Don’t believe me? In an interview with Ramit Sethi, when asked what the #1 underrated business skill was, he replied: “I’d have to say copywriting. I spent years studying it, we’ve generated millions of dollars using copywriting, and I’m still amazed by the masters.”
In a 2019 Forbes article, it says “content marketing costs up to 41% less than paid search. In addition, after three years, that piece of content will have generated over 300% more leads than paid search.”
So you can see why copywriting is so crucial to a successful business. And why I’m so passionate about people understanding why it’s so important to generate a healthy ROI.
In fact, I have built a Facebook Messenger bot and an email sequence that made $3,000 in sales in 48 hours with a 68.2% open rate, a 36.5% CTR and 71.5% CTR to sales page.
And best of all, one of the landing pages I wrote for Matthew Hussey outperformed the control by 44%.
So right now, in this post, I’m going to download my brain of 10+ years of professional writing expertise, drawing on my experience writing for newspapers and magazines like Rolling Stone and FHM, and big brands like The Voice, Nobu, Bondi Sands and American Express, as well as influencers like Matthew Hussey, to give you the shortcut to 7 copywriting techniques I use every single day that produce results for my clients, and when you apply them correctly, will dramatically improve your ROI.
Copywriting Tactic #1: Start with a hook
A ‘hook’ answers the question, ‘what gets people excited about what I am writing?’ Include a ‘power’ word like powerful, great, top, or best, and one of the persuasive techniques.
This can be applied for your lead magnets, emails, landing pages, and even your Messenger chatbots.
Using persuasion techniques and “power” or “trigger” words that get people excited, will encourage others to read (or tap a button) to learn more.
You could see a 12.7% increase in your conversion rates simply by sprinkling a few power words into your copy.
Let me show you an example.
This sponsored message for this article received 48 optins at a cost of just 13 cents per open, and made 5x ROI.
Let me dissect the copywriting techniques I used in this message.
I used two trigger words in the first sentence: “foolproof” , “formula” and another one following closely: “high-ticket”.
I used a persuasive technique coined by Bushra A, called “YAY without the BOO” (put simply, the good without the bad). The entire sentence is a YAY “Want to know the foolproof LinkedIn formula for attracting high-ticket B2B prospects” without the BOO “without feeling like a salesy slimeball”.
I deliberately chose what I call a disruptor with alliteration of the letter S: “salesy slimeball” which deviates from the regular copy you’d associate with B2B/business/LinkedIn, to grab attention.
Then I follow up with my favourite part of the entire message: the button. The button copy is my favourite because it’s amusing and ties into the “salesy slimeball”. #NoMoreSlimeballs
For a list of unforgettable power words that will instantly supercharge your copy and compel readers to open their wallets, steal my top 100 power words for free here (opens in Facebook Messenger).
Copywriting Tactic #2: Write for 6th graders
Make sure you write at a 6th grade reading level, and write simply – like you’re explaining your idea to a 5-year-old.
A general rule is to keep paragraphs around 1–2 sentences. Use 12–15 words per sentence to make your writing easier on the eye. And try not to go over 300 words.
Remember: Write simply! Warren Buffett uses just 13 words per sentence in his emails.
This includes setting up expectations in your chatbot for your users.
For example, if you need your users to perform a certain action, like tapping a button.
Include a line of copy that reads: “Tap one of the buttons below. Please don’t type anything in as it confuses our system. Thanks.”
The same goes for capturing their email address to give a free guide. You can include a line that reads: “So I can send you a copy of <guide>, please type or tap your email address below. Don’t worry – I promise to keep your details safe.”
Copywriting Tactic #3: Edit and cut — “kill your darlings”
If you’re anything like me, you like to write… and write… and write to get your ideas out. As a copywriter (and even my time writing for Rolling Stone), I often write down everything that comes to me as a jolt of inspiration. You should see my files!
What makes the final cut is often vastly different to what I started with. When I was writing for Matthew Hussey, I created a “Magic Wonder Doc” (yes, that’s what myself and the creative lead called it, and that was the file name), where I would save anything that would end up on the cutting room floor to use another time.
The editing phase is where you turn your words into pure conversion-rate gold, so don’t skip this! Editing is where you’ll get into the heart and soul of your offer. A good measurement is cut the first 25% and the last 25%.
Stephen King refers to this phase as to “kill your darlings”.
Tip: make sure every single is word is necessary. If you can say it in 200, don’t use 300 words to hit an imaginary word count.
I like to edit, then leave it “sit” overnight, then come back to it with fresh eyes in the morning. The reason we do this is that we often have more “brain space” to think about how to improve the copy overnight — it’s usually a two (or more) day job!
