Copywriting Fundamentals

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  • Hi there. Welcome to lesson. One of unleash your email awesomeness, the secret to writing copy people love in this lesson. We're going to look at the key copywriting fundamentals that I believe every entrepreneur or business owner should know in order to make sure their words do a great job of capturing people's attention and interest and motivating them to take action.
  • Now, I know the focus of this particular mini course is writing effective emails, but the tips and information you're about to learn in this particular lesson apply to every piece of copy that you write, not just emails, but your website, copy landing pages, social media, marketing, and more. So I hope you enjoy it, but before we get into it, hi, nice to meet you.
  • I'm Erin. I thought I should introduce myself. So you have a better idea of who I am and why I'm here talking about copywriting to you. I've been a professional copywriter and online content strategist for about 17 years now, which is kind of crazy to me. The work I do for my clients, mostly involves writing response, driven copy for websites, sales pages, landing pages, email campaigns, webinars, videos, eBooks, and so on and so forth.
  • And when I say response driven, what I mean is. Copy that has been written to elicit a specific response or action from people because action is where it's at baby. Okay. So in terms of my clients over the years, they have mostly included marketing agencies. Global software companies, entrepreneurs, corporate trainers, online retail companies, New York times bestselling authors, well-known TV, personalities, and more.
  • I'm very fortunate to have the career I have. And, uh, I really love what I do, but you know what? I think that my clients are pretty fortunate too, because of the copy that I've written for them has generated tons of millions of dollars in revenues. I got the blushing face here because for me, and probably for you too, it can feel super uncomfortable to toot your own horn.
  • But this is me practicing what I preach, because when you share your big wins and accomplishments with your audience, you reassure them that they're not wasting their time reading or listening to what you have to say. This is information they're looking for because it proves your expertise and authority.
  • So you're doing them a favor by giving it to them. So there's your first lesson. Don't be afraid to share your big wins. People want to know about them, and it really adds to your credibility when you let people know what you're capable of. We're going to be talking about this a little bit more later on, but first let's talk about what we're going to explore together in this lesson.
  • First off, we're going to look at how to make your copy all about them. Woo. The mysterious them. Who are they? You might be wondering, you can probably guess, but we'll be getting into that in just a moment. Then we're going to talk about the secret copy ingredient that inspires a higher level of engagement and action.
  • If you focus on making this one ingredient and the main driver of your writing, you're going to get better results. I promise you, then you're going to learn the top six questions that people want you to answer in pretty much any piece of copy that you write so you can make sure you're giving them the information they're looking for.
  • And then we're going to briefly look at ways you can structure your answers to these questions on a piece of copy, uh, for greater readability, more engagement and better results. Are you ready? Let's dive into it. Okay. So first off, here's the big question, right? How do you write copy that inspires engagement and action.
  • Well, first off, let's take a moment to quickly review what that means. When I say engagement, what I'm talking about is some of the different ways people can interact personally, with your message such as reading it, watching it, listening to it, responding to it, enjoying it, thinking about it and talking about it to others.
  • However, they choose to interact with your content that's engagement. Whereas the action is all about building on that interaction and taking it one step further. For example, clicking on a link, booking a consultation, making a purchase, signing up for a webinar, joining a mailing list, downloading a tool and so on, whatever action extends your relationship and deepens the person's engagement with everything you offer.
  • So how can you write effective copy that does a great job of encouraging people to do these things. You make it all about them and by them, I mean your ideal customers or clients. These are the people who are most likely to want what you offer. And not only that actually buy it and use it to make their life better.
  • In some way, the more you target your writing to them, the more effective it will be. Why is this true? Well, when you focus your writing on them, You make it easier for them to recognize themselves as the person you're talking to in your copy. They're more likely to think, Oh, this is for me. And as a result, they're going to relate to it more and pay more attention to it.
  • You also make it easier for them to visualize themselves using your products or services. And so that's super important because the more they're able to see themselves using it, the more likely they will be to actually do so. And to, because you're showing them that, you know what they're going through, they're more likely to trust you.
  • And trust is hugely important, especially when you're promoting yourself online. Because when people trust you, they will be more likely to take action. So today is all about learning how to do this more effectively, both in terms of what you write and how you structure it. But first before we really get into it.
  • Let's do some writing right now. We're going to go through a series of quick brainstorming exercises to kickstart your creative engine and help you do a better job of making your writing all about them. I'm going to ask you a series of questions and you will have one minute after each question to write down as many words, thoughts and ideas that occur to you in relation to that question as possible, there are only four questions.
