Far too many businesses are leaving money on the table simply by not using direct response copywriting. But what is direct response copywriting anyways?
To keep it simple: Direct Response = Sales
Direct response copywriting focuses on getting your reader to take a specific action. Unlike branding where you’re trying to establish an identity, direct response focuses on the customer. It makes the reader reach into their wallet, begging to buy from you.
David Ogilvy, known as “The Father of Advertising” once made a statement about copy:
“Do not address your readers as though they were gathered together in a stadium. When people read your copy, they are alone. Pretend you are writing to each of them a letter on behalf of your client.”
This statement still holds, especially in today’s world. Why? Because when you’re on your smartphone, it’s just you and what you’re reading.
When you have a question, where do you go to find answers? Chances are, you go to Google. You probably ask, “Hey Google, where can I find…” or “How can I…” and “How do you make….” It’s a one-on-one conversation between you and your smartphone.
Google is king and there’s no denying that. In fact, there are at least 3.5 billion searches a day on this search engine. That’s a whole lot of questions.
If your business is at the forefront when answering their questions, you will have a competitive edge. But that’s just one part of the puzzle. With direct response copywriting, you’ll be able to connect with your prospect and ultimately drive them to take action.
Here, we’ll discuss how direct response copywriting can bring you more business from Google ads.
People ask questions in different ways. For instance, let’s say you sell sofas. The question that should come to your mind is, what questions are your customers asking about sofas on Google?
Examples would be “Where can I buy sofas?” “buy a couch,” and “sales on sofas.” These are a few of the ways people search for an item.
Searches on Google can have infinite variations of queries. Direct response copywriters narrow down those searches to find their exact questions. They put you in front of those questions by showing your readers that you have the answers.
Besides narrowing searches, direct response copywriting will set you apart from the competition. Direct response copywriters train to get consumers to take action. They’ll write ad copy that not only stands out from the competition, but gets them to take action.
Direct response copywriting involves tons of research into your target market. You have to figure out what questions customers are searching for, grab their attention, and get them to take action. With a direct response copywriter, you’ll be able to directly answer the consumer’s needs.
This process also involves filtering out the jargon customers use to find the right keywords.
Depending on the context, words can have different meanings. For example, the phrase “buy a pool” can be ambiguous. Do you mean a swimming pool or billiards pool? Words are tricky and using the wrong ones can cost you in the end.
Besides words with different contexts, you also have to factor in variations of your topic, such as sofa beds, futons, and convertible sofas. They’re all different ways people could search for the same item. What may be obvious to you is not obvious to another.
Using the right keywords will filter out the customer’s query. It finds the language they use and keeps the dialogue conversational.
When you go to a car dealership, do you ask to purchase a car or a vehicle? If you meant vehicle, is it a sedan, SUV, or truck? You’ll need to be clear with what you’re offering and stay conversational with your customers.
Using the wrong words may sound too formal and could come off wrong to the reader. No one likes to read legal documents. Unless it’s a legal disclaimer, keep it conversational. Through conversation, you’ll be able to build a closer connection with your customers.
Your ad got them in; now you’ll need to keep the conversation going. People don’t just click and buy. You’ll need to keep them engaged and hit all the right spots.
Whether it’s short copy or long copy, direct response copywriting keeps the conversation going. Your customers have questions they need answering. Direct response copywriters make sure that the copy addresses those questions.
Let’s say you sell LED light bulbs. Well, why would I need LED light bulbs? You might say, “better lighting, last longer, and energy-efficient.”
Direct response copywriters would explain why customers need your product. They’ll convey how your bulb will help the customer: “See themselves better, change light bulbs less, and save money.”
Your customers are also skeptical. What if they don’t like the product? What happens if the light bulb doesn’t last a month? Beyond the features and benefits, direct response copywriting should also address any objections.
Direct response copywriting is more than writing copy. It’s designed to keep the customer hooked from the beginning, all the way to the end.
At the end of the day, you’re not running ads for show. You’re running them for one thing only: to drive action.
Your ads have copy. Your landing pages have copy. We use language to communicate. It’s one thing to write words about your product or service, it’s another to drive action.
Direct response copywriting is about getting customers to move forward and take action with you. What sets regular copy and direct response copy apart is the latter crafts an experience. This experience builds a connection with your customers and gets them to take action.
Keep your copy simple. If your copy doesn’t get them moving toward this goal, they’ll go somewhere else.
With direct response copywriting, you’ll write with purpose. Every word you type should lead your customer straight to your call-to-action. Keep it clear and simple so your customer knows exactly what to do.
Show and explain how your offer is exactly what they’ve been looking for. When you stay on track, you won’t go off on a tangent and confuse them. They’ll be able to see exactly why they need you.
Using everything discussed here, you’ll be able to convert more customers and save loads of time and money.
No matter how successful you are, always be testing. Why should you be testing? Simple.
Optimization. Your competition may copy you and ads can run stale. With constant testing, you’ll ensure that your ads stay fresh and get better. With testing, your only competition is yourself.
Testing allows you to gather data and see what works and what doesn’t. This practice refines your ads over time to become more clear and direct for consumers. As each ad gets better, and you know what works, this translates to more conversions.
When the next ad gets better and you gain more conversions, you’ll save money and time. If you don’t test, your ad may reach a peak, then after that, decline. Without testing, you could be running ineffective ads that waste money and time.
This is why companies keep direct response copywriters on a retainer. Their job is to keep writing copy that outperforms the previous version.
Testing can be done in many ways. You can either tweak the current one a bit or write a whole new one completely. It all depends on the situation.
Testing is usually done with A/B testing. It uses one copy as a control with a segment of your target market. Then testing it with another copy to see if it does better with the other half. If the second copy does better, that becomes the new control.
You can see why many businesses value direct response copywriters. They’re constantly making new copy to get more sales for your business.
People depend on Google to answer a wide range of their questions. Direct response copywriting is one way to ensure that people will see your business as having the answers they are looking for.
Start by researching to hear what questions and language your customers use. Answer those questions directly by connecting and having a conversation with them. And remember, keep testing and improving your communication with them. Stand out from your competition by grabbing your customer's attention with compelling Google ads.
Getting started with this is a lot of work, but it’s well worth it. Or if you’d like, you can hire a professional direct response copywriter who is familiar with Google ad copy. Hire a dedicated copywriter today.
Andy Nguyen is a copywriter and entrepreneur. Starting out in the customer service industry, he’s now moved forward to study why consumers buy what they buy, and help businesses generate revenue. With a passion for psychology, philosophy, and learning, he enjoys tinkering and seeking ways to improve efficiency in everything he does. Andy has helped multiple businesses find new strategies to grow and scale.Hire Andy