Copy matters. It can communicate a firm’s values and what they stand for, their services and offerings, and the value they can offer their clients and prospective clients by meeting their needs. It can guide, inform, uplift, empower, and connect. With copy’s ability to engage your firm’s clients and prospects, are you giving it as much attention as you should? Copy is most effective when it is compelling. Read on to discover seven key characteristics of compelling copy that engages readers and encourages action.

1. Speaks to your audience’s interests and pain points, not your own

Marketers should first understand what their audience cares about and ensure that their copy is addressing those interests. What issues are most relevant? What does the audience care about? How can I guarantee this message will resonate? Am I addressing key pain points? Writing to your target audience’s interests is a solid first step. F or example, if developing content intended to reach a project manager, share information related to that role such as budgeting tips or scheduling detail. Information that is useful to them is more likely to connect to them.

Your copy should also be benefit-oriented. Clients and prospects are interested in hearing about ways your firm can help them. Ensure that the copy being shared is externally versus internally focused—it’s about your audience and not about your firm. Help your audience answer the question of why they should care about what you’re sharing with them and understand the ways in which your firm can help them grow and succeed.

2. Avoids a one-size-fits-all approach

How marketers approach writing for social media, their website, and blog articles should differ from the language used for a technical whitepaper or a press release. It is important to distinguish between the mediums and acknowledge that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to copywriting.

3. Starts with a strong foundation in the basics of grammar, but can break the rules a little

In recent years, there has been a movement toward using plain language in communications. The Plain Language Action and Information Network defines this as “writing that is clear, concise, [and] well-organized.” Take a reader-centric perspective when drafting compelling copy and make your messages easy to understand. Consider using active voice and writing in short sentences and paragraphs. And acknowledge that it’s okay to start the occasional sentence or two with ‘And’ or ‘But.’

4. Considers tone and voice

There are many elements that make up a firm’s brand, and copy can be one of them. When writing copy, consider brand voice. If unsure about what your firm’s brand voice is, ask yourself what personality the brand has. From there, you can determine the tone and voice. Is it authoritative and informative? Bold and caring? Fun? Inspirational? Reliable? Having a clear brand voice will make the overall copy even more connected to and aligned with your firm—therefore reinforcing brand identity.

5. Communicates a unique point of view

Similar to your brand voice, your firm’s values and what it stands for should be clearly communicated through the copy as well. Authenticity is key and to truly stand apart from the rest, make sure that perspective is . For example, as a financial services firm, it’s likely that your offerings are the same as your competitors. But perhaps the way you deliver your services is different. Make sure this difference is communicated in your copy.

6. Is dynamic and engaging

Compelling copy should appeal to the emotions of your firm’s audience by using descriptive words and painting a picture. Leverage the power of storytelling to communicate your messages and make them memorable. An article by Harvard Business Publishing notes that stories have the ability to forge connections and convey values. Stories also appeal to every type of learner, or person, there is. Whether your audience tends to learn through visual, auditory, or kinesthetic approaches, storytelling can appeal to all. So when educating your audience around your firm’s service or offering, use some of the techniques of storytelling to make your point clear. And never lose sight of ethical considerations and being authentic along the way—making sure copy isn’t misleading and that it is staying true to your firm’s brand.

7. Includes a call to action

Compelling copy should have a call to action. It should urge your audience to act. What’s the purpose of your article, About page, or Services section? For example, for a Services page, the purpose is likely to educate a prospective client on how your firm can help them and what you offer. At the end of the page, you may want to include a CTA that prompts visitors to fill out a contact form if they’re ready to work with your firm and inquire more about your services. The copy of a CTA must be compelling as well, to properly convey the next step and encourage users to act. This next step could be to get in touch with the firm or to continue reading relevant information. For example, a Project page may show other similar project examples at the bottom of the page, or the end of a blog article may give users the option to subscribe to a newsletter for further engagement.

Great copy generates leads

The key to writing compelling copy is to take a benefit-oriented approach. Always put yourself in the shoes of your audience and consider their interests. Speak to the items your clients value while being authentic to your firm’s brand. Make sure that the copy is both attractive and dynamic. And ensure that the actions you want your audience to make are clear. Implementing these steps will put you on the path to creating compelling copy that reaches the audience it’s designed to reach, and when written effectively, will generate and convert more leads.