  • So I do encourage you to give them your all. The more you can write here the better, this is not about self-editing or using the perfect words or language. It's about opening the flood Gates and letting whatever half-baked ideas that occur to you. Come flowing out. Don't worry about writing in complete sentences.
  • Bullet points or random phrases or fragments are just fine. Just write down as much as you can in the minute that you're given. Okay. So do you have your pen and paper ready? Okay. Let's take a look at the first question. Who is your ideal customer or client? I'm talking about the kind of person who would make you say, Oh my God, I would love to have that person as a customer or a client right now.
  • What I would like you to do is pause this video and give yourself 60 seconds to describe this person in as much detail as possible. Just pause this video and write down anything that occurs to you. When you consider this question. Who is your ideal customer or client? It does not have to be a real person that you've already met.
  • It can be an imaginary person, but it does have to be the kind of person who will make you so very excited to serve them. Okay. Pause the video and give yourself 60 seconds to describe that person. Are you ready? Go.
  • Okay. I hope you had fun doing that. Now. We're going to move on to the next question. What challenge are they trying to solve? And by that, I mean the main problem or challenge that you can help them with. Now, there may be more than one that occurs to you here, and that's absolutely fine. This is a brainstorming exercise.
  • So what I would like you to do is write down whatever comes to mind. Also, you may want to think of this in terms of the desire that they want. Gratified. What is the thing that they're hoping to achieve or experience through their interaction with you and your products or services? What I'd like you to do right now, again, is to pause the video and take 60 seconds to write down anything that occurs to you.
  • Okay. Go.
  • Okay. I hope you had fun with that. We're back. And we're going to move on to question three. How will their life be better? Once that challenge is solved, what is your ideal customer or client's life going to look like once they have used your product or service to solve the challenge that you were just thinking about?
  • Once again, I'd like you to pause this video right now and spend 60 seconds. One minute, writing down, whatever ideas occur to you while you consider this question. Okay. Go. All right. Welcome back now for the last question. What are we looking at? Oh yes. Finally. How will they feel once that challenge or problem has been solved?
  • And by that, I mean, what emotions do they want to feel? Do they want to feel relief or joy? Pride, vitality, delight, confidence, inspiration, vindication vibrancy, love, reassurance, glee. Think about what you offer and how people are going to feel after they have used it and experienced its effects on their life.
  • What are they going to want to feel? Once again, I'd like you to pause this video and take 60 seconds to write down whatever occurs to you as you consider this question. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Welcome back. I hope that went well for you now. Here's the reason why I asked you to do that. The clearer you get on who your ideal customer is the challenge they want to solve, what their happy ending looks like and how they want to feel the better you'll be at making sure your copy speaks to their wants and needs.
  • Because the more you focus on their desired experience, the easier it will be for you to attract their attention and interest and inspire them to keep reading it. Take action. So how do you do this? Making sure you have the secret ingredient that ensures your copy speaks to their wants and needs. When you have the secret ingredient, infusing your copy, you're going to find it so much easier to communicate your ideal client's desired experience in a way that they can relate to.
  • Now, what is this amazing experience you might be wondering? It's empathy, surprise. Like I said earlier, I've been a copywriter and digital content strategist for 17 years now. And what I truly deeply believe based on everything I've learned over the years is that empathy is the key to good copy. Because the more you're able to put yourself in other people's shoes and see the world through their eyes and understand what they're feeling and how they want to feel the easier it will be for you to write copy.
  • They can relate to. Okay. So here's an example of what I mean, consider this piece of copy adrenal fatigue treatment. Here's a description of a product or service, right? What is it? It's adrenal fatigue treatment. This is talking about what the product or service is. It's a treatment for adrenal fatigue.
  • Okay. But what does that mean from the perspective of your ideal client or customer? What kind of experience are they going to have here? It's not really clear. Is it now let's compare this description to this. Say goodbye to aching joints, sleepless nights and brain fog. This is seeing the product from the ideal client or customer's perspective.
  • It's something that's going to help them say goodbye to these three big challenges, right? It can joints sleepless nights and brain fog. Do you see how this version is all about the customer, our client's experience and the happy ending that they're looking for? Or how about this copy free consultation with a registered holistic nutritionist.
  • Okay, this includes a bit more information. It's nice to know that the consultation is free and that the nutritionist is registered. But again, it's really all about what the offer is, not what it does. And we have no idea of exactly who this offer is going to benefit right now. Let's compare it to. This one.
