It’s the second half of 2021 and your business is in one of two places. You’re either still surviving, contending with the COVID-19 pandemic. Or you’re happy, thriving and well on track to meet your year-end target, if not exceed it.
In either case, now’s the time for that mid-year review to examine what’s been working and what needs to go. The past months have stressed the importance of having a strong marketing and sales strategy. So let’s look at one area you could be leaving money on the table: your copy.
The Value of a Professional Copywriter
Copy is one of the most important parts of your sales and marketing strategy. It has the power to make or break any campaign. But the art and science of writing persuasive promotional messages—copywriting—is a trained skill. So, unless you’re a professional, your DIY efforts may be costing you big. Instead of conserving your cash, you could actually be losing countless sales. Why?
Professional copywriters specialize in crafting powerful messages that motivate your audience to take action. They have the know-how to grab your audience’s attention and, more importantly, keep your leads moving forward to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. They can do this through many forms of copy including:
- Traditional media ads (e.g. radio, billboards and television)
- Printed marketing materials (e.g. sales brochures and flyers)
- Business proposals and pitches
- Website copy
- Email campaigns
- Social media and digital ads
- Landing pages and opt-in forms
- Product descriptions
So, to make sure you’re not leaving money on the table, it’s wise to hire a copywriter who has a proven track record of getting quantifiable results. Here are 5 important copywriting jobs you might consider hiring for.
5 Jobs Copywriters Can Do To Produce Measurable Results
1. Website copy
When a visitor lands on your website, your copy is one of the first things they see. And, as we all know, first impressions matter. Your copy may have as little as 8 seconds to answer three burning questions each visitor asks:
- What is the general nature of this business?
- Are the products and services what I’m looking for?
- Will they solve the need I have?
The human brain doesn’t like to work harder than it needs to. When the message to your visitors is unclear, they quickly exit your site. They head back to the search engine results page (SERP), where they originally found you, to find another site that can offer what they’re looking for. But when your leads can clearly answer these questions, they’re more likely to move towards the next step on your site.
In turn, this increased interaction can lead to more website conversions and better SEO. How so? The Google algorithm considers your website’s bounce rate and dwell rate to determine how useful the information on your website is to visitors who found you via the SERPs. When your copy can command and keep your visitors’ interest, they’ll stay and engage on your site longer. So you’ll have a website that can organically rank higher and more informed leads.
2. Email marketing campaigns
Inexperienced digital marketers argue about the effectiveness of emails. But in 2021, email marketing is anything but dead. Campaign Monitor reported this channel produced the highest return on investment for small businesses, beating social media by 40%. Social media may be popular, but business owners who know the value of email marketing enjoy:
- Personalized, one-on-one communication with their audiences, which can yield powerful insights and develop strong relationships
- Permission-based conversations as leads expect to receive communication when they give their email address
- More qualified leads because they’re able to nurture their audiences over a longer period
- Cheaper costs to convert from lead to sale
Email marketing allows brands to reach their audience in a distraction-free environment, which is an opportunity not to be squandered.
A copywriter can gradually move your leads through the buyer’s journey to the sale, while respecting their email consent and offering relevant, engaging information. This means higher open rates, fewer spam reports, and increased domain reputation. (As your list grows, the latter is important for gaining the trust of email service providers. The fewer emails that end up in the junk folder, the better since it will mean more leads getting your messages.)
3. Social media ads
Social media advertising is one of the cheapest forms of creating digital awareness. But it’s also one of the noisiest channels. Fundera.com states that 96% of small businesses use social media in their marketing strategy. So your business is no doubt competing against both large and small companies for visibility. And also against cat memes, motivational videos and other engagement bait for consumer interest.
While larger companies with massive budgets can afford to use the scattershot approach to capture as many leads as possible, your small business doesn’t have this luxury. Thankfully, you may not need it either.
While poorly written copy results in a ‘hit or miss’ approach, professional copy attracts more qualified leads with fewer impressions. As a result, you can save a ton on ad spend and get a high return on investment (ROI) if you successfully convert those leads.
4. Landing pages
Landing pages often get confused with website home pages. But there’s one main difference that sets them apart. The homepage for your website acts as a digital window. It introduces what you do and offer, as well as directs visitors to your other content.
On the other hand, landing pages have a single purpose: driving conversions. Depending on your product, price and selling process, you can use landing pages in a couple of ways. For example, you can use them to capture email addresses and bring leads into your warm market. Or for selling a product or service on the spot. In any case, when the lead gets there, they need to be persuaded to act. That’s where copy comes in.
The average conversion rate was 26% in 2019 according to Databox so we can understand why landing pages are a useful part of the digital strategy. However, the majority of businesses also reported that their landing pages converted at a rate of less than 10%. Copywriters can be the difference between a dismal performance, and one that exceeds benchmark expectations. With techniques that arouse curiosity, awareness and opportunity, copywriters drive your ideal customers to take action immediately.
5. Video sales letters
Video sales letters (VSLs) are gaining popularity as an effective way to connect on a personal level with your leads. Whereas written communication is still left up to the personal bias of the reader, communication delivered on-screen reaches your audience on a deeper level. Why?
Because they can hear your voice, see your face, take cues from your body language and more. These elements bring authenticity and relatability to your brand, and they’re extremely powerful when it comes to converting people into paying customers.
In fact, Wyzowl reports that 84% of video marketers say video has helped them generate leads. And 43% of video marketers say video has reduced the number of support calls they’ve received. These are promising statistics, but you may have a problem.
Without scriptwriting or on-screen experience, you might feel resistant to being on camera. Copywriters reduce this pressure with scripts designed to engage the audience and get your message across with clarity. By telling you exactly what to say and when, all you have to do is deliver the message naturally. In turn, your VSLs can generate more qualified leads for your business, while building credibility for your brand.
Measuring Your Results & ROI From Copywriting
Now that you know what you can hire copywriters for to get results, let’s talk about how to measure those results.
With a wide range of tools such as Google Analytics available to track your results, justifying an investment in professional copywriting help has never been simpler. Many of these tools are free, so businesses of every size can determine what works and what doesn’t.
Depending on where different segments of your audience are in the buyer’s journey, you may want to track the following metrics:
- Clicks and click-through rates, which indicate interest and show where leads drop off in their exploration of your business.
- Pageviews to understand what your audience is most interested in or concerned with.
- Number of new leads with contact information collected for future follow-up. Along with your sales, this can determine your closing ratio for future ad optimizing and spending.
- Sales from new and repeat customers. Aside from profit, these can also help you to build or fine-tune your customer avatar.
Such measurable results allow you to quantify the value of a copywriter to your company, and to calculate the price of lead acquisition and conversion. With what benefit? For one thing, you’re able to be both realistic and prudent with your budget, which is essential as a small business owner.
Additionally, hiring a copywriter increases your profitability in the short and long term. As an integral part of business, they can save you money, time and effort as you build your brand.
And these are just a couple of ways copywriters can benefit your business! If this post has you calculating lost revenue for the first half of 2021, consider hiring a copywriter to recoup your losses for the second half. If you do, you’ll be able to focus fully on your most important task—running a profitable business.
This guest post was created as part of Nia Gyant’s free mentorship program for freelance writers who are interested in improving their writing skills.