How to Create Marketing Copy… Without Actually Writing

write

I know I hate writing marketing copy, don’t you? It’s something we all dread, but we need marketing copy to convert visitors into customers.

The real question is, how do you create marketing copy when you don’t have a copywriting bone in your body? Luckily for you, I have an approach that you can follow to create marketing copy, without even picking up a pen.

Tactic #1: Use tweets and testimonials

One simple way to create marketing copy is to pull it from Twitter and emails. If you have a good product or service, or even an exceptional customer service team, eventually someone will express how great your company is.

Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You To Be Rich uses both testimonials and tweets on his homepage to encourage you to sign up for his blog.

twitter testimonials

If you look at the screenshot above, you’ll notice that he uses people’s full names and even shows their Twitter handles to prove that the testimonials are genuine. This is important because there are too many fake testimonials out there. If people don’t believe your testimonials are real, they will less likely to convert.

I tested a testimonial from Emerging Terrains on how I helped them generate extra six figures in revenue, and it decreased my conversion rate by 11% because people didn’t believe the results… even though they were real. I should have made it more personal and used images like Ramit did to make sure the testimonial is accepted as genuine.

Nonetheless, the strategy Ramit used is something that works really well. My buddy Timothy Sykes uses the same strategy as Ramit, and it has helped increase his conversion rate by over 21.6%.

Tactic #2: Headlines don’t have to be written

You know headlines are powerful, so the words you choose for the headline can drastically increase or decrease your revenue.

When Highrise added the phrase “free trial” to their headline, they boosted their conversion rate by 30%.

highrise

Granted, you probably won’t be able to boost your conversion rate by 30% with a simple tweak like Highrise’s, but you can achieve similar results with a bit of creativity.

LKR Social Media was able to increase their conversion rate without even writing any copy. They used a testimonial to boost email signups.

Here is the original version:

lkr media

And here is the version with the testimonial as a headline:

lkr media testimonial

They used the testimonial  “Yours is the only newsletter I actually read” to make you feel like you would be missing out if you didn’t subscribe. Guess what? It worked really well! It worked so well that they saw a 24.31% increase in email signups.

Tactic #3: Videos can convert higher than text

In many cases, video is a more powerful format than text-based content. Yes, high quality videos require scripts, animators and videographers. If you have some money to throw around, you could copy my process of creating videos, which helped me make an extra $21,000 a month.

If you don’t have a video budget, you can just go out there and film yourself. Tim Sykes did this with his Millionaire Challenge campaign, in which he used a video instead of text to explain his offer.

tim sykes video

The video was created off the cuff, without a video production crew or any professional editing. The end result was a boost in conversions by 72.9%.

So, how did Tim, not a copywriter, create a higher converting offer? He decided that he was going to create a video that explains why he was so passionate about his offer.

If you want similar results to Tim’s, make sure you cover the following within your video:

  • The problem your potential customers are facing.
  • The solution you are offering that solves their problem.
  • Details about your product or service.
  • Answers to any objections or questions your potential customers may have.
  • What makes your solution unique and why they should sign up or buy it.

If you don’t have a camera to record a video, don’t worry about it. Your cell phone should have a powerful enough lens to record a video.

Tactic #4: Use data

I wanted to create a contact page that increased how many relevant requests I would receive. The problem was I didn’t have enough time to write persuasive marketing copy.

Instead, I used data to create a contact page.

contact

I did something similar with a speaking page, which I turned into a data-rich infographic versus a page filled with marketing copy.

speaking

Can you guess what the end result was? The page filled with marketing-rich copy used to get me three speaking inquires a week. The data-rich infographic, which receives the same amount of traffic as the text version, brings in eleven speaking inquires a week. That’s a 266% increase in leads.

Using an infographic to represent data is not the only way to get the results I did. On Crazy Egg, for example, we pulled data from a study at Carnegie Mellon that showed an 88% correlation between eye and mouse movement.

crazy egg data

That page with data beat the original version by 30%. Granted, we made other changes to the page, but using data did help.

Tactic #5: Instructional images

Marketing copy doesn’t have to be in text format. Leveraging images to get your message across can sometimes be more effective than persuasive copy.

Kimberly Snyder decided to try this approach for her smoothie recipe page as she felt it would provide a better user experience than using copy.

green smoothie

The end result was an increase in search traffic by 21,429 visitors a month and an additional 200 emails collected per day. Again, the only change she made was to use an image instead of copy.

Conclusion

You don’t have to know how to write copy to create marketing copy. You can utilize testimonials, quotes, data, images and even videos to get your message across.

