Online copywriting is a pivotal piece of your marketing strategy. It literally can be found in every part of the process, from the copy you use on social media to drive traffic to the sales copy on the landing pages.
The fact is, if your online copywriting is poor, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your marketing is – you’ll get no traffic or sales without great copy.
It even plays an important role in retaining customers, such as in your email newsletters.
And yet copy is still something many of us struggle with.
But it doesn’t have to be. Even if you’re not a “born writer,” you can still learn to create great online copy. All you need is to know a few tricks of the trade. That’s why I wanted to share my top 7 best online copywriting hacks with you.
Use these tested tips and you’ll be banging out copy that sings to your audience in no time!
1. Use swipe files.
A swipe file is basically a collection of great marketing content. It could be email copy, subject lines, ad copy, or even the ad design, itself. The best marketers I know keep swipe files for EVERYTHING.
Because when it comes time to sit down and write, they don’t want to stare at a blank screen for hours trying to think of what they want to say.
Now, to be clear, I am NOT suggesting that you copy someone else’s online copywriting. Plagiarism is NOT okay.
But you CAN use someone else’s work to generate ideas of your own.
What does the structure look like? Which trigger words did they use? What else makes it particularly effective?
Use that information to create your own great online copywriting.
2. Use numbers in your online copy.
People love numbers! They set expectations and get folks excited. Check out the two following headlines:
“How to Get More Website Traffic for Your Business”
“11 Powerful Tips to Increase Your Website Traffic by 200% in 30 Days”
Which are you more likely to click on?
Check out this page on from Noah Kagan’s OkDork.com:
Numbers everywhere! He offers you 85% of his hacks. You’ll learn exactly how he started TWO multi-million dollar businesses. And, finally, you’ll see how he grew a 700,000+ email list! That’s powerful copy using numbers.
Of course, you may not have staggering numbers like those, but I’m sure you have some impressive numbers you can share in your online copy.Use numbers in your copy: Ex 👉 'How I grew a 700,000+ email list” @noahkaganClick To Tweet
Also, nothing is more powerful than a well-written testimonial. That’s what makes Amazon so successful. You can read peer reviews before you ever spend a dollar and have a pretty good idea of what you’re going to get.
However, you can make your testimonials far more powerful if you include numbers. And by that I mean results. If you put a testimonial in your copy from someone saying that you were able to increase their revenue by 25% or you were able to help them drop 30 pounds, you’ll be far more likely to convert browsers to buyers. Because at the end of the day, people don’t care that much about the solution.
They just want results. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Focus on the benefits – not the features.
All too often we like to talk about the features of our product or service. “It’s an online course. You can access it 24/7. You can go at your own pace.”
Trust me. Your reader does not care.
They’re not looking for an online course. They ARE looking to solve a problem.
They’re looking to make more money in their business…which could happen if they had more traffic…which could happen if they knew how to use Facebook ads…and, oh, your course teaches Facebook ads? And you can teach them how to maximize on Facebook advertising to actually convert traffic to paying customers?!
Now you’re talkin’!
This is a great example from Charlie Price on his Cold Email King’s Lead Generation for B2B Businesses landing page:
Notice that not once does this say HOW any of this will be accomplished in any detail – it only focuses on the problem to be solved.
You have to get to the pain point that your customers are struggling with. What’s keeping them up at night? And how can you remedy that problem for them?
Speaking of focusing on the benefits, let’s look at another example from Noah Kagan. Have you ever noticed how most podcasts lists their episode number and maybe the name of the guest?
Not Noah. Check out the titles of his OkDork podcast episodes:
These titles are creative, descriptive and invite curiosity, sometimes all at once!#Copywriting Pro Tip: Focus on the benefits, not the features of your product/service!Click To Tweet
4. Stop trying to be “clever.”
I always tell my clients, “Clear beats cute and clever ever time.”
I’m not saying to always be 100% straightforward. It’s okay to have fun and/or include a little mystery in your headline or subject line by saying something that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to keep reading to find out more.
