Welcome to the next blog in our series on classic copywriting formulas.
Last time we showed you how to apply the pain-agitate-solve formula. Now, we’ll walk you through the famous “Four Cs”: clear, concise, compelling, credible. Considered by many the building blocks of writing, if you follow this formula, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get effective results.
One of the unseen virtues of copywriters is the amount of thought that they put into quality ads. What the consumer reads is something that hopefully grabs their interest, but what they are actually reading is a carefully crafted statement that must be very clear about what is being sold in order to be appealing.
Achieving this level of clarity is the result of deep knowledge about the product and the audience, and the skill to understand how to connect the two.
At the same time, this message must be readable, so simple words and short sentences are optimal. The real test of clear ad copy is that it is unmistakable in its meaning when the target group reads it – it’s not enough that your company’s marketing staff understands it. In other words, ad copy is clear when you can’t misunderstand it.
It’s more difficult to get your message across in a few words than it is to ramble on. But it is just as essential not to skip any of the product’s most important features. Again, this is accomplished through extensive product knowledge.
One technique to achieve this is by writing out, in one short sentence, what your product does. Then, to avoid omitting important features, create a “word dump” of all the essential aspects of the product, and then boil it down to eliminate redundancy, rambling, carrying on…
Finally, write the features up in a copywriting style, put them in order of importance, and add them one at a time to the short sentence until the maximum length is reached.
“What’s in it for me?” is the underlying message that makes any copy relevant to the audience. Sometimes copywriters (or anybody running a business, for that matter), focus on the aspect of the product that interests them the most.
Instead, the copy should address a pain point that will immediately capture the attention of the audience. You can read more about pain points in our blog about the PAS formula.
Creating a compelling ad does not need to rely on flowery prose. If you can choose between a splendid composition or ad text that naturally attracts your audience (even if it is not grammatically correct!), go for the popular choice.
It is a challenge to establish credibility because, after all, you are selling something, and consumers don’t want to be taken for a ride. Appearing credible is essential—otherwise, the audience will classify your ad as suspicious and move on.
The credibility of your product and ad comes from two sources. The first is the ad itself. By, for example, mentioning free trials, or citing that the product will save the client $X, the ad provides an objective way for the potential buyer to start trusting you.
The second way is through branding. A well-known product often comes with a certain level of built-in trust. For less famous products, trust is established through marketing functions:
- Content such as thought leadership articles, white papers, helpful videos
- Customer testimonials at important points along the customer journey
- Great customer service and bulletproof guarantees that might turn churn customers into “almost advocates”
A Quick and Dirty Example
Let’s say we want to apply the Four Cs in a short ad for Anyword. (Hey, this ad might not win any awards, but at least it gives you the idea):
Is your copy sloppy? See how Anyword helps with a free 7-day trial.
This ad achieves all four elements, as 1) it is clear that the pain point is the difficulty of copywriting; 2) it is compelling to a writer to find out how Anyword assists in solving the problem; 3) credibility is established with a free trial; 4) the fact that the ad is only 14 words long definitely qualifies as being concise.
But What About “Convenient”?
Using the Four Cs properly makes it easy for the audience to understand a product’s value proposition. But, it’s not nearly as easy for the copywriter to generate top quality versions of such ads. As mentioned, knowing how to write great copy demands a lot of skill and knowledge.
That’s why Anyword does most of the work for you. It leverages artificial intelligence and big data to understand why certain ads deliver the most conversions. Anyword then applies this knowledge to produce copy that converts – even formula-based copywriting ads that are graded according to their predicted effectiveness. All that’s required is a few lines of text about your product and choosing the type of copy you want. So for those tired of racking their brains trying to come up with original, catchy, on-brand copy, give Anyword a turn—it’s as simple as clicking “Generate”.