Conversion copywriting is one of the best skills you can learn to grow your career.
In my day job as a growth marketer, I use conversion copywriting all the time.
Sometimes I need to convince my boss to say yes to a project over Slack. That’s conversion copywriting.
Other times I need to edit website or ad copy to improve performance. That’s also conversion copywriting.
In this post I’ll explain what conversion copywriting is, why it matters, and how you can use it.
What is conversion copywriting?
Conversion copywriting is persuasive writing that sells you on a product or service. Good conversion copy results in you making a purchase or taking final action.
Conversion copywriting applies data and research to help make a persuasive argument. A bold claim proves nothing.
Copy that claims to be the “best” or “#1 service” is an example of what conversion copywriting is not.
Claiming to be #1 doesn’t actually proove that you’re #1.
Broad claims are unbelievable because anyone can say it.
Let’s break down this statement:
I’m the best digital marketer!
If I truly am the best digital marketer, what would my experience look like?
- Have a wildly successful blog with tens of thousands of visitors every day
- Run my own digital marketing agency with big clients
- Have a cabinet full of awards and honors
- Authored a book on digital marketing
Now, if those things were true, my claim would look a lot different.
Consider these instead:
“A New York Times Best Selling Author, Nick Lafferty Is a Digital Marketing Expert” (Authority)
“Winner of the Best Digital Marketer Award 5 times in a row, Nick Lafferty…” (Specificity)
“Working with clients like Spotify, Zoom, and Uber, Nick Lafferty has helped transform digital marketing strategies for dozens of Fortune 500 companies” (Social Proof)
Compare those to my initial “I’m the best” statement. What is more persuasive?
The difference between regular copy and conversion copy is making a persuasive argument.
A persuasive argument is based on credibility. People have to believe what you’re saying before they’re persuaded.
Credibility is made up of three elements
- Social proof
I’ll cover each one below.
1. Social Proof
Social proof is jumping off a bridge because everyone else is doing it.
It’s that row of logos on every software website under the text “Our Customers Love Us”.
Social proof says “we’re really good, all these other people think so, so you should too”.
Social proof is 5-star reviews across 10 different review websites. It’s customer quotes, testimonials, and case studies plastered over your website.
Social proof is key to conversion copywriting today because it’s external validation that you’re as good as you say you are.
Look, every company says they’re great at what they do. What company wouldn’t?
Social proof adds credibility to that claim from external sources.
Social proof helps you make a claim with authority. If your customer says you’re the best company, then that must be true, right?
Speaking of authority.
Who are you more likely to believe, an expert or a random person on the internet?
Experts are authoratative sources on a given subject because they’ve put in the time and effort and they have the pedigree to proove it.
Experts are backed by years of experience. They’re interviewed on TV, have written books, and have published papers in academic journals.
For conversion copywriting, authority is established by answering the question “why should I listen to you?”.
Would you listen to someone who’s made their career off conversion copywriting, or some random person on TikTok?
Authority is defined by experience and results.
Elon Musk is an authority on electric vehicles because of how successful Tesla has become.
Someone may own a Tesla, but they don’t have the authority that Elon does because they didn’t grow the company to be one of the most valuable companies in the world.
What sounds better?
“Achieve a record number of sales”
“Double your sales in 60 days”
Specificity makes your claim believable because it’s harder to call bullshit. If you can claim a specific number, then you can likely back that up.
It’s the difference between saying “We’re the #1 Window Company in Austin” and “Voted #1 Window Company By The Austin Chronicle 10 Years In A Row”.
When I was at my last job, we had a sentence on our sign-up page that said get started is free and takes 57 seconds.
57 seconds is an extremely specific number.
And we tested the heck out of that headline. It’s on the signup page so it was very easy to measure if changing it helped convert more signups or not.
Time and time again, 57 seconds beat whatever else we tested.
And that’s specificity at work.
How to learn conversion copywriting
This copywriting class by CXL is the single best class I’ve taken for my career.
It took me from copywriting zero to hero in 6 hours. It provides clear structure, examples, and templates to teach you how to turn your website copy into powerful persuasive arguments.
I’m not going to waste your time with other copywriting courses. CXL is the best.
Conversion Copywriting Examples
Here are some of my favorite examples of conversion copywriting in the wild.
I love this example because the headline draws you in: Become great at marketing.
In four words they’ve captured why someone would want to take a CXL class. They want to get better at their craft.
Then the sub-heading follows up on that to say CXL has the top practioners in the field.
Who else would you want to learn from besides the best?
It ends with a social proof quote that says CXL is better than Harvard.
Here are some other examples I found compelling.
Conversion copy persuades your users to take action, usually by purchasing your product or signing up for your service.
Good conversion copy smashes objections and provides all the reasons why they should take action, through social proof, authority, and specificity.
Conversion copy can also help improve your cover letters so you stand out from the crowd.