Copywriting 101: A PROVEN Formula For Writing Copy That Converts

I know you might be skeptical, but copywriting is a legitimate skill.

And it’s not one that only big companies need to worry about.

In fact, I’m sure you’ve seen this happen: when your customer clicks on an ad or email and reads your marketing message with no idea of who created it or what company they represent–they’re most likely going to remember the words in that message better than anything else on the page. That’s why copywriting is so important for small businesses like yours!

So what is copywriting anyway?

Copywriting is the process of writing text for marketing purposes. It could include anything you’re trying to convince your target market to do, such as fill out contact forms on your website, call to make a purchase or sign up for your email list.

To be a great copywriter and write powerful marketing messages, you need to know what motivates people to make decisions—what makes them buy?

There’s a formula that explains how persuasive copy works, and it drives readers to take action.

If you want your marketing messages to resonate with prospects and convert more customers–you have to follow this proven structure for writing effective copy.

Identify Your Target Audience

The first step, BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, is to know who you’re talking to.

I want you to even visualize your audience.

Imagine them.

Would you say they’re male or female?

Young or old?

Are they wearing a suit, casual clothing, or pajamas? Now think about their mindset.

Are they open to trying new things or are they more cautious and want everything proven to be safe and legitimate before taking action?

Knowing these details ahead of time will help you write copy that connects with the reader on an emotional level.

Know Your Product or Service Thoroughly

The next step is that you have to know the in’s and out’s of whatever it is that you’re selling forwards and backwards. 

I’m not saying that you can’t get away with writing copy without this information, but it will be a LOT easier to write compelling content for your website if you know all the details of what you’re trying to sell. 

Answer These 5 Questions

Next, I want you to answer these five questions about your product or service.

I suggest you write them down, or you can download my worksheet and fill that out.

  1. What is your customer’s problem?
  2. Why hasn’t their problem been solved?
  3. What’s possible?
  4. What’s different now?
  5. What should you do now?

Take some time and try to answer each of these questions as thoroughly as possible. There may even be multiple answers to each of these questions! Write them ALL down.

What is your customer’s problem?

My customers are small business owners in Florida who need a website to promote their business. They also struggle with how to create content for their website that will connect with their customers. They tend to be over the age of 50. Their businesses are usually under 10 people in size and they don’t have the time or knowledge to create a website.

Why hasn’t their problem been solved?

They don’t know the right or the best way to go about building an effective website. They need either a guide, or someone to do what they need.

What’s possible?

There’s DIY web builders like SquareSpace and Wix, but the tools don’t account for best practices or taste. There are lots of web designers out there, but they are mostly paint-by-the-numbers people (in my opinion) who don’t listen to the problems of the clients.

What’s different now?

I can build a website for them that will address their root problems rather than just trying to sell them a package.

What should you do now?

Schedule a consultation with me and I’ll see how best to address the customer’s problems.

Do you see how that works?

By answering these questions, you have specific talking points that you can come back to for inspiration (assuming that you wrote all that down).

What to do next?

Improve, Improve, Improve!

As the saying goes, “writing is re-writing”.

Now is the time to really improve on the foundation that we have; to add detail, color, and context to what you’ve already written down.

Include testimonials or quotes

One of the most convincing things that you can include in your web copy are testimonials.

While more testimonials are always better, don’t include too many on your website! You really only need about 2-4 maximum. Any more than that is excessive. Remember to place your testimonials in places that make sense.

If you don’t have any testimonials from your customers yet, you can use quotes related to your product or service. You’d be surprised at how well this works in place of a testimonial. A thought-provoking quote that gets your point across can be very convincing.

I’ll add a testimonial to include on my web page:

“Tyler brings so much to the table. He is very creative and bright to help bring your webpages alive. He listens well to your needs and brings good insight. If you choose him, you will not be disappointed.” – Steve Enguita

Add a story or case study that illustrates your point

There is nothing that can engage with your audience more than an interesting story.

I remember this one time that I realized just how much power was in telling stories, especially ones when I was able to build suspense for the outcome.

In fact, would you like to hear my ghost story?

Well, I was sitting at a table with some friends at a restaurant–I don’t remember which–telling them about the one hundred year old house that I rented when I lived in Georgia.

The house used to belong to a pastor of a church that had burned down very nearby to the house; the vacant lot where the burned-down church once stood was on the same block.

I kept my friends on the edges of their seats as I told them about the nights when I was sitting on the couch, but had the distinct feeling of being watched, or about the times I heard footsteps in the other room only to check and see that there was no one there.

Still other nights when I would be doing something to catch the glimpse of something move across the room in the corner of my vision, or when my dishes would make clinking noises seemingly by themselves.

I don’t believe in ghosts, but my experiences in this old house started to make me question my beliefs.

My friends were waiting with bated breath to find out what happened next. They all sighed in relief when I finally told them that I discovered one night that the old house had a rat infestation which explained all of my strange experiences.

See what I mean?

Stories will engage with your readers when you tell them well. Keep the point of your story close to the vest until the conclusion and drive home your point.

Create a sense of urgency

This is where you want to “poke” your reader into taking action.

There are two ways to create urgency: scarcity and exclusivity.

Scarcity is when you tell your reader that there are only a limited number of spots left, so if they don’t act now, they’ll miss out forever. The best way to show scarcity is to include dates and time limits on your marketing materials.

Exclusivity is when you tell the reader about how something special will only be available for a short while or situationally–for example, if they order within the next hour–or it’s no longer going to be an option (goodbye sale).

The great thing is that in most cases, both tactics can be used together!


Time is ticking and spots are limited!

Act now!

Replace all rational words with emotional words

Once you’ve gotten your points down, now is the time to go over what you’ve written and replace all of the rational words with as many emotionally-charged words as you can.

Go over everything as many times as you need to make sure that the words that you use are dripping with juicy emotion.

Words that elicit an emotional response will connect better with your reader on a subconscious level.

The emotion will also help to guide the reader through your web page. Make them feel like they are there with you as you tell them about the features of your products, rather than just telling them what it is and hoping that they’ll buy it without understanding why they should.

Be sure to include emotional adjectives such as wicked, amazing, awesome or incredible; rather than lame words like nice, fun, entertaining or good.

Emotion makes people take action.

It makes people want more!

While there’s so much more to be said about this, I hope this article has given you a better understanding of how to write web copy with the proven formula that will convert customers. The key is to make sure your writing appeals to humans on an emotional level, so keep these tips in mind as you work towards crafting compelling content for your website or blog. If you want some help implementing these strategies and providing testimonials, just contact me! Me and my team would be happy to partner with you and provide expert advice on how best to craft persuasive text for marketing purposes.

What do you think? Have any of these sales tips helped improve your conversion rates recently?