As examples above show, in many cases, it is more effective to leverage those strategies than to sit down and write copy.

So, what other ways can you create marketing copy without actually writing?

If you want to break through to real profits online, you need some serious firepower. For a limited time I’m sharing some select tips and tricks Amazon, Microsoft, NBC & Hewlett Packard paid thousands of dollars per hour for, FREE.
  • The step by step guide to monster traffic generation
  • The how-to guide for increasing conversions on your website
  • 7 Cashflow killers your analytics tools are hiding from you
     
 
100% privacy, I will never spam you!

Comments

  1. Great post, Neil. I’m a copywriter, but I’d rather not write if writing isn’t needed. And often times, I find when you use the proof elements you suggest in this article you can get higher conversions. Love the idea of instructional images and data as a quick way of visually getting the point across.

    • Hey Francis

      You’re right, however, we as copywriters still need to write the introduction and everything in between testimonials, proof, data, images, etc… and put everything together smoothly and effectively for conversion….

      This article makes it easy to believe that you can have a sales letter done without writing it, that’s ONLY true if you outsource the task, is it? :)

    • Francis, glad to have these points validated by an actual copywriter. I really think instructional images and high quality imagery really does the trick. Thanks for reading and let me know if you hae any questions or additional feedback :)

  2. Thanks for sharing, Neil. This is great! I’m going to implement the video and instructional image tactics and will share how they work.

  3. Great post ! thanks for sharing .. please guide me most of them subscribing but not activating . how to overcome this issue

    • Gajendran, I think you should really focus on conversion optimization. There may be a problem within the copy of your landing pages that is making it harder for users to convert. Let em know if you need any help :)

  4. Just curious. How can you possibly stay updated on everything in digital marketing when you are running so many projects? How do you manage or balance action/execution/implementation with learning and staying updated?

    • Murali

      That’s not easy, that’s why I recommend all my students and clients to focus on two or three projects a month – at the maximum – and leverage their time like never before.

      Usually, the more projects you have, the less quality time you have to devote to each… this dilutes the final result, isn’t it?

    • Murali, great question. I try to really streamline all the information that comes my way. I prioritize how I view my blog feed and twitter feeds so that I can, in my opinion, get the most relevant information. Thanks for reading!

  5. Headlines don’t have to be written? Well, it’s really true and that’s an awesome point Neil.
    I’m starting to become a fan of you from just another regular reader. The way you write just rocks.
    Well put mate. Can’t wait to read your next post.

    Cheers! :)

    • Amal, thanks for reading and I am glad you enjoy the posts. I think the point about headlines is definitely important. They should be visually stunning and straight to the point.

      • Shouldn’t a headline pull the reader in?
        Meaning making him curious what comes next?
        I remember a book by whatshisname Sugarman (the guy who sold the yellow sungalsses) that focused on copywriting and there he explained how every element of a text, starting with the headline, pulled the reader more and more into the page to finally give the most wanted response (conversion).
        So it is not just the headline, but the whole setup of the copy.

        Btw, also for videos that look simple, don’t think that they were shot without a script. These guys think and plan a lot :)

        Neil, finally I have to say thanks for this nice post and that you made me rethinking some of my pre-selling pages again.

        • Yes the headline should pull people in, but you can do that through testimonials as well. Usually if something converts better, it usually means it did a better job of pulling a reader in.

          As for videos, you are correct. Most are scripted. ;)

          You are welcome on the post.

  6. Thank you for these great & simple strategies. Now even I can do it!

  7. Awesome post Neil! Thanks for pulling up all the stats. It really helped a lot. This also kept me think about how “Data” in testimonials performs in a marketing copy? Does it performs better than a testimonial without any stats? As you go with variations in neilpatel.com

    “Neil grew our traffic by 300% in six months” Tessa Burg
    “Neil increased TechCrunch’s traffic by 30% within 2 months. Michael Arrington

    Adding simple tweaks & A/B testing also leads to great marketing copy. As you are testing in Quicksprout pro version or Quicksprout Traffuc system with
    1) 7 day free trial
    2) 75% off

    This might sound off-topic but surely has relation to conversions, I have seen you reduced the Quicksprout subscription forms to one.

    Testing different form of marketing copy or source that leads to a sales page surely helps a lot.

    • I haven’t tested out the data in testimonials, but my hunch would be that it converts better. Assuming it is accurate and seems realistic.

