7 lessons copywriters can learn from great conversations

Some of the key elements that make for a great conversation can be the perfect model for good copywriting, or good writing in general.

But don’t take my word for it. Writing for the Copyblogger blog, Nick Usborne explains how. Read highlights from the article below or the full article here.

Lesson #1: Don’t assume the other person sees the world the same way you do

In great conversations, “You really get to understand the point of view of the other person, even if you don’t agree with it”, says Usborne.

Applying this to copywriting, Usborne adds:

“Listen carefully to your prospects and customers. And be aware that they may not share your own worldviews.

When you understand how they see the world, you’ll be in a better position to write to them in a way that truly connects.”

Lesson #2: Ask open-ended questions

Great conversationalists ask open-ended questions, giving the person being asked the question space to explore their thoughts in more detail. This approach also signals that the question asker cares about the other person’s point of view and values their contributions.

Linking this to copywriting, Usborne notes: “You may not be in an actual conversation with your readers, but you can still send those positive signals by asking open-ended questions in your copy.”

You don’t ask the question with the expectation of a reply, but you’re still engaging with the reader.

Lesson #3: Pause and create space for the other person to respond

In great conversations, slowing down and pausing works wonders, allowing the other person to take part and feel valued. Using this approach in your writing can also be effective. Usborne explains:

“First, you can be explicit about it. Say something like:

‘Take a few moments. Stop reading; look out the window and give this some thought.’

Or you can just slow down the pace.

Like this.

Nice and easy.”

Lesson #4: Show empathy

Empathy is a powerful force in conversations, and it can also be applied to your writing. Usborne notes that a simple way to show empathy is to mirror or point out what the other person might be saying or thinking.

Lesson #5: Avoid being adversarial or overly pushy

“As soon as the reader feels you’re only interested in pushing the sale, they’ll disengage and stop reading,” says Usborne, adding, “Be less salesy and more conversational.”

Lesson #6: Express gratitude for what the conversation brings you

Just like in a great conversation, share your appreciation and gratitude for your audience. Usborne shares an example:

“I know I don’t say this often enough … but I truly appreciate the fact that you’re still opening and reading these emails. It means a lot to me!”

Lesson #7: Harness the power of short words and sentences

Usborne makes some important points:

“In conversation, we put aside all of the clever writing habits we’ve learned.

Instead, we use everyday language.

You can do the same with your copywriting.

Keep it simple, as if you were having a conversation with a friend.”

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