Copywriting is difficult. Effective copywriting doesn't only need to be readable and free from spelling errors, it needs to be able to convert readers into customers. A good copywriter needs to have the ability to string together words that evoke thought and emotion, keep the reader interested and engaged, and drive action.
If your copywriting isn't use science. That's right, you can mix the art of writing with science in order to turn your ineffective content into persuasive copy.
Check out these four psychology-based tips to improve your copywriting.
1. Use positive language.
It's not what you say, it's how you say it. A reader doesn't necessarily want to hear what they're lacking, they want to hear what they can have when they use your product or service. So in your copywriting, you need to aim to frame information positively, not negatively. For instance, a negative frame might describe something that isn't happening, while a positive frame might describe what could happen. Take a look at the examples below for a better idea.
- Negative framing: Don't lose money.
- Positive framing: Save money.
- Negative framing: Don't waste time.
- Positive framing: Increase your productivity.
A classic Kahneman and Tversky experiment found that 72% of participants chose an option when it was presented with positive framing, but that number dropped to only 22% when the same choice was presented with negative framing. It's perfectly fine to use negative frames once in a while, but if you write about your product or services with positive framing, your readers are more likely to be persuaded to take the desired action.
2. Use power words.
Another way to supercharge your copywriting is to use power words. There are certain words and phrases that have a stronger effect on people than others. These power words trigger an emotional response in people, which makes your copy more meaningful. For instance, the word "new" is a power word. Neuroscientists have determined that the appeal of the word "new" is hard-wired into our brains. Here are other power words you should be adding to your copy:
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Your reader's name also works as a power word. For instance, personalization is an effective email marketing strategy.
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3. Create a sense of urgency.
Many people hate to miss out on a good opportunity, so they'll take action if the pressure is on. This is why using urgency in your copywriting is so effective. In fact, according to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, people are more likely to perform unimportant tasks over important tasks when the unimportant tasks are characterized by urgency.
You can create a sense of urgency by announcing a limited-time offer and using time-sensitive reminders such as "order in the next 24 hours to get free shipping." But, of course, don't lie to consumers in order to create a false sense of urgency. How do you use urgency in your copywriting if you aren't having a sale? Try saying something like "don't waste another minute on XYZ" or "get started with XYZ today."
4. Add important information at the beginning and the end of your copy.
After spending all that time and effort writing great copy, it can be disappointing to realize that many people won't even fully read it. In many cases, readers completely ignore the middle. Even if someone does read all of your copy, they won't remember it all. This is why you need to add the most important information at both the beginning and the end of your copy.
According to studies, the serial-position effect is the tendency to remember the first and last items in a series best and the middle items worst. Simply making sure that the most important and compelling information is moved from the middle of your copy to the beginning and the end increases the likelihood that your customers will remember it.
Supercharge your copywriting with the power of science. With these four psychology based tips to improve your copywriting, people won't just read your words, they'll feel them, connect with them and take action.