The Conversational Edge

This is where we explore conversational copywriting
as a powerful way to communicate and sell online.

Is conversational copywriting JUST about taking the hype out of sales copy?

The future of sales is anti-hype

If I sometimes give the impression conversational copywriting is ONLY about taking the hype out of sales copy, that’s my bad.

Yes, cutting back on high-pressure sales copy is a big part of it. But that isn’t the only way conversational copywriting can improve results across all business communications.

Let’s look at the 4 top reasons, starting with hype…

Read moreIs conversational copywriting JUST about taking the hype out of sales copy?

3 Pressing reasons for your clients to find their conversational voice.

A conversational voice for business.

As I wrote in a previous post, the Internet was conversational before the web as we know it even existed.

Since then many writers, myself included, have worked hard to persuade companies and organizations that writing for the web should, above all else, be conversational in tone.

Have we been successful in turning the tide against old-school promotional copywriting, and boring, stiff corporate writing?

I’d say our success rate has been spotty at best.

Read more3 Pressing reasons for your clients to find their conversational voice.

Conversational voice search is the future of SEO.

Conversational voice search

I got an email recently from someone who told me that conversational copywriting was all very nice, but wouldn’t work for search engine optimization.

He told me that the unique structure of organic search terms would never be a good fit for conversational writing.

Huh…

Well… he’s totally, absolutely wrong.

He clearly hasn’t heard of or given much thought to the meteoric growth of voice search.

Read moreConversational voice search is the future of SEO.

Conversation is the native language of the web.

If you remember the Internet from way back in the 1980s and 90s, you’ll doubtless recall there was no buying or selling stuff online back then.

No web browsers. No web.

But a lot of text-only discussion lists and bulletin boards.

That’s where we all got into conversation. Lots of conversations.

That why I say conversation is the native language of the web.

Read moreConversation is the native language of the web.

It turns out those annoying Ums are Ers are an essential part of everyday conversation.

Um and Er in conversation

If you ever do any public speaking, or give presentations for work, you probably obsess a little over getting rid of all those Ums, Ers and other “fillers” that creep into your language.

Speaking coaches will train you to avoid them when speaking live. And audio engineers will edit them out when producing recorded speeches, presentations or training products.

But… it turns out that Ums and Ers actually have an important function.

Read moreIt turns out those annoying Ums are Ers are an essential part of everyday conversation.

Conversational Copywriting is NOT a compromise.

I get this kind of pushback all the time.

Traditional copywriters and marketers suggest that conversational copywriting is somehow a compromise.

That it pulls its punches.

That’s it’s just copywriting lite.

They say that work at its best, copywriting HAS to include traditional, hard-selling tricks and techniques.

I think they’re wrong.

Read moreConversational Copywriting is NOT a compromise.

Automation is the enemy of conversation.

Automation is the enemy of conversation

If you’re involved in marketing online, you’re doubtless aware of the power and benefits of automation.

Modern online tools allow you to target your future customers, entice them with the best offers, pull them into a powerful sales funnel, send out a series automated emails and then land them as customers.

The better your landing pages, sales funnels and email sequences… the higher your conversion rates.

The process truly is a marvel of modern technology. It really is.

And yet…

Read moreAutomation is the enemy of conversation.

Conversation is the cure for corporate gobbledygook.

A cure for corporate gobbeldygook

Any kind of language that creates distance between a business and its prospects and customers is a problem.

Put simply, you can’t turn a stranger into a customer by creating distance, by pushing people away.

Much of the time that distance is created by the language a company uses in its business and marketing communications.

First, overly promotional language creates distance simply by stimulating the reader’s defenses. Try to sell at me too hard and I’ll defend myself by stepping back, walking away or ignoring you altogether.

Secondly, overly formal, corporate language, filled with impenetrable jargon creates distance.

Read moreConversation is the cure for corporate gobbledygook.

4 Ways to disarm your prospects through conversation.

Disarming through conversation

When someone tries to sell us something, we prepare ourselves for the onslaught.

We raise our defenses. We hide behind filters. We prepare our rebuttals and get ready to say NO.

Why such an extreme response? Because we are used to the sale process being adversarial.

And we know that an experienced salesperson has a hundred tricks and schemes in his playbook. He’s been doing this for years. He has been trained to win, to demolish objections, and to close the sale.

It’s little wonder we go on the defensive.

Of course we do. We’re under attack.

At least, this is the way things used to be.

Read more4 Ways to disarm your prospects through conversation.

Copywriters like us don’t lie.

Marketers lie

About 5 years into my career as a copywriter I was working on a campaign for a client in the pharmaceutical industry.

The product I was being asked to write about was a hospital analgesic – a painkiller for dealing with severe pain in a hospital setting.

The trouble was, when I looked through all the clinical studies for that product, I couldn’t find any evidence that it was effective as a painkiller.

In fact – and I remember this after almost 30 years – the best I could find was a statement that described the product as “slightly more effective than placebo, but not significantly so”.

Read moreCopywriters like us don’t lie.