The entire point of copywriting is to boost sales. Let’s be honest here. Even if you write copy with the goal of getting more newsletter sign-ups, the entire point is still to boost sales.
But, how do you know if what you’re doing is working? You’re writing, and hiring, and writing some more – but do you even know if all the work you’re doing is paying off? The best way to know is to test, test, test. Here’s a list of things you need to test regularly.
Copy, Calls to Action, and 17 Things You Need to Test Regularly
1. Your Headlines
How do you know a particular headline works over another? You conduct an A/B test. Make two slightly different headlines and send each headline to half your list. Which email gets more opens?
2. Your Offer
If you’re not sure about your offer, try testing more than one offer. Like the A/B testing mentioned above, only change something small, and send each to half your list. Or if it’s a sales page, put both up, and see which performs better.
3. Your Copy Format
Are you considering where the reader is reading the copy? If your audience is reading on a mobile device, is the copy format effective? How do you know? Test it.
4. Snippets of Your Copy
If you have a long sales page, you can take snippets of the copy and reuse it on social media or other places to see what the response to the words are.
5. New Products
This doesn’t mean create new products, but test out new products such as project management systems, social media marketing automation, email marketing programs and more. Stay up to date by regularly spending a small time testing new products and tools.
Are your graphics the right graphics to use for your particular audience? If you’re not sure, conduct more A/B testing. Change nothing but the graphics and see how it affects conversion rates.
Of course, you should test how your websites function. Does the checkout process run smoothly for your customers? Is something hanging them up along the way to prevent making a purchase?
8. Audience Responsiveness
Are you posting your heart out on Facebook but no one is responding, even