  • Yay. Another hot flash said no one ever. Okay. Obviously I was having a bit of fun with this one, but it's pretty clear who this piece of copy is for. Right. It's for women who are experiencing hot flashes. Presumably, because they're going through menopause and implicit in this headline is the idea that the person who wrote it is going to be offering them something to deal with their hot flashes.
  • Even if it's only humorous commiseration, the actual offer here hasn't been made clear yet, but it's obvious that it's intended for that specific audience and that it's being presented by somebody who probably understands what they're going through. Again, it's all about them and their experience. So, these are just a couple of quick examples to show you what I mean about looking at whatever is it is you offer through their eyes.
  • Now let's take a moment to drill down and explore what writing with empathy involves. Okay. So when you proceed from a point of empathy, you focus on their experience, not yours. Like I was just saying, and pretty much the easiest way to do this is to. Focus on having way more use than I's or wheeze in your copy.
  • That means writing you are going to experience this awesome result, as opposed to I am going to give you this awesome thing. When you tell someone what they are going to experience, you're obviously keeping the focus on them and making it more interesting and relatable for them. Writing with empathy also means conveying the value of whatever it is you offer in their terms, not yours.
  • How do they describe their challenges and their desired experience? What kind of language do they use by speaking in their terms, you will do a much better job of communicating your value in a way that can relate to. Also writing with empathy means giving them the information they're looking for. What do they most want to know?
  • You are going to score huge brownie points when you give them this information and when you make it easy for them to find it, that's what writing was. Empathy is all about focusing on their wants and needs, giving them what they're looking for and making it easy for them to find it and take action on it.
  • That's why it's so important to take a moment before you write anything and put yourself in your ideal customer or client's shoes, visualize what their current situation is and what they want to experience, and then proceed from there. Point of view, tell them what they want to know when they want to know it.
  • So what do they want to know? Let's take a look at that. And we're going to do that by exploring the top six questions people want to find answers to when they're reading a piece of copy, this goes for your marketing emails, as well as your website copy or landing pages you create to promote your products, programs, or services.
  • It doesn't matter who they are, what kind of business you have or what your offer is. These are the main questions your ideal customers or clients are going to have in their mind. Whenever they're presented with a piece of copy to read. Or a marketing video for that matter. If you've used marketing videos to promote your offerings.
  • So the more clearly and compellingly you answer these questions, the stronger and more effective your copy will be. And to the first and most important one is this, what am I going to get out of this? Pretend you're speaking to your all-time favorite client or customer, and they're asking you this question to your face.
  • What am I going to get out of this? In other words, how has reading or engaging with your copy going to positively impact their life? Is it going to provide them with valuable information that's going to make their lives easier or more enjoyable in some way. Is it going to point them in the direction of a product or service that's going to help them solve a problem?
  • They've been dealing with whatever impact, your piece of copy and whatever offer information or opportunity at points to is going to have on their lives. That's what they most want to know before they even get into reading it. And that's why it's a really good idea to answer it as soon as possible. And so once you've answered this question, it is time to move on to the next question that is going to be on most people's minds when they read your copy, which is this, how will this information or offer benefit me?
  • Okay. So the previous question focuses on the very largest, most positive impact to your copy and to the offer or information it represents is going to have on them. Now, I want you to drill into this even deeper. What are all of the different specific ways your product or service is going to benefit your ideal clients or customers?
  • How is it going to improve their life? Increase their joy, fill them with relief or confidence or strength or make their lives easier. The more your copy highlights these different benefits and makes it easy for people to visualize themselves experiencing it. The more deeply engaged they're going to be in your copy and the more compelled they're going to be to act on it.
  • Okay. So now let's take a look at the next question. Why should I choose you? What makes you particularly unique or effective or desirable? What is your unique selling proposition? What can you offer that others? Don't. What specific skills or experience or personality traits do you have to be the ideal person to give them what they're looking for?
  • This is also something that people are going to want to know, especially when they're exploring your website or reading a landing page, that's promoting one of your products or services before they hit that buy button. People are going to want to know what makes you, the person they want to do business with.
  • It's also a good idea to keep this point in mind when you write your emails as well, because you slash the people who signed up for your mailing list might not always remember exactly who you are or why they should consider you a trusted authority in whatever it is you're writing about. So even in your emails, it's a good idea to include just a line or two of information that explains why your opinion or advice is something they should be listening to.
