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7 Principles of Copywriting For More Persuasive Lead Generation

By Tim Brown
Updated August 22, 2020
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Copywriting Guide for Lead Generation, Persuasive Writing
Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

Have this post read to you in a natural voice, so you can do other things:

Your website’s copywriting is probably losing you customers right now.

  • It focuses on you – and not the customer.
  • It doesn’t make anyone WANT it bad enough.
  •  The language is “fluffy” and not specific.

You have to make them WANT it more – this article will help you do that step by step – with specific actions you can take to improve your lead generation website’s copywriting and examples.

Copywriting Guide for Lead Generation, Persuasive Writing

1. Be benefit-driven – Use “You” language over “Us” language

When you follow along over the next 7 or so days – you’ll have a few more tools in your arsenal to be more persuasive in business writing.

Don’t come to me looking for grammar or spelling advice – but I have been a primary writer on our company’s key pages (swear words and all) that have resulted in 1000’s of leads in the past couple years.

So to our main order of business – why you should often write with “YOU” focused language:

  • We believe in Donald Miller’s concept that YOUR CUSTOMER is the hero of your brand story, and your company is just the guide.
  • Too many companies get obsessed with outlining every detail of their offering rather than telling the story of a successful engagement with them.
  • Help them imagine the successful implementation, the emotional outcome, or the confidence they’d have if they worked with you.

Copywriting in Financial Services - Persuasion, Lead Generation

2. Create urgency and scarcity

I’m not sure I can say it better than Dan Kennedy did in The Ultimate Sales Letter:

“Imagine your letter being read by a guy in an apartment in Cleveland, in the midst of a ferocious winter storm, with gusting winds and snow outside at thigh height.

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You’ve got to get him so excited that he’ll get out of the chair in front of the fireplace, bundle up, slog through the snow, go out to his cold car, and drive down to the post office to get a money order and a stamp to send his order in rather than take the risk of waiting until tomorrow.”

How to do it:

  • Urgency – Hit em’ with short sentences, and short paragraphs.
  • Survival – Focus on the survival aspects in your copy – the amygdala / lizard brain (the part of our brain that handles instinct and survival) is way more involved in decision making than most people understand.
  • Scarcity – Understand your business’s (or the business you’re writing for’s) capacity – and be real about where you’d be overbooked. E-commerce uses ‘Only 7 Left’ – you can determine how many slots you really have the capacity for, and have others wait (the line out the door.)

Create Scarcity and Urgency in Copywriting for Lead Generation

3. Make sure your language lines up with how your niche talks about things.

You may use certain language, but does your audience say it that way?

Great example – Pops – an awesome diabetes management technology client of ours, is vigorous about using more personable language rather than making their ideal customers feel like ‘patients.’

Also – each ‘audience page’ serves them differently, including for companies and caregivers, using their language rather than generalizations.

How to do it:

  • Have a lot of conversations with your ideal clients.
  • Have your sales people in copywriting sessions for home & service pages.
  • Have your smartest copywriters have more sway than the CEO. (Unless the CEO is super involved regularly with the niche community)

Copywriting in Healthcare - Lead Generation, Language Alignment

4. Educate people – even if they don’t buy.

Finding ways to make the complicated simple is an art. You have to fully understand the customer, what their motivations and pain points are, as well as how sophisticated they are when it comes to your offering.

If you help someone by challenging their thinking, and they actually move to a new understanding through you – they are more likely to buy from you.

Even if they don’t buy from you – if you inspired this shift, people remember it. Particularly if they change their actions based on it. Inspiring someone to change – is one of the best ‘brand impressions’ you can make.

How to do it :

  • List out the ah-ha moments prospects have had when learning about your offering – and try to systematically share in your marketing.
  • Don’t be afraid to ‘disagree’ with prospective customers – rather, challenge them with new ideas.
    Be the company in your industry who ‘gives away all the plans’ and then sells the implementation.
  • I’m going to use our site as an example here – because we attempt to give away most of our secrets – have a learning section on our homepage, and have 701 published blog posts, which all-told have led to almost 100k Users a month.

Educate People Marketing Copywriting

5. Cut like a ninja – Remove filler words, and get down to the crucial pieces.

How can you say your company’s value proposition in 5 words or less?

I think the reason people hate the idea of “writing for SEO” is because they see it as inserting run-on sentences and repetitive content.

Be brutal with your writing.

Avoid filler content — visitors will be turned off, go back to the search results and your rankings will drop.

Good copywriting = good SEO.

Ever find yourself writing just for word count? Stop – slash that sentence.

Focus instead on this clarifying question: What else would the person reading this want to know that would equal PURE VALUE?

How to do it:

  • Be ok with shitty rough drafts.
  • Spend 10% of the time you took to write the article or landing page – just to cut out filler.
  • Get comfortable using plain language without jargon.

Write Shorter Sentences - Persuasion Lead Generation

6. Social Proof – “John tried this and received a 891% return on Investment” (also use exact numbers that aren’t even – perfectly even numbers seem fake)

Working stories of real ideal customers into your copy – helps lend credibility to what your company writes about itself.

Don’t tuck all your testimonials onto one page – but rather work them throughout the site liberally, and make them stick out visually.

How to do it:

  • Casually work in stories of real customers, into your main copy areas – you want the vibe of “people like us, do things like this.”
  • Add testimonials to key service pages, ideally with a 5-stars icon and the logo of the platform where it was left, so they can go check to see it’s authenticity (ie. Facebook & Google)
  • Next level = getting videos of your ideal customers sharing their experience authentically. Use the natural language they use in their testimonial elsewhere on the site too.

Social Proof - Lead Generation Copywriting

7. Focus on the first sentence and make it sexy, make it sell the the second sentence.

Most people don’t spend enough time on the first sentence of their article or landing page.

Can you make it a thought provoking question?

Can you share a common misconception, and say that it’s wrong, inciting curiosity?

Can you make a bold claim – or can you share something amazing they’ll learn if they read on?

Engage them.

“The sole purpose of the first sentence in a story is to get you to read the second sentence.” – Joe Sugarman

“Conventional wisdom says that the more time you spend reading something, the more likely you are to finish it. An engaged reader is like a bullet train, hard to stop.” – Mythili, The Writing Cooperative

How to do it:

  • Write your first paragraph and then go back and make sure that your first sentence would catch someone’s attention.
  • Drop little hints in your first few sentences that don’t get resolved right away (an open loop.)
  • Use evocative language (things that relate to the senses – survival, love, and inspiration) to help people imagine more vividly.

Thanks for reading! Any other persuasive copywriting for lead generation tips? Leave them in the comments!


 

Watch this quick video to see how savvy businesses save time and hook better leads:
 

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Tim Brown
Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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