Last week I did a Google+ Hangout with Max Minzer. During the interview I argued that everyone — especially experts — could benefit from learning how to write direct response copywriting.
Of course I first defined what direct-response copywriting is: the ability to write something to get action, and then measure that action. That feedback will tell you what is working … and what is not … helping you write in such a way that your best ideas get noticed, shared, and acted upon.
During the interview I mentioned a popular formula I use for creating persuasive copy: the four Ps. If I had more time I would have shared even more. Well, I can do that now on my own blog.
Ready? Let’s go.
This was only the second post I’d written for Copyblogger. But it summed up what I’d learned in the preceding eights years of studying copywriting, web marketing, usability, and SEO.
In the following three posts I expanded on each on of the Cs.
The number one rule when it comes to web writing is this: what you write must be clear. So how do you write copy that makes sense? Fortunately the answer is simple.
This is my process for editing web copy — from omitting useless words to abandoning a post. This is where you make your money.
We have to get to the heart if we want people to care. If we want people to respond. Here is how one company did that with their query-free insight discovery tool (I know, right, so exciting!).
Your prospect doesn’t care about your product. He just wants to know how he can solve his problem and turn his life around. He’ll worry about the actual product once he’s picked up the phone and called you. Great object lesson using ugly men.
Sure, this post is geared to Twitter headlines, but it’s a great introduction to the four Us approach to writing headlines.
The question I most often get asked when it comes to the four Us is this: “Can you explain what you mean by urgency?” I finally set this in print.
Absolutely love this formula across the board … but found it particularly useful when writing short content like product or meta descriptions.
A Formula for Controversy
Kicking up controversy is something every writer should know how to do. I don’t recommend you build your bedrock content on controversy, but once in a while it won’t hurt.
Over to You
The most notably missing formula is AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action). I find that one confusing because I always get the interest and desire parts mixed up. Besides, the four Ps says the same thing … but better.
Got any formulas you use? Please share in the comments.