So you’ve got to write your copy for your Kickstarter campaign, but you either can’t or don’t want to hire a professional copywriter to do it for you. That’s perfectly fine, though. There are several useful hacks you can use to make your copy as good as the professional work you’d normally hire for. And the best part is, they’re easy to use. So, let’s get started.
The first and probably most important part of writing any copy is positioning. More specifically, the positioning of the words on the page. There’s actually been a lot of studies done on the subject of word positioning, and they’ve all found that position is important.
Specifically, the first and last sentences of each paragraph are the most important. Humans can easily and quickly recall the information they read first and last, but not so much for the middle. It’s kind of like those book reports you wrote in high school, only more refined.
Ideally, you should keep the important points either first or last and everything in the middle should be more detail. Doing this allows readers to recall the important bits of information faster. And because of how the average mind memorizes details (by associating them with other easy to remember details), they’ll more easily recall the finer points in the middle.
However, most people will skim the copy instead of reading it all. Most skimmers typically read the first and last sentence of a paragraph during their skimming. So getting the important points in those spaces is very important for the skimmers.
Justification is important in your copy, but not for the reasons you might think. A well-known study called the Xerox Line Study showed that using justifying words such as “because” caused people to assign justification to requests, even if the actual reasoning behind the justification was devoid of validity. They found that people who asked the question “May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies” caused 93% of participants to allow the asker to cut in the line in front of them, even though nothing after the “because” was a valid reasoning.
The use of justifying words is very powerful because it activates internal scripts that automatically guide the actions of the listener with frightening power. So when you’re writing copy, make sure to use words like “because”, because that will reinforce your reasoning to the readers.
3. The “But You Are Free” Phenomena
The use of reminders to the readers that they’re perfectly free to take another path or simply ignore you is very powerful. A meta-study of 42 different studies on the BYAF phenomena showed that the BYAF reminders doubled the success rate for compliance on average. That sounds like a pretty powerful psychological tool, doesn’t it?
So when you’re writing copy, remind your readers that they are free to not take your seriously or choose somewhere else to pledge their money to. Or don’t. The use of this tool is up to you.
4. The P.S. Line
Remember part 1 above? How you should include the most important bits either first or last? Well, guess what comes last in most copy?
That’s right, the P.S. (or Post-Script) line. You should leverage this to make a great call to action of some kind while giving a short reminder of the previous points. If you use the P.S. Line wisely, you can increase the effectiveness of your campaign greatly.
5. Don’t Overuse Exclamations
This one is actually very tricky for a lot of people. It might seem like the use of exclamations ever sentence or every other sentence is a great idea. It adds power to the sentence right?
Well, yes, but that can backfire quite easily. Ideally, a sentence that needs power has that power from its word choice, not the ending punctuation. If you need an exclamation point to put in power, you’re probably doing it wrong. So rewrite the sentence until you can remove the exclamation without taking away from the impact of the sentence.
Leave the exclamations for where they really matter, which in ideal copy is only when expressing complete surprise or severe pain.
6. Use Modern Words
Unless you have a particular reason to use older words (such as ‘whilst’ and ‘learnt’), don’t. The use of these words doesn’t represent some superior education, just snobbery. And that will cost you in a Kickstarter campaign.
You don’t have to worry about being seen as uneducated because you use modern words. Older words are older for a reason. It’s been decades, centuries, maybe even millennia since they were last used. Most people in the modern age will have completely forgotten those words exist or once existed.
7. Second Person
The use of second person is very important in writing effective copy. No one really cares that much about what the writer wants or needs. They care more about what the writer can do for them.
So use words like “you” and “your” in your copy when possible. Tell them what they get in exchange for undertaking the time to read your copy. Get them engaged and excited/distraught by making the copy about them, not you.
So there you have it. Some nice hacks that can be used by any joe schmoe to write effective copy. In fact, these are tricks that the pros use regularly. That’s how they became pros in fact. So if you use them effectively and to the full extent possible, then you to can write professional copy, but without the monetary cost associated.
If you want to know more neat little tricks like that, take up some study in psychology. Read a textbook or google information on the psychology of writing copy. It’s quite interesting and there are lots of other tricks besides the ones listed here.
And best of luck in writing your very own professional quality copy.