Companies hire freelance writers or content agencies to develop content that captures and converts leads. During the process, the author needs to find a way to offer value and engage the audience.
We have identified multiple bullet-proof formulas to create copy that sells.
Not all apply to every occasion.
Scan the formulas and give them a try!
1. Before Problem – Imagine Solution – Enjoy the Result
Here is how the formula works:
Before the Problem: During this part of the writing process, describe the situation as it currently stands. The more detail, the better you can get your point across. Paint the picture so the reader can see themselves in the current situation and connect with the content.
Imagine Solution: During this part, you describe an upgrade to the situation. Explain how the situation can improve.
Enjoy the Result: Finally, at the end of the copy, you introduce how the reader can enjoy the improved situation. Here is when you will add the product or service you are promoting.
Example: Let’s assume you are writing for a technology company that is selling a video editor software. Using the above formula, you would describe the video-making process and its challenges. Then you would paint a world where the process is faster, easier, and results are more professional. Finally, you would introduce the new software as the means to get there.
2. Identify the Problem – Unravel the Problem – Solve the Problem
Identify the Problem: You will begin by clearly defining the problem. Here you utilize questions or examples. Try to make it as relatable to the target audience as possible.
Unravel the Problem: During this part of the content development, you can highlight the problem by describing how it can cause further discomfort, poor results, depression, or whatever is relevant to the solution. For example, in this section, if you are writing about anti-depression medication, you can highlight all the problems that come along with depression.
Solve the Problem: Finally, introduce the product or service and explain how it is an excellent solution to the problem you described above. You can use statistics, testimonials, and other relevant content to help the targeted audience feel at ease about trying the product or service.
Example: Let’s expand on the problem we already mentioned above, depression. In this case, you would be writing for the pharmaceutical company that is providing this new medication to the public. In the first section, you would talk about depression, give statistics, and move on to elaborate further on the problem. During this phase, you would build on all of the issues that come along with depression. Finally, you would introduce the new treatment and prompt people to speak with their doctors.
3. Describe the Features | Specs – Explain the Advantages – Apply the Benefits
Describe the Features | Specs: This type of content is straight-forward and to the point. You do not have to ease the reader in a story. You would immediately jump into the features of the particular product or service. In this section, you state what the product or service can do.
Explain the Advantages: Here, you would describe the advantages of these features. Such advantages can include speed, user-friendliness, innovative designs, simplification of a previously complicated process, etc.
Apply the Benefits: Finally, this is where you elaborate on what these benefits mean to the reader. For example, speed can save time; user-friendliness can help minimize confusion, etc. This is where the readers should be able to visualize themselves using the product or service.
Example: You have been hired by a SaaS Technology company to develop content for the launch of their new platform. In the first section, you would go straight into the features of this new technology, which might include customization, organization, and other unique to the company features. Then you would explain the advantages of such elements. For example, you would tell how personalization has proven to allow the user to perform better, etc. You would use data and research. Finally, in the last section, you can help the readers visualize all these benefits when applied to their situation.
4. Grab Attention – Establish Interesting Information – Increase Desire – Prompt Action
Grab Attention: During this stage, the writer would introduce something shocking, unique, or new to grab the reader’s attention. For example, the writer is hired to write about a new face cream that fights wrinkles. A great way to grab attention is by opening the piece by asking something shocking. A good example would be: “Did you know that 95% of the anti-aging products on the market perform only 5% of the time?”.
Establish Interesting Information: Here, the writer would elaborate on various exciting and credible industry information. The goal of this section is to gain the reader’s trust and introduce the product or service.
Increase Desire: In this section, the writer would detail the benefits, share consumer stories, state proof, and share any other social proof to prove that it creates an increased desire for the readers to try the product or service.
Prompt Action: Remember, the reader would enter this final portion of the article with a strong desire to try the product or service. The best way to use this momentum and heighten excitement is to summarize the essential takeaway points and move the reader to take action with a smart call-to-action (CTA).
Example: Taking the above example of anti-aging cream, the writer starts the article with something shocking and then moves on to establish interest by sharing relevant credible data and information. This would build trust between the reader and the brand. To increase the reader’s desire to try the product, the writer would introduce a lot of social proof, benefits, and share customer stories. In the end, this formula requires a strong CTA to help the reader take action before the desire is replaced or eliminated.
This is one of the most popular formulas for most B2C products, and sometimes it is used for B2B products. It dates back to television ads and telemarketing commercials. It is tried and true and has entered the realm of classic and timeless techniques.
This concludes our Volume One of bullet-proof formulas for writing web copy that sells.