can test out completely different messages and see which works.

Final Advice for Direct Response Copywriting

When done right, direct response copywriting is an effective, inexpensive marketing tool that can get conversions and yield results.

If you want to learn more about how to optimise and grow your business, contact us.

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