  • You can even do this in your sign-off by including a brief bio below your signature that provides your credentials and reminds people of who you are and why they signed up for your mailing list in the first place. Okay. Now let's look at question four. What does it involve or include by this? I mean, if your ending people with an offer, for example, such as a program or product, or even a free webinar that you're inviting them to sign up for, what are the details of that offer?
  • How big is it? How long does it last, what different ingredients or elements are included in it and how does it work? This is information that people are going to want to know. But bringing it back to the topic of empathy for a moment it's important to focus on the information that you think is going to be most important to them and describe it in the terms and language that it's going to be most meaningful to them, by letting them know exactly what's involved in whatever it is you want them to sign up for or click through to and read you, make it easier for them to visualize themselves taking that action and the easier it is for them to visualize themselves doing it.
  • The greater the chances are that they will do it. Okay. So we have two more questions. Here's the second to last one. What do others think about it? This is something that your ideal clients or customers very much want to know when you present them with an offer or opportunity to take action in some way, such as making a purchase or signing up for a webinar.
  • For example, people are going to want to know what others who have taken that action have to say about it. This is often the clincher that gives people the reassurance. They need to take an important action such as making a purchase or signing up for a webinar or a free consultation. It's a really good idea to include this information, not only on your website or landing pages, but in your marketing emails as well.
  • That's why I strongly encourage you if you haven't already done. So to brainstorm a list of people you could ask for a testimonial describing how your product or service has impacted their lives for the better. Who would be willing to sing your praises to the world? This could be your existing customers or clients who've used your offers to great results.
  • Or if you're just starting out, this could be people who knew you could approach to try your products or services for free in exchange for giving you an honest review, because answering this question on your sales page or homepage or in your emails is going to go a long way to giving people the reassurance they need.
  • Take action. Okay. So it's time for our last question, which is. This, what do I have to do to get it? What's specific action. Do people have to take in order to enjoy the wonderful experience you have just promised them do they have to order something, watch a video register to reserve their spot. Download something, click on the link to learn more, whatever it is they need to do.
  • It's a good idea to make your answer to this question. Super clear and obvious. So people are easily able to identify it at a glance because when you don't make it immediately obvious, or you make it hard for people to see or understand your call to action, the amount of action you see is going to go down.
  • And that is no bueno. Okay. So before we move on, let's just take a look at those six questions again. What am I going to get out of this? How will it benefit me? Why should I choose you? What does it involve or include? What do other people think about it and what do I have to do to get it? The reason why I'm showing you these questions again, here is because this is the order in which I encourage you to answer them on your website, your homepage, your sales pages, and landing pages, your product pages, your emails, and so on.
  • Why answered them in this order, because this tends to be the order in which most people ask them. So when you answer them in this order, you're more likely to give people the information they want when they want it. And that my lovelies is the empathetic thing to do. Okay. So the thoughts and ideas that you brainstormed earlier in this lesson, as well as those six questions we were just exploring are the foundational substance of any piece of copy you write.
  • This is the clay that I encourage you to play with. Once you're clear on the answers to these questions, it's just a matter of polishing and refining them and bada Bing, bada, boom, you have yourself an effective piece of copy. For your sales pages, landing pages, website, email, and more. So please do make sure that you hold onto the brainstorming that you did earlier so that you can flesh it out in more detail later on.
  • Okay. So before we go, let's take a few moments to talk about structure. Because where and how you arrange the answers. Your ideal clients are looking for on your webpage plays a huge role in how effective it is. I'll be showing you the structure of an effective marketing email in lesson three of this mini course, but because I love you.
  • Let's take a quick look at what a typical sales page structure looks like. A sales page is a webpage that you use to sell a specific course or program having a dedicated page that talks only about the benefits of that particular offering is a great way to ensure that people understand the true value of it.
  • Now we're not going to be talking about the actual layout here. We simply don't have the time, but rather the general order in which these questions should be answered and what that might look like in terms of your copy structure. First you have to have a bold and prominent headline that makes a promise and answers.
  • The really big question we talked about earlier, what will I get out of this? Then you typically have a sub-headline that doubles down on the promise made in the headline with even more compelling information that sparks people's interest and entices them to read further. After that you relate to the reader by empathizing with them and showing them, you know, exactly what they're going through and are looking for.
  • In other words, you see the world through their eyes, then you present the solution in a way that makes it easy for them to visualize themselves using that solution and experiencing the positive impacts of it in their lives. You then drill down deeper and list the specific benefits your product or service offers to make it super easy for people to understand all of the different ways that will make their lives better.
