Direct response copywriting is a remarkable content strategy that drives conversions and sales. But your marketing content will not generate the desired results if your copy is less persuasive. So, to get results, your document must persuade the reader to take action.

Given this, seasoned copywriters have devised numerous copywriting hacks to help boost content efficiency. However, while some marketers produced top-of-the-line performances for their marketing campaigns, others realized fewer ROIs.

So, to generate high-performance ROIs, you must apply a result-driven copywriting strategy that guarantees results. It should be able to stir up conversions and drive sales. For this, you need direct response copywriting.

Hence, in this article, I am sharing:

  • The meaning of direct response copywriting
  • What makes immediate response copywriting so important
  • Direct response copywriting best practices
  • Examples of direct response copywriting

What is Direct Response Copywriting?

Direct response copywriting is writing marketing content and messages that demand immediate results. This type of copy speaks directly to your audience’s persona in convincing ways that provoke them to act immediately.

Therefore, it would be helpful to use direct response copywriting in your marketing campaign. Primarily, while various content copies may enable you to build brand awareness and attract leads, your conversion rates may suffer.

But using direct response copywriting will make your message more appealing to consumers’ emotions and generate immediate responses. Put differently; a direct response copy compels readers and prospects to act right after reading your content. Hence, this form of copywriting is about getting results NOW!

Why Should You Care About Direct Response Copywriting?

Direct response copywriting is vital because it is so effective. That is why big brands like SalesForce invest 46% (almost 50%) of their yearly earnings on marketing and advertising campaigns.

SalesForce's annual investment in sales and marketing
Source image: Vital

Consequently, the company boosts its 2018 earnings by $10.5 billion, a 25% growth increase year over year. And because of its continuous investment in advertising content, its profits kept growing. Thus, SalesForce’s 2020 annual earnings increased to $17.1 billion—an almost 30% yearly increase.

But do you have to invest that much or create a massive budget before you see significant ROIs? On the contrary! With direct response copywriting, you can optimize conversions and business growth quickly. Yes, you can maximize ROIs with this content marketing approach without competing against big brands.

But SalesForce is not the only mega-company that is spending heavily on ad campaigns. Many other organizations are investing parts of their proceeds in sales and marketing.

Please, take a look at the marketing statistics below:

  • Bottomline Technologies: This brand spent 22% of its annual income on sales and marketing and increased business growth by 12.8%
  • MindBody: The business saw an increase of over 30% in yearly revenue after investing 39% of its income in sales and marketing
  • Tableau: This organization also drove yearly growth by 32% after spending over half its revenue (51%) in sales and marketing.

Remember that a results-driven sales and marketing campaign involves persuasive communication. Direct response copywriting is a compelling communication strategy that lets you communicate directly with consumers and persuade them to convert.

This copywriting strategy delivers targeted marketing messages that stimulate readers’ emotions and force them to take immediate action.

Top 9 Direct Response Copywriting Tips That Drives conversions

Whatever your niche market, several direct response copywriter hacks can help you scale your business. But in this article, I’m showing you the top nine techniques that top marketers are using to boost conversions and increase sales.

1. Pick the perfect headline for your copy

The godfather of direct response copywriting (David Ogilvy) noted that you had completed 80% of your writing by creating enchanting headlines. Why? Because people will read your headlines, but they may not click to read the rest of the article. That is if the heading is not captivating.

It means that you will lose your target audience and prospective customers if your headline copy is boring. Therefore, it is essential to choose the perfect headline that will enchant readers and move them to click and read the rest of your content.

For instance, how did David Ogilvy become a renowned copywriter? It was due to the headline of his ads campaign for Roll-Royce, which reads:

“At 60 miles per hour, the loudest noise in this new Roll-Royce comes from the electric clock.”

1. Pick the perfect headline for your copy

That ad title got people talking, and the success was so great that several mega-companies, including Shell Petroleum, sought his copywriter services. He later commented that the headline is the best he ever wrote.

The success moved another prominent copywriter to borrow David’s title for a similar advertising campaign. His campaign title reads:

“The loudest noise in a new Rolls-Royce is the beating of your heart.” ー Warren Pfaff.

You can see the similarities. But why did Warren decide to pick a similar title for his ad copy? Because the headline proved to get clicks, and he wanted to drive results. Consequently, spend time selecting the correct headline for your content.