      Yep, you got it right, I am testing all of those things you mentioned. Once i have enough data… maybe I will create a blog post out of it. ;)

  8. Wow. With all that mail who has the time to write anything else ha.

    Now you need a Media page to follow on all that other engagements that you speak at :)

  9. Once again very useful post. Thank you !

  10. Thank you for your post Neil!

  11. When we added some interesting illustrations to our landing page, the bounce rate went down close to 0% :-) . It also drastically improved the amount of time people are spending on the platform.

    Illustrations and info-graphics definitely help if its done the right way.

    enjoyed the post a lot, thanks Neil!

  12. I hate writing copy and this is a great article Neil! Thanks for the tips which no doubt make the content creation process less painful and, dare I say it, perhaps fun?!

  13. I usually un subscribe to the newsletter in less than a week or two. But not just in your case. Every time I read a post here, I’m like – How can I miss the next post. I will lose millions

  14. Neil, I am wondering about using testimonials from emails, Facebook posts and tweets. Do we need to get people’s consent first, or can the feedback be used freely because it is in the public domain?

    • I am not sure. I usually ask for consent as it is the polite thing to do, but a lot of people don’t ask for it.

      When in doubt, always ask. If someone really loves what you did, they won’t have issues of you using it.

  15. One question about infographics, please.
    Neil, when you put an infographic on a sales (or pre-sell) page, how much text should be around it? Or does the infographic cause the conversion by itself?

    Tahks for explaining.

    • The infographic can cause a conversion itself as long as a call to action is within the infographic. Don’t worry about the amount of copy, but instead focus on adding enough copy to get your message across.

  16. We run a small Record Label in Sydney called Monday Records and copy needs to be created fast and accurately. Its nice to have it validated that by default we utilize some of these methods.

  17. Awesome post Neil.

    Video is something that seems to be picking up big time these days.

    One of my favourites is to record sales calls and then segment them by; “Didn’t buy”, “Fence Sat” and “Purchased”.

    When I’m in need of good copy and insights I have them transcribed and I rip out the gold nuggets.

    • Sam, I feel segmentation is vital. I think by doing so you can definitely reach out to them at a later time to see what services and or messaging they need to move forward. Videos are definitely on the up and up.

  18. Great ideas, Neil. I definitely should use it.

    Pictures of happy clients (especially if they are big names) works well too. And the usual commercial style – before and after – videos and photos.

    I also like how online software companies put together visual guidelines for using their services.

    • Great points. I think photos of happy clients really do the trick. It’s all about getting people to see what you are doing right so that they too may be interested in your services :)

  19. Ifeanyi Cyril :

    Hello Neil, I’ve always read your write ups right from the day i came across you on facebook. I am a fan of your facebook page, a follower on twitter and a connection on linkedin and i must say that i’ve learnt so much reading your posts all over the social media. Today’s article has really opened up alot and i sure would put it to test. Thumbs up to you and your team.

    • Glad you find the tips helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback. I love to hear feedback whether it is positive or negative. We are always looking to improve!

  20. Neil, splendid article as always from your stable. That y am always on look out for your article in my inbox.

  21. Neil, I keep seeing your ads on Facebook for consulting. Surprised that you do it. Why?

  22. Thank you for the great marketing copy tips, Neil!

  23. Hey Neil

    Great post as always! We’re going to be doing a test soon to see how ‘negative’ testimonials affect our CR. So, where customers didn’t have a good experience and we refunded their money (so not an all-out negative experience).

    The hope is that prospects will trust us more!

    Could backfire though… that’s why we test! :)

    • Daniel, I would love to see what you come up with. Negative reviews and testimonials definitely do have an impact on the overall strategy. Conversion rates are definitely affected by such variables. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or more feedback :)

  24. Hey Neil,

    Just wanted to say that is one of the coolest contact pages I have seen. Id love to do something like that for my own page.

    Paul

  25. Nice article. for my ecommerce website i am using testimonials with customer images that really boosts confidence and validity

    • David, testimonials really do help. It’s all about getting someone to vouch for your product or service. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions :)

  26. But isn’t copy good for SEO?

  27. Hi Neil, you are a very inspirational person. I really enjoy all of the insight you provide. I have subscribed to your newsletter and have yet to be disappointed. Thanks for sharing

  28. Thank you for posting.Very well written.Waiting for updating.

  29. Great job as usual Neil. I had not thought of adding testimonials to my blog or even to my free ebook offer, but now that you mention all these use cases – I should have been thinking of it sooner. Thanks

    • Ashley, it’s never too late. I think testimonials help people out regardless of the size of their organization. It’s all about creating confidence between you and your audience.

