The day we’ve all been waiting for is here. After a long, hard year, 2020 has wound down and we’re looking at the dawn of 2021. Everyone’s talking about New Year’s resolutions and “new year, new you” proclamations.
And it seems to apply across the board. Every time the calendar turns over to a new year, it seems like every industry comes out with its own updated version of the latest and greatest tips and strategies.
Copywriting is no different. In fact, just this past week I’ve seen dozens of rooms about hot marketing trends for 2021 pop up in Clubhouse, the latest social media platform. So what does that mean for copywriting? What’s coming down the pipe for 2021 when it comes to sales copy that converts?
Let’s uncover the truth behind sales copy trends for 2021 together. Just a warning though – what we find just might surprise you!
Don’t Throw Out The Copywriting Basics
There are always going to be shiny new objects that pop up and try to grab your attention, and that’s not a bad thing if you stay focused. It doesn’t hurt anything to test new strategies as long as you don’t ignore what works in the process.
The truth is the copywriting strategies that sold products and services 100 years ago back in the days of the Eugene Schwartzs and John Caples and Victor Schwabs still work today. In other words, don’t throw out the old with the new.
In this article, I’m going to give you my five favorite tried-and-true sales copywriting tactics. Then I’ll reveal how to use them side-by-side with new trends and strategies to keep things current and relevant.
Know Your Target Audience
There’s nothing more important in any sales copywriting project than knowing and understanding who you’re writing to. You may be writing FOR a client, but make no mistake about it, you’re writing TO someone else entirely – their target audience.
No trendy new strategy can replace good target market research.
Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Headline
You have three seconds to catch someone’s attention and keep them reading. If the headline is blah or doesn’t create some kind of emotional reaction, the reader will be gone practically before you can blink.
I probably spend more time on the headline than any other section of a sales funnel. It’s that important to get it right.
Create a Personal Connection with the Reader
Have you ever bought something just on the recommendation of a friend? We all have, right? People buy from people they know, like and trust. One of the best things you can do as a sales copywriter is START with establishing a connection with the reader.
One of my favorite ways to do this is through storytelling. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out recap of your life. Connections are made when the person on the other end of the sales copywriting feels heard and understood. Be relatable and authentic – that’s what builds raving fans and life long customers.
Clarity is Key
It sounds obvious, but one of the biggest problems I see when I’m asked to come in and fix existing sales copy that someone else has written is unfocused, mixed messaging. You want to lose people? Confuse people.
My general rule of thumb is each project should have just one clear call to action. Everything in that project should point to the one thing you want the reader to do. If it doesn’t, leave it out.
For example, if you’re writing Facebook ad copy, don’t ask them to watch the video and click the ad to download the free guide while joining the Facebook group. That’s too many things. People can only handle ONE clear call to action at a time for best results.
Mirror Their Experience
Remember how I said people feel connected when they know they’re heard and understood? The best way to portray this in sales copy is by mirroring what they’re going through back to them.
Oftentimes this is stated as a question, which creates momentum as they internally respond. If you can get the reader nodding along with you as they read, they’re much more likely to click, opt-in, or buy.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Let’s say your client is selling a lip gloss that’s shiny but not sticky. An effective way of mirroring their experience would be asking them “Sick of Lip Gloss That Moonlights as a Sticky Trap For Your Hair?”
Current Trends and Strategies
Sticking with the tried-and-true sales copywriting basics WORKS … but that doesn’t mean you should never implement anything new. When it comes to implementing new trends and strategies in sales copy, the key is to remember that it’s not about changing WHAT you write. Instead, it’s about WHEN, WHERE, and HOW.
Consider switching up at which point in the campaign you bring in certain pieces of information. Societal and cultural changes shift perceptions over time. Something you may have had success mentioning early in campaigns in the past may need to be placed further in today or vice versa.
Platforms and algorithms are always changing, so it’s important to be adaptable on where you’re communicating with target audiences. Just because email has always been an effective tool for your client doesn’t mean they shouldn’t test SMS, chatbots, or a new social media platform.
People’s attention spans have changed over time. So has what captures and keeps attention. Don’t be afraid to switch up delivery by trying out video scripting, audio clips or visual and graphic elements that incorporate sales copy.
More from Christa Nichols Messaging
There’s no replacement for sales copywriting basics. You can have fun with the latest trends and strategies without throwing out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. Keep testing and optimizing – you may just find that an old sales copy foundation paired with the new becomes a game-changer for your clients.
Want more? Join me in my FREE Facebook group, The Confident Copywriter at www.facebook.com/groups/theconfidentcopywriter, where I share the long-standing frameworks plus the latest strategies and trends in copy.