“Give me a reason why copywriting matters SO much…”
…is a point of argument I get at friendly gatherings. When I meet with professionals who had to stay about 700 years in school to practice their craft, they take offense that I – who didn’t finish college – can hang with their lifestyle and blend within their social groups.
They can’t fathom that what I do is important to the success of my clients, so they are constantly asking about it with a sarcastic or condescending tone. And my answer is the same: copywriting is salesmanship. Because what I write has an impact on the company’s bottom line.
Copywriting moves the proverbial needle, unlike most college professors, nurses, and other professions that require years of graduate and post-graduate tuition. I will expand on why copywriting is salesmanship in a bit. But first, I want to bring your attention to two online resources that prove my point.
The first is an article written by Neil Patel, titled 5 Reasons Why Mediocre Copywriting Can Crush Your Startup’s Chance for Growth. This report goes over why most startups fail, the role of persuasion in sales, and why bad copywriting will kill a startup.
The second resource is a piece written by Hannah Jacobson for IndieTech, titled Five reasons why you need a copywriter. As the title implies, this article talks about why companies should hire a copywriter. Among the reasons for the hiring, there’s your lack of business knowledge, extra marketing knowledge coming from the copywriter, and the experience that comes with the copywriting practice.
Now, drawing from the resources presented above, as well as my experience as a direct response copywriter, here are three points that prove why copywriting is salesmanship:
If copywriting is about salesmanship, then copywriting is also about conversation. A conversation aimed at fulfilling the reader’s wants or desires.
You can have all the pretty graphics you want. You can have Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the face of your company. But if you don’t tell people about what you do, why what you do is important, and how they can get what you offer… then all is for naught.
If you are writing a sales letter promoting your newsletter, then use the letter to have a conversation about what they will get when they get the newsletter. Grab their attention with a promise or fact that carries weight for the reader. Tell a story that allows the reader to connect. Then talk about the benefits they will get from this product you created. And finally, tell them how to get it.
You don’t need to be present to have a conversation with every prospect you have. Your sales and marketing copy should be doing that for you.
Oxford languages define persuasion as “the action or fact of persuading someone or of being convinced to do or believe something.” And that is exactly what your sales and marketing copy should do.
When you sell something, you are presenting a unique way of doing XYZ. If you are not capable of convincing your target market that your product/service/idea is the way to go to fulfill the audience’s desire – then you are going to fall short in the sales department.
In Persuasion: The Subtle Art of Getting What You Want, Mark Morgan Ford explains why persuasion is one of the most important life skills. And a vital one when it comes to growing a business – your sales and marketing copy will be selling non-stop while your sales force is resting. If your copy cannot convince your audience that your way is the way to go, then you can only rely on your sales team to make money. And that’s a serious handicap to the growth of your business, to put it mildly.
Copywriting is persuasion put into writing. And if you are not a persuasive person, you should then look for someone to write your copy. At least until you learn how to be persuasive.
There will be people out there who will try to convince you that your copy should be funny, cool, and hip… beware of those with that sort of bad advice.
Those who want to fill your advertisements with “fluff” are usually scriptwriting, Hollywood-wannabes looking to build a portfolio at the expense of your business. They don’t care about whether your marketing campaigns succeed or not. They only want to be able to say “I produced this! Look how impressive it is!”
This video by Alex Cattoni features some of the bad advice you will get from bad copywriters. From obscure references to puns gone array – these are some of the writing suggestions made by copywriters who see the craft as “creative first, business second”.
Now, I’m not saying that your copy must be dull to succeed – heck no. No one likes reading dull content, so a pinch of entertainment in your copy can go a long way. But make sure your fun bits are consumer-oriented and fit within the confines of your brand message and offers.
Avoid bad marketing and advertising advice. You could end up with a Super Bowl commercial that costs millions of dollars – yet produces little-to-no revenue and winds up forgotten by the end of March.
Starting today, you must fully understand why copywriting matters: salesmanship. Copywriting helps you carry a conversation throughout your campaigns. When done right, your copy’s persuasiveness will help you generate sales 24/7. But make sure to avoid bad copy – as ineffective sales and marketing copy can turn your campaigns from an asset to a liability.
Do you have a comment, suggestion, or question about why copywriting matters? Leave a comment explaining your side of things. And if you think this article could be useful to someone you know, feel free to share it with them!