The most effective copywriting has always communicated trust and transparency. Veterans of the industry may refer to this style as merely good copywriting.
Conversational copywriting is a style of writing that uses a friendly tone. It places the prospective customer at ease and establishes trust and transparency. Unlike some copywriting methods, conversational copywriting is not pushy or manipulative.
Because online split-testing has shown this style of copywriting to be more effective in retaining customers and garnering repeat sales, savvy copywriters tend to naturally adapt to this style.
The term “conversational copywriting” may have been coined by veteran copywriter Nick Usborne who offers an online course on the subject.
What is Conversational Copywriting?
Conversational copywriting is persuasive without being “salesy.” It cultivates trust and creates the foundation of an enduring customer relationship.
Persuasion through conversational copywriting is possible because the copywriter empathizes with the prospect. She understands the prospect’s needs and the benefits of the product or service she is promoting.
Empathy permits the copywriter to thoroughly understand the prospect on an emotional level, as if she were in the prospect’s skin. Instead of pushing
Instead of pushing a prospect to buy, conversational copywriting establishes trust and rapport and then shows them how their problem is solved, or their desire fulfilled by the product.
Less effective copywriting might be compared to a painful wrestling match of wills where the copywriter is attempting to push the prospect into buying.
In contrast, compelling copywriting is a pleasant seduction that draws the prospect into the sale, leaving them satisfied and wanting more after the transaction.
People Love to Buy.
It’s been said that people love to buy, but they hate to be sold.
This principle is essential to understanding effective copywriting.
Instead of bullying a prospective customer into making a purchase and hoping the sale will stick, conversational copywriting leads a prospect to make the purchase.
When ad copy sounds salesy, it establishes an adversarial tone that triggers a sequence of defense mechanisms in the prospect.
Salesy ad copy raises countless psychological barriers in the prospect’s mind. It complicates the sales process and, ironically, pushes the person away from the potential sale.
If perfect ad copy moved a prospect toward a sale as smoothly as accelerating a car’s gas pedal, salesy ad copy is like trying to drive with your foot on the brake.
Compelling sales copy strives to avoid trigger resistance to the sales process.
The Invention of Blunt-Force Copywriting.
Copywriting began with newspaper print ads in the late 18th Century. Print ads are a one-way marketing street.
Back then, if a sale was made, the prospect might have little to no recourse if they were unhappy with the product or service they purchased.
In fact, laws were in place to muzzle unhappy customers. They could be sued for defamation if they made their dissatisfaction known.
In other words, trust was important only until after the sale was achieved. Once the purchase was made and the seller took the customer’s money, that was the end of it.
A relationship between the customer and seller was not considered necessary.
This one-way ad style permitted less skilled copywriters to thrive.
However, the internet changed to rules. Now, blunt-force copywriting is a dinosaur destined for extinction.
Conversational Copywriting and the Value of a Good Reputation.
Now, everyone is online. A business lives or dies by its reputation.
Thousands of online blogs, like ScamAvener.com, eagerly expose scam businesses, poor services and overpriced products. Some people love to complain, and social media gives them an audience.
To survive, a business must establish and maintain an excellent online reputation. Trust is essential and conversational copywriting, or compelling copywriting by any other name, builds trust.
Also, in the current online climate of exponential advertising noise and social chatter, it is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive for a business to find customers.
Conversational Copywriting Builds Trust.
Legendary copywriter Clayton Makepeace reminds us that trust is the rarest commodity on the internet.
Because the lifetime value of a customer is far more than a one-off sale, the copywriter who can establish trust through his writing has a distinct advantage and is immensely valuable.
Online, once a sale is made, the company may only earn enough to pay for the cost of finding the customer, but not a profit.
Typically, before a company can earn a profit from a customer, they must sell to the customer a second or third time.
Repeat sales are only possible if the company has a relationship with the customer and that relationship built on trust.
Conversational copywriting builds trust and permits a company to profit from the lifetime value of a customer.
Conversational Copywriting is About Congruence.
In the context of this article, congruence is the consistency of a person’s behavior with their values.
Let’s imagine you’re a blogger and you sell a digital product you created.
