Table of content
In today’s digital age, business growth is becoming linked with online activities, and finding the right ways to reach your target audience and get them to take immediate action is essential. With direct response copywriting skills, you can achieve just that. Read on as we discuss everything you need to know about creating the best copies that convert and tips to become a great direct response copywriter.
What is Direct Response Copywriting?
The idea behind every direct response copy is to make your customers take action now rather than later. It is an approach where you curate compelling sales letters or other types of copy with the ultimate goal of getting an immediate response or action from your target audience. This can be getting them to sign up for your newsletter, follow you on social media, or make a purchase on your e-commerce website.
How to Become a Direct Response Copywriter
Becoming a direct response copywriter is not easy. It requires effort and an understanding of the approach. But if you already know how to become a good copywriter, you only need to make a few changes to become a better direct response copywriter. But if you believe that you’re not a good copywriter yet, there is no need to panic. This approach is not entirely new, so if you follow all the right steps as discussed below, you can become one in no time.
Study Successful Examples
When next you encounter an article, sales copy, or newsletter that gets you hooked and causes you to want to perform an action, take your time to consider all the ingredients. Ever heard the saying “a wise man will learn from other’s experience”? That’s true for learning how to become a direct response copywriter. Many legendary direct response copywriters like David Ogilvy, Eugene Schwartz, and Claude Hopkins have graced the industry, and you can study their success stories to know what they did right and avoid their pitfalls.
Focus on Grammar and Vocabulary
To create a high-converting copy, you must ensure it’s grammatically correct. Nobody wants to read an article, sales, or landing page full of grammatical errors. In fact, they make your brand look unprofessional. So, after crafting copies, ensure you proofread and edit them accordingly. This helps to write a copy that is error-free and has improved readability. Editing your copies before posting them will also help you notice parts that need to be refined or discover more information that can be added.
Put Together a Portfolio
After learning and mastering the art of writing compelling and grammatically accurate copies, you can move to the next point—putting together a portfolio. A good direct response copywriting portfolio will serve as social evidence of your writing abilities. But note that this is an ongoing process, and you’ll need to continue creating great copies in your portfolio or social media platforms.
Find and Reach Out to Clients
Now to the last step—finding and reaching out to clients. If your aim for embarking on the direct response copywriting path is to make money, you need to find clients to work for and start getting paid. But it’s not that easy. Many companies and individuals don’t know the difference between a direct response copywriter and a regular copywriter. You have to make them see the difference. When selling yourself through a pitch, ensure you help them understand that direct response copies can improve their ROI. You may want to show your past results to help them see reasons to hire you. To find the right clients to appreciate your direct marketing skills, you must use them in your own copy too.
Direct vs Indirect Response Copywriting
There are huge differences between direct and indirect response copywriting. You must understand these differences to know how they can affect your process of writing copy. The goal of indirect response copywriting is usually to promote brand awareness. It’s the concept most bigger brands, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi use. However, this approach can be expensive since it requires a lot of time and funding to make a brand widely known. For instance, you may need to combine digital marketing campaigns with television advertisements and other channels to achieve this goal. That’s just too much money on marketing.
Besides, indirect response copywriting is usually perfect for brands with a solid unique selling point (USP) or value proposition. But the truth is that having a solid USP is not that easy. Unless a company has an original product or service that cannot be found anywhere else, chances are you already have competition, and relying on only an indirect copywriting approach may not be efficient. This is one of the primary reasons that makes direct response copywriting better.
Direct response copywriting focuses on compelling your target audience to act immediately. For this reason, it’s regarded as the bread and butter of modern advertising. With direct response marketing, you go straight to the point and trigger people’s emotions to buy or perform the action you want. People act based on their emotions and then try to justify their actions logically.
Due to the nature of this content marketing type, it offers more conversions and increases ROI. Besides, it requires little funding, making it a perfect option.
|Direct Response Copywriting||Indirect Response Copywriting|
|Focuses on instant action||Aimed at promoting the brand image|
|Less expensive||More expensive|
|Perfect for getting new customers||Good for retargeting adverts|
|Powerful CTA is important||CTA is not as important|
|Addresses customers' pain points||Focuses on a brand's value|
|Direct Response Copywriting|
|Focuses on instant action|
|Perfect for getting new customers|
|Powerful CTA is important|
|Addresses customers' pain points|
|Indirect Response Copywriting|
|Aimed at promoting the brand image|
|Good for retargeting adverts|
|CTA is not as important|
|Focuses on a brand's value|
Why is Direct Response Copywriting Important?
Now that you understand the differences between direct and indirect response copywriting, you may wonder why is direct response copywriting important? Well, the goal of every business is to profit, and a major way to make this happen is through selling your products or services. Direct response copywriting uses a sense of urgency to provoke potential customers to act quickly. This helps businesses increase sales and profit.
Skilled copywriters use their copies to generate revenue for brands. They have a deep understanding of the target market and can address the immediate needs. Besides, they are versatile in writing short and long-form content after identifying big ideas that resonate with the target audience.
Direct response writing can help you relate to your customers and audiences on a more personal level. This explains why copies crafted using this concept are in the second person.
How Direct Response Copywriting Can Improve Your Marketing Strategy
Marketing is essential to every business. If you’re a business owner, you may likely have a strategy for your marketing process. But the success of your strategy depends on how well you’re able to inspire and connect with your audience.
Infusing direct response copywriting into your marketing can help you achieve greater results. It can increase your conversion rates, translating to more revenue. To craft copy that sells, whether direct mail or blog content, you must be able to grab your readers’ attention with your headlines. Go for bold headlines that inspire curiosity and spark interest. Attracting your readers’ attention with the first sentence will make them read the next sections.
5 Types of Direct Response Copywriting You Need to Master
Just like how there are many types of copywriting, direct copywriting comes in different flavours. You can use this content marketing approach across different mediums and campaigns. However, the strategy you’ll use for each copy will depend on the copy type and your objective. Here are the most common direct response copywriting formats you need to master in detail.
One of the most common types of direct copywriting is email marketing. It can be used to communicate with your prospective customers directly. It usually involves creating a compelling subject with a body copy that includes the main message and is passed in an engaging and persuasive way, with a clear call to action at the end.
It is important to know how to write effective email marketing content when creating a marketing email. Your message must be clear and concise, and you can use identifiers to add a personal touch, such as referring to your customers by their first names and indicating job titles and company names. Also, ensure that the content in your email copy illustrates your brand tone and values while prompting your audience to take immediate action.
Another type of direct copywriting that you must master is landing pages. You can apply the direct response copywriting tips discussed in this article to your landing pages with short or long-form content and reap the benefits. Your landing page is one of the first virtual destinations your target audience will visit when navigating your online business, so make sure it packs a punch.
To create an effective landing page, you should consider many things. First, make sure you focus on your value proposition and have a good website structure that is user-friendly. The idea should be to walk your audience through a journey while creating a sense of urgency to make them perform your desired action. So start with a catchy and irresistible headline followed by body copy that is well-structured and written with a personal touch. And don’t forget to include powerful call-to-action statements in the most visible areas of your website.
Direct response copywriting can also be useful in digital advertising. Many small, medium, and large-scale businesses have turned to social media platforms for things like creating attention-worthy Instagram captions or informative yet bite-sized Twitter posts to build communities and reach more customers. While ad copies are generally shorter than long-form copies, they can be used to make target customers take action.
When creating ad copies, use catchy headlines to capture your audience’s attention. You can also use social proof to boost your credibility and optimise your copy. Combining these with appealing visual assets like videos and images, you’re bound to get great results.
Also referred to as a “sales page,” a product page is another form of direct response copy. The intention behind every product page is to make conversions happen. You want your audience to buy what you’re selling, so make sure your product pages influence them to do so. To create good product pages, ensure you illustrate how your product or service can improve the buyer’s life. Have a good picture of the sales process and make it as easy as possible.
Blog content is a long form of copy and has become integral to most businesses’ marketing plans. When writing blog content, always write with a purpose and let it provide value to the readers. You can use it to provide solutions to your audience’s pain points, helping them engage with your brand. As with other copies, always include a clear CTA in your blog copies and follow all standard copywriting techniques and rules.
10 Direct Response Copywriting Best Practices
To write successful direct response copies, you must follow industry best practices. Doing so can help you achieve better results, higher engagement, and more revenue. Below, we’ll discuss 10 direct response copywriting best practices you should know.
Have a Clear Goal
You must have a clear goal before writing direct response copy. Ask yourself—what do I want to achieve with this copy? Your answer will help you draw up a perfect plan to write effective, high-converting content that works. For instance, if your goal is to get people to purchase products from your e-commerce website, you can start writing your copies with this goal in mind.
Know Your Audience
After deciding what the goal of your copy is, you need to know your audience. Who are your primary consumers? You can segment your audience based on their interests, giving you a better idea of how to communicate with them. Never make the same mistakes other brands make, thinking everyone is their audience.
Know Your Competition
No matter how unique you think your product or service is, there is a high chance that you’re in competition with some other brands. Knowing your top competitors can help you discover what they are doing right, and you can analyse their strategy and even do better than them. Search for your services or products on Google to see your top competitors. Find their weaknesses and try to be better with your direct response copies.
Write Attention-Grabbing Headlines
Your headline is the first thing people will see regardless of the type of content, whether it’s a long-form copy like a blog post or email marketing. So there is no room for boring headlines. Use bold headlines to catch your audience’s attention and stir their interest to keep reading.
Persuasion, when used correctly, can influence readers to take action. But be careful not to be offensive or pushy. You have to be able to convince your audience that they are better off making a purchase from your brand.
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is one of the most common sales strategies businesses use. It’s about creating a sense of urgency to benefit from people’s indecisiveness. In your copies, you can create scarcity by limiting stocks or setting a deadline or timer for an offer or product. This will influence your prospects to make a quick purchase rather than wait till a later date.
Have a Strong Call to Action
We can’t stress this enough. A strong call to action is like a compass that directs your audience to do what you want. So make sure it’s clear, bold, and visible. Let your audience know what you expect instead of wandering around on your landing pages, email marketing content, or blog posts.
Ask Questions to Convince
You should ask questions wherever applicable if you want to write a good direct response copy. Good, open-ended questions can keep your audience hooked and make them feel like a part of the process. It can improve communication and facilitate interaction between your copies and your audience.
Focus on the Benefits
One mistake that some brands make is focusing on features instead of benefits. Avoid this mistake if you want to create a good copy that converts. Let your copies be about what your audience can benefit from your brand, not the features you offer. Benefits are emotional, and they’re the basis of most purchases.
Utilise AIDCA & K.I.S.S.
The AIDCA—Attention, Interest, Desire, Conviction, and Action—and K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple, Stupid—are the golden standards of sales and marketing formulas that you can apply in your direct response approach. Start by grabbing your audience’s attention with your headline, and follow this up with a catchy first paragraph or sentence. Also, ensure you use your copy to boost their desire for what you have to offer compared to your competitors. In the end, build their conviction in your products and provoke them to act. Make sure your marketing copy is as simple and engaging as possible.
3 Direct Response Copywriting Real World Examples
Three real-life examples of direct response applications by top brands for you to understand how effective the copies of these brands are and the best practices they apply.
Canva is one of the most popular online graphic design platforms. The company uses direct response copywriting techniques to make its copies engaging and actionable. For instance, when you access Canva’s homepage, you’ll see the question, “What will you design today?” This is followed by a clear call to action, which comes as a button—“Sign up for free.” The use of questions helps the audience think about what they want to create on the platform.
Apart from that, Canva has structured its page so that it’s easy to see all the important parts. It also talks about benefits that users can enjoy, not just the features of the platform.
Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that provides streaming access to movies and TV series. The platform is another perfect example of understanding how direct response copywriting with good headlines prompts users to take action. Drawing you in with a promise of “Unlimited movies, TV shows, and more”, Netflix uses a strong CTA right away with the “Get Started” button.
Netflix also shows a high level of persuasion with verbs like ”watch”, “save”, “stream”, “send kids on an adventure” and so on. This no doubt compels users to take action now rather than later.
On Mailchimp’s homepage, you’ll see a catchy, bold headline that immediately promises you a benefit — “Turn Emails into Revenue”. All the write-ups are benefit-oriented, and the CTA is included earlier.
You’ll also see the AIDCA and K.I.S.S. formulas in play, with every sentence crafted in a simple yet persuasive way to get customers to perform the desired action—sign up. Besides, Mailchimp has created urgency in the content, especially when you check the pricing table. The brand also includes social proof to solidify things, so visitors will want to take action instantly.
Direct response copywriting has numerous benefits, and we’ve discussed all the main points in this guide. Remember that direct response copies aim to get your audience to take immediate action, which can improve revenue. Ensure you integrate industry best practices into your content, such as using bold and strong headlines and call-to-action statements. Take your time to learn about your audience, research your competition, and create a sense of urgency.
You can learn from the direct response copywriting examples we discussed, and don’t forget to master the main types—email marketing, landing pages, digital advertising, product pages, and blog content.
Get Started with Direct Response Copywriting
With a team of seasoned direct response copywriters, Revpanda is an award-winning digital agency that can help your businesses and brands craft highly compelling and actionable copies to generate revenue.
Contact our sales team today to get your custom quote and let us help you grow your business. You can rest assured of nothing less than quality and excellence as we help you handle your direct response copywriting needs from start to finish.