Direct Response Copywriting: Crafting Copy That Converts [Infographic]

Posted on August 21, 2018 by Media Culture

Direct response marketing campaigns can be incredibly effective ways to drive customer conversions right now, but only if the direct response copywriting that does the asking for that customer to call, click or come by is well-written and compelling.

Copywriters have uncovered a number of tricks to maximize the effects of their words, resulting in direct marketing that really sells.

Our most recent infographic shares some of those direct response copywriting secrets with the wider world. Learn how to craft a killer direct response (DR) effort in no time, or at least how your favorite copywriters use their magic fingers to massage your leads into great customers.

Your words matter

Writing effective direct response copy means keeping track of your Ps and Qs, quite literally. Your words matter, each and every one of them. How you choose to arrange them can have a massive effect on the results you get.

You want more effective copy? Start with these tips for trimming the fat:

  1. Determine the goals for your copy. Are you selling shoes or trying to get someone to donate to a cause?
  2. Plan your route. How are you going to achieve that goal? It’s time for a creative brief!
  3. Prepare to demonstrate your value. Always show, never tell, how much value you’re bringing to the table. Make a list of the ways you’re going to create a positive change if the target does what you’ve asked.
  4. Arrange the points on your list in order from most valuable for your initial goal to least.
  5. Trim it down. Get rid of the points that are least effective.

The words you use in your marketing copy matter at least as much as the techniques you use to put them together. It’s important to be authentic, relaxed and conversational in sales copy. This kind of tone makes it easy for the reader to engage and even invest in your sales pitch. Don’t promise things that can’t be delivered or over-hype your product or service.

Here are a few examples. Consider:

  • “Opportunity” instead of “Once in a lifetime.” Is it really once in a lifetime? Probably not. If it is, why are you selling it to someone else? Get in on that yourself!
  • “Discover” in place of “Never before seen.” You’re selling something, so presumably you’ve seen it, at least in a picture taken by someone who was there in real life.
  • “Exclusive” over “Hurry!” Although time can be a motivator, this one is so overused that it carries virtually no power. Offers expiring in just a few minutes are also no-goes.

Write to your audience

The mediums you choose influence how you put those words together.

From the tone to the length of your sentences, it’s important to understand where your customers are in their sales journey across your mediums. As always, keep it lean, keep it clean and you’ll come out shining like a diamond. 

Try these approaches to these mediums:

  • Turn your pitch into a super short narrative. If you can’t convey your video marketing message in 60 seconds, keep cutting until you can.
  • Social Media (organic and paid). There’s so much noise on social channels that you have to bring your A game. Short and punchy copy and images can grab the attention of users, but only if you know exactly what to say and say it in a few seconds.
  • Print’s still running at a more relaxed pace. These days, if someone sees a print ad, it’s because they’ve chosen to invest the time in a book, magazine or newspaper. Tailor your direct response copywriting to the known audience, using both large compelling statements and smaller text to support them.
  • It’s easy to ignore or let the information from a radio ad slip away too quickly. Because of that, it’s vital that you keep your direct response radio message simple and memorable, repeat it at least once and make your CTA clear. Call now at 1-800-GREAT-COPY.

Don't be afraid to ask (or tell)

One of the biggest mistakes that direct response copywriters make when writing copy is being too shy about their call to action. Of course, you never want to beat a potential lead over the head with your desired action, but if you don’t at least ask, how will you ever know if they’ll say yes?

It can be a helpful strategy to craft a few questions prior to the CTA that will always have “yes” answers to get your audience into an agreeable mood. Even if you lack the space or time for that particular tactic, you can always choose words that leave no doubt in anyone’s mind what the next step will be. 

Call to Actions would include words like these:

  • Buy
  • Shop
  • Get
  • View
  • Learn
  • Join
  • Discover
  • Schedule
  • Enter
  • Try
  • Start

You can apply these words in all kinds of ways in your direct response copywriting, provided you lead with them. “Get your free sample now,” would be a good example.

Remember to test one variable at a time

Last, but not least, you will need to test your marketing copy.

Sometimes you’ll be surprised by the results and learn new ways to approach similar problems, sometimes you’ll be underwhelmed. Either way, you have concrete evidence that what you’re doing is working. Keep in mind that changing more than one variable at a time makes it almost impossible to tease the effects of the changes apart, so be patient.

It's all in the copy, do you copy?

Words have real power to move people and push them along to decisions.

It doesn’t take any magical powers to be a good direct response copywriter, but you do need an understanding of how these words work together to create big change. Direct Response copywriting is a skill like any other, start with the tips on our infographic today and you’ll improve your marketing copy for years to come.



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