Copywriting techniques

14 Copywriting Techniques That Boost Sales and Conversions

Your words are much more powerful than you realize.

The copy on your product pages, web pages, and other areas of your business can make or break whether a customer makes a purchase or not.

Unfortunately there are many businesses that don’t put time into polishing off their sales copy 🙁

The result is web pages and content that doesn’t stand out from the crowd or generate results.

Sound familiar? Don’t worry.

That’s why I’ll be teaching you some copywriting strategies which will increase conversion rates. Let’s dive in.

1. Features versus benefits

It’s all too common to visit a product page and see boring and vague descriptions.

What’s the number one mistake companies make? Only listing the features of a product, and leaving out the benefits.

Features are the factual points about a product like size, color, and materials. These have to be mentioned, but it’s not what customers care about.

What they actually want to hear is how the product will benefit them.

The benefits depend on the exact product or service that’s being offered. In general, the benefit might be that a product will make you healthier, wealthier, or happier. 

Let’s use HubSpot as an example. Here’s the sales page for their marketing package:

HubSpot copy

The title, which sums up the product, is “All-in-One Inbound Marketing Software.”

This is then followed by the benefits of their marketing plan stating “Everything you need to launch effective marketing campaigns that make people interested in your business and happy to be your customer.”

When you’re writing product descriptions, sales pages, or similar material, ask yourself “What is the benefit of this product or feature?” and you will never have boring sales copy again.

2. Storytelling

Humans love stories.

It’s how we communicated back when we were cavemen, and not much has changed since.

Stories resonate with us on a deep level because they are emotional. This is especially the case when we directly relate to the story and the demographic of the individual telling the tale.

This is one of the reasons that testimonials and reviews help conversion rates so much. Customers get to see another person just like them explain their struggles, which they’re facing too, and how a product solved it.

Stories can be told in many different ways, as well.

The first way to use storytelling to boost sales is by telling the story of your brand, but in a way that makes the customer feel an emotional connection.

Perhaps you started your company because you wanted the freedom that a 9-5 couldn’t give, and that’s why you’re selling entrepreneurship courses. A customer interested in obtaining financial freedom through an online business can relate to that.

Look how Anton from Drop Ship Lifestyle tells the story of his entrepreneur career that lead to his successful company:

Story

Secondly, stories of others can be used in copy to create the same results.

You see this commonly on landing pages where detailed testimonials are used to depict of a product changed a customers life for the better.

Review example
An example of a review used on a sales page.

Take advantage of this by reaching out to previous clients or customers, and asking them for a review to be featured on a sales page or other place.

3. Agitate pain points

Behind every product is a solution to a problem. That problem is usually emotionally based, which you can take advantage of as a copywriter.

This is achievable by mentioning the pain points consumers are experiencing to make them seek the product in the first place.

If you ask yourself “What problem does this product solve for the customer?” you are already 90% there. However, this takes you knowing your buyers persona like the back of your hand.

I recommend reading reviews of competitors and analyzing your own to get into the customer’s head. Business reviews are goldmines for copywriters.

You literally get direct feedback about what they like and dislike about a product. This can be used to find what made them seek out a solution in the first place.

Analyzing reviews for copy
Examples of reviews that you could extract information from to produce better copy.

Let’s use a web design agency as an example. A lead that reaches out to a design agency probably is in need of a website to advertise their business, but they don’t know how to create one, nor has the time to do so.

This creates the opportunity for such an agency to use taglines like “Struggling to Build a Website? Leave it To Professionals Like Us” because it connects to a pain point the lead is experiencing.

Not only does this display that you understand the customer well, but it elicits emotion and gets their attention, helping them move through the sales funnel. 

4. Ask a question about the customer’s experience

Joseph Sugarman, one of the world’s greatest copywriters, once said that you want the customer to be saying “Yes” as much as possible because it will make them more likely to say “Yes” to the sale later.

This is why it can be effective to ask relevant questions throughout content and sales copy. Since the reader can relate to the questions being asked, it also keeps their attention on the page for longer. 

5. Write like you speak

While it might be tempting to use technical jargon and a fancy vocabulary, it’s actually best if you don’t.

Think about it.

A small group of individuals will understand advanced terminology and words, leaving out a huge crowd of readers that don’t.

However, if you use a casual and simple vocab, suddenly reach everyone. Sales copy is also supposed to flow easily, which large and complex words prevent by slowing down the reading process.

6. Create a sense of urgency

Let’s imagine two scenarios.

In the first, there is an abundance of product inventory, sales, and special offers for customers to take advantage of.

In the second, these same items are only available for a limited time.

What does this create? Urgency.

Customers feel like must take action right now or they’ll miss out.

This is what psychologists call fear of missing out or FOMO for short.

Copywriters can take advantage of this primitive behavior by creating offers, discounts, and promotions which have a limited time span.

Furthermore, you can use power phrases like:

  • Buy now before it’s too late
  • Limited inventory
  • While supply lasts
  • Selling quickly
  • Reduced price
  • On clearance
  • Last call
  • Ends soon

This also ties into calls to action which is my next point.

7. Calls to action

A call to action is one of the simplest yet most effective copywriting strategies on earth.

It’s literally what it sounds like: a call to take a particular action.

And no, consumers aren’t so lazy that you have to point them in the right direction. You’re simply helping them think less.

The fewer questions, comments, and concerns they have, the faster they get to the sale.

A call to action is a phrase which tells the customer exactly what to do next. I wrote an entire article on them that you should read for understanding this technique in-depth.

