The Conversion Copywriting Brief

aka things I need to know to get started

Most clients are too close to their brand to brief a copywriter off the cuff. That's why I've developed this Copywriting Brief template.

Need it in a Word doc? Just ask. Prefer to get started right away? Fill out the online Copywriting Brief form and hit submit. The sooner I get the details, the better. 

About You

Please tell me about your:

  • Company name, brand name(s), product or service name(s) 
  • Market landscape, including industry and competitors
  • Background, values and philosophies
  • Brand personality

Your Project

Please tell me about your conversion copywriting project.  

  • Project description
  • Any existing or related copy
  • Scope and inclusions 
  • Objectives. KPIs are good here, for example:
    • Generate more leads
    • Generate more sales
    • Increase average order value
    • Increase average revenue per customer
    • Increase average revenue per visitor
    • Micro-conversions, e.g. increase clicks
  • Deadlines
  • Constraints (for example word count or design)
  • Keywords
  • Must haves/must not haves

Your Product or Service

What makes your product or service different and better?

  • Emotional benefits of your product or service
  • Practical or functional benefits of your product or service
  • The features of your product or service (what your customers get)
  • What sets your product or service apart from the alternatives
  • Testimonials, industry memberships, awards and/or research that validate your claims

Your Audience

Please tell me about their:

  • Demographic: Think gender, income, location, culture, education.
  • Awareness/familiarity: How well do they know you?
  • Motivations: What problem or desire brings them to you? 
  • Perfect World: What result are they hoping to achieve?
  • Experience: What else have they tried? E.g., competitors, alternative solutions.
  • Barriers: What might stop them from saying “yes” to you? 
  • Triggers: What might motivate your audience to take action now? (Think: fear of missing out, fear of things staying the same, excitement, a desire to belong.)

Context

Tell me about your reader's path to the copy you need written: 

  • What search terms might they have entered?
  • If they were directed here by email, social media, or another link, tell me about what they were reading/viewing when they chose to click.
  • If they landed here via your paid search ad, what did the ad say?

Tone and Language

Tone is about the feeling behind your message. It's about vibe. Whether you're B2B or B2C, selling hardware or perfume, tone applies. The right tone makes your message more engaging, builds positive associations with your brand and reinforces the benefits you're selling.

Tell me:

  • What media does your audience follow and like?
  • What writing perfectly or nearly captures your ideal tone?
  • How would you describe the tone you're aiming for? Think:
    • Casual or formal
    • Youthful or mature
    • Lighthearted or serious
    • Warm or detached
    • Conceptual or detailed
    • Energetic or relaxed
    • Strident or soothing
    • Sincere or clever
    • Blunt or subtle

What about language?

  • Are there any specific words you'd like me to use? Not use?
  • Is there a vocabulary your audience uses that I should know? E.g. professional or industry terms, group-specific slang or insider expressions.
  • Is there anything I should be sensitive about saying/not saying? 

How Do You Know?

If you've come this far, amazing. I don't want to deter you.

But I have to ask: What research do you have to back your insights? 

Can you provide:

  • Customer survey data?
  • Website visitor survey feedback?
  • Website user experience data?
  • Website analytics?

If not, don't worry. My process starts with collecting data and I'll let you know how we can fill any gaps.

There You Have It

Think of writing the brief as creating collateral. You'll use it again and again, every time you outsource marketing projects.  

And here's a less-obvious benefit: If I can't nail your tone, or if I'm not feeling how your brand hangs together, I'll tell you right away.

Rather cover the Copywriting Brief verbally? 

 

 

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