Copywriting Tactic #4: Scrap the adverbs
Adverbs (words that end in “ly”) weaken your words. “I yelled at the dog” is better than “I angrily yelled at the dog”.
As Stephen King wrote, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
I do sometimes break this rule and leave in adverbs like “instantly”, “quickly” and “dramatically” if they serve the remainder of the email, landing page or ad copy.
This is usually when I need to insert apower or trigger word, to ensure the reader clicks through. This is a psychological element that helps boost sales.
Copywriting Tactic #5: Don’t forget your call to action (CTA)
Let me kick off this section with some stats: I created an email for a SaaS startup that generated a 10% open rate in 2 hours to a list of 11k (higher than industry average)…
In fact, my own email list is still small as it’s just 12 months old and I’ve not done any form of advertising to cold traffic for more than a couple of weeks, but it has a 36.8% open rate (where my industry average open rate is just 17.9%), and 64% of them engage with my emails often.
(Psst… I also created a Facebook Sponsored Message Strategy that generated 5x ROI – hit me up on my FB Messenger chatbot and type “I want to hear it!” if you’d like to me to unpack that strategy and make that into a blog post 😉)
So you can see how important good copywriting and a good offer are to your open rates (and the potential to turn your readers into buyers).
In emails, and on sales pages and websites, you need to add a CTA (call to action) at the end. The CTA is one of the most important parts of conversion tactics. It is the action you’d like your readers to perform after they have read your email.
CTAs include things like:
Buy Now & Save $X
Learn More About…
One of my favourite things to do to make your CTAs really stand out and convert more readers faster is a technique I honed during the time I wrote emails as dating expert Matthew Hussey.
We wrote his CTAs as direct response (which stirs up emotions), and here’s a few I wrote for him:
Click Here to Get Instant Access to <Program Name>
Let’s Do This Together, Matt: Give Me My <Program Name> Now
Add Our LIVE Session to Your Calendar Now
Download Your Cheat Sheet Here
Get the Love You Deserve Today, <Name> + A Spot on Our BONUS Masterclass
Save Your Spot on My <Program Name> + Claim Your Free Gift
All of these should hyperlink to your video, free gift, blog post or sales page. If you have Google Analytics (UTM link) or a link management tool like bit.ly you can include a trackable link so you can see the source (your email) and how many people clicked on it.
Of course, email software like MailChimp does have this kind of tracking itself, but this is a good way to track links in a centralised place.
Copywriting Tactic #6: Include a P.S.
Another element you must consider is the P.S.
How many times have you read over something and skipped to the P.S.? That’s because we are notorious skimmers, and we’ll often gloss over an entire article, email or sales page and our eyes will fixate on the P.S.
So this is a great opportunity to make the P.S. do a lot of the work for you. This works for landing and sales pages as well.
The trick is to make it include your CTA (see above) as a final “last-ditch” effort in your P.S. to ensure the reader performs the desired action you want.
Your other option is to use the P.S. to make an offer unrelated to your body copy, like joining your VIP Messenger community or a Facebook group.
Copywriting Tactic #7: Reward Your Users & Readers For Performing an Action
I love this example above from Ash at The Middle Finger Project.
I will use the same technique here that I used when writing dating expert Matthew Hussey’s landing and confirmation pages, which is praise them and reassure them that they are making a wise decision.
This works for landing pages or chatbot conversations where someone needs to perform the desired action to get access to something.
This could be clicking a button, giving their email address, or signing up for a free webinar.
Instead of writing “Thank you for giving your email address” or whatever it is, you use language that reassures them.
Again, I’ll refer to copy I used for Matthew Hussey as I wrote a number of these for free lead magnets through to email list signup confirmation.
Here’s an example of one I wrote:
You’re About to Flip the Script So Your Guy
Will be Waiting by HIS Phone for YOUR Text!
Click the button below to download your free copy of
Can you see how little tweaks like replacing a boring “Thank you” with a praise/reward technique makes you, as the reader, feel empowered, smart, and reassured that you are making a wise decision and that you are on the right path?
It certainly does for me. This is such a powerful tool to use, and you can employ this tactic right now on your confirmation and success pages.
It may not seem like a big change to care about, but trust me, when it comes to having your audience have a positive association and love for your brand, it really makes a huge difference to your bottom line, too.
Remember: copy provides the information the buyer needs in order to make the decision to purchase. Whether that’s good copy that has them begging for your product, or bad copy where they go to a competitor, is entirely up to you right now.
Time to try it out…
So there you have it!
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