18 Principles for Writing Copy that Converts 

You’ve written a piece of copy, whether that’s an ad, sales page or promotional post… What can you do to give your copy the best chance at converting before you publish it? 

Well, there are a number of things you can do: 

  • You can get a pro to give you a critique
  • You can read it out loud to a friend and see what their reaction is
  • You can just publish it and see who salutes it with their wallets
  • Or you can read through these 18 principles that will give you awesome ideas on how to make your copy more persuasive.

By learning these principles (and reminding yourself of them often), you’ll become good at writing converting copy much faster.

This is a simple and easy way to ensure your copy carries a punch. I still do this for every marketing piece I write and it makes a world of a difference. This is the real value of knowing and having a list of effective copywriting principles. 

Read through these 18 Doing Principles and see what you can add or subtract from your marketing piece.

1. When using customer testimonials make sure they are from an ideal customer

Rather than choosing a testimonial from a client who is unlike the majority of your clients, choose client testimonials that say ‘I am like you. I had a problem just like you. I wanted to achieve the same benefit as you. Like you, I was anxious about what I should do. I didn’t know if anyone could help me. Now I know. This product/service helped me. It made me thinner, richer, happier, healthier, better liked, loved, admired. It will do the same for you.’

This shows a bigger audience that they fit into your target audience and you’re speaking to them, as they see themselves in that testimonial.

2. Use specificity to power your copy

‘All the latest software and equipment for publishing’ is better described as ‘Come and learn why you should be using the Z204 laser printer, the machine that cuts the cost of a 500-page 8 x 10 paperback by $1 a copy in runs as small as 2,000 copies…’

3. For impactful copy use an ‘umbrella statement’ plus bullets. 

One of the strongest ways to attract interest is to make an umbrella statement.

‘How to slash $10,000 a year from your household expenses’  Then follow that statement with bulleted examples:

>> Make long-distance calls for 3 cents per minute…

>> Save $40 weekly on your food bills…

>> and so on…

4. Give your prospect an emotional charge. 

‘A 325 HP engine’ is nice. But ‘stepping on the gas and feeling your body push back in your leather seat as you safely and effortlessly sail past a B-double on an open country freeway’ is a much better way to talk about that engine.

5. Let your prospect know that you know what they want. 

‘Dear Friend: here is a terrible problem you are facing… here is a raging desire you want to achieve… here is what you are obsessed with.’ Or, ‘Dear Friend: Here is a major benefit… here are the many ways you’d be better off if you had this benefit.’

6. Stress your USP. 

Identify your product or service unique selling proposition and then concentrate on promoting it as you write.

7. Use numerals rather than written-out numbers in your headline and other copy. 

It’s easier to read ’22’ than ‘twenty-two’. Don’t do anything to slow down your prospect and break his concentration.

8. Get your prospect to take action… 

  • By hitting them with a self-interest-oriented message…
  • By piling one benefit on top of another…
  • By incorporating a sense of urgency into your copy…
  • By convincing them that they’ll not only gain by taking action but will also lose by not taking action.

7. Use numerals rather than written-out numbers in your headline and other copy. 

It’s easier to read ’22’ than ‘twenty-two’. Don’t do anything to slow down your prospect and break his concentration.

8. Get your prospect to take action… 

  • By hitting them with a self-interest-oriented message…
  • By piling one benefit on top of another…
  • By incorporating a sense of urgency into your copy…
  • By convincing them that they’ll not only gain by taking action but will also lose by not taking action.

9. Use contractions for emphasis. 

Use ‘don’t’ instead of ‘do not’ (it’s stronger and more to the point), and ‘I’m’ instead of ‘I am’ (for the same reason)

10. Check your copy for honesty. 

Dishonesty is not only dangerous in legal terms, it can turn a prospect off faster than anything else. Your prospect is smarter than you think. Don’t treat them like they’re not smart, it will do you more harm than good in the long run.

11. Cut the superfluous. 

Check your copy and delete unnecessary words that take up space without communicating. ‘Very unique,’ for example is redundant. Something is either unique (one of a kind) or it’s not. It can’t be very unique. A ‘full mile’ is no longer than a mile. And so on. (pro tip: use the Hemingway app to cut down any long-winded sentence and aim for a grade 6 level for readability https://hemingwayapp.com)

12. Link your paragraphs to make your copy flow. 

Use transition copy like: 

  • But that’s not all… 
  • But there’s even more … 
  • Now, for the first time … 
  • Now there’s an even better way to … 
  • That’s where _____ fits in … 
  • Think of it … 
  • Imagine … 
  • Fortunately … 
  • Here’s why … 
  • Here’s how: … 
  • Here’s how it works: … 
  • What I’m leading up to is this: … 
  • I’m hoping you fall into that category … 
  • I’d like to call your attention to … 
  • If questions like these intrigue you … and so on

13. Don’t just educate. 

Your job is not to teach your prospect about what she needs. Your job is to convince her that your product/service will meet her needs… now… today. Your product should be the educator.

