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.
The Big Picture
Please tell me about your:
Company name, brand name(s), product or service name(s)
Market landscape, including industry and competitors
Please tell me about your conversion copywriting project.
Project description - what’s in, what’s out
Any existing or related copy
Objectives - measurable ones are good! 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
Constraints (for example word count or design)
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
Please tell me about their:
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.
Awareness/familiarity: How well do they know you?
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.)
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.
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?
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?