As the world continues to fight an invisible enemy; the novel coronavirus, studies show that 55% of the people have started using the internet more than they did before. With that comes more online reading as well. Writing a compelling copy that readers will read from start to finish has become a necessity where it used to be a luxury.
With more content consumers finding their way online, content creators such as yourself are hard-pressed not just to create new content faster than ever, but also to make sure it increases customer retention i.e. it reads well from start to finish.
While following SEO practices is as simple as following a quick guideline, getting people to read all the way through is slightly trickier. This is because factors that come into play here are usually intangible, unlike SEO factors.
You need to improve your writing without impacting your style or the information you need to provide.
Here, we shall provide you a detailed guide and copywriting formulae on how you can write a professional copy without impacting your style. The secret is to finetune your copywriting skills in a manner that appeals to your readers. It will take some time and effort on your part, but the final product will be one that you will be proud to publish on your website.
So, let’s dive in!
The Secret Behind How to Write a Compelling Copy – Copywriting Formulas to Keep Readers Reading
Writing a professional copy comes with a number of strings; mostly depending on the audience you’re targeting. How well do you think you’d fare if you’re targeting business owners and high-ranking executives, and write a copy in the first person?
Regardless of how much information you add within, you’re going to push readers away from your introduction! You need to write an introduction that is not just strong, [Mac191] but one that also connects with the audience.
It is important to understand that while there are a lot of copywriting formulas out there, you need to see which one suits your writing style better. We’re listing three formulas below to help you out, but you don’t have to follow all three. Instead, choose the one listed for the type of content you’re working on.
When attempting to write a compelling copy, there are two very common mistakes that writers make:
- Promoting their product or service at the wrong time, and not being subtle with it either, or
- Sacrificing user experience in order to grab attention. This includes misplaced, long or overused headings.[Mac192]
Remember, any copywriting formula out there isn’t going to magically help you curate the best piece content out there, but it will simply tweak your style of sending a message to reflect your objective and audience better.
The A.I.D.A. Formula
Perhaps not the best named formula out there, A.I.D.A. is by far one of the most preferred ones. Many professional writers and editors use this formula to craft copies that not only increase customer retention but also increase conversion rate, without really making much effort towards crafting a professional copy.
The beauty of this copywriting formula is that it works well with every form of content out there, be it professional or casual. Landing pages, letters, emails, newsletters, ad copies and other pieces are also very easy to write with this formula!
This is where you start your piece – and start it with a bang.
The idea is to hook your audience as early as possible. Writers often do that by writing things like “stick around and you’ll learn more”, “we’ll discuss this later,” and other such lingo. However, the main course of action should be to convince and compel, not to lure.
You want to show them that you have the answer to what they’re looking for. There are several ways of doing that:
- Answer their question right off the bat
- Use facts and figures to reinforce what you’re trying to say
- Write sentences that resonate with them; address a problem, and more.
People use pop culture references too, but we recommend leaving pursuing that cause to after you have built a certain rapport with your readers, or you have a better grasp on your content. This is because by doing so, you are tackling two aspects of the A.I.D.S. formula at once; attention and interest.
Attention is what gets your readers to read.
Just because you have the attention of your readers doesn’t mean you’ve won the battle. In fact, the battle has just begun. You need to continue feeding your audience relevant information so that they know that you’re providing value.
Interest is what keeps your readers reading.
As you continue to pique your readers’ interest, you’re basically building hype for more bits of information you’re offering. Just remember not to stretch a certain bit too much, else you risk losing that hard-earned interest very quickly.
Even the most well-written articles might not be ‘desirable’ and end up not being engaging enough. This can happen even if your copy has all the right answers which are presented in a consumable fashion.
But how do you make your copy more desirable?
Emotions are what make your copy more desirable.
The main idea behind this step is to evoke emotions. No, correction, emotion. Even a single emotion is enough to make a copy desirable. This can either be a past memory, addressing a future concern, or even evoking anger! People like it if someone else hates on something they hate as well.
The more relatable your content is, the more it will urge people to read on. It’s the ‘this person understands me’ emotion that really sells. Now, this understanding can be for any problem. For example, here, we understand how you might get frustrated by working hard on your content, only to have it not be read by your audiences.
When it comes to prompting people to take action, most writers leave that bit just for the Call to Action (CTA). However, this isn’t the only type of action you can prompt from your content, nor should it be.
Prompting action is what gives meaning to your content.
To make your copy more engaging, it is recommended that you continuously tell people to try out the information you’re providing practically. Help readers understand what they’ll get by implementing your suggestions, and how it will benefit them.
A simple “Click Here” or “Get in Touch” is no longer good enough.
A.I.D.A. Best Practices
While A.I.D.A. can be used by anyone for any type of content, it usually works best when you have information to sell and can prove it with facts and figures.
Remember, people trust news and information more if they can see it. This can either be in the form of a video[Mac191], a testimonial, or an about us page.
The P.A.S. Formula
After the A.I.D.A. formula, P.A.S. is another one that content writers use to write compelling copies. This formula, again, can work for any type of content, but is most suitable for webpages and ad copies, i.e. where you need to be more promotional.
