The Conversion Copywriting Brief
aka Things I Need to Know to Get Started
Most clients are too close to their brand to consider what a copywriter doesn't know. I've developed this Copywriting Brief template to help you get started.
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
Please tell me about the copywriting you need to increase conversions.
- 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
- 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
To write persuasive copy, I need to get inside the head of your perfect customer. 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.
If you don't know this information about your customer, we can start collecting data right away.
Thinking of the copy you need written, tell me about your reader's path to this page:
- 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.
To get a sense of your tone, tell me:
- What media does your audience follow and like?
- Can you point me to writing that 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 a bit clever
- Blunt or subtle
What about language?
- What are some 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 audience 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. I'll let you know what we need and how we can fill any gaps in your existing data.
There You Have It
If it seems onerous, 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: presenting the brief gives me a chance to bow out if the fit is poor. If I can't nail your tone, or if I'm not feeling how your brand hangs together, I'll tell you right away.
Need this in an editable Word doc? Contact me and I'll shoot you a copy.
Rather cover the Copywriting Brief off verbally?