How to beat most professional copywriters


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Do you want to learn the “vital few” copywriting techniques that we use to achieve the greatest impact on profits?

Our advice comes from years of experience increasing conversion rates for highly successful companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Sony.

What you’ll get:

1. Case studies: Three real-world A/B tests, and the lessons they teach us.

2. The “vital few” most effective copywriting techniques – with which you can beat most professional copywriters. (If this sounds impossible, remember that most professional copywriters don’t split-test their work.)

3. A winning copywriting template you can use to sell almost any product.

This talk was given by Paras Chopra (CEO and founder of Visual Website Optimizer) and Dr Karl Blanks (Chairman and co-founder of Conversion Rate Experts). For more great resources, see and

Published in: Business, Education
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  • As always, Karl, you have a wonderful way of explaining the complex very simply. Thanks so much for your ongoing insight for us non-rocket scientists!
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How to beat most professional copywriters

  1. 1. How to beat most professional copywriters The “vital few” copywriting techniques we use to achieve the greatest impact on profits.
  2. 2. How to beat most professional copywriters The “vital few” copywriting techniques we use to achieve the greatest impact on profits. Dr Karl Blanks, Chairman Paras Chopra, Founder and CEO
  3. 3. The “vital few” most effective copywriting techniques 1 2 3 Case studies: Three real-world A/B tests A winning copywriting template for whatever you sell
  4. 4. Three  real-­‐world  copywri0ng  A/B  tests   And  the  easy  lessons  you  can  use  for   your  website  copy  
  5. 5. A  single  word  change  leads  to   161%  more  clickthroughs   Test  #1  
  6. 6. Which  version  increased  clickthroughs  by  161%?  
  7. 7.   •  “Request  pricing”  increased  CTRs  by  161%   •  How  they  did  this  test:   – They  surveyed  their  visitors  on  this  page,  asking   what  informaFon  they  would  like  to  see   – Many  said  pricing  
  8. 8. A  paragraph  rewrite  increases   leads  by  150%   Test  #2  
  9. 9. •  Arlington  PlasFcs  Machinery  sells  used  plasFc   equipment  and  extruders   •  Their  inventory  page  is  the  most  heavily   trafficked  page  and  lists  119  subcategories  of   plasFc  machinery   •  They  wanted  to  simplify  the  page  and  hence   increase  number  of  leads  /  quote  requests  
  10. 10. Original  page  and  the  original  copy   •  Arlington  PlasFcs  Machinery  has   a  vast  inventory  of  used  and   surplus  plasFcs  machinery.  View   our  selecFon  of  plasFcs   processing  equipment,   categorized  by  equipment  type   and  funcFon.  PlasFc  equipment   in  stock  includes:  Blow  Molding,   Extrusion,  InjecFon  Molding,   Support  Equipment,   Rotomolding,  Size  reducFon,  and   Thermoforming.  If  you  don’t  see   what  you’re  looking  for,  feel  free   to  call  and  see  if  we  can  help  find   the  plasFc  machine  you  need.  
  11. 11. Test  hypothesis  process  and  changes   in  the  copy   •  From  Google  AnalyFcs,  found  out  most  popular   subcategories   –  Added  links  to  the  5  most  popular  subcategories  in   the  opening  paragraph.   •  From  site  search  analyFcs,  found  out  what  were   the  visitors  searching  for   –  Listed  machine  types  rather  than  purposes  (e.g.   “single-­‐screw  extruders”  rather  than  “Extrusion”).   •  Monitored  a  few  sales  calls   –  Added  the  open-­‐ended  phone  call-­‐to-­‐acFon  
  12. 12. New  copy  and  the  results   Arlington  PlasFcs  Machinery   has  a  vast  inventory  of  used   and  surplus  plasFcs   machinery,  including   single-­‐screw  extruders,   twin-­‐screw  extruders,   horizontal  injecFon  molders,   granulators,  shredders,  and   more.  Have  any  quesFons?   Please  call  us  at  [phone   number]!   Results   –  150%  higher  leads   than  the  original  page   –  addi0onal  $15,000   worth  of  sales  queries   –  increase  annual  sales   by  $500,000  
  13. 13. Turning  the  tables:   increasing  sales  by  40%   Test  #3  
  14. 14. Original   page:   Underwater   Audio  
  15. 15. What’s  wrong  with  the  page?   •  In  the  words  of  the  customer  itself:   “The  (rather)  una9rac:ve  table  had  informa:on  in   terse  phrases  organized  in  no  par:cular  fashion   (ac:vity,  seal,  size,  features,  warranty,  depth).  The   paragraphs  con:nued  below  the  fold  and  essen:ally   repeated  the  table,  with  only  a  few  unique  addi:ons   hidden  in  the  text.  In  short,  it  was  not  the  most   engaging  page!”  
  16. 16. A/B  test  –  changes  made   •  Paragraphs  of  informaFon  rolled  into  the   table  itself   •  User-­‐friendly  categories  (“Best  for”  vs   “AcFvity”)     •  Instead  of  mulFple  embedded  ones,  single   call-­‐to-­‐acFon  at  the  end  of  the  table   •  Cleaned  table  layout  with  more  whitespace  
  17. 17. Varia0on  page:  40%   increase  in  sales  
  18. 18. Lessons  from  these  A/B  tests      
  19. 19. Lesson  #1:  How  to  know  what  to  fix?   •  Use  analy0cs  data  to  derive  insights   – Fix  copywriFng  on  most  trafficked  pages  first   •  Use  search  (internal  and  external)  to  see  what   people  are  looking  for   – Rewrite  copy  to  reflect  customer  wants   •  Do  surveys  and  ask  open-­‐ended  quesFons  to   gain  insights  
  20. 20. Lesson  #2:  Looks  maVer   •  Copy  comprises  not  just  of  text,  but  the  way   text  is  presented   – Cleaner  layouts  with  more  whitespace  are  more   effecFve   – If  you  have  lots  of  text  in  the  copy,  proper   structure  to  that  text  is  as  important  (perhaps   more  important)  than  the  text  itself   •  Copy  in  tables  might  turn  out  to  be  very   effecFve   – It  is  easier  to  scan  
  21. 21. Lesson  #3:  A/B  test   •  The  ONLY  way  to  verify  changes  to  your  copy   is  to  A/B  test  them   •  Remember  that  all  the  “best  pracFces”  or   “guidelines”  you  hear  about  might  not  apply   to  your  website,  so  A/B  test  to  make  sure  they   actually  work  
  22. 22. Visual  Website  Op0mizer   •  The  world’s  easiest  A/B  tes0ng  tool   •  Requires  no  technical  knowledge.  Easily   create  and  publish  A/B  and  mulFvariate  tests   without  knowing  HTML   •  Easy  integra0on:  copy-­‐paste  one  code  snippet   in  your  website  and  you’re  done!   •  100+  features  in  one  tool:  heatmaps,  collect   user  feedback,  geo-­‐behavioral  targeFng,   revenue  tracking,  etc.  
  23. 23. Ge^ng  started  with  A/B  tes0ng   •  A/B  tes0ng  using  Visual  Website  Op0mizer   – Sign  up  for  FREE  30  day  trial  at   hlp://   – Prices  start  at  FREE   – Most  popular  plan  for  serious  testers:   $249/mo  for  the  100,000  visitors  plan   •  Ask  for  a  30  minute  personalized  demo   – Email  
  24. 24. How we became “conversion obsessed”
  25. 25. Google took notice
  26. 26. Some of our clients
  27. 27. Doubled sales
  28. 28. Become able to sell the product face to face Step 1:
  29. 29. Your robot salesperson will be no be er than its creator
  30. 30. Mental shopping list ü This site looks relevant—will satisfy my visitor intention). ü I believe that this is the best site of its type, so I won’t be considering the competitors, (which include doing nothing and ordering offline). ü I can easily find what I’m looking for. ü I understand which product is best for me, because the site makes clear recommendations. ü I believe that this type of product is what I need. ü  I believe that this particular product is what I need. ü  I believe the claims that the site is making, about the company and about the products, because they’re supported with proof. ü  All of my miscellaneous product-specific objections have been overcome. ü  I found the whole experience pleasurable, and I’d happily do it again.
  31. 31. 1.  Know everything about the product 2.  Have bought and used the product with your own money 3.  Can understand why people buy it 4.  Could sell it to yourself or friends 5.  Know all the objections and have great counter-objections 6.  Have gathered proof to support all your claims (your“legal dossier”) Don’t start writing until you…
  32. 32. Write it down Step 2:
  33. 33. The act of writing turns many a genius into a moron
  34. 34. Write like a human
  35. 35. Use at least as many words as you’d use when selling face to face
  36. 36. Be concise
  37. 37. Learn the right style
  38. 38. A template for a highly converting landing page
  39. 39. § Open with a sentence that makes them say“That’s me!” § Use the“inverted pyramid”principle. § Bullet points with the main benefits and a clear next step. § Graphical appearance that matches the site and connects to the target audience. § A Johnson box, saying what you’ll get on this page § Irresistible fascinating link to section 1 § Irresistible fascinating link to section 2 § Irresistible fascinating link to section 3 A headline that makes them want to read more
  40. 40. Self-interest headline Johnson box Bullet points with the main benefits Graphical appearance that matches the site
  41. 41. § Use sub-heads to announce (and sell) each section. § Have sections tick off each item in the prospect’s mental shopping list. § Support all your claims with evidence. § Font size is important! It should be like climbing into a“Jacuzzi of text.” You have their a ention, but you still need to make every single word count.
  42. 42. Use sub-heads to announce and tick off mental shopping list items Support all your claims with evidence
  43. 43. Ge ing them to take action
  44. 44. 1. Summarize the benefits 2. Present the offer 3. Justify the price What your offer and call-to-action should do
  45. 45. 1. Risk reduction strategies 2. Incentive for prompt action Two easy ways to make them act right now
  46. 46. Five most important aspects
  47. 47. 1.  The “angle” 2. The things that get looked at first 3. The offer(s) and calls-to-action 4. The weakest aspects 5. The proof
  48. 48. “With your permission, I am going to make an analysis of the soil of your lawn to determine—at my own risk and expense—what elements are lacking in it, what you need for stronger, healthier, more closely grown turf.” An angle for selling fertilizer to home owners
  49. 49. § Long-term strategy for pricing § Winning offers § Make the initial purchase a “no-brainer” § Make the “headline offer” irresistibly appealing. § Consider stripping down the features of your service, then charging for extras. § If you can’t make it free, make it seem cheaper § Upsell/cross-sell § Add premiums and incentives § Bundle/unbundle The offer(s) and call-to-action
  50. 50. 1.  Social proof 2.  Testimonials § From customers, particularly those who are famous (e.g. celebrities) or have authority (e.g. the Queen on Weetabix) § From the media (online and offline) 3.  Displays of credibility Three examples of effective proof
  51. 51. Outsourcing or delegating your copywriting § Someone with a track record of getting wins. §  This is the Olympics of writing. Don’t trust it to someone who has never run a race. § Ensure each change is split-tested § Ensure the person follows this process § Need someone who can § sell (would you buy from them?) § write (can you understand what they write?)
  52. 52. Get more free resources