  • Only then do you talk about you and establish your credibility and credentials so that people know why they should choose you to help them? Then once you've demonstrated your authority and expertise, it's time to drill down deeper into the nitty-gritty of your offer itself and list everything it features involves or includes.
  • I'm talking about all of the different aspects and elements that make it so awesome. Then I recommend you write a short bit of copy. That explains exactly who this offer is for. So they can be reassured that it's been designed to meet their specific wants needs. After that you double down on your credibility by showing them what other people say about it in the form of written or video testimonials or quotes from people who love your stuff.
  • Then before you get to the close, you take a moment to address their objections because no matter how attractive your offer is, and no matter how much some people are going to want and need it, people are going to have objections. They might worry that your offer won't live up to your claims or that they won't get the support.
  • They need to use it effectively, or that they can't afford it. Here's where you address those objections head on and say, look, here are some of the things you might be wondering about. You can even do this in a simple FAQ section. Again, it's a matter of empathizing with them and giving them the information they need to feel confident enough to take action.
  • Then most marketers will tell you it's a good idea to create some sort of urgency that gives people a strong reason to take action now, because most people, even if they're super interested in your offer, aren't going to want to take action, right? This minute, they're going to tell themselves, they'll come back to it.
  • And then, you know what, they probably won't. It's just human nature. So you can light a bit of a fire under their lovely dairy errors by limiting the availability of whatever it is you're offering either by offering it for a limited time only, or by making a certain number of them available only. But once you've created that urgency, be sure to follow through on your claim.
  • If you say you're only making 30 spots available, for example, only offer 30 spots. Otherwise people will feel like you're trying to manipulate them. And that's not really great, right? Because you want people to trust you. Therefore you should be a trustworthy individual. Finally, right before the close, you reiterate the value of your offer.
  • One last time reminding people of how your offer will make their lives better. Then ideally you offer a guarantee that minimizes the risk to them as much as possible. And finally you ask for the sale. This structure is based on the sales copy structure that has been used since the late 19th, early 20th century.
  • Why has this structure been used so consistently when the different media we've used for communicating our offers has evolved so dramatically over the years, you know, from like old timey newspapers or catalogs to the internet. Because it works and it does so largely by answering people's questions in the order that they're most likely to ask, ask them pretty cool, huh?
  • Okay. So now let's take a quick look at how you can adapt this same structure to a simple homepage. Again, you start with a headline that answers the question. What am I going to get out of this? You follow it with a short copy blurb. That answers the question. How will this benefit me? You include an image that relates to the reader in some way, either by striving to form a personal connection with them or communicating their desired experience in a way that answers the question.
  • Why should I choose you? You provide at least one testimonial that answers the question. What do others think about it? And then you include a bold and prominent call to action. That answers the question. What do I have to do to get it? Or what do I have to do to learn more about what it involves or include?
  • That in a nutshell is a handy-dandy easy to replicate homepage structure. If you include all of these elements, you will have presented people with enough information to understand. Why they should explore your site further, why they should be interested in your products and services and how it's going to impact their lives.
  • And that's what a homepage should do. So in a nutshell, this is how you use empathy to write and structure, copy that communicates your value to your ideal customer or client in a way that engages them more deeply and inspires them to act. Empathy for the win, because when you do your best to understand who your ideal client is, or customer what they're going through, what they want from you and how best to give it to them, you will get better results.
  • Okay. So for the past few minutes, we'll have been talking about sales pages and webpages and how to structure them and the questions you should be answering on them. You might've been wondering why I was sharing all of that information about that kind of stuff. When this mini course is titled unleash your email awesomeness.
  • And that is a smart thing to be thinking about. Here's why, because your emails ideally, should be sending people to web pages that do a great job of inspiring them to take action. It doesn't matter how great your emails are. If they send people to a landing page or a homepage that doesn't provide them with the information they need to make the decision to take action.
  • You're going to find it very hard to get the results you want with your email marketing. So that is why I threw that in there. I think it's valuable information and I hope you enjoy it from now on the next few lessons that we're going to be doing are entirely focused on email. So I hope that, uh, you enjoy them.
  • Okay, so that is it for less than one folks. I hope you enjoyed it. Your next slide, should you choose to accept it is to complete activity one in your dashboard. It will give you the opportunity to drill down on some of the ideas that we just covered here. So you can gain valuable clarity on who your ideal clients or customers are and how best to use empathy to create copy that gives them what they're looking for.
  • Have lots of fun with it. And I'll see you back here for lesson two. Are you sending the right emails? Ooh, the right emails. What does that mean? Watch the lesson to find out.

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