LESSON 1: 3 Types of Copy

3 Types of Copy

Welcome to Lesson One, where we’re going to break down the first foundation of sales copy that converts. We’re going to talk about the 3 Types of Copy. 

So let’s imagine that you’re a chef at a famous pizza restaurant. You’ve been making pizzas for years and you become really, really well known for your gourmet deep dish pizzas. You hand make them with a family recipe from Italy with Sicilian sauce and you bake them in a woodfired oven. It’s a real specialty and people come from miles around just to eat these pizzas. Your restaurant is a hot spot for the deep dish pizza. 

One day, a woman walks into the restaurant, and she says “I need a pizza.”

“Awesome!” you say. “You’ve come to the right place. We make the best deep dish pizza in town. What would you like?”

“I’d like a pepperoni and mushroom pizza with thin crust.” 

“I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t make thin crust here. But I’ll be happy to make you one of our specialties with pepperoni and mushrooms.”

“What? What do you mean you don’t make thin crust? Who doesn’t make thin crust? I thought this was a pizza place.”

“Yes, ma’am, it is. But we specialize in deep dish pizza. And we make it with a special Sicilian sauce  and people come from all over the country just to eat this pizza.”

“I don’t want deep dish. I want thin crust and if you won’t make it for me, then I’m leaving.” 

“Have a nice day, ma’am!” 

Yeah, you can imagine right? Like, see ya! So what do you do, right? If you make deep dish pizzas, you make deep dish pizzas. You couldn’t give this customer what she wanted, because that’s not what you do. But you’re not worried. There’s a long line of other customers waiting behind her and you know that she can go somewhere else and find the thin crust pizza that she wants. 

It can be like that with copy. Just replace the word “pizza place” with “copywriter.” We’re not talking about slinging your own sauce and toppings, but there’s similarities between the woman ordering pizza and copywriting, because copywriting is one of those terms that’s thrown around. And they can take on a different meaning depending on who’s asking and what they really need. 

Now there are generally three types of things people refer to when they say the word copywriting: content copy, sales conversion copy, and messaging. So let me just make a couple notes for you. We’re gonna go over what those look like and where you could find them. So we’ll go content, sales, and brand messaging. 

Alright, so every business needs all three of these on a certain level. So you can see, each business needs all three. But for the purpose of this program, we’re going to be dialing in on number two here. 

But that’s not to say that you can’t offer more than one type of copy. If you have an agency, you might have writers that specialize in more than one type. I do, I have content writers. Mostly, I personally focus on sales, but I also do messaging intensives as well. So it’s not to say that you can only focus on one type, but it is important to understand what all three types are so that you know what your services are, what you offer fits into that. So you also need to understand that these three all work together. You need all three, and they all support each other. 

So the content on the website, the blogs, they all support the sales content, which is supported by the brand messaging. So generally, we’ll start with Content Copy because that’s the first thing people think about generally, when they think of copywriting. “Hey, I need a blog”, “I need an email”, “I need some social media content.” 

So if we’re talking about content copy, this is copy that fills digital or print space that’s designed to engage, educate, or entertain. So content copy engages, educates, and entertains. It’s hard to measure in terms of effectiveness because often there’s no call to action. In fact, there’s never really a call to action with content copy. But you can kind of gauge this and take the temperature of how your content copy is doing by using heat maps and tracking your website traffic. 

Some examples of content content copy include blog articles, Seinfeld emails, social media posts, and website copy. 

Alright, the second type of copy is Sales Conversion Copy. That’s the main bulk of what we’re going to be learning and going over in this program. So sales conversion copy are the words that sell the things. The main goal is to sell. Sell or make calls to action. So any kind of lead generation, any kind of event registration, even if it’s a free event, and any kind of sale, that is sales conversion copy. 

There are five goals, five objectives, and we’re going to go over those lessons first. So sales conversion copy works through the five objectives of sales copy, and those objectives are capture, connect, communicate, convert, and continue. We’re going to go into that, like I said, in lesson four. 

Now sales conversion copy, if you track well, can have very measurable outcomes, which is super nice. You’ll know it’s working when your clients are collecting leads, getting people in the seats of their webinars and programs, and adding money to their bank accounts. Some examples of sales conversion copy can be found in sales funnels, ad copy, email remarketing sequences, and webinars. 

Alright, so finally, the final type is Brand Messaging. So this is probably the least defined type of copy and sometimes it falls under the umbrella of “brand” in general, because brand and can include copy, but it also includes things like colors, fonts, tone, and feel of a brand. 

Well, for this specifically, this one I think is the one that clients get confused about the most. They come to a copywriter asking for content copy or sales copy, but what they don’t realize is that what they really need first is the brand messaging. 

So messaging is the copy that originates inside the brand, and then carries the brand voice to the outside world. It helps create a consistent presence on or offline and it’s the copy that tells the target audience what they need to know about the brand in order to know, like, and trust it. Without strong messaging, a business or brand’s copy lacks the clear, direct focus that it needs in order to attract the right people to it. 

So a lot of the main focus of brand messaging is attraction. You want your brand to attract certain people and repel others. And if there’s not a consistent, strong messaging system behind everything that you’re saying, then your content copy and your sales conversion copy are both going to fall short when it comes to the conversions that they potentially could have. So although we’re not going to dive into brand building, we are going to cover messaging. We’re going to cover that in Unit Two, because the best sales conversion copy strongly incorporates a consistent messaging system. And even content copy needs to be filtered through the overall messaging in order to be the most effective. 

So, messaging is not as easy to spot as content or conversion copy, but there are a few places where you can see it. So you might see it in social media profiles, the about sections of websites, and anytime you see anything that says what a business does, who they serve, and how they serve them. That’s all part of their brand messaging. So make no mistake about it. 

Like I said before, every business needs all three types and knowing the difference between them helps you and the client pinpoint exactly what they need and whether or not you’re the right fit for them at that point in time.

Now, you can agree to write any and all projects that come your way. There’s nothing wrong with being a copywriter who handles it all. Or you can also choose to specialize in one type of copy. That’s the beauty of having your own copywriting business, you are the one who gets to choose. 

So don’t forget, there’s a homework assignment. And you can find that in the homework book for Unit One. What I want you to do is go out on the internet, or even in print media or videos, and go looking for these three different types of content. I want you to identify several examples of content copy, several examples of sales copy, and several examples of brand messaging. I just want you to get really familiar with the three types and be able to pick them out. Because when you can do that and put those pieces together for your clients when it comes to their sales campaigns, then you can just really do a good job of explaining to them how they can optimize their content copy and their messaging copy to help support those sales campaigns to get better results. 

So dive into the homework and I will see you in Lesson 2.

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