Best Practices in Direct Response Copywriting

Direct response copywriting is what content marketing is all about: grabbing attention and inspiring immediate action. 

According to David Ogilvy, claimed by many to be the ‘father of modern advertising’, direct response copy should speak to the customer at a personal level. Every aspect of direct response copywriting is based on this single fact. Done right, it addresses our problems, tugs at our heart strings and gives us solutions.

Is your copy speaking to your customer? Or is it just a babbling brook? Below are 4 best practices to make your copy more personal and your direct response copy more effective. 

1. Help Your Customers Read Better

Reading direct response copy should be a walk in the park for your customers. It requires clear thinking and concise copy. So, when you write, do not write everything in one massive paragraph.

Help the reader’s eyes to breeze through the text. Use simple everyday wording. Avoid long sentences and big walls of copy, it’ll scare them away. 

Other writing practices to take note of are:

  • Use carefully placed headings and subheadings to break up text.
  • Highlight and bold key phrases and pieces of information so that readers can easily spot and remember them.
  • Use diagrams, charts and other art work to visually support your copy.
  • Make good use of lists. 

Finally – keep it snappy. Make it something your reader will always remember.

2. Create a Powerful Call to Action

Any content published online is incomplete without a strong call to action. So, it’s important to remember to entice immediate action. This can be in the form of:

  • ‘Further Reading’ – provide enough opportunities and links to encourage the reader to navigate further throughout the website, increasing engagement and lowering bounce rates.
  • Social sharing buttons – to let readers know that your content is shareable on social media.
  • Contextual CTAs – like a dedicated sign-up button for newsletters, or for example a CTA to convert readers to sales qualified leads by using simple text hyperlinked to Social Fox’s Google Ads Services

Remember: Positioning is important. Don’t be afraid to repeat your CTA – CTAs should be in front of your customers in several places to remind them to take action.

3. Use Long-Form Copy

You want to write short and sweet in a long-form format, but it all depends on your industry. Several sources claim that more than 1,000 words will help your content rank. Others say, no one reads copy that long.

So what’s the deal, really?

Long-form copy is highly dependent on your business type. For example, if you’re an accounting firm, you’d need to explain your services more in-depth. On the other hand, if you’re a wedding photography studio, your portfolio should do more of the talking than the text.

The point is though, you still need to have text in order to rank. Here’s a quick reminder:

  • Too thin: Below 300 words will not help you rank
  • Sweet spot: 400-700 words will get you results
  • Absolute best: Anything over 1,000 words will really get you clicks and conversions

Quality is also important when writing copy. Writing for the sake of padding word after word will not help you rank; in fact, keyword padding may penalise your content on Google. 

Explain the processes, rather than providing surface information about your services. Describe the setting of your photography gigs, try to explain what you did behind the scenes to get that perfect shot and talk about the emotions people felt at the wedding.

Make your content matter to your readers. Write from your heart, and you’ll win theirs.

4. Make it Personal – Use ‘You’

If we haven’t stressed it enough so far, make it personal. You may have noticed that we’ve sprinkled the second person throughout this article, it’s because we’re talking to you. We, at Social Fox want to help you create the best content out there and bring back leads and convert them into loyal customers – be it through Google lead generation or social media management services

That’s why we use ‘you’ and you should too.

Direct response copywriting focuses on the customer, the reader. When we write, we don’t talk about our products and services. We write about you – your needs, your wants, your pains, your problems and your required solutions.

Writing in the second person puts our customers first. That’s an important rule to remember. Maybe the only rule to remember.

Address your prospective customer with the content that rings true and dear to them.

Social Fox goes beyond digital marketing by personalising our online strategies for each client. In short, we put you first.Learn more about our services or sign up for our newsletter on our website.

Luke Stocker

Luke Stocker

I work with businesses to automate their sales and marketing.

Luke Stocker

Luke Stocker

I work with businesses to automate their sales and marketing.