Copywriting uses a specific form of language that is meant to capture attention and be very persuasive. There are few style changes you can make to your copy to make follow this standard of language:
• Do not be afraid of adjectives. While in many forms of writing, adjectives are seen as weak or at least as words to be carefully considered and reconsidered, in copywriting adjectives are expected. These simple descriptive words can emphasize the outstanding aspects of your business and can make it more likely that your readers will become readers. If you offer “copying services” that is useful, but if you tell your customers you offer “fast copying services” the adjective makes your copy sound more appealing. In many cases, adjectives make things more interesting or seem to offer better value. “Genuine silver buckles” sounds better than “silver buckles”, for example.
• Use whole numbers or fractions rather than percentages. Instead of saying web hosting costs have gone up 3% in cost, say “web hosting can now cost your business up to $300 more.” This is because the eye tends to pass over percentages as we read. Stressing how much more a customer will pay will better emphasize the point for your reader.
• Use colloquial words. Rather than “expire” write “die” rather than “occur” write “happen,” for example. Always use simpler language where possible. Always choose the more powerful action words – for example, write “call” rather than “contact” and “apply” rather than “use”. This is not writing down to your readers. Rather, it is making sure that your copy can appeal to the widest range of readers possible while ensuring that your words evoke action. We tend to think that formal language sounds more educated, and in most types of business writing, this is the type of writing that is expected. However, in copywriting, writers are trying to create a call to action and encourage readers to purchase products or services. Colloquial words accomplish this best.
• Put a human face on statistics. It’s fine to state that one out of two marriages fail (if you are selling counselling services) but it is even more effective to give a personal anecdote of a couple headed for divorce. Human faces always mean more to your audience than numbers.
• Use “you.” In copywriting, “you” (meaning the customer or reader) is always the most important word. When possible you should try to address your reader directly and appeal directly. This makes your copy far more effective. A customer reading “we offer business cards” may be interested, but the customer reading “we can offer you the business cards you need” is more likely to actually make a purchase. Everyone likes to feel important, and the word “you” although a simple word, tends to make readers addressed directly and treated well.
• Keep sentences short or create short sentences with highlighting or bolding – you want phrases to catch your reader’s eye. Short sentences that leap out at the reader help the reader skim your copy and still make a purchase without reading your entire marketing message. Smaller sentences or headers also encourage even busy readers to at least glance at your copy.