Write Copy that Compels People to Respond

If you have anything to do with updating your organization’s website you know the challenges of creating inspiring content. Perhaps you can relate to the following example.

A co-worker has an event coming up and wants it on the website. The event is assembling Thanksgiving food baskets which is a great cause. The copy you receive looks something like this:

There will be a food basket assembly meeting this Thursday. We will put together 100 food baskets for our Thanksgiving food pantry.

Unless someone is incredibly dedicated to assembling food baskets, this will not be inspiring anyone to participate.

We want our websites to actually bring value to the internet. We want people to act. You believe you have a message that is worth responding to… so how do you get people to respond when you have uninspiring content?!

How To Instantaneously Improve Your Descriptions

The tip I’m about to share with you will not only help you improve your website copy, but it can help you improve every piece of content you produce for any media type. As you read below think about where you can immediately implement this tip.

When I am writing copy I have several questions that I always address.

Question 1: What’s at stake?

A burning platform paints a picture of what will happen if the reader remains where they are. Write to tell the reader what is at stake if they do not move. Help them visualize where they are and what they will miss out on? Burn the platform beneath their feet and convince them they should move.

Question 2: What Challenges Will Need to Be Overcome?

Address the objections that will most likely arise.

  • “I don’t have time for something like that.”
  • “I don’t have any experience in this area.”
  • “I don’t have someone to watch my kids.”
  • “I’m already tapped out financially, I can’t contribute.”
  • “Since I can’t participate this time, there’s probably nothing I can do.”

When you address common objections, you remove barriers and bring value to the overall message that you’re trying to covey. You also speak to the voice inside the person’s mind. They feel as if your content is meant specifically for them. This is very powerful

Question 3: What does transformation look like?

Take the reader on a journey just over the horizon. What is the brighter future you are seeing? How will lives be better? What difference will a participant notice in his or her self? If you don’t tell them where they’re going and what they’ll see, they’re most likely not going to follow you.

The End Product Description

So taking the example from above, here is one potential outcome after applying the tips above:

We are once again partnering with the Phoenix rescue mission to bring Thanksgiving Food Baskets to families who otherwise would not be able to celebrate with their favorite Thanksgiving foods.

In 2013 we packed over 500 meals and we were truly grateful for every meal that we could provide to families. However, Phoenix Rescue Misson had over 300 families who did not receive a Thanksgiving basket.

Participate with us this Thursday as we reach our goal of packing 1000 meals for this year’s need. Your participation will be the difference between packing 500 and 1000 meals. Your presence will make a difference and together we will make sure that no PRM family goes without a Thanksgiving basket.

If you are unable to attend, you can immediately donate finances online to help us pay for remaining needed supplies. Also, we are asking that you invite friends from our community to participate. Even if you aren’t there, they can still participate. Please share this web page with them.

So maybe that is a bit much, but I wanted to write it in such a way that you can see every piece of what I suggested above. Yes, you may have some folks who want JUST THE DETAILS… so go ahead and make few lines in the middle of the story with just the details. The important thing is to help the reader feel as strongly about your event as you do.

Secret Bonus Tactic

If you want to capitalize on your newly written copy, take bits and pieces from the copy, customize it for individual social media and marketing channels (change what is necessary for it to fit on each platform) and link back to the full description. Seeing the same message in multiple places adds momentum and authority to your overall mission.