Entries Tagged 'copywriting' ↓

How to Sell to the Subconscious Through Copywriting

It’s well known that your copywriting should be full of benefits if it’s going to be successful.

But it also needs to do something else.

The triggers that make people buy tend happen within their subconscious, so that’s where your copy has to hit them.

Bear with me this makes sense.

There are 3 main aspects to selling to the subconscious that can easily be weaved into your copy.

1. Social proof

Someone is more likely to buy a product if someone they know, respect or admire uses it.

How many shoes, bags or items of clothing have you bought because your favourite actor or singer has been seen wearing/carrying them?

How many bottles of aftershave or perfume have you bought because of a celebrity endorsement?

The reason why you dash out and spend your hard earned cash is because you trust their judgement.

Trust is a huge factor in the buying process. You can promote trust in your products by using case studies, testimonials (especially video testimonials) and endorsements. Even displaying the logos of some of your clients will have a subconscious effect – “if they’re good enough to work for BT, they’re good enough for me.”

2. Scarcity

There’s nothing more motivating than knowing something is in scarce supply, or that an offer is available for a limited period only.

No one wants to think they’re missing out on something.

3. Sensory language

Using words that stimulate the senses will have people falling over themselves to buy from you.

Think carefully about the words you’re using to describe a product; can it be said in a more sensory way, using words that will tease the senses into action. Images are also great for this, especially those that depict a look, life style or image the reader wants to emulate.

These 3 factors will enhance your copywriting measurably.

Think carefully about every word and phrase you use – would it make you buy? If not, think of something that ‘speaks’ to your senses.


Author: Sally Ormond



Why Your Website Copy Must Market Your Business

You have got to be kidding

“We don’t like the first draft, it’s too marketing; it sells our services too much.”

That is a real life response from a copywriting client.

Yes, I was stunned too.

Apparently, the copy had to be more ‘jargonised’ and in the language of ‘high business’ and not focused on what they can do for their clients.

No. That’s not how it works.

Your website is your sales tool

Your website is available to people all over the world, 24/7/365.

It exists for one reason only – to tell readers what you can do for them and how their lives (or businesses) will be richer by using your products or services.

How do you do that?

Through high quality website copywriting that focuses on your reader and tells them the main benefits of what you do.

If your website focuses on you and is full of jargon, at best it tells the world your company exists, but that’s it.

Great, you exist. So what? I’m going to use these other guys who have taken the time to tell me about how their service is going to help me.

You are missing a trick – a potentially very lucrative trick – if you ignore this advice.

How to market through website copy

As mentioned earlier, you have to remember that:

  • Your website is a sales tool
  • It exists to tell people what you can do for them
  • It is not a soap box from which you can rave about your company

The copy that you write has to be:

  • Focused 100% on your reader
  • In the second person so it ‘speaks’ to your reader
  • Focused on the benefits you provide
  • Engaging and interesting

And it should all be topped off with a strong call to action telling the reader to get in touch, buy now, sign up, or whatever action it is you want them to take.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your website is there to tell the world about you. That type of thinking is lame, boring and a disaster waiting to happen.

Please, please use your website as it should be used. Make it all about your reader and not about you.

Thanks for allowing me to get that off my chest. I feel much better now.


Author: Sally Ormond, copywriter at Briar Copywriting Ltd

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Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield/FreeDigitalPhoto

11 Reasons Why Lists Give Your Copywriting More Clout

In any form of copywriting, whether it’s online or off line, lists are incredibly powerful.

And here’s why:

  1. People love lists (go on, admit it, you write them all the time)
  2. Numbers and bullets produce easy to read chunks of information
  3. They make an impact on the page or screen (help your benefits stand out)
  4. Adding numbers to your headline offers a promise to your readers that they won’t be able to resist
  5. Bullet points are easy to scan so you can get information quickly
  6. Bullets and numbered list are more efficient to read
  7. People remember numbers
  8. Obscure numbers (like the one in this heading) catch the reader’s attention
  9. A list grabs the attention of the reader
  10. They add interest to a page by breaking up text
  11. I couldn’t think of another one, but wanted a list of 11 rather than 10

I’m sure you can probably think of even more reasons why you should include lists in your copy.

But for me, their main benefits are that the break up text, add interest to a page and are a great way of highlighting benefits.

Short and sweet today, but there’s nothing else that needs to be said.



What Value do you put on Good Copywriting?

