5 direct response copywriting techniques that will increase your conversion rates - Suzanne Donovan Copywriter
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When you think of direct response copywriting, you probably think of the super hard sell, American school of direct response: incredibly long sales letters, a generous amount of bold or italics (or possibly both), and a heavy use of the P.S.


There’s a good reason why some companies have used this channel for decades. Because it works. And the good news is, you can take the strengths from this form of copywriting, apply them to your marketing, and see results fast!


Direct response focuses on the present moment, and its power lies in its ability to get the reader to take action immediately. The techniques can make a big difference to your response rates if you want customers to:


  • Click on “Buy now” or “Get in touch”
  • Sign up to your mailing list
  • Follow or “like” you on social media
  • Enter a competition
  • Download a freebie


Here are five lessons we can take from the “hard sell” of the copywriting world.


  1. Headlines that pack a punch


Headlines have to be enticing. They need to be simple, exciting, useful and MUST spark curiosity or the customer won’t read on. They need to state or imply the benefit of the product you’re promoting so take time crafting the headline – it’s worth it. They’re the make or break of the whole piece, so you have to capture the reader’s attention in seconds.


  1. I’m talking to YOU!


You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again. You have to write about the benefits of the product or service using the same kind of language you’d use if you were recommending it to a friend over a cup of coffee. You have to write in the second person, and keep your message personal, and “you” focussed. Don’t slip into talking about why you started your business, how well you’ve been doing – the reader probably doesn’t care. They just want to know what’s in it for them. So tell them. Describe the benefits of your product or service, so they’re compelled to read on.


  1. Keep it simple


Make sure your copy is straightforward, easy to read and simple to follow. Don’t overcomplicate, don’t over-explain and don’t use long words. If you’re going to make claims, make sure you cite sources to build trust. Moreover, if you’ve decided to tell stories, write them in such a way they clearly illustrate the benefit of your brand offering.


  1. Long or short form?


Classic direct response copy is long form but that doesn’t mean direct-response techniques will only work in this format; it depends on the channel and your particular product or service. The power of long-form copy is in its ability to persuade the reader to act by providing information that builds benefit upon benefit. This results in the reader feeling that buying what you’re offering is a no-brainer. In contrast to the “less is more” approach, long-form copy has its place, so it’s well worth testing to find out if it works for your particular product or service.


  1. Act now!


The power of direct response copywriting lies in its ability to get the reader to act immediately. So if you’re writing “call to action” copy, use language that encourages action. For example, don’t write “Submit” on button copy, write “Get in touch.” Don’t shy away from using the scarcity principle either; this technique works. How often have you responded to offers earlier than you might have done because of language such as “Only 4 left at this price,” or “Offer ends in 48 hrs?”


In a nutshell, direct-response techniques can help you build your brand because they’ll improve your marketing. By striking a chord with your readers’ emotions, you can name their concerns and pain points, and then seamlessly introduce your product or service as the irresistible solution to their problem.