Many business owners want to know which digital channels to leverage in 2021. Although the industry continually evolves, one factor remains constant. Effective writing will always be in style. Justin Goff, the co-founder of Copy Accelerator, a program designed to help copywriters write faster, better sales copy, recently shared his top three copywriting trends that marketers can use to fuel results. Here’s what to look for in the year ahead:
Email copy trumps TikTok and other new platforms
Despite the recent emergence of apps like TikTok and Clubhouse, email continues to reign when generating sales.
Goff coaches more than 215 different businesses across multiple industries, and their top moneymaker is still email. Email isn’t the “new thing,” but it generates more profit than any other media for an online business.
For example, one business that Goff coached made about $40 million in revenue in 2020. Of that $40 million, about $8 million was profit. What’s interesting is that of their $8 million in profit, $6.3 million came directly from their email list. So the email list generated nearly 85% of their profit for the year.
According to Goff, the best email lists are built from people who buy your products. Once you have a customer, getting that customer onto your email list should be your #1 priority. And once they’re on your list, your goal is then to communicate with them every day, and inspire them to buy other products and services you offer. Specifically, when someone completes a purchase, immediately put them on your email list and start sending them daily emails with relevant content and exclusive offers.
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Attention-grabbing copy is mandatory
When you’re writing copy, you have to grab attention right away. And as every good journalist will tell you, never bury the lede. Goff emphasizes that your prospect has a million things going on. They’re on Instagram, they’re checking the messages on their phone, they’re checking email. They get distracted very easily. Focus on getting attention first.
As an example, consider a YouTube ad for a women’s relationship product that starts with the following text headline: “There’s one four-word question to NEVER ask a man if you want him to be your husband or your boyfriend.”
This line immediately grabs your attention and pulls you in. There’s no fluff. This tactic is what you want to do with all of your copy, whether it’s for an ad, a sales page, or an email.
According to Goff, too many marketers waste time before getting to the “good stuff.” But in today’s age, people lost interest very quickly, so you have to grab their attention right away with your first line of copy.
A long-form copy will still dominate in 2021
In the age of TikTok, Instagram, and short attention spans, you’d think that short copy would work better. Goff says this couldn’t be more wrong.
The businesses making the most sales, especially in the e-commerce and direct response space, are all using long-form copy. For some, this might be a 40-minute sales video. For others, it might be a 30-page sales letter.
“Golden Hippo, a global direct response marketing firm, uses this kind of copy and is closing in on being a half a billion-dollar company,” Goff says. “So I can say with confidence that long copy is not going away in 2021.”
And if you test long copy head-to-head against shorter copy, it almost always wins, in Goff’s experience. Why? Because to convince a cold prospect to buy your course or your product, it takes a lot of selling. You can’t do this in a 3-minute video. You need a longer copy to make that sale.
“One big tip I can give you for 2021 is to go through the full selling process in your copy. Don’t try to get away with a short copy,” Goff advises. “And if you don’t believe me, run a split-test. The data will always rule at the end of the day. And the data shows that long copy simply pulls in more sales than short copy, even in today’s age of short attention spans.”