What is the most important principle of copywriting?
Research is the most important principle of persuasive copy.
The single-minded goal of a copywriter is persuasion, which is why research is the most important principle of copywriting. Without knowing your audience (research), you can’t be persuasive.
Your copywriter has one goal: for their copywriting to persuade a particular person (or type of person) to do a particular thing. It’s why copywriting is central to conversion rate optimisation and direct response marketing.
That persuasion can only be achieved by copywriting on your landing page if the copywriter understands:
- The person they are trying to persuade.
- The thing they are trying to persuade them to do.
Understanding those two things is accomplished by research, the most important principle of copywriting because everything follows from it.
What sort of research should a copywriter do?
Research: the most important principle of copywriting.
- Who is the target reader?
Age, sex, location, political leanings… We need a picture. Research will bring it into focus.
- What does the target reader want?
A copywriter’s research must take them deeper than what’s on the surface. Yes, the reader wants a back scratcher because they have an itch, but why do they have the itch and why haven’t they been able to solve it before now?
- What does the product or service do?
The more comprehensive a copywriter’s understanding of the product or service, the more features they’ll be able to put to the readers in their copywriting.
- What are the benefits of the product or service?
It’s often said that people don’t buy features, they buy benefits. In truth, they buy both, so a copywriter’s research has to take in the benefits of the product or service.
The more research your copywriter is able to do, the greater the chance of coming across the “big idea” that will unlock your conversions. At Taleist we have a seven-step research process for copywriting a website.
How does Taleist do copywriting research?
We have a seven-stage copywriting process. Six of those steps are research. And it’s through that research that we have increased conversion rates by as much as 433% and doubled the quality of the leads.
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Further reading on copywriting research
- The Secret to Writing Great Marketing Copy is Market Research (from ActiveCampaign)
- 5 books that will lift your copywriting game (even though they aren’t about copywriting) (from Taleist)
- 5 Things Every Copywriter Needs to Know About Their Prospects (from Copyblogger)