As a professional copywriter I hoped I’d never have to write this post. the value of copywriting

Writing is part and parcel of every organisation’s marketing strategy. It’s fundamental to your web presence, print materials, social media activities, video marketing…you get the picture.

And yet, considering how important it is, many companies are still opting for the cheap option rather than seeking out the experienced, professional writer they need.

As a copywriter, I love working with clients that really value great copy. We both get a real buzz from the collaborative process and, from my perspective, I get to work with someone who understands the importance of every word I use.

But too many companies shop for a writer on price alone, seduced by the “I’ll write a page of web copy for £10”  – is that really the value you’d place on your company?

No really, by opting for the ‘cheap copywriters’ you’re devaluing your own company’s reputation, because poor copy will affect your bottom line.

Plastic surgery vs copywriting

For a moment, let’s imagine you’ve decided to get a nose job. You’ve never liked the one you have, so you start to shop around for a plastic surgeon.

What do you do?

a)    Get a load of quotes and go for the cheapest one?

b)   Go by reputation and recommendations?

If you opt for a) you’ll end up with a crooked nose that’s ten times worse than your natural one. People stare at you and then walk on by looking the other way hoping you won’t engage them in conversation.

But, if you opt for b) you’ll end up with a work of art that people will compliment you on. You’ll instantly become more popular and successful with people beating down your door just to be seen out with you.

The same happens if you apply those options to your copywriting.

Going for a) (i.e. the cheapest quote) will lead to sub standard copy that, at the very least, won’t sell a bean and could even damage your reputation. Plus, you’ll end up having to hire another copywriter to re-write it because it’s not selling.

But, being sensible and going for option b) will mean you’ll get fantastic copy that resonates with your readers, draws them in and sells your products or services. Plus, because you’re using well written, engaging copy, your reputation will be enhanced.

Are you still going to opt for the cheapest writer?

The first impression many people will have of your company is going to be in writing: your website, brochures, newsletter, email, case study etc. Can you really run the risk of falling at the first hurdle?

How to find the right copywriter

When you look for your next copywriter, don’t go by cost alone:

  • Call a few up, have a chat and find out what they can do for you
  •  Ask who they’ve written for
  •  Get them to send you some examples of their work

Most good writers will work to fixed fees rather than hourly rates (and certainly not a per word rate) and they’ll need a detailed brief before they can quote you, but they may be able to offer a ball park figure to give you an idea of costs.

The actual cost should be your last consideration because your company’s reputation is at stake.

Professional copywriting isn’t cheap, but it is the best way to promote your business to your marketplace. It will enhance your reputation, engage your customers and persuade them to buy.


Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+

Managers Should Not Be Allowed to Write Marketing Materials

Harsh? Managers can't write marketing materials


Want to know why? Corporate speak.

Something happens when you reach the upper echelons of management; your language morphs into an incomprehensible drivel, creating disturbing sound bites and memos a bit like this one:

“Going forward, all stakeholders in National Memo Day will be tasked to proactively think outside the box and produce a synergistic vision for growing the impact of this day on the national consciousness. This is a ground-breaking chance to get behind this concept 120% and to idea-shower strategies for leveraging our assets and incentivize dynamic solutions in order to evolve a set of win-win deliverables to add value to this high-altitude occasion.”


They become obsessed with metrics, synergy, going forward, pushing the envelope, paradigm shifts, leveraging, siloes, transitioning and covering all bases whilst on a level playing field.


It doesn’t make you sound important, it doesn’t make you sound professional; it’s just annoying and hides the real meaning of what you want to say.

If you have something to say, say it in plain, good old-fashioned English.

Managers can’t help themselves and will try to shoehorn as many of the above terms into their brochures, web copy and emails as possible (not to mention their reports, white papers and case studies). It’s as if they think they have to use them to justify their pay grade.

But, you know what? Your customers (i.e. the people who will be reading this stuff) don’t want to be faced with incomprehensible industry gobbledegook. They want a clear message written in simple language.

It comes down to how much value you place on your customers.

Offer them marketing materials written in-house that are stuffed full of corporate speak and they’ll walk away.

Offer them poorly translated brochures from your parent company (because they insist they’re fine for your market even though you know they aren’t) they’ll walk away.

But, offer them well written materials that speak in plain English, that address them directly and concentrate on the benefits your product or service offers and they’ll be putty in your hands.

A good, experienced copywriter will NEVER litter their copy with corporate jargon.


Because they value your customers and they know what they want.

That’s why you should never allow management anywhere near your marketing materials.

Rant over. Thank you for listening.


Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos