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18 min read

What Is Conversion Copywriting, and Why Should You Learn It?

Mariana Krasteva

August 22, 2022

We all know that marketing a product or service and making sales requires effective copywriting. But did you know there’s a specific name for this type of writing? It’s called conversion copywriting and drives an astounding 11.45% average conversion rate.

Whether you’re a professional copywriter or a business owner, conversion is a key element of your marketing strategy. 

Calculated as the percentage of visitors who turn into actual buyers, the conversion rate is a key indicator of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. The average conversion rate across industries is a mere 2.35%, according to the Wordstream survey cited above. 

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So why do nearly one-third of the accounts studied above have a conversion rate below 1%, while only 10% of businesses achieve a nearly five times higher average? 

The answer is complex and involves multiple factors, including the value proposal, the relevance of the offer to the website visitors, and how this offer is communicated. While the first point hinges on what you’re offering, driving relevant traffic and framing your offer in a clear, enticing, and impactful way largely relate to copywriting.

Why does conversion copywriting matter, and how can you use it to improve your conversion rate? We’ll tell you everything you need to know.

First, let’s take a look at some figures. This year, 80% of U.S. consumers will shop online—the global ecommerce industry will be worth an estimated $5.5 trillion. This is expected to increase, with worldwide ecommerce spending hitting $7 trillion worldwide by 2025. 

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Given the dominance of ecommerce, it’s obvious that conversion copywriting can help you stay competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace. We’ll show you the ropes of crafting copy that converts, complete with examples of copywriters who’ve done it right. 

Ready to get started? Let’s begin with the basics.

What is conversion copywriting? 

Conversion copywriting is persuasive writing focused on convincing prospects to take a particular action, such as buying something on your site, signing up for email updates, or navigating to another page on your website.

Just like copywriting in general, conversion copywriting is about selecting the right words and using them in the right order to achieve your goals. In short, this is creating content that turns visitors into buyers. 

Most people know that an effective sales page should make clear promises about the product and how it will improve customers' lives. That’s true, of course, but there's more to conversion copywriting than crafting a good sales letter or landing page. 

The goal of your website (and every piece of copy you put on it) is to get people to sign up, click, buy—whatever you want them to do. 

Take a look at the following example.

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Would you click on the “No thanks” button? Of course not. 

No smart business owner treats all customer behavior the same, and everybody wants to convert clicks into sales. So, if this heatmap will give the reader more insight into the behavior of their prospects, then why not click on the “Show me” button? 

Here’s another great example by VW.

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This copy is snappy, informative, and includes a clear call-to-action (CTA). The goal of the copy is not necessarily to drive immediate sales, but rather to entice prospects into taking a closer look at VW’s products and eventually reach the “Get a good feeling” CTA in the subscription form below. Tempting, isn’t it?

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Conversion copy factors into every point of the content marketing funnel and every stage of the buyer's journey. 

  • At the top of the funnel, it can help guide prospects by persuading them to sign up for your email list or download an ebook. 
  • In the middle of the funnel, it can convert readers into leads by convincing them to fill out a form and provide their contact information. 
  • And at the bottom of the funnel, conversion copy helps close deals by getting customers to complete their purchase.

As you can see, conversion copywriting is the key to your prospects’ minds, hearts, and ultimately, their pockets.

What does good conversion copywriting do?

When we talk about conversion copywriting, we don’t always mean we want to make the prospect buy immediately. The particular goal of your copy depends on your visitor’s current stage in the customer journey. 

Here are a few actions you can persuade your reader to take. 

Product sales

If you're selling products online, chances are you should have detailed product descriptions for each item. Ideally, this should help customers understand what they're buying and why it's worth buying from you rather than elsewhere. This is where conversion copywriting comes into play—make your customer choose you over the competition. 

Let’s look at this Lily’s Kitchen example below.

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The product description is so clear and appealing that customers want to buy it before they even read the ingredients in detail—they already know that a quarter of the product is made of real chicken, presenting this as a high-quality option for their cat. It’s a great example of longer conversion copy.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Ipad page features a clear value proposition expressed through concise and powerful language and stylish design.

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This short and sweet copy emphasizes the product’s most distinctive and impressive characteristics. It also includes a clear yet unobtrusive CTA button and a Learn more option.

Engaging and informative copy is the answer if you want to impress your prospect and persuade them to make a purchase. The more engaged they are, the more likely they'll buy from you over any of your competitors.

Inquiry submissions

Inquiry submissions are another form of lead generation that can come from good conversion copywriting. An inquiry submission could be a form that collects the email addresses of visitors interested in learning more about your services or products before making a purchase decision. For example, if you sell software, you might ask prospects to submit inquiries by filling out an online form that provides their name and contact details, allowing you to follow up with them later.

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Copy.ai, for example, sets clear expectations and provides answers to some frequently asked questions. It also creates a sense of no-obligation exchange devoted to helping prospects find the answers they need. This is a great way to build trust and, ultimately, drive conversions—no one likes feeling tied up by simply asking a question and waiting for a response that may never come.

You can use conversion copywriting to drive inquiry submissions and encourage people to submit their contact details on your website. This can be used for a variety of purposes, from collecting leads for salespeople to gathering user feedback for product development and improvements. You can even ask for general information about the visitor's needs and interests so you can tailor future content offerings accordingly.

Email newsletter signups

Email newsletters are one of the most effective ways to build an engaged audience, leading to more sales. By signing up for your email newsletter, your prospects are opting in to receive your promotional messages, which means they're likely already interested in your offer.

Conversion copywriting can prompt people to sign up for your email newsletter. A good copywriter knows how to create a message that resonates with the reader and can create content that will persuade them to enter their email address. The best part? You can use it repeatedly to keep growing your subscriber list. 

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In this example, the marketer uses cheeky flattery to entice the reader to subscribe. Didn’t you feel smart and good-looking, too? 

Email newsletters are valuable for your business because they present an opportunity to expand your reach and connect with your audience. Good conversion copywriters can use words and phrases that trigger emotions in the reader to get them excited and make them want to take action.

More social media engagement

Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are important channels for building your brand, establishing thought leadership, and connecting with potential customers. 

Here’s the deal: If your company has a great blog or social media presence, you'll be able to expand your audience and acquire more potential customers by having your readers share it and engage with it. This gives you more exposure and brings in more visitors who might not have found you otherwise.

Good conversion copywriting can increase readers' likelihood of liking, commenting, or sharing your post. Let’s look at this Instagram post from Skittles, which wins readers over with fun and humor.

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Another strong example?

This Facebook post from Airbnb combines great copy with high-quality images to make the reader dream of a rural getaway.

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The effect? Plenty of likes, comments, and shares.

Long story short, killer conversion copywriting will help you increase your social shares and social media following. This means more exposure and traffic to your website, which will help you build your brand and generate leads.

Close sales deals

If you have an ecommerce store, copywriting is one of the best ways to convert visitors into customers. If someone lands on your store page, it’s likely they have already decided to buy a particular product. 

The only thing they can do is check out their options and make a purchase decision. You need to be able to convince them that what you have is better than the alternatives.

More than just a sales pitch, conversion copywriting is a way to help your prospects and customers make the decision to buy. 

Check out the Airtable example below.

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Conversion copywriting helps close sales by making the page look more professional, clear, and trustworthy. 

Get clicks on your content

Offering clickable content translates into increased engagement. The more people who click on your content, the more likely you are to convert visitors into customers.

Conversion copywriting is also a powerful way to increase your visibility in search engines. When people click on your content, it signals to search engines that they find it interesting and worth sharing with others. This increases the chances that the search engine will display your website when someone searches for related terms. 

It also helps build up an audience for your upcoming campaigns, which can lead to even more people clicking on your content in the future.

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When your copy is compelling, relevant, and informative, visitors will be more likely to click through and view more of your content. This can increase your leads, sales, or subscriptions.

What’s more, if you have a blog or website, conversion copywriting can help you generate leads by encouraging people to subscribe to your email list or download an ebook or white paper they're interested in. 

This can be especially effective if you offer something valuable as an incentive, such as exclusive discounts or special offers. That way, visitors who sign up become repeat visitors because they keep getting access to new information through email updates and articles posted on your website or blog.

Increase Ad CTR 

The CTR (Click-Through Rate) refers to the number of people who click on an ad relative to the number of people who see it. A higher CTR means more prospects see your ad and learn about your product or service. 

Conversion copywriting is critical because it directly impacts how many people click through to your site and makes purchases.

One of the best ways to boost your ad's CTR is by writing copy that clearly explains what your product or service does and how it will benefit customers. This is the strategy used in the Sendinblue and Mailchimp ads below.

This concise ad copy highlights the benefits of these two solutions (e.g., effectiveness and professional outcomes). By creating a sense of urgency, the ads encourage prospects to click through and learn more about the options offered.

When people click on your ads, they're more likely to see them again in the future. And when that repeatedly happens over time, it can result in better returns for advertisers—luckily, you don't have to pay for each click if someone has already visited your site. 

Product trials

Product trials are an excellent way to move customers from the consideration phase to the action phase. A product trial lets you see how your customers use your product, allowing them to experience its benefits. You can use product trials to convert more of your website visitors into paying customers.

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The example above features effective copy that tells businesses how to identify customers likely to close new deals.

When people visit your pricing page, they are typically looking for answers to one or more of these questions: 

  • What does this product do? 
  • How much does it cost? 
  • What features does it have? 
  • Why should I buy it here instead of somewhere else?
  • Why should I buy it now instead of later? 

You can answer these questions using the right conversion copywriting tactics and drive traffic toward a free trial signup form.

Making a call

Phone calls are a great way to engage your prospect and interact directly with your customers when making a sale. Persuasive copywriting can go a long way in motivating a visitor to seek a phone consultation.

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Making your prospects feel comfortable and specifying that it’s a no-obligation call will increase your chances of getting them to engage with your brand and build trust.

Gain more followers and subscribers

As a marketer, you always look for ways to grow your business. You know that social media is a great way to promote your brand. 

Conversion copywriting will help you increase your social media following (or your newsletter subscribers, etc.) by speaking the same language your target audience speaks. 

A superior copywriter can craft headlines that grab visitors’ attention and create compelling CTAs that motivate potential customers to click through to the website or shop page. Take a look at the great example below.

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Good conversion copywriting can also help you gain more followers by using strategic hashtags that make your profile easy to find.

Another benefit of persuasive copywriting is that it helps get more views for your content. This can lead to more sales because people are more likely to buy from sites where they have found helpful information about products they want or need.

Now that you know what actions you can motivate your prospects, let’s move on to the next vital part of the conversion copywriting process. 

How to write great conversion copy

To write effective conversion copy, you must understand what makes people tick. You need to know how to use language to get your message across clearly, effectively, and impactfully. 

Here are five steps to writing great conversion copy:

Determine your copywriting basics

Before you start writing, you need to make sure you have a good understanding of the basic rules of copywriting. You also need to understand what makes people buy different products or services and how you can use this information to improve your own marketing strategy. 

Make sure to answer the following fundamental questions:

  • What is the purpose of my copy? Is it to sell something or to get people interested in my products or services? 
  • Who is my target audience? 
  • Do these readers have any particular needs or concerns I can address in my copy? 
  • Are there any objections or concerns that need addressing? 
  • How can I target my prospects specifically?
  • What tone should my copy take? 

This is especially important if you have multiple audiences. For example, one piece of content may be aimed at new customers, while another one is aimed at existing customers. Your tone will vary depending on who you're speaking with and what kind of relationship they have with your brand.

Also, make sure to write as clearly as possible so that anyone can understand your message. You want people to know what they’re getting into before clicking on your ad. By being clear and speaking in layman’s terms, you’ll avoid losing potential customers because they don’t understand what they’re reading. 

What’s more, you have to make your copy easy to scan and skim—after all, studies show this is what 79% of visitors do. So, offer content that lets people find what they need quickly and easily.

Understand your medium

There are many different types of content, each with its own purpose and audience. Before you get down to writing, you have to understand the medium so you can create copy your audience will read, share, and interact with. 

Also, you have to know what each type of content is best for and how to craft pieces that resonate with your readers, ultimately leading to more conversions.

Let’s say you’ll be writing social media copy. 

What social media channels are you going to use? What kind of content do people love to share? 

For example, if you're trying to reach your audience on Facebook, you should focus on short, snappy posts that are easy to read. If you’re writing posts on Instagram, it’s wise to determine which hashtags might be useful to help people find your brand or product.

On the other hand, if you opt for a Google ad, you have to write three headlines of up to 30 characters each, two descriptions of 90 characters each, and two potential paths of up to 15 characters each. 

Creating conversion copy for marketing emails means writing subject lines between 36 and 50 characters long and body copy of up to 300 words.

By contrast, if your audience is more likely to read blogs on their mobile devices, then text-based content will probably be more effective for you. 

You need to know what kind of content is best suited for your audience and where they will most likely consume it. How long do they spend on each page? What are their habits when browsing online? 

All these factors will affect how your conversion copy performs. 

Understand your audience

The second important element of writing conversion copy is understanding your target audience and what they're looking for. Consider answering the following questions:

  • Who is your target audience? 
  • How old are they? 
  • What do they like? 
  • Where do they live? 
  • What do they want to know? 
  • Which social media platforms do they prefer?
  • How do they read in general? Are they more likely to skim, or do they read every word? 
  • Do they prefer short paragraphs or long ones? Do they like bullet points, or do they find them distracting?

This information will help you write copy that resonates with your target audience. If you don't know this already, consider researching your target market before you start writing. 

Make sure to know your audience’s pain points, as well. Here are some questions to guide you: 

  • What are your customer's problems and needs?
  • What are they afraid of?
  • What problem does your product or service solve? 
  • How can you help your customer solve this problem?  
  • What interests your audience about your product or service?

One way to get answers is by speaking with members of your team who interact with customers regularly. Alternatively, you could run surveys or polls on social media. 

Think about how your identified problems make your visitors feel, and then address them in your conversion copy. This will help ensure that your copy is relevant and effective.

If there's something unique about your offering, highlight it. People want something special and valuable, not just another version of something they already have. Let your audience know that your product or service is better, faster, easier, or more reliable than anything else out there right now. 

Understand your conversion goal

Before you start writing your copy, you must understand what you want your visitors to do once they land on your page. Do you want them to sign up for an email list? Buy something? Share an article? 

Conversion goals are the end actions that you want visitors to take when they visit your website. A conversion goal can be:

  • Making a purchase (buying a product or service)
  • Signing up for a newsletter (subscribing to receive more information)
  • Subscribing to an email list (signing up for updates about your business)
  • Registering for an event (signing up for a webinar, demonstration, or another event where people can learn more about your business)

Make sure the action you ask your readers to take is aligned with your business goals, as this will help you increase your revenue. This way, every word on the page will contribute to achieving your overall objective.

Once you've identified the specific features and requirements of the medium, target audience, and conversion goal, it's time to write your copy.

Write copy that converts

Want to master the art of creating killer copy? Follow these tips and learn how to level up your persuasive writing.

Use a headline that grabs people’s attention

The first thing your prospects see in your copy is the subject line, headline or heading. Make it easy for your visitors to understand what they get if they click through. You can include:

  • A benefit that resonates with your target audience (e.g., “save time, money, or effort”)
  • The problem you solve for people (e.g., “make more money from home”)
  • Why is your offer so urgent (e.g., “today only”)

It’s important to use this space wisely—you have to grab the reader’s attention immediately and make them want to learn more within the limited length of the headline. 

Note that the best-performing headlines are between 50 and 60 characters for blogs and around six words for websites. 

Focus on benefits over features

People don’t buy products, they buy benefits. Once you've got a prospect’s attention, write an opening that convinces them to keep reading. Focus on how people can benefit from your product rather than simply explaining its features. 

For example, if you sell a weight loss program, don’t just talk about losing weight. Explain how many pounds your program can help people lose, and then focus on what those pounds will mean and how they’ll look and feel. This leads us to the next point…

Be specific 

Avoid being vague and generic. Think of yourself as an artist who has to draw with words. Moreover, this may be your only chance to engage this prospect. 

Create a vivid and inspiring picture in your reader’s mind by being specific. Detail is what can make or break your copy.

For example, instead of saying, “Our [product] is made from a blend of ingredients that help you lose weight,” opt for something like this: “You can lose 20 pounds in just 30 days with our weight loss supplement made from ginger roots and oregano, grown on our sunny herb farm in Ohio!” 

Use the active voice

Active verbs are more persuasive than passive ones, which tend to sound hesitant or vague. Active verbs are easier for readers to understand and interpret because no one has to figure out who did what.

Let’s take “We created our slimming gel to help you look and feel your best” vs. “This slim gel was created to help you look and feel your best.” 

Which one sounds better to you? 

You can probably sense the personal touch of the first version and the vague, impersonal sound of the second one. 

Use power words 

Remember that your main task is to capture the reader’s attention and make them decide to act. And let’s not forget that our decisions are usually emotional.

Power words, also known as “magic words” or “attention-grabbing words,” are short, punchy words that help you persuade your audience. They elicit an emotional response in people, making them more likely to take action. 

For example, suppose you’re writing an article about how to increase productivity at work. In that case, you might use words like “frustrating” or “exhausting” that make your reader immediately understand the problem and why they should care about it. 

Use subheads to break up large blocks of text 

This makes it easier for audiences to scan your content and find what they’re looking for more quickly than if they had to read through a long, dense block of text. 

Also, use different lengths and styles of subheads to help the reader distinguish between them. Note that white spaces are your friend—they make your content more scannable and digestible.

Highlight your most important points

Bold and italics can draw attention to the most important elements of your copy and make it easier for readers to skim through. 

Note that you should use them sparingly so as not to overwhelm readers with too many formatting options. You can also use different fonts, sizes, colors, and spacing to keep things interesting. 

This will help you highlight key points in your content and give the reader the gist of your message.

Make your copy credible

You need to build trust with your potential customers, and using numbers and statistics to back up your claims is a great way to do so. This will position you as an industry expert whose opinion is reliable and data-based. 

The result? Your readers will be more likely to trust you and take your word when deciding on your product’s value.

Keep it short and sweet 

The shorter your copy, the easier it is for your prospects to read and comprehend what you’re saying.  

A good rule of thumb is to keep your paragraphs between three and six sentences in length. Also, use bullet points or numbered lists, short words, and simple sentences.

Write effective CTAs

Include a CTA at the end of each piece of content that tells readers what they should do next. Lean on words like "now" and "today,” which create a sense of urgency that drives the reader to take action. 

Your CTA needs to be clear and direct, focusing on the ultimate goal of your copy. Tell your prospects exactly what you want them to do in a straightforward, unambiguous way:

  • If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, say “Sign up for our newsletter.” 
  • Do you want them to purchase something? Say “Buy now!”, “Place your order now!”, or “Grab it today!” Other viable options are “Claim my deal!” or “Complete my purchase,” which use first-person possessive adjectives to increase engagement and boost the impact of the copy.
  • Do you want them to get in touch with sales representatives? Opt for “Contact us today!”, “Set a no-obligation call,” “Talk to our experts,” or “Let’s discuss my great ideas.

Now that you know all the nuts and bolts of crafting the perfect copy, you may feel overwhelmed. After all, you want to write the most persuasive content possible, but you might not have the time or resources to invest in the process. 

This is where Copy.ai's full suite of free copywriting tools can save you valuable time and money. From blog ideas, SEO titles, and email subject lines to Instagram captions and hashtags, CTAs, and Google ads, you’ll get valuable inspiration within seconds. You can copy and paste or edit the suggestions to match your needs.  

Test and measure

If you don't have any data on the performance of your conversion copy, then you'll have to start with A/B testing. This is the best way to determine which elements of your copy work best. 

You can run A/B tests on every element of your copy, from headlines and subheads to body copy and CTAs. Make sure to test them individually so the results are clear and measurable.

Next, divide your audience into two groups: one that will receive the original copy and another that will receive version B. The goal is to see which version performs better and send it out to your entire audience—this is known as A/B testing.

After running a few tests, you'll start getting numbers indicating which version of your copy is converting better than others. For example, let's say your first test showed that version A of your CTA (“Book my demo”) outperforms version B (“Book a demo”) with a 10% higher CTR. Make sure to use the better-performing version consistently throughout all pages of your website.

Keep running tests until you find the version that converts at the highest rate. This will help you identify the best-performing option and further improve your copy.

Optimize your conversion copy

Once you've conducted your A/B test, it's time to optimize your copy to increase your conversion rate.

Note that if you get a good CTR but fail to achieve a correspondingly high conversion rate, this might indicate that your offer is not appealing enough. Conversely, a low CTR combined with high conversion signals that your copy may need optimization.

Here are a couple of tips for optimizing your conversion copy:

  • Change the offer. Ultimately, the offer is what makes your prospects buy your product. Consider making the offer more attractive to buyers based on their behaviors and preferences. 
  • Change the flow. If too much copy or too many choices, your audience will get confused and won’t know where to look first. Once you've changed your offer, make sure there's a logical flow between each step of your sales funnel that leads customers toward a purchase decision. 

 Now that you know the name of the game, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Takeaway

Much like anything else, writing effective copy is a skill that requires practice and hard work—especially if you’ve set out to reach and surpass that staggering 11.45% conversion rate. 

The purpose of conversion copy is to get the reader to take action that benefits the business. 

With the tips above, you’ll have the chance to get your foot in the door and develop your persuasive writing skills. 

Remember that conversions result from two major elements: your value proposition and how you market it. Identify the offer that best works for your potential customers and use your persuasive copywriting skills to attract, engage, and ultimately persuade them to make a purchase. 

The buyer’s journey passes through multiple actions prospects need to take to reach that final decision, and your copy can help them transition from each stage to the next. 

If you’re feeling stuck, you don’t have to go it alone. Try out Copy.ai’s free writing tools to get some inspiration and start writing copy that inspires, persuades, and converts! 

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