Missed an episode of Chatfuel School—the podcast where we cover hot topics in the world of bot-building and marketing? Don't worry; we took notes for you. 🤓 The topic for June 26, 2020 was how to write copy that will build trust and boost sales for your brand, whether it's on your website, in your ads, or in your Messenger chatbot. Here's the full episode. 👇Keep scrolling for a recap of what you missed.
Copywriting is the backbone of all marketing activities for your business. It's a key component of everything from your website and your chatbot to the digital ads you run—so getting it right is crucial. Well-crafted copy can inspire trust, answer questions, counter objections, and lead to sales. But copy that's poorly written or doesn't speak to your audience and their needs can actually damage your brand image. So whatever you're writing copy for today, make it count! Here are four components that the experts say any piece of copy needs to be an effective marketing tool.
#1. Your copywriting needs to tell a story.
We retain information better if it's in the form of a story—that's how our brains are wired. In fact, "memory athletes" use stories to help them remember sequences of hundreds of numbers to win competitions. International Memory Champion Yanjaa Wintersoul appeared on a Netflix special to show how she uses storytelling to memorize 500 numbers in order after just 10 minutes of prep. If it weren't for the narrative structures she creates in her mind, she'd never be able to recite the digits perfectly after such short study.
The same technique can make prospects and customers remember your brand. When they have a problem that needs solving, they're more likely to think of your business if you've appealed to them in story format in the past.
The most successful brands in the world market this way. Think about Geico's famous "It's so easy, a caveman could do it" campaign. The stories they told in those quick commercials made associations in the minds of the public between "easy," "saving money," and "Geico." So when customers go shopping for car insurance, Geico will be one of the first providers they think of. If, instead, Geico had just shown graphs of average customer savings and had no other narrative, there's no way their brand would be as "sticky" in the minds of their audience.
#2. Your copywriting needs to appeal to emotion.
And what's the key to telling compelling stories, whether it's through a video script, website copy, or the text of an ad? "I think the best way for a copywriter to tell a story is to tap into human emotion," says Ken Moskowitz, CEO of Ad Zombies. "People feel it; it's visceral," he says. Go to 7:37 in this Chatfuel School episode to hear an example of Ken's storytelling powers in action!
The Geico commercials use humor, but you can tap into any number of human emotions in your copywriting to move your audience to action. Think of the pet-rescue commercials of the early 2000s featuring Sarah McLachlan, which are designed to make the viewer tear up (and then take out their checkbooks). Or take a look at this AirBnb commercial that uses storytelling to impart touching feelings of love, healing, and family bonds. ⬇️
The copywriting for this video script is deliberately engineered to evoke those powerful feelings. Look at the following lines from the video, and think about how they take viewers on an emotional journey to create a memorable brand link in their minds:
- "But even after moving away, my father carried a piece of it with him. While I grew up, it lingered over all of us—a barrier between him and the rest of the world." (sadness, isolation)
- "I decided I would help by taking him back to Berlin to show him the beautiful place it had become." (hope, family bonds)
- "The stranger who answered the door became familiar." (happiness, resolution, healing)
Not sure which emotion your brand's copywriting should appeal to? Take a page out of Email Copywriter Donnie Bryant's playbook and appeal to one of the three Bs:
- Body (the desire for health, fitness, and body confidence)
- Bank (the desire to make or save more money, or to stop losing money)
- Boo (the desire to build meaningful relationships, or to be or portray yourself in a certain way)
"Those are emotional ties that apply to everybody, and they create emotional responses," explains Donnie. To select the right one for your brand's copy, go a level deeper than your actual product or service. Are you selling workout equipment, or the confidence to wear a bikini to the beach? Are you selling a vacation package, or the feeling of luxurious relaxation and the absence of stress? Are you selling a brand-name handbag, or the feeling of prestige?
Take a look at the copy on Gucci's website to see an example of this last one. "The world's most desirable," "luxury," and "romantic" are words and phrases that tap into what Gucci is really selling: a feeling, a specific personal image.
#3. Your copywriting needs to speak directly to your specific audience.
The type of copywriting Gucci does wouldn't resonate with the audiences of all handbag brands, though. Take Baggalini, for instance, a company that sells durable, functional purses designed to help on-the-go customers stay organized and keep their belongings safe. Look how different their website copy is—because they're speaking to a completely different audience with completely different needs, even though they're also selling handbags.
