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Cheatsheet: How to write better copy

If you have developed a writing style, it can be hard to change. These five mnemonics are easy-to-remember tips for writing purposeful, goal driven marketing copy.

KFC

My favourite of the five is KFC because it is so easy to remember.

It makes you think what do you want your reader to know after reading your copy? How do you want to make them feel? What do you want to make them do?

  • Knowledge: give the reader what they need to know to justify buying from you.
  • Feel: these are emotional responses. Do you want them to feel they are missing out? Reassured?
  • Call to action: tell the reader what you want them to do, when and how. This could be recommend a friend or order today.

FAB

Writing features with the corresponding benefit is more difficult than it first appears. A feature is the information about the product. The advantage is the reason it is superior. A benefit is whatever your product does that makes the reader’s life easier.

  • Feature: a thick layer of insulation.
  • Advantage: keeps you warm.
  • Benefit: saves you money by reducing heating costs.

NIB

You can think of benefits as one of three types to make your writing more specific.

  • Noble: the sort of benefits people admit to being swayed by, for example donation of the sale goes to help others less fortunate.
  • Immediate: those obvious little benefits that we shouldn’t miss out, for example free delivery.
  • Basic: whatever is motivating your buyer, for example they want to look good.

AIDCA

This old advertising formula still holds true but now comes with added ‘Conviction’.

It describes what your copy must do to make that sale:

  • Attention. Your headline, subject line or leading sentence of a letter needs to grab the reader’s attention, otherwise they won’t get to your sales message.
  • Interest. Ask yourself “What’s in it for them?” What keeps them up at night and how are you solving that problem?
  • Desire. Make the reader want your product, not just be interested in it, by addressing their needs. Bring the product to life and make them feel left out without it.
  • Conviction: Overcome the reader’s reluctance with testimonials, free samples, guarantees or endorsements.
  • Action. A call to action that avoids ambiguity, wordiness and vagueness.

SMART

It seems like everything needs a SMART KPI but this acronym is worth remembering when writing. The purpose of the campaign you are writing copy for shouldn’t be to “raise brand awareness” but to “generate 100 new customers in 4 weeks with average spend of £300.”

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Achievable.
  • Relevant.
  • Time bound.

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5 ways to write better copy
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How to write better copy
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These great tips came from a super little book called “Write to Sell. The Ultimate Guide to Great Copywriting” by Andy Malsen.

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