The idea behind this formula is to increase the interest for a product or service by relating to your audience, pointing out a problem, and then providing a solution. P.A.S. focuses on clear and concise headlines, bullet points, numbered lists, images and supporting content to appease readers.
This is where you connect with your readers. You highlight a problem that they’re facing and try to step into their shoes. For example, a person writing anger management may write something along the lines of,
“Why is it that your shirt decides to get stuck to a door knob only when you’re angry?”
By writing something like this, you are highlighting a very common problem, yet one that isn’t addressed as much. Plus, it has a humorous touch, which further engages readers.
As you speak out for specific problems, you encourage people to stick around with you longer.
This is where you bring out the problem. You can wake up the Gollum in you for that and play dirty tricks. Intensify the problem and bring out emotions associated with it. Trying to sell HR consultancy services? Capitalize on employees’ hatred for their managers. Selling a new TV? Capitalize on the poor colors or lack of features in the current one.
Agitate the problem to become more relatable. As mentioned above, people like those who can relate to them; doubly so if it’s a negative emotion. Just remember not to include any negative sentiment directly or reinforce a political agenda in your copy.
Agitate the problem and bring out problems until the readers are ready for a solution.
Now that you have stoked the fire, it’s time to give readers a way out. Convince your readers about why, how and perhaps when your product or service can solve their problem. As for the why and how, it depends on the product, but in terms of when, you might be inclined to use words like “today” or “now.”
While there is nothing wrong with using these words, it is our personal belief that it is better to provide a timeframe instead. These words fall under promotion, and of course, their problems won’t be solved the moment they get in touch with you, right?
People don’t like to be sold to directly, so;
Keep it subtle, keep it real.
P.A.S. Best Practices
P.A.S. copywriting formula doesn’t just engage audiences by giving them information upon information, but relates much better to audiences as well. It is much more effective since it highlights the negative aspects of things, all while being relatable.
As you relate, increasing customer retention becomes easier, thus helping you writing a professional copy that people will read from start to finish. These are much better-suited for promoting your products or services, as mentioned. We recommend not using this approach when writing for people only looking for information.
Just remember not to overdo it. It’s easy to lose track when writing the negative aspects of anything, even if you like what you’re writing about. Furthermore, overdoing it might end up sending the wrong message to your audiences; as if you’re trying to poach customers or cut corners.
The Q.U.E.S.T. Formula
The Q.U.E.S.T. copywriting formula is one that is best suited for long-form articles, guides, whitepapers, case studies and other forms of writing in which you need to be thorough. Each step can be dedicated to a section of your piece, guiding you throughout the copywriting process.
Writing a compelling copy that people read from start to finish with this model is simple, but is recommended only for when you are trying to sell information. While there is the S (stimulate) in Q.U.E.S.T. where you get to make your pitch, we recommend keeping that section short.
With Q.U.E.S.T., you rely mostly on selling via information. You try to tell people that you are the authority figure here, thus telling them why they should choose you.
When explaining Q.U.E.S.T., most people relate the copywriting formula to climbing a mountain and coming back down. Most of your efforts go into climbing it, of course, but going downhill isn’t as easy either. You need to take care, else you risk tumbling down.
The Qualifying part of Q.U.E.S.T. is where you prepare your reader for what your content includes. This is the introduction, where you give them a short summary of the entire content. Look at our first three paragraphs to get a better idea of how you can qualify readers.
Next up, you help them understand your school of thought, and tell them that you understand their concerns. Have a peek at the paragraph before our first heading and the three paragraphs after it.
Here, you list out a common problem and then proceed on to educating them.
This part is simple. It’s where you start educating your readers. The better your information is presented, the more it will encourage readers to continue. The idea is to tell them that there is a solution and explain it in depth.
Q.U.E.S.T. should only be used if there is more than one solution to a given problem. If the climax of your article is short, you should consider using one of the formulae above. This is why Q.U.E.S.T. isn’t as popular as the other two in the mainstream copywriting niche, but is suitable for those looking to write a professional copy.
This is where you get to do what most promotional writers are itching to do. You sell. In most long-form articles, it is a good idea to sell your solution to the reader as a whole, i.e. present the whole company as a solution, not a specific product.
Explain why they shouldn’t go with competitors, or mistakes that other people make. Don’t mention your company yet though. Just remember to keep it short. The more you badmouth others, the pettier you seem.
Now, perhaps near the end of your copy, it’s time to convert your reader from a lead or prospect into a paying customer. Direct marketing works better here, as you present yourself as the solution. This shouldn’t exceed more than a paragraph, unless you have something really important to say.
These were three copywriting formulae that should cover just about any sort of copywriting venture you decide to embark on. Just remember not to mix them up, otherwise the results could be counterproductive. Study your audience and the subject matter, choose a formula, and start writing!
We hope our list of copywriting formulae help you write a compelling copy and increase customer retention, urging them to read from start to finish. If you think we missed out on anything or would like to add anything into the mix, let us know down in the comments!