14. Be wary of jargon. 

Every business has its own internal language. Outsiders – your prospects – may not understand it and If you use it, you’ll lose them. Keep your language simple and easy to understand, use metaphors and similes to connect the dots instead. 

15. Stress your guarantee. 

The satisfaction guarantee is a vital element of any offer. It often removes the last bit of resistance standing between you and a positive response.

A strong guarantee lowers the buying resistance of your prospects. It reassures them, they know they can purchase your product in confidence. if they don’t like it, they can get their money back.

Make sure your prospect understands exactly what your guarantee terms are. That means using ‘user-friendly’ language, not ‘legal-ese.’

Here’s an example of a satisfaction guarantee you can use or model;

 180-day Unconditional Money-Back Guarantee


You’ve got 180 days to see if the 12 month Click Engage Convert Academy membership is right for you. So go through the academy, peruse the membership portal with all the training and start with Basecamp. 

 Take each gold nugget after another and apply it to your business. Sit back and play the recordings on your computer, make some notes and listen as our digital marketing experts explain how you can increase your sales revenue quickly using the right digital marketing strategies. 

Send your questions to us in our private Facebook community and have our experts at your beck and call answering your most pressing concerns. 

Do all the training in Basecamp and Bedrock Builders to increase your business revenue through digital marketing. If you don’t increase your knowledge and your bottom line by implementing our digital marketing strategies over 180 days and if you are not fully satisfied with the value inside our training and community, you’ll get a prompt and courteous refund on every cent you invested – quite simply, this is win-win!

16. Tell your prospect what she stands to miss. 

In addition to stressing positive benefits… don’t forget to tap into his fear by telling her what she’ll miss if she fails to take action. Here’s a template of the crossroads close that kills two birds with one rock… (feel free to use it)

‘I Urge You – Let My … <insert product name>…Help YOU Take control of Your Life – NOW!

This is a crossroads moment in your life. Three paths lie before you:

  1. You can bury your head in the sand… continue ignoring my warnings and my offers of help and still be stuck in the same … <paint a picture of how their life is now, without your product and the help you want to give them>…FOREVER…
  2. You can try to figure all this out on your own, and grumble about the slow progress you’re making… how hard it is to figure out …<insert all the stuff they want to know>… and live with knowing you once had the chance to never say, ‘I wish I had known …’ but never took advantage of it …
  3. OR you can TAKE CONTROL of your life and get the guidance and advice I’m offering from my sweat and trial and error… proven to allow you to finally have … <insert the benefits they’ll get from your product>!

Frankly, only one of these choices makes any sense at all. Please – for your own sake – join me in taking advantage of my risk-free offer today!

I want to help you set the … <insert whatever subject your product helps

them within here> agenda for the rest of your life… a life filled with … <insert benefits of having the life your product helps provide>… and a bright outlook. It’s time to ACCEPT this risk-free investment in your (and your family’s) future and join me now. 

Here’s how to Order: Click on the link below to order RIGHT NOW. You can use your credit card— it’s fast, safe and 100% secure… ten times more secure than using a credit card at your favourite restaurant!’

17. Get to the point. 

Don’t waste time. Let your prospect know what the copy is about as soon as possible. (There are exceptions to this rule. But make sure you know and use this rule before you start practising exceptions.)

18. Tell your prospect what to do

Don’t make the fatal assumption that the prospect will figure it out herself. Tell her exactly what action you want her to take and how to take it.

Your Turn

Print these principles out. 

Put them on your wall or keep them in your draw so when you write a piece of copy you read through them. This is not a suggestion – it’s an order! (jokes)

But seriously, when you have a hard copy of these you’ll read through them more often and create a habit that will be embedded every time you write copy. 

Test them on a piece of copy you’ve already tested with traffic but didn’t convert. 

Go over these principles and see what you can change or update.

Rerun it as a test and see if what you changed made a difference to the results. 

Next time you’re writing anything that needs to persuade someone to take action there and then, read through 17 Principles for Writing  Copy that Converts before you write a word. Then put your fingers to the keyboard (or pen to paper) and see the difference for yourself.

In the Click Engage Convert Academy we’re focused on Conversion Copy all month this month, and run regular coworking days where our members get to check in with our experts to tweak their sales pages, ads and more. Right now you can access Click Engage Convert Academy for just $1 for the first month. So go ahead and check it out here: https://clickengeconvet.com