Draft several titles and run tests to pick the most engaging one. Note that click-worthy headlines are those that:

  • Stir-up curiosity
  • Prompt urgency
  • Make a promise
  • Show the benefits
  • Data-oriented headlines

The best way to create headings that get results is to use headline templates. So, gather proven headline samples and study them.

2. Customize your content copy

Customizing copy involves personalizing your message to a particular individual or audience segment. So, before writing your content, you keep in mind the context of your brand message. It would be best if you defined the reader. Is your content for a broad audience or a particular group?

This copywriting approach works well for various content copies, such as transactional emails. For example, markets use direct response copywriting to create transaction-specific emails to facilitate an agreed-upon business deal.

This type of copy is customized and directed to a defined audience. It helps convince recipients to complete the deal, particularly those who may have forgotten or still consider whether or not to honor it.

Moreover, you can use this form of copywriting to write different types of content, including:

  • Blog article
  • Email campaign
  • Landing page copy
  • Advertising copy
  • Product description

What matters is that you customize your content copy to address the needs of your ideal reader. Here is how David Ogilvy puts it;

“Do not address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client.” –David Ogilvy.

This copywriting hack is so effective because, failing to write as though you’re addressing a particular reader, you risk losing prospective customers before they complete the first sentence.

Also, your brand reputation will be at risk as you lose traction. This copywriting great had a profitable writing career considering that he always integrated a product or service to a specific audience persona (with brand storytelling and visual materials).

It creates a compelling image in the reader’s mind while describing the benefits of purchasing the product. For this, customizing your copy is essential for better ROIs.

Example of a personalized copy

There are many customized advertising copies to inspire you. But a unique example is the Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” campaign. The company’s main objective was to create better personal brand/customer relationships. In other words, Coca-Cola wanted to improve its relationship with individual consumers. For this, the company printed personal names on all the bottles.

Coca-Cola's personalized share a Coke campaign
Image source: Digital Vidya

The share a coke campaign was a big hit—generating over 18 million media impressions. Also, Coca-Cola’s Facebook organic traffic increased by 870% and almost 40% more page likes.

Coca-Cola’s advertising success was all due to customization. And that’s because people love the idea of sharing photos of Coke bottles with their names on them. As a result, several countries worldwide, including China, the UK & the US, borrowed the idea of the campaign.

It gave consumers the chance to order personalized Coke bottles through a Facebook app. In some countries, the labeling changed altogether, but all Coke products have different names on them.

3. Amplify your copy with the right word choice

Direct response copywriting aims to stimulate immediate action from people after encountering your content. But since words influence people’s decisions, your choice of words could be a barrier between achieving your goal or not.

Thus, be careful to use the right words and phrases. This content writing method enables you to develop long-term personal business relationships with your target buyer. For instance, if you choose terms that make promises about your product or service and fail to deliver on your promise, it becomes disastrous.

You start losing brand trust, existing clients, and prospective customers. It is one of the primary reasons why 50% of consumers unfollow businesses on social media. Given this, use the proper word terms to strengthen your content and ensure to deliver accordingly. For effective direct response copywriting, eliminate overused wordings/phrases and employ power words to arouse action.

Examples of power-words you can use are:

  • Limited
  • Exclusive
  • Extraordinary
  • Discover
  • Genius
  • Latest
  • Opportunity
  • Bonus

This copywriting hack is critical for success. Why? By choosing the appropriate language or word choice carefully, you’re effectively optimizing your advertising copy to increase conversions. Nonetheless, make sure to highlight the benefits of using your services. Let consumers know why they should switch products.

4. Take advantage of the product value proposition

For your direct response copy to be compelling, you need two vital elements, among others.

  1. Product or service value proposition, and
  2. A robust call-to-action (CTA)

Therefore, your product’s value proposition is one of the essential conversion factors to prioritize. That is why 70% of B2B marketers determined their brands’ value proposition.

70% of marketers defined their product's value proposition
Image source via HubSpot

Since you want the content to get customer response NOW, your audience should know why your offering is better than the competition. That is where a value proposition plays a crucial role. It is an affirmation that answers “why” a user should use your products or services.

In other words, a value proposition summarizes why consumers need your products over your competitors by concisely describing the benefits of your offer. And when you combine the value of your offerings with a forceful CTA, you have a winning content copy that gets results.

Creating your product’s value proposition

When writing your value proposition, ensure that the values you set forth profoundly connect with your marketing persona’s problems. Display what makes your brand the most appropriate choice.

How to develop your brand's value proposition
Image source via HubSpot.

