As an online marketer today, you’d be very concerned about
- How to sell on your website with better results
- How do you sell on landing pages for a better ROI on your Adwords spend?
The answer is simple and complicated: It lies in better persuasion.
But, there’s a warning.
Better persuasion works if you have a decent product or service.
If the product, or service sucks then good copy won’t help.
You’d be better off improving the product.
In this article, we learn about persuasion, the exact places to learn more about copywriting frameworks, understand what the StoryBrand persuasion framework is, how to evaluate a copywriter and some tips for it, and what to look for in Copywriters.
- Where does the power of persuasion lie?
- Where do you start learning about persuasion?
- What is the secret that great copywriters know but many marketers don’t?
- Use a modern persuasion driven copy framework
- How did the StoryBrand Framework come about
- You’re in a hurry to implement the StoryBrand, PASTOR, or any other copywriting technique, right?
- How to Interview a framework-driven copywriter
- More Tips to How to Select a Copywriter
- Be prepared to pay for good copy work
- Need great copy for your website?
Most business folks think great persuasion is about great design. The fact is that it’s not.
Persuasion harnesses words elegantly and imaginatively to address the needs, problems and pains of the customer.
It mixes this with proper facts about your product or business.
Weaves this beautifully with insights about your customers.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
The best place to start on your persuasion journey is with known, proven-to-work heuristics.
What you do here is piggyback on the famous writers and their formulae for writing that works and produces results.
Great Direct Response Advertising practitioners have known this all along.
What’s more they have chronicled it for us to use.
Joanna Weibe, of Copy Hackers, has artfully put this together for you and me.
You can use the copy formulae to accelerate your understanding of copywriting.
Experiment with these formulas. Understand how to evaluate good copy from bad. And over time, learn what works and what doesn’t.
Customers don’t buy your products or services. They buy a solution to their needs, problems, or pains.
Theodore Levitt puts this across beautifully: You make a 4 inch drill. The customer buys a 4 inch hole.
Charles Revlon, of Revlon Cosmetics, also wrote about this: “IN THE FACTORY WE MAKE COSMETICS, IN THE STORE WE SELL HOPE.”
What these statements underline clearly is that what you make and what you sell are two different things.
Marketing wisdom lies in understanding the difference and addressing it correctly in the copy.
Unfortunately, the web is littered with examples of poor copy: It tells more than it sells.
You can’t sell bad products and services with good copy
Get the product right and then perhaps good copywriting has some hope. Otherwise you will just hasten its demise.
Good copywriting is about weaving facts and customer insights into persuasion.
This is not about writing from imagination. Or grammatically correct writing.
Or peppering sentences with alliterations and adjectives that don’t mean anything and which an intelligent reader can spot for poppycock.
Nor is it copying what other people say and doing one better.
Good copy understands customer psychology and what motivates them in your product category in your local market. It then uses product facts to answer questions and solve pain.
Great design is usually a distraction to a great sell. Amazon understands it well. So does BaseCamp.
Copy is paramount. The design is understated and restrained on websites that test their pages.
Revisit Amazon’s sell pages. Or take a look at BaseCamp.com if you want proof.
StoryBrand is a persuasion framework by Donald Miller. PASTOR is a formula by Ray Edwards.
StroyBrand is more recent. It has several pointers which you can use to build websites and landing pages that convert.
The StoryBrand framework does not conflict with the great work of the Direct Marketing practitioners.
In fact, if you already know copy formulas you will be able to easily adapt to the StoryBrand writing, in my view.
It works well with Direct Marketing writing principles and provides a great peg to hang your writing on.
Donald Miller, in his book, says that he studied the secrets of block-buster Hollywood movies.
What he discovered was that there was a common thread that ran through all the successful Hollywood movies.
He then essenced the insights into a 7-part success framework. Brands can use this framework for effective selling.
While this framework addresses the parts of the human brain to achieve a complete sell, it's not original in my view.
It borrows from Hero's Journey and Direct Response Copywriting Formulas.
Understand the steps in the StoryBrand, or PASTOR Framework
Even if you have not read the book “StoryBrand” or delved deep into its processes to uncover its mysteries, you’d still need to know the basic principles before you start working with it.
Where can you use the StoryBrand or, for that matter, any Copywriting framework?
You can use copy frameworks to craft websites that sell.
That is rewrite and redesign the services copy on your website for better conversions.
You can also use it to create lead-generating offers. Sell a product/ service, or get a customer to download an eBook.
You can use this formula for landing pages and marketing collateral.
You can use copywriting formulas to craft landing pages
Landing Pages cost you money. After all, you invest in keywords, write ads, pay for Google bids, and get customers to your Landing Pages.
It would be a great pity after doing all this if your persuasion falters on your Landing Page and does not convert.
You can use StoryBrand to craft the marketing collateral that you invest in.
You can use it for email marketing and automated email campaigns
All your marketing efforts should be directed towards getting ROI.
ROI has to be measured. Anything less and you’re engaging in wasteful promotions.
You can use copywriting formulas to spot the nuances in the work done by StoryBrand, PASTOR, or any of the frameworks used by copywriters that you evaluate.
Wait, don’t. Contain your enthusiasm a bit to understand what you should do.
Great copywriting does not exist in a vacuum.
It piggybacks on facts about the product. It combines insights about your customers and cultural nuances into elegant, persuasive copy.
It uses a competitive context to explain why and how you’re different from others.
The fact is that you need to know enough about your customer, your competition, and your products/ service before you start.
Some questions you should be prepared for.
Let’s get some facts about your product, or service that will get into our story telling.
- Who buys your product, or service [age, location, work, interests]
- What motivates the person to buy?
- What does success look like for your customer?
- What does failure look like for him/her?
- What are the benefits of using your product?
- What’s so distinctive about your product, or service that someone should buy from you?
How is it different from what the competition offers: Cheaper, faster, packed with more features, packed with more benefits, etc
- What process do you employ to build your product or service?
- What social proof do you need to bolster your claims?
- What does the customer have to do to buy your product?
- What’s your offer to the customer?
- What is the call to action?
How do you answer these questions?
- There’s been years of primary research done on your brand. You can now whip this up.
- You have testimonials, affiliations, accreditations, processes used to craft the product/ service.
- You don’t have the answers and would need help administering a customer survey.
- You don’t have the answers and would need some secondary research on the web to find it
Understand where you are right now and be ready to do what it takes to get the answers.
Ok, you have done all the homework needed, and are ready to hire your StoryBrand, PASTOR, or framework-driven Copywriter.
What precisely should you look for? Outlined below are some pointers.
Does he/she ask a lot of questions?
Questions about the customers, product/ service, its use, your competition, survey results, research findings, affiliations, accreditation, testimonials, etc.
Can he/she show you examples of work with Copy Framework principles in it?
Are actual writing examples available online?
Can you spot the steps of the framework in his or her work?
This is something that you have to assess. There is an outline of the structure for persuasion that I have written.
Does the writing pass the Hemingway and Crio test?
These are grammar tests that you can easily run on the samples given by the copywriter.
Use the Hemingway App and the Crio with Google Sheets, or Grammarly to check for grammar.
- Can he tell you how his approach has resulted in results for his clients?
Before and after the copy.
- 16 Tips to hire a Copywriter
- Gary Halbert’s Letter on Hiring Copywriters
- The Secrets To Hiring And Developing The Best Copywriters For Your Website
- Good copywriters don’t come cheap
- Like any skill, copywriting takes years to perfect and it costs money
- Not all writing is the same: For example, if you’re writing a blog post, or an article for SEO Backlinks you don’t need a great copywriter. You just need someone who can curate, rewrite, and use SEO principles to add keywords and links. But to sell services on websites and Landing Pages where you invest money, you do need good/ skilful copy,
- Remember, writers are not gods. For that matter, neither are marketers. You can’t get it right all of the time. Experience helps, but not always. The right way to go about this is to experiment and fine tune the writing for better conversions after basing it on initial heuristics. Factor this into your costs.
Do you need StoryBrand, PASTOR, or any Copywriting Certification to write copy that sells?
Well, if you ask me, no. All these are just forms of copywriting, one more formula to add to the many that already exist. Using it helps you to quickly grasp the essential structure for selling. The messaging, within the structure, still needs to be done by you.
To say that one formula is better than another, we would have to objectively test both. What works for each of us is the winner. If your winning framework happens to be StoryBrand, it's good for you. But then it could well be PASTOR, or any of the other frameworks discussed in this article.
I am not StoryBrand Certified, thank you.
But can I write copy that sells? Sure I can. So can many others who aren't certified.
The issue is not certification but in your ability to discern and write copy that resonates with your customers and persuades them to buy.
You can be StoryBrand Certified and still struggle to write.
At Pigtail Pundits, we have been working on websites that sell, for many years now. We have clients all over the globe.
One of the things we do well is to write copy that sells. We also write awesome content for blogs and SEO.
We use some of the top copy frameworks on our website, and on our client websites.
If you need an expert copywriter to help you with web copy, don’t look further.
See some of the Copy Formula Driven Websites that we have implemented.
Write to us about your requirements and we’d be more than happy to solve your conversion headaches.
Entrust your digital marketing to experts today.
We specialise in Pay-per-click advertising, Social Media Outreach, Search Engine Optimisation, Conversion Rate Optimisation, Premium websites that convert, Content Marketing that works, and Awesome Training for your In-house Teams on digital marketing.
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