Don’t worry. The irony of including an example that’s actually very clever in the “Stop trying to be ‘clever'” section is not lost on me, but I just love this use of copy.
Neville uses a clever headline – “Why is this box so ugly” – to catch your attention (it certainly caught mine). But then he clearly presents his offer of “not ugly” emails and states he’ll make you a better writer – solving a problem.
Bonus, he used clever copy to turn that ugly box into an asset, eliminating the need to fancy up the opt-in box – did I mention I love this copy? ;).
Just don’t go overboard and always keep your offer prominent and clear. Being overly clever in your online copywriting often just confuses people – the last thing you want.
5. Overcome objections with an FAQ.
This is a fun trick I picked up a few years ago.
Let’s say that you have a webinar where you’re trying to promote a new product or service. It could even be an evergreen webinar.
As part of the follow-up sequence in your email auto-responder series, you could say something like this:
“I’m so happy you decided to join me for yesterday’s webinar. I’ve had an AWESOME response from attendees. However, I did notice that I received a lot of the same questions, so I wanted to go ahead and address them all at one time, in case you had some of these same questions yourself.”
In the FAQ, you can address any objections people might have head on… even if they hadn’t had the chance to make any objections, yet!#Copywriting Pro Tip: Use an FAQ page to overcome objections BEFORE they're even raised! Click To Tweet
Although you don’t necessarily want to list an FAQ in a sales letter, I DO recommend addressing what you believe will be the major objections directly.
You could do that by writing something like this: “Look, I know what you’re thinking….” [fill in the blank]
The more objections you can overcome within your online copywriting, the higher your conversions will be.
6. Create a sense of urgency.
By human nature, most of us wait until the last possible moment to sign up for something. Even if it’s something we REALLY WANT.
There is a marketer who I have followed for years. And for the last year, I’ve MEANT to sign up for her low-dollar membership program to get access to all the perks that go with it. However, it was always there, open and available for me to take action on whenever I was ready. Until she decided to close the doors temporarily.
I paid for my membership the next day.
Like that marketer, you may want to consider closing the doors to your program temporarily, making your product available for only a limited time (if that makes sense for your business), or telling people your price will be increasing. Free shipping is also a good incentive that you can offer on a limited time basis.
This is an awesome example from master marketer Neil Patel‘s home page:
Besides the killer copy in the headline (with numbers!) and CTA button, there’s a counter there letting you know exactly when the training is starting – 11 minutes from now. And who knows when the next one will be?! We should probably watch this one, right?
Regardless what you choose, it’s essential to do SOMETHING to create a sense of urgency with your online copywriting to compel your audience to take action NOW.
7. Add a refund policy.
When it comes to purchasing a product or service, one of the biggest objections people have is the price. There are a few ways you can overcome this objection. One is by comparing it to something low cost (like the cost of their morning Starbucks for a month) or by asking them the cost of NOT investing in your product or service.
However, one of my favorite techniques is my adding a refund policy. A refund policy takes away all of the risk for the buyer because they understand that if it doesn’t work, they can ask for their money back.
I love how FBInfluence, an awesome Facebook marketing system, presents their money back guarantee on their site:
It’s bold, personal and gives customers confidence that this is a quality product with a guarantee.
Now, I realize that if you have an online training program, you may not want to give it all to your customers right away, knowing they could ask for their money back. In this case, you could offer them a sample or giving limited access until the refund period is over.
That said, I would challenge you to take the bolder step and consider offering a 90-day or lifetime money back guarantee. The vast majority of people will never bother to ask for their money back (you would be amazed at the number of people who invest in a service that they never bother to try).
But just having that guarantee will have a massive impact on whether or not someone will give your product or service a try.
I know that for a lot of people, online copywriting can be intimidating. But even “bad writers” can learn to write effectively to employing the right techniques.
Pay attention to what copy gets YOU to click through to a website. Start collecting screenshots or saving great emails in a folder in your inbox. Don’t plagiarize, but don’t recreate the wheel either.
And start writing! I promise that the more you write, the easier it will get!