How to develop your products’ values:

  1. Determine consumers’ primary problem
  2. Describe how your product helps address the issue
  3. Outline other advantages your product or service offers consumers.
  4. Explain why the benefits are helpful.
  5. Associate your product value to consumers’ problem
  6. Create a value proposition for each product or service
  7. Tailor the benefits to each audience segment

Also, guarantee that your product or service benefits outweigh the cost. It helps build credibility and convince potential buyers that your offer is exceptional. And a CTA will drive them to act instantly.

5. Design your direct response copywriting according to consumer journey

Your customers and eventual clients are at different stages of their journey. So, to get results, your content must address each stage of the buyer journey. In other words, create copies that align with each audience segment.

And while longer blog content gets better search ranking, short-form content drives results as well. But the length of copy you produce will depend on the stage of your audience journey.

The length of your content is based on the audience journey
Source graphic by SEMrush.

It implies creating various lengths of marketing content according to consumer journeys across different touchpoints. A user goes through the following five stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision
  4. Purchase
  5. Advocacy

Each stage needs a different content length to entertain the reader. For example, an interested person at the early stage of the journey (awareness or TOFU) needs short-form engaging blog content. The material should be concise and less overwhelming.

On the other hand, people who have gone through the awareness stage do not need shorter content. They require longer content copies that offer more valuable insights. Such material will lead them further down the funnel to your ultimate goal of conversion and brand advocacy.

In view of this, ensure that your direct response copy will take readers from one stage of the funnel to the next and finally convert them to leads and customers.

6. Guarantee instant response with insufficiency

One of the best direct response copywriter hacks is to trigger insufficiency. It helps increase conversion rates because it uses the principles of insufficiency, the fear of missing out (FOMO), to provoke consumers’ immediate action.

Insufficiency or scarcity marketing suggests a shortage of products and time-sensitive. It stimulates urgency and the fear of missing out. This marketing strategy prompts buyers to make instant purchases with less time to think it through. That way, they are sure not to miss the offer.

Here are a few examples of scarcity marketing tactics:

Scarcity marketing tactics
Source: Klint Marketing

This ad copy by Klint Marketing tells potential clients that they will get 85% off the original price if they sign up fast. It pointed out that the offer is available only a short time and to the first 15 people who’d sign up. The copywriter added a count-down timer to hit at users’ fear factor and create urgency.

Usinr-fomo-tactics-in-direct-response-copywriting

Using-fomo-in-direct-response-copywriting
Source image by the author

The visual above is from one of the emails I received from Grammarly. If you’re a Grammarly subscriber, perhaps you received the same email. The ad copy reminds users to upgrade quickly to get 40% off the annual subscription plan, or they will miss out on the offer. Why would they miss it? Because it ends tonight!

These copywriting examples have one thing in common. They present the benefits of jumping into the programs and how to avoid missing out on the offers. That way, it enhances the actual value of the product, giving it more worth.

As a result, people want to buy. Therefore, leverage insufficiency to create a sense of urgency to trigger instant reactions from buyers. It enables you to boost conversions and sales.

7. Use the AIDCA formula

What is the AIDCA formula? What does it represent? AIDCA is a marketing acronym that stands for:

  1. Attention
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Conviction
  5. Action

These five elements must be present in your copy to strengthen its effectiveness. How?

Here’s how:

  • Attention: You want to grab potential clients’ attention with a captivating headline that gets clicks.
  • Interest: Follow up with a persuasive introduction that will spike their interest in your products or services.
  • Desire: Nurture prospects’ interests to generate passion for your product by emphasizing the value proposition.
  • Convince: Create relevant content pieces that will convince consumers to consider buying what you’re offering. (You may want to include social proof, reviews, and testimonials).
  • Action: Tell customers what you want them to do. Since your ultimate goal is conversion, they need to know what action to take after consuming the content. Provide a persuasive CTA or direct link to your offer.

8. Test your content copy for efficiency

Why test your copywriting message? Because tests are essential factors that help us to understand our customers better. In other words, testing enables you to determine copywriting hacks that work and those that don’t. Direct response copywriting great, David Ogilvy mention earlier said;

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” – David Ogilvy.”

David never stopped testing. He tested several advertising copies, improved his copywriting skills, and became a sought-after freelance copywriter. Testing provides an avenue to study your writing and make needed adjustments to improve your material.

It lets you create compelling ad copies and guarantees conversions. Also, testing gives you valuable insights into how your ad copy performs and how to make it better. Thus, consider your test results as the key to unlocking a more powerful direct response copywriting strategy that boosts conversions.