  30. Hi Neil ..

    It’s a really informative post about marketing copy. You’re right that we should answer our customers and if we keep in touch with our customers, they will feel comfortable and they would like to share your content.
    I want to know that if our cell doesn’t have a powerful lens then our video will be useful or not?

    • It can still be useful. Worse case grab a friends cell phone as someone should have a powerful camera. Both iPhones and Android phones are really good.

      But if you can’t find anything don’t let that stop you. You can always use your camera even if the quality isn’t that great.

  31. great post and very nice tips. i will definitely try this at my blogs to see improvement and will share my experience on it.

  32. Definitely. Some people think it’s all about words, when in fact there are other ways to market your product.

    Among the tips listed, I think the best one would still be testimonials. Why? It makes you feel secure on purchasing the product if you know others have experienced it and that they were satisfied with it.

    I like videos too, and are amazed with Tim’s results.

    I’ve initially read this post on the IM social networking site, Kingged.com where it has been shared for its awesome content. :Keep it up, Neil! We are learning a lot. :)
    http://www.kingged.com/how-to-create-marketing-copy-without-actually-writing/

    • Riza, great points! I definitely think people get pigeon holed into certain things without looking at the whole picture. It’s all about having a cross channel mix for your marketing efforts. Videos, I believe, are the wave of the future for digital marketing!

  33. This is a great article! I am really wanting to get into making info-graphics. Where is the best place to get start creating them?

  34. Thank you for sharing these stats Neil. You’ve inspired me to use infographics too. I’m wondering… what is the software you use to create your infographics?

    Can you recommend one in particular? I like how you managed to embed a contact form and would love to be able to do this too.

    Thanks again for the call this morning. Great tips of which I implemented half already… working on the other half now.

  35. Hi Niel,

    These are good ways to create a marketing copy without writing. Things like info-graphics, data and video’s always create much better impact than normal textual content because of the human’s pictographic memory and ability to understand visuals much quicker than text content.

    The main problem which makes people push content over infographics or Video’s is because of lack of expertize in design and recording.

    • Aditya, I completely agree. I think more often that not people can’t find an infographic that pops. It shouldn’t discourage us though. We should start slow and eventually work our way to up to that infographic that just wows people and generates tons of traffic. Thanks for the feedback :)

  36. It is all psychology and we could be able to capture that what influence most the human mind we could be able to increase conversion. And Neil sir you are the master of it.

  37. I love the Green Smoothie example. I have a post about using skin brushing to stay healthy – it would be perfect for some photos like that! Thanks Neil

  38. I can say that tactic #5 is one of the most effective ones. People tend respond much better to visualization this is because instructional images are 30% more likely to be read than plain text.

  39. I love that Millionaire Challenge video. I reckon I might try to do something similar on my website. I always thought making videos was expensive but you can see here that Tim probably just setup his DSLR to film himself. Simple. Cheers Neil – another great post.

    • Steve, glad you brought this up. I think you can get video work done for a reasonable price if you do it in house. You just need a friend of colleague with a DSLR as you mentioned :)

  40. Yes videos convert more than text at the same time we put more effort also to create powerful video.Headlines are the more powerful things in internet marketing.

  41. Wow Neil I feel like a burden has been lifted. I am currently redesigning my site and I really wonder what to put in the pages because I want to be real with my visitors and dont want to be too salesy.
    This has definitely given me great ideas and I will surely implement.
    Thanks for this very worthwhile advice

  42. Hi! Neli, This post has solved my struggle of writing marketing copies for my client; every time I have to find out some unique and creative ways. These tricks are awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Hi Neil,
    I doubt if copy writers will be happy about this post. :D
    Though I’m one too, but i loved this post especially the trick of Info-graphs and instructional tutorials!

    Your post reminded me of my art’s teachers who used to tell us that few things can explain an idea better than words could ever do.

    Any how, there’s one thing I practically learned in my recent writing project. Offering a product/service as a case study or as an example to explain something could be one intelligent marketing tactic. (I must add, Only if it’s done in a appreciative tone :D)

    Thanks for a great post! :)

    • Samra, thanks for reading and providing valuable feedback. I think copywriters benefit from this article as well. Great visual pieces always need great copy surrounding them. It’s important to have both to get the best results. Thanks for reading and please let me know if you have any questions.

  44. I am using tweets from twitters and also messages of famous people like geihot from XDA dev forum to create my content. This kind based on rumors and my visitors like all these news much. I think its the free and easy way to generate content and the only thing you need to do is to visit famous people profiles on forums and also check twitter pages.

Speak Your Mind

*