In today’s article, I’m going to walk you through a 7-step checklist to increase the selling power of your website, ads, and emails. This is the process I personally use when writing copy for our own marketing campaigns here at Main Street ROI, as well as for clients.

But first, here’s some quick background so we’re all on the same page…

Simple 7 Step Copywriting Checklist


What is Copy, and Why Does It Matter?

In case you’re not familiar with the term, “copy” means the words you use to get your marketing message across. If you can improve the effectiveness of your copy, you’ll generate more leads and sales.

So with that said, here are the 7 steps to improve the selling power of your copy…

1. Define Your Avatar

Before you write a word of copy, get clear on your target audience.

You might be imagining a crowd of people, but instead, I recommend you picture a single person that represents your target audience. We call this your avatar.

In your copy, you’ll want to try and mimic the style and tone you’d use if you were speaking 1-to-1 with your prospect.

In other words, keep your language conversational. Conversational language tends to convert higher because it’s easier for your prospect to relate to and digest.

(Note that conversational doesn’t necessarily mean totally casual — your language could be conversational, but professional. The key is to have your tone match how you’d speak with your prospects 1-on-1). 


2. Get Clear on the Result You Want

Before you write a word of copy, think about what action you want your prospect to take when they read your copy.

To paraphrase a very sharp marketer, Dean Jackson of the “I Love Marketing” podcast, “If you could wave a magic wand, what would you have your prospect do?

In other words, what is the call-to-action (CTA)?

Do you want your prospect to call you, or register on your website, or purchase your product?

Get clear on the CTA, and then keep your CTA foremost in your mind as you write the copy and structure the layout of the page (or email).


3. Offer Something Your Prospect Wants

Your prospect won’t take action just because you want him to. Your prospect will act in his own best interest. So it’s important to focus on the result your prospect already wants.

In other words, you’ll want to communicate the results (benefits) of your product or service.

And in your copy, you’ll want to make an offer to your prospect, so you can provide that result. For example, if you’re an attorney, you might offer a free consultation. Or you may offer a free report. Or, your offer may come in the form of a guarantee or a special low price.


4. Grab Your Prospect’s Attention

Before you can describe the results you can provide and make your offer, you’ll need to grab your prospect’s attention. Without your prospect’s attention, you have no way to generate the lead or make the sale.

Your headline is what will grab your prospect’s attention.

In my experience, in your headline, it’s typically best to convey the one BIG benefit your prospect is most interested in.


5. Provide Proof That You’re Legitimate

One of the reasons that your prospect won’t contact you or do business with you is that he’s not confident that you can provide him with the results they’re looking for. Or, put another way, he’s afraid of being taken advantage of.

So, it’s important to provide proof that you’re legitimate and you have a track record of getting results.

Here are some different types of proof you can use in your copy:

  • Testimonials and/or reviews from past clients, customers or patients
  • Endorsements from peers in your industry
  • Press mentions
  • Awards
  • Certifications

Also, if you sell products online, then including e-commerce security logos can provide reassurance that your website transactions are secure.


6. Keep Your Copy Skimmable

Some people will read all of your copy, but most people will skim. Make it easy for your prospect to get the gist without having to read every word of your copy.

In practice, this means breaking up your copy with sub-headlines, bold text, and bullet points.


7. Make The Call-to-Action Obvious

In Step 2, we focused on the call-to-action. And we’re focusing on it again in this final step.

Once you’ve written your copy, you want to take another look at it and make sure the call-to-action is as clear and obvious as possible. Leave no doubt about what you want your prospects to do. You can think of this as like improving the signage on a road.

On a landing page, this might mean moving the Contact Form so it’s at the top of the page instead of at the bottom, or adding more than 1 button on the page, or increasing the size of a button.

In an email, it might mean bolding a link or including more than 1 mention of the call-to-action, such as adding a second CTA in the PS.


Here’s What To Do Now

Take a second look at your website, ads, emails, and other areas in your business where you’re using words to convince prospects and customers to do business with you, and make sure you’re hitting all 7 key areas from this checklist.

And the next time you prepare a marketing campaign, ad, or email, use this checklist as your guide.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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