9. Strengthen your copy with powerful CTAs

Although I mentioned the use of CTA earlier above, I want to stress more on the importance of adding this little content tool to your copy. Result-driven copies always end with a call-to-action.

It means that an efficient advertising copy should have at least one CTA. In other words, your copies will be less effective without a CTA. These little icons make conversions happen; that is why marketers spend time running tests on various calls-to-action.

So, it would be best to strengthen your copy with two or three calls to action, depending on the length of your content. The best copywriting practice is to begin your content with a CTA and add another somewhere in the middle, and finally insert one more at the end.

This idea works well, particularly on long-form copies. Also, including powerful CTAs in your copy is vital because it gives your marketing persona something to do to help you reach your conversion goal.

It encourages responses from consumers, and that is the goal of conversion. Consequently, call-to-action is a vital component of a persuasive ad copy that drives conversions. But for your CTA to be forceful, use verbs, be concise, and apply convincing arguments.

Examples of excellent direct response copywriting.

Since direct response copywriting generates meaningful ROIs, let us consider a few examples to see what they look like to inspire your copywriting business.

Coschedule headline studio

Write better headlines with headline analyzer
Source image: CoSchedule

This direct response copywriting example is a copy from Coschedule, an all-in-one marketing automation platform for content marketers. The advertising copy stresses the value proposition of the product (content creators and marketers can create click-worthy headlines with the tool).

Also, it identifies one of the major problems faced by content marketers (how to create headlines that get clicks) and offers a solution.

Optinmonster

Monitize web traffic with various tools
Source: Optinmonster

Optinmonster’s headline speaks to a specific audience persona–website owners and provides valuable tools to help them make the most of web traffic. Why is it an excellent direct response copy? Because it addresses marketers and organizations yearning to convert website traffic to leads and customers.

Moreover, the copy underscores the benefits that subscribers would get for signing up. It further underlines various marketing tools for growing your email marketing list and monetizing your blog or website traffic. Finally, the copywriter wraps up with a compelling CTA.

The man in the Hathaway shirt

The man in the Hathaway shirt

The “Man in the Hathaway Shirt” is one of David Ogilvy’s most successful advertising copies. He created that ad copy for a fashion brand (Hathaway) after the designer launched a new dress shirt line. With this persuasive ad copy, David Ogilvy helped the designer to increase sales and income.

Why is it an excellent example of direct response copywriting? Although the headline did not offer any benefit for wearing the shirt, it triggered curiosity. Also, the ad copy is much longer than the two copywriting samples above, providing more details about the new dress shirt and its benefits in the intro and body content.

Then, it shows a man with an eyepatch-wearing the Hathaway shirt. Reading the copy carefully, you realize that the copywriter repeatedly emphasized the value proposition or benefits consumers will get for wearing the dress shirt.

And seeing a man with an eyepatch-wearing the new shirt aroused curiosity among consumers. This copywriting strategy enabled the fashion designer to increase conversions and sales.

Is direct response copywriting a part of your marketing mix?

That is an interesting question, isn’t it? This form of copywriting should be part of your marketing mix because it constitutes a marketing strategy that conforms with various marketing and advertising practices.

For instance, you can leverage direct response copy for:

  • Website content
  • Landing page copies
  • Product descriptions
  • Sales pages
  • Business/transactional email messages
  • Newsletter emails
  • Advertising campaigns

Given this, make this copywriting hack a component of your content marketing toolbox. It enables you to communicate your brand message in more convincing ways to move consumers to respond instantly.

Persuasion is the key to conversions. And direct response copywriting is the tool that will help you persuade your audience persona to take immediate action.

For better ROIs with direct response copywriting:

  • Underline your goal with a forceful CTA
  • Emphasis the benefits of your products or services
  • Create unique calls-to-action that stand out
  • Ensure that the CTA’s layout is conversion-driven
  • The copy must appeal to your target market
  • Optimize your ad copy for SEO to drive more traffic and increase conversions.

Wrapping Up

Direct response copywriting achieves results, and it is a powerful way to provoke prospects to respond NOW! Thus, whatever marketing content you’re writing to convert users to leads and customers, direct response copywriting is your best bet.

It stimulates response immediately by persuading readers to take critical action without thinking it through. So, apply the copywriting tips above to help grow your business quickly.

Are there more valuable direct response copywriter tips you can add to strengthen this blog article? Please, we want to know in the comment section!

Originally published here.