Promise to write the truth and nothing but the truth? Learn from this writer’s honest insights! [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]
“Honesty is the best policy.”
Even when it’s hard to do, telling the truth is always better than telling a lie.
One of America’s legendary essayists, Ralph Waldo Emerson, also believes in the power of honesty and talked about it in his “Self-Reliance” essay.
For him, good writers are honest. They are not afraid to express their thoughts and ideas through written words and receive constructive feedback from others.
Is honesty also a good strategy in copywriting?
In this article, we’ll talk about a few reasons why honesty beats puffery in effective copywriting and how you can incorporate this quality into your copies.
Let’s talk about some good reasons for honest copywriting first:
- Honesty is a “universally-accepted tone” and will always be respected by readers.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Remember, once your copies are out for your target market to read, there’s no turning back. Whatever is published is final.
You can’t simply take back what you’ve written down and undo the information in your readers’ minds.
Besides, if that happens, what would consumers say and think about your brand?
They would probably think that your business is unreliable because you’re not being honest or you’re putting wrong information in a piece of writing.
One solution to avoid reaching that point?
Your target market knows and accepts that your business isn’t perfect. Instead of making your brand sound flawless in your copies, why not focus on delivering the highest quality of service you can give to your customers?
That way, readers will feel the genuineness in your words and more likely associate your brand with positive impressions, which can lead to customer loyalty and trust!
- Copies with ambiguous messages might damage your brand. Honest and straight-to-the-point outputs won’t.
In effective copywriting, clarity is a necessity rather than an option.
Whatever message it is or topic you write about, you have to make sure your statements are on-point.
Leave no room for ambiguous or unclear sentences in your copies. You don’t want your readers to get confused and worse, misinterpret the message you’re trying to convey.
Here’s a tip: Aside from being honest with your branding and getting straight to the point, ask a trusted friend or colleague to proofread your work before publishing it.
That way, you’ll make sure that any ambiguous or inauthentic part in your draft will be pointed out and revised so you can deliver attractive and compelling copy to your target market.
- The more readers understand what your brand is through your copies, the more they will see your business in a good light.
Don’t write copies just for the sake of hyping up talks about your brand.
Remember the saying, “Easy come, easy go.”
Let’s say you successfully created hype about your business through your copies. Great!
… but what if after a few days or weeks, the hype dies down―what happens to your brand then?
Unless you include something valuable in your copies that readers will always remember, you won’t be able to establish a connection with them and compel them to choose your brand.
They will only be present during the hype and after that… gone.
If your copies are embedded with good and honest intentions to serve your target market, that will make a big difference.
The more genuine your message is and easier to understand, the stronger the connection you’re going to make with more of your current and potential customers.
Now that you know some of the reasons why honesty is important in copywriting, it would also be good to learn a few tips on how you can incorporate this quality in your outputs.
Below are 5 important copywriting guidelines to help you turn your simple write-ups into serious sales copies:
- Slice away marketing claptraps.
Words like “hundreds,” “thousands,” or “millions” may seem specific, but they might sound like you’re exaggerating the truth in your copies.
As a solution to that…
Use statistics or exact numbers!
“Thousands of small businesses use our accounting service to save time.”
“Over 2,500 small businesses use our accounting service to save time.”
Which of the sentences above sounds more attractive and reliable?
We bet you’ll answer the second one!
See? While this copywriting aspect may seem like a trivial matter, using specific data or statistics can help your copies draw attention and increase your brand’s credibility.
- Stop acting in a cautious or noncommittal way!
There is no doubt that subtleties and politeness are great.
However, as a copywriter, you have to avoid subtle call-to-actions (CTAs) as these might give readers an excuse to not do as you ask.
Take a look at these sentences:
“If you’d like to receive our daily newsletter, just enter your email address and click ‘Join.’”
“Know more strategies and techniques to effectively market your brand. Add your email address and click ‘Join’ NOW.”
As you can see, the first statement is too soft and conditional because of the word “if.”
On the other hand, the second one is more direct and straightforward―the path that marketers and copywriters should take to create a sense of urgency among their target market.
Don’t worry too much about readers thinking that you’re too bossy. Sometimes, you have to make strong statements so consumers will be encouraged to take your CTA and interact with your brand.
- Give your target market a reason to act.
Before you put pen to paper, it’s good to first identify what your target market’s pain points are and how you can use your brand to offer solutions.
Avoid fake benefits and focus on those your readers are looking for.
“Learn how to become persuasive. Sign up to receive free updates.”
“Learn how to become persuasive and win more customers. Sign up to receive free updates.”
While the first sentence is acceptable, the second statement is more persuasive because there’s an additional pull factor―the “win more customers” part.
Keep in mind that some of the benefits your target market is looking for are related to saving money, making more money, becoming happier, being free from fear and worry, etc.
When you use these things to level up your copies, you have another copywriting tool working to your advantage!
- Cut “sugary” testimonials.
Just because you’re writing testimonials, that doesn’t mean you have to sugarcoat your words and tell your readers how wonderful, amazing, and super perfect your brand is.
We’re now in the 21st century and consumers are now more wary than ever to not fall victim to these types of wordings.
To include testimonials that tug at your target market’s emotions, write story-based testimonials and not superficial ones.
“Anna is an amazing copywriter. I’d highly recommend her to anyone.”
“At first, I wasn’t sure about hiring Anna. She seems a little shy and awkward, but the copy she’s written for my business helped me win more customers. Plus, she’s fun to work with. I’d definitely recommend her to other business partners and colleagues.”
Do you notice the difference between the two?
While the second testimonial is longer, it is more appealing to readers because it is based on a real-life situation.
Remember: Real-life stories always appeal to people. When used as part of your copies, these anecdotes will help you overcome your target market’s objections about your brand.
- Don’t walk away from difficult stuff.
The magic word, “Abracadabra” does not work in the business world. This means objections about your brand will not disappear unless you address them.
If customers think your brand’s pricing is too expensive, explain how your good quality products and services will help save money in the long run.
Prove your value to your target market.
Take note that in copywriting, two of your goals are to generate sales and increase your brand’s customer base.
One good way to achieve that?
Don’t hide! Address your target market’s objections in a respectful manner so they will be encouraged and convinced to buy from you.
Going back to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words of wisdom:
A good piece of writing is honest. Just like what Emerson said, when you write with honesty, your words will become one with your business―everything will be consistent because you’re telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
Be compelling in your written works.
It is in doing so that you win more loyal customers and achieve your copywriting goals.
Consider Emerson’s insights about honesty as you write your next set of copies!
… and remember:
Make honesty one of your best marketing strategies!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”
Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?
In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.
However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!
When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…
…to get people to remember.
Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.
And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!
Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.
Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.
Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.
Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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