Basic Web Copywriting Skills
Master this combination
Successful web copywriters are able to master a few basic skills necessary to create valuable content and copy as well as manage and engage with colleagues and clients. The skills we’re going to review ensure web copywriters are able to craft solid copy of all kinds, including sales copy.
You have a much better chance for success as a web copywriter if you master the following combination of skills:
- Eliciting information from prospective clients – people skills
- Formulating a Unique Selling Point (USP)
- Salesmanship skills
- Crafting Headlines
People skills are a big bonus if you’re going into the copywriting game. At some point you will have to talk with a client, even if you work in an agency or as part of another business. Clients may believe they’ve given you all the information you need to create a stellar product, but in some cases they’ve inadvertently omitted some very vital information that can help you build an argument and even build a USP.
Building a USP
The Unique Selling Proposition is a vital piece of any promotion. If a client doesn’t already have a USP fleshed out, then a good copywriter can help explore the possibilities, push back and take a clear look at the product or service that’s for sale.
The USP is a distillation of all that’s great and unique about a client’s product or service, even more importantly, it’s what makes it different, sets it apart from the competition’s. Copywriters that help define the USP must utilize a variety of business skills; they must also make certain they are privy to all product information, any sales “controls” that have already been produced, and possibly more. They take the time necessary to dig into all the features and benefits of a product/service and then formulate the USP.
Basics of Salesmanship
Sales are based on customer emotion.
Tell someone to buy something and they’ll likely do the opposite—because human nature being what it is, few people want to be told what to do, whether it really is for their benefit or not. This is why the very best copy is very subtle, leads the customer to his own conclusions and leads him to “feel.”
Always close, or ask for the sale.
The headline is responsible for up to 70% of the piece’s conversion, so says some of the most legendary copywriters. Crafting a headline for a sales letter, email (subject line), or an advertorial is a key part of the project. Some copywriters spend more time writing their headlines than they do the rest of the copy—that’s how important this piece is. And everyone has advice for writing headlines.
While it may not be vital, creativity and the ability to innovate and be flexible are also to your credit.