Maybe you’re known as an honest, trustworthy person to the people who know you. And, perhaps your sincerity comes through loud and clear on your blog posts.
Visitors to your website fall in love with you and happily want to buy your digital product.
Unfortunately, when they go to your landing page to make a purchase, they are greeted with salesy ad copy that aggressively pushes them to buy.
The incongruence between who they thought you were and who you appear to be on your landing page sounds alarm bells in the visitor’s mind.
You lose more sales than you get.
If you had written your sales copy in a conversational tone that was consistent with your blogging style, the sales process would be seamless and enjoyable for your visitor.
Plus, they would be open to buying more from you.
Conversational Copywriting and Karma.
Good people are repulsed by a business that is less than transparent.
When a business is making sales through traditional blunt-force copywriting, they must continually find new customers and battle a poor online reputation.
Fighting those battles can exhaust a company’s resources and tends to alienate customers and employees.
In contrast, a good business reputation attracts customers.
When a sales process is based on trust, a business will naturally grow because it’s helping people solve problems and fulfill desires.
Sales Karma is real.
Make Your Business Attractive.
Conversational copywriting is fundamentally about establishing trust.
When you can communicate trustworthiness through copywriting, your blog posts, sales pages and emails stand out from the internet noise.
Or, if you’re writing for a client, their sales material stands out.
Because trust is so rare, people are drawn to it. It is immediately attractive to a vastly larger audience of prospects.
Conversational Copywriting Works.
All of us are faced with the challenge of persuading others in our daily life. We are either trying to convince someone or they are trying to convince us.
Outside of sales, the act of persuasion is conveyed in a natural, conversational tone. And it works.
Conversational copywriting is about continuing the friendly, conversational persuasion style into sales.
Conversational copywriting is the middle process between an excellent product or service and a happy customer.
The process works when the product or service is worthy of honest and transparent promotion.
Empathy is Essential.
Many copywriting courses fail to teach the importance of empathy.
This oversight is unfortunate, because in my experience, empathy is the difference between a journeyman copywriter and an extraordinary one.
Empathy is the capacity to experience the thoughts and feelings of another person. When a copywriter can put herself in the shoes of her prospect, she can better understand their needs and desires.
With that understanding, she can deliver copy with pin-point accuracy that shows the prospect how his problem is solved by the product.
When a copywriter viscerally experiences the thoughts and feelings of her prospect, she will naturally write in a more friendly, respectful and conversational tone.
Empathy has always given the copywriter an advantage. It is the magic of persuasion.
Sadly, not everyone is capable of empathy.
Just Good Copywriting?
Good copywriting is effective copywriting. It’s the copy that best gets the job done.
We’ve seen how conversational copywriting changes the sales dynamic from a battle of wills to one of cooperation.
Instead of trying to over-power a prospect with blunt-force copywriting, conversational copywriting draws the prospective customer in.
Good copywriters have always known that if their work sounded too salesy, it would be less effective.
Successful copy begins in the mind of the copywriter. Is her intention to bully the prospect into a sale, or is her intention to win them over?
Be Gentle. Be Kind.
When a copywriter begins a project, if she sees the prospective customer as a faceless source of money, her motives are misplaced.
Failing to see the prospect as a human being with real problems to be solved and desires to be fulfilled, leaves the copywriter blind.
Most basic copywriting books and courses teach the importance of creating a prospect persona, a fictional character who represents the person you are selling to.
However, if a copywriter begins with an ego-driven will to defeat the prospect with forceful copy, the results will probably be disappointing.
When a copywriter can put herself in the shoes of the prospect and resolve to be gentle and kind with her copy, she will naturally write in a friendly, conversational tone.
The Best Copywriting Guide.
Copywriting is a simple and mostly mechanical process. To learn everything you need to know about copywriting, read The Best Copywriting Guide.
Copywriting can be very rewarding on many levels, but it’s not for everyone. Some writers are introverts who would prefer to not interact with others or stress over deadlines.
If you’re a writer who would rather not have to deal with clients and deadline stress, blogging might be a better option. Blogging pays just as well as copywriting, but without the necessity of dealing with people.
To learn more about blogging as a career, read The Easiest Writing Career.