Copywriting Basics

What is Language Register in Writing? August 21, 2020 by Duncan Croker I walk you through the five-point formality scale of written language register.
What’s the Difference Between a Motto, a Tagline and a Slogan? July 1, 2020 by Duncan Croker I explain the differences between mottos, taglines and slogans using real-world examples.
The Ultimate Guide to Copywriting June 30, 2019 by Duncan Croker This is the ultimate guide to copywriting. If you've got questions about copy, you'll find the answers here.

Quick Lessons

Good copywriting has four traits:

  1. It’s clear. Ambiguity kills effectiveness. Make sure your message is easy for your target audience to understand.
  2. It’s memorable. Your message should seize and hold attention. If people can’t remember what you told them, they won’t remember you when it’s time to buy.
  3. It’s personal. Good copy feels targeted – it’s a one-on-one conversation between you and your reader. When people feel understood, they’ll trust you to deliver the right solution.
  4. It’s persuasive. Think pathos, ethos and logos – emotion, authority and logic. When copy combines emotional appeal with logical benefits and social proof, it has a strong chance of success.

Copywriting is arguing.

It involves putting forward a point of view and trying to persuade the reader.

Here’s how I break it down:

  • Appeal to logic. Think features, benefits, and numbers. A product/service that is logically good is easy to sell.
  • Appeal to emotion. This is where positioning and messaging come into play. Emotion, not logic, is the driver behind many types of purchases.
  • Show credibility. A good brand is invaluable for credibility – but social proof and use statistics play a big role too.

Good copy is just a sound argument.

You have the best solution to your buyers’ problem – so convince them.

The best copywriting framework is ~2,400 years old.

It’s called the ‘rhetorical triangle’ – Aristotle’s principles of persuasion.

The triangle has three corners: logic, emotion and credibility.

Logic = is your offer logically good for your buyer?

Have you defused their objections?

Have you proved that you can solve their problem in a way that’s safe, effective and cost-efficient?

Emotion = does your writing resonate with your buyer?

Do they feel like you understand them?

Have you connected to their pain – and how solving it would feel?

Are you using your strategic narrative as the vessel for your message?

Credibility = do buyers believe you can fulfil your promise to them?

Do you have social proof of past results?

Have you showcased your expertise and experience?

Do you have someone credible backing up your promise?

Next time you’re crafting copy, use the rhetorical triangle as a checklist.

Effective copywriting involves at least two corners of the triangle.

Exceptional copy hits all three.