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The core principles of great copywriting

Having effective copywriting skills in your marketing toolkit is crucial. It has the power to influence people and motivate them to take action. However, learning copywriting is not a simple task, and it takes time to master. It is a continuous journey of learning and adapting your writing style based on your audience and content.

This blog explores the core principles of great copywriting and aims to serve as a blueprint for creating compelling content. If you're looking to improve your copywriting skills, look no further as we guide you through the copywriting fundamentals.

1. Tap Into Emotions

We are emotional creatures and tend to make decisions based on emotions, which we then justify with logic. 

You can tap into people’s emotions to create a connection that compels them to take action. Being logical and explaining why is often not enough, so harness the power of human emotion and use it to your advantage. 


Examples of Emotive Copy

If you were trying to advertise home gym equipment and wanted to use emotions to try and help sell the product, you could use motivation to help to do this, such as:

“You have the potential. We have the tools. Together, let's turn that potential into reality. Start your fitness journey today with our advanced home gym equipment, and become the best version of youselves."

Or if you were advertising car insurance, you could look to reassure the reader with a statement like:

"We understand the value of peace of mind, and that's why we've got you covered. With our comprehensive insurance plan, you're safe, secure, and ready for whatever life throws your way. Sleep soundly knowing we've got your back."

Or if you wanted to really inspire your reader to go out and buy the design suite you were advertising, you could go with a powerful and rousing statement like:

“The world is your canvas, and your ideas are the colours. Unleash your creativity with our state-of-the-art digital design suite. Don't just imagine the future—create it."

As you can clearly see from these examples, using emotions can really help to get your message across to the reader and inspire them to take action.

2. “What’s in it for me?”

People will always ask, "What's in it for me?" So, you need to uncover the selfish benefit of what you are selling. How will it solve their problem or improve their life? 

Let the reader know how what you are writing is going to help them, this will encourage them to keep reading further.

Copywriting Tip: The Power of You - Using the word ‘you’ can allow your reader to focus more on your message. So, rather than using words like 'we', 'our' and 'us', using ‘you’ to address your reader can help them to feel a more personal connection to what it is you are saying.

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3. Tell a Story

Stories evoke emotions and build a sense of trust, making your brand more relatable. Telling a compelling narrative helps the reader to visualise what you are selling and allows them to picture their life with your product.

4. Research and Test

Experiment with tonality and formality. You don’t want everything you write to sound the exact same, as some topics can be more sensitive and you may want to sound more professional, whereas other times you may want to come across as more fun and friendly. 

Find out what works for your audience generally and then factor in what the topic is you are talking about and the message you want to get across to them. 

The sum of all these parts will allow you to convey what you are trying to say most appropriately and effectively to your audience. Try to research and experiment as much as you can to find the right voice for the right time.

Copywriting Tip: Create and Use Buyer Personas - As part of your research, develop buyer personas to better understand and empathise with your audience. A buyer persona is a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience, including information like demographics, behaviours, motivations, and goals. Use these personas to guide your copywriting and make it more personalised and relevant.

5. Speak in Their Terms

Listen to your customers and pay attention to the language they use. Incorporate their words and phrases into your writing. Speaking their language creates a sense of familiarity and strengthens your connection. 

You don’t need to use slang words, but using your audience's phrases and expressions can help you to connect. Try to write using the language of your target audience and imagine you are having a direct conversation with them. Try to inject that same warmth and authenticity into your writing.

6. Keep it Short and Sweet

Today’s attention spans are limited. Keep your copy concise and to the point.

7. Don’t Be Vague

Avoid vague statements and be specific about the benefits you’re offering. Use data, statistics, and examples to back up your claims. 

Having the evidence to back up what you are saying makes you more of an authority on the subject and allows the audience to trust you more. Try to be as detailed as you can to help paint the picture in your audience’s mind.

Examples of clear and specific copy
Product Descriptions
A: "Our product is great for everyone and can help in many ways."
B: "Our gluten-free baking mix, packed with fibre and protein, is perfect for health-conscious individuals looking for tasty, dietary-friendly alternatives."
In example B, the copy specifies who the product is for (health-conscious individuals), what it is (gluten-free baking mix), and why it's beneficial (packed with fibre and protein).

Email Subject Lines
A: "You won't want to miss this."
B: "Enjoy 30% off with this exclusive coupon code."
In example, B, the reader knows immediately what they're getting (a 30% discount) and how they're getting it (an exclusive coupon code). Example A leaves the reader guessing about what they might miss.

Call to Action (CTA)
A: "Click here."
B: "Download your free ebook now."
Example B tells users exactly what they're getting (a free ebook) and prompts them to take immediate action (download now). In contrast, example A is vague about what will happen when users click.

In all these cases, examples B are less vague, more specific, and make it clear to the reader what to expect or what action to take. They avoid leaving the audience guessing or needing to think too much, which can often result in losing their attention.

8. First Impressions Count

Your headline is the first impression your copy makes. It must be attention-grabbing and compelling enough to make people want to keep reading. 

Use power words, create curiosity, or promise a solution to their problem to entice them to read further. A lot of people will skim-read your writing, so having strong headlines that entice them to read the body of your text is very important.

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9. Build Trust With Proof

People trust the experiences of others. Incorporate customer reviews, testimonials, case studies, and endorsements, to validate the claims you make and help to build trust and confidence in what you are offering. 

If people are unsure of what to think, then they will look to see how others are behaving to see how they should behave themselves, that is why social proof is so important to include as it is a very powerful and persuasive tool to get people on board with your ideas.

10. Anticipate Objections

Anticipate potential objections that your audience may have and address them early. Overcome potential doubts by providing solutions or showcasing how your product or service has resolved similar concerns for others. 

If you do not address the potential objections up front, then the audience will be reading all the reasons why they should agree with you whilst saying “but what about this?” If you get the objections out of the way at the start, then the rest of your writing becomes a lot more persuasive to the reader.

Copywriting Tip: Position Objections as Opportunities
Rather than simply denying or dismissing objections, validate them and turn them into opportunities to highlight the strengths of your product or service. For instance, if a common objection is high price, your copy could emphasize the superior quality, exclusive features, or long-term cost savings of your offering, explaining why it's worth the investment.

Utilizing these core principles of copywriting will provide you with a strong foundation to create impactful content that resonates with your audience and boosts conversions. With these copywriting fundamentals, you can craft copy that not only captures attention but also motivates readers to take action. Embrace these principles, experiment with your writing style, and observe how your copywriting skills improve.


If you are looking for more advice on copywriting our expert creative team is here to help. Get in touch.