However, here are some calls to action you can try for yourself:

  • Buy now
  • Shop now
  • Add to cart
  • Don’t wait
  • Order today
  • Call now
  • Call this number
  • Enter your email
  • Click here
  • Get yours today
  • Claim coupon
  • Claim discount
  • Save money
  • View catalog

8. Use an anchor or concept

An advanced copywriting tactic you see pros like David Ogilvy and Joseph Sugarman use in their famous advertisements is anchoring or using a concept.

This is where you take a product and connect it to a character, event, or outside idea.

I always like to use David Ogilvy’s ad for Hathaway’s shirts as an example. It’s universally recognized as one of the best ads ever produced.

Hathaway shirt ad

You wonder who the man with the eyepatch is and how he relates to the product instantly upon seeing the ad.

The best part is you never figure it out. He’s a mystery. It makes you think and read the rest of the copy.

Adding a concept to your copywriting as Ogilvy did will capture more attention and instantly make your promotion stand out from the crowd.

This strategy requires you to sharpen your creative skills and crumple a few pieces of paper churning out ideas. But it’s well worth the final result.

9. Pain + agitate + solve formula

A tried and true copywriting formula that works for everything from blog posts to sales letters is acknowledging a pain point, agitating it, and presenting the solution.

That solution can be your content, a digital product, service, or anything you want.

Let’s imagine we’re selling web design services and we want to use this formula on a landing page.

We could begin by bringing up the pain point of not having a website or knowing how to build one. That would suck, right?

Well, we wouldn’t stop there. We’d agitate this by explaining the customer is potentially losing business and opportunities by not having a site.

The cherry on top would be positioning our web design services as the solution to their problem.

See how simple that is?

This formula can be completed within a few sentences or spanned across thousands of words in a sales letter. It’s up to you to use it accordingly.

10. Scarcity creates fear of missing out

Limited inventory. Offers only lasting a certain time. The product being discontinued.

What do all of these have in common?

Scarcity.

Nobody wants to miss out on a good deal.

Similar to urgency, creating scarcity with your copywriting forces customers to make a decision now.

If they wait, they will miss out on a great deal and who wants to do that?

You can create a sense of scarcity by emphasizing the window of time someone needs to take action to complete an offer. Look at this landing page for a weight loss product to see what I mean.

11. Take advantage of power words

Every word has an emotion and image attached to it.

If I say the word “zen,” what comes to mind?

How about the word “seductive?”

Most likely you thought of a monk for the first and an attractive woman for the second.

Those are universal symbols for these words. Hence why one of the top copywriting strategies is to use power words.

These are single words and phrases that pack a bigger punch than Mike Tyson in his prime.

I recommend that you use power words the most in headlines as that’s where attention matters the most.

Make sure to read my guide to headline copywriting to craft epic titles that attract non-stop clicks.

However, power words can be sprinkled in throughout copy and content to keep people at the edge of their seats.

12. Focus on a logical order of points

If you began every article with a conclusion, people would think you’re crazy, right?

That’s exactly why creating a logical order for content and copy is essential.

It is simply the practice of ordering the points you make in a piece of copy in the order a reader would think of them.

Take the two following examples into consideration:

First copy example:

  1. Introduction
  2. Product features and benefits
  3. Pricing
  4. Testimonials
  5. Call to action
  6. Conclusion

Second copy example:

  1. Introduction
  2. Pricing
  3. Call to action
  4. Product features and benefits
  5. Testimonials
  6. Conclusion

Which one makes more sense? The first one, of course!

This is because customers will want to learn about the product first and if it’s for them before pricing or seeing testimonials.

Strategizing the order in which you make points will help readers get through the copy more easily.

Read my previous post on article formatting to learn more about this idea.

13. Use statistics to back up points

You can’t make up numbers and stats when selling a product unless you want the FTC knocking at your door.

But hey, maybe that’s your thing.

For every other writer, you will want to make sure that you cite interesting and accurate data.

Charts, graphs, and studies also make content much more exciting.

I love using Google Scholar myself. You can use it by simply typing in a keyword related to any topic and sifting through to find relevant info.

Google Scholar search bar

Here’s an example of a book related to digital marketing that I could cite and pull examples from:

Google Scholar book result

This copywriting strategy is also important after Google’s recent E-A-T algorithm update.

E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

Sourcing blog posts from big publications are great, but Google is now more interested in seeing you link to academic resources especially in YMYL(Your money or your life) industries.

14. Images are salespeople

No copy is complete without accompanying images.

As Claude Hopkins would put it, images are salespeople themselves.

This is because images create the opportunity to bring out more emotion in customers and paint a picture in their mind.

Let’s imagine that you’re selling a product or service related to human resources.

What’s one of the main goals of an HR department?

To make people work together better.

In this case, it would make sense to do one of two things:

  1. Show an image of a disorganized team to strike the emotions of customers because that’s the problem they’re trying to fix.
  2. Use an image of a happy and productive team because that’s the end result they want.

Both are great ideas. And as with most things, split testing can be used to determine which helps conversion better.

Wrapping up today’s copywriting techniques

Polishing your sales copy might be the trick you’re after to generate more sales.

Begin by ensuring that you explain the benefits of your product or service on sales pages. This is often an emotional or financial gain depending on your exact offering.

Next, take advantage of storytelling to capture the reader’s emotions and attention in the form of testimonials or personal stories.

Similarly, you should ask questions that relate to their experience and bring up pain points to further make them emotionally invested in your copy.

Lastly, use simple vocabulary to make reading sales pages effortless while appealing to the largest audience possible.

What’s your favorite copywriting strategy?

Carmine
Hey! My name is Carmine and I've written for Neil Patel, GoDaddy, Smart Insights, and other popular publications. Reach out to me at any time if you need copywriting services.