Automatic. Dull. Generic. Soulless. Rigid. Limp. Numbing.
99% of marketing copy you’ll find online fit all these unflattering adjectives, and then some.
It doesn’t stop people in their tracks and command undivided attention. It doesn’t leave anyone thrilled to learn more about the offer. And it sure as heck doesn’t inspire conversions, or even leave an impression strong enough to outlive your average soap bubble.
And if you’re looking to generate actual sales with copywriting just like, oh, I don’t know… anyone doing business online! — you can’t afford to be generic and forgettable.
Because nobody’s ever been bored into buying something. Not to my knowledge, at least.
That’s why this week, I’m showing you 5 choice techniques to electrify your copy and make it 10X more engaging and high-converting.
You will learn:
- The #1 technique that can transform any snoozetastic infodump about facts, figures, and selling points of an offer into an exciting, memorable narrative — and it’s one that your customers won’t be able to resist.
- A simple hack to overcome the “blank screen syndrome” and craft juicy, compelling introductions, descriptions, and bullet lists at a moment’s notice… all by breaking one of the most common (but false) copywriting rules.
- How to jolt your audience out of mindless scrolling or skimming, and make them cling to every word of your message like a litter of newborn spider monkeys to an oversized teddy bear.
- The exact words you need to change to make your copy ooze unstoppable energy and charm… even if you keep the rest of it generic and corporatey (but please don’t).
- How to infuse your copy with an irresistible personality without compromising your brand voice. This technique can work for selling anything: from enterprise-level B2B solutions to everyday consumer products in hyper-competitive markets.
Ready? Then let’s crack our knuckles (sincere apologies to my orthopedist) and dive right into the most important technique on the list…
1. Tell stories, not just facts and selling points
Humans are hardwired to fascinate — and be fascinated by — stories.
Stories are the most natural, effortless method for us to learn, retain, and reproduce new information, hands down.
(I mean, it’s just science.)
If you don’t tell stories with your copy, you’re actively making it harder for your prospects to do, well, anything!
Forget about taking action and converting — if you just present dry facts and selling points with no story behind them, your audience will struggle to:
- Understand what you really mean, because contextless promises are always vague
- Relate what you’re saying to their experience, because there’s no story to connect with
- Or even remember the information, because humans are not memorization machines!
Stories connect the dots between your offer and the actual benefits and outcomes it creates. They humanize your message by giving customers an easy character to empathise with. And they glue all the information together into a memorable, easily reproducible narrative.
Always try to tell at least one story within your copy. But don’t worry: it doesn’t have to be about something that actually happened — AKA an anecdote. Of course, it helps to share tangible details of your life, or those of your other customers, with your audience…
…but you can just as easily describe hypothetical scenarios! Talk to your customers in the second or third person, echoing their problems and dreams right back at them. It’s a kind of storytelling, and it can be just as compelling as reality-based anecdotes.
Pro tip: you can also pull relevant stories from the news, history, pop culture, etc. They might even work better than basic narratives, because your customers could have prior knowledhe of them!
2. Mesmerize readers with rhythmic patterns
You might have been told that repetition kills the pacing of your copy. You might have thought that no competent writer starts the next sentence the same way as the first. You might have heard that customers get easily bored with this writing style and leave.
Well, you’ve heard wrong!
Rhythmic writing — repeating structural, grammatic, or phonetic (sound-based) patterns in your copy — is a powerful tool in skilled hands.
It can pull the audience deeper into the narrative, without actually requiring a full story to do it. It can create a comfortable pattern — only to break it later in a satisfying way. And it can establish a specific tone, atmosphere, and mood in just one paragraph, or less.
You wouldn’t write an entire piece like that, but 1-2 strategically placed rhythmic patterns can enhance your copy and make it more pleasurable and intriguing to read.
Let me share with you some of my favorite ways to play with this technique:
- Make engaging intros. When I don’t know how to start a piece of copy, or I just want to have fun, I turn to this method. I’ve even used it at the start of this article!
- Create juicy, powerful lists. Lists usually benefit from a bit of uniformity, so starting them all in a similar way, or putting them into a similar structure, works like magic.
- Craft captivating descriptions. This technique is a godsend when you need to describe anything: a product, a service, a person, a process, you name it.
3. Embrace vivid, weirdly specific details
Every day, your customers’ long-suffering brains get bombarded with thousands of marketing messages. And most of them look and sound exactly the same — like a dimly lit “Best Vin Diesel Impersonator” competition.
And when your audience lays their eyes on the same cliches, the same eye-rolling platitudes, and the same trite expressions for the billionth time… what do they do?
That’s right: they leave, or at least zone out. And they don’t convert.
Now, if your message strains under the weight of cliches and meaningless phrases like “take control of your finances” or, god forbid, “integrated solutions” …you’re in trouble.
Luckily, I have just the thing to jolt your customers out of their glossy-eyed scrolling — and into paying attention.
Vivid, tangible details.
They make your readers’ brains wiggle with excitement and soak up every delicious word you’re sending their way. They make your copy sound fresh and one of a kind. They are practically candy for the mind. (Didn’t mean for that to rhyme, but I like it.)
Here are a few ways to deploy details delightfully:
- Make colorful comparisons — like the one I’ve made above. And don’t worry about making it weird; weirdness is memorable and the opposite of generic.
- Unpack and enhance the key points of your message, e.g. benefits and results you are promising to customers. Those can flourish with just a little detail!
- Replace cliches with something quirky and unexpected that sticks in your audience’s mind like a stick staple-gunned to a brick of dried glue (see?).
4. Inject descriptive, high-velocity verbs into your copy
99% of the energy and oomph in your copy comes from verbs.
Descriptive, high-impact verbs “paint the picture” for your readers, helping them visualize what you’re saying and actually absorb your message. Infuse your copy with them, and it will electrify people…
…even if you keep everything else generic. (I really hope that you don’t, though! Otherwise, why did I spend all this time dishing about the other 4 techniques?)
Here are 2 simple rules of thumb about high-velocity verbs:
- Avoid vague verbs you cannot instantly picture — e.g. “get,” “help,” “use,” “provide” etc. Whenever possible, replace them with something descriptive and specific. For example, “generate more revenue” can glow-up into “supercharge your revenue.”
- For verbs that are visual but still generic, like “walk,” “hit,” “laugh” etc. — find a more precise synonym. E.g. you can “drink” something a million different ways… but verbs like “glug,” “sip,” or “lap up” each paint a crystal-clear and distinctive mental image!
Similar to power words, high-impact verbs are an easy, powerful way to enrich your copy. Sprinkle them on your email subject lines to boost open rates into the stratosphere; insert them into headlines / subheads to turn skimmers into binge-readers; and punch up your body copy with these bad boys, so anything you write crackles with energy!
(You’ll notice that I’ve done all of the above up to this point… and I’ll deploy quite a few more amazing verbs before we’re done. It’s so easy and effective, there’s literally no reason not to!)
5. “Break the 4th wall” to engage your audience
If I had to pinpoint the one thing all bad marketing copy has in common, it would be this…
All poorly written copy always feels like it’s talking at you — and never to you.
Know what I mean? Like, you’re reading a webpage, or watching a video, or listening to a podcast or whatever… and it just rapid-fire spits factoids, selling points, and calls to action at you without stopping.
There’s no consideration that there’s a human being on the other end; no attempt to engage with your thought process; no effort made to create a genuine connection.
So of course people ignore this kind of lazy copy! No surprise there.
But the question is… how do you make yours stand out, engage, and connect?
Well, the easiest way to do that is to “break the 4th wall,” as they say in theater and film.
In other words, address the audience directly.
Now, if you’re paying attention, then you’ve already noticed me doing it multiple times throughout this article. Heck, I’m doing it right now! *wink* But just to cement the lesson, here are two specific ways to incorporate 4th wall breaking in your copy:
- Write little asides in parentheses, commenting on what you said, making jokes, or calling out your audience.
- From time to time, address the customer directly, like you’re talking to a friend. Ask them a question, talk about what they’re doing, reference a relatable experience etc.
This technique works wonders for crafting copy that doesn’t sound lifeless and corporate-y, and actually resonates with potential customers. Give it some love!
Become a certifiable “customer whisperer” in 30 seconds or less
Now that you have 5 devastatingly effective copywriting techniques up your sleeve, you can 10X any piece of copy you write in the future to produce rapt engagement and top-quality conversions for your business.
But let’s not stop just yet! Because I’d like to do you one better.
How about my team and I set you up with an irresistible “customer magnet” marketing asset that can take people from knowing nothing about your business… and turn them into sparkly-eyed red hot leads begging you to tell them more about your solution?
Oh, and it can accomplish that feat in 30 seconds or less.
I know what you’re thinking, “There’s no way I can hook people on my business in 30 seconds!” I disagree. My team has already helped dozens of businesses formulate an irresistible Elevator Pitch — and we want to create one for you, too.
All you need is to hop on a 30-minute consultation with one of our expert copywriters here at The Draw Shop. They will help you define the problem you solve, how you solve it, and the life-changing results your customers will see from working with you.
Then we’ll transform your input into a unique Elevator Pitch for your brand — a powerful 30-second statement scientifically designed to stand out, delight, persuade… and convert.
And we’ll top it off with a one-page, one-of-a-king infographic that makes your pitch into an engaging visual story! That’s going to be a valuable marketing asset in its own right — you can use it to…
- Share it with your team
- Feature it on your website
- Use it in your email signature
- Put it on the back of your business card
- Spread it on social media