That's why it's crucial to do comprehensive research on your target audience before you start writing copy, so you have a thorough understanding of what they'll respond to. As Donnie says, "Research separates the amateurs from the professionals. You need to know where your reader is emotionally and where they are in their lives, and the kinds of things that are on their radar." He suggests sending out surveys, speaking to your sales team, and chatting with past customers to get this information.
Alexys Bartok, Head Copywriter at Messenger Funnels, also shares ideas on how to get to know your target audience so you can speak to them in your copy. She says, "Ask yourself: Why are they here? What pain do they have? What bliss do they want? Why would they choose you? How is your company different? You need to know your audience well, so you can figure out how you should be communicating with them."
#4. Your copywriting needs to focus on benefits rather than features.
Here's something else all the copywriting examples we've shared so far have in common: They focus on the benefits the customer will have once they buy the product or service, rather than listing the features.
- Geico drills down on how easy it is for customers to save money with them, not the details of their policies.
- AirBnb highlights how a trip that uses their service can be personally transformative, instead of talking about the average cost of their accommodations.
- Gucci focuses on how their products will make customers feel high-class and fashionable, not on what materials they're made with.
It's still important to cover the main features of your products or services in copy, of course. But it's all about how you do it. A flat, boring list won't incite anyone to action. But an imaginative, benefits-focused take on your offering's best features has the power to get shoppers to click that Add to Cart button.
Copywriter Chanti Zak gives us a clear example of how it's done with some sample copy for a t-shirt company. The fact that their shirts are 100% cotton is just a feature—it doesn't explain what customers get out of that. But what if they focused on the benefit of that feature instead? Chanti comes up with a copy example on the spot: "Our t-shirts are so silky and soft, you'll feel like you're wrapped in a warm hug all day." With copy like that, those t-shirts are likely to fly off the shelves! "For every feature you write about," says Chanti, "lead with the deeper benefit the customer will get from it."
Tips for chatbot copywriting
Now we've seen examples of how to incorporate these four crucial components into copywriting for videos and websites. But how can you translate them into copy for your business's Messenger chatbot? The same rules apply, but being concise is key.
Simon Gornick, Founder of Chatbot Copywriter, recommends that the average chatbot message should have no more than 10 words—20 at the most. But, as he shows us, you can do a lot with that. "You have to give the user a good reason to respond to your bot," Simon explains, and he gives an example of a compelling Welcome Message series to illustrate this point. "For a hotel chatbot," he says, "your opening message might be:
Hi, Welcome to So-and-So Hotel.
The pool is warm, the barbecue is heating up...
When do you want to make a reservation?"
Chatbot copywriting like that tells the story of a luxurious poolside retreat. It appeals to deeper emotional needs of a stress-free, relaxing getaway for a target audience of busy 9-to-5ers who need a vacation, and it paints a clear picture of the benefits they'll receive by making a booking.
And make sure your Facebook chatbot users will associate this evocative experience with your brand later. Alexys Bartok says that "When users think of your bot, you want them to think of your company." To help form this association, she recommends giving your bot a name.
Tools to help you improve your copywriting
Becoming a great copywriter takes practice—but there are a few tools that can help you along the way, too. Ken Moskowitz recommends two:
- Hemingway App, which will tell you how readable your text is, and will let you know if you're making mistakes like using too many adverbs or writing in the passive voice.
- Natural Reader, which will read your copy back to you in a human voice. Ken says it's a great way to get a more objective view of your work so far, and to more easily notice mistakes.
And when it comes to improving your chatbot copy, we recommend making use of data tools in Chatfuel. Our built-in statistics will show you how many people viewed and clicked each block or card in your chatbot flow, so you can easily tell where there's drop-off. If people abandon your chatbot after a certain card, you may want to take a closer look at the copy in that card, for example.
We also recommend checking out our past Chatfuel School episodes related to this topic. Try the ones about...
- Developing a strong brand voice and expressing it consistently through copy 📣
- Mastering conversational design for your chatbot, so you can keep users engaged and ready to buy 🗺️
- Branding your business through the art of digital storytelling 📖
Now that you know the secrets to writing incredible copy, put them to good use in a chatbot for your business! 🤖You can start building one for free today. That's the function of Chatfuel: to make no-code chatbot building easy and accessible to businesses like yours. (Then, once you're ready for unlimited users, priority support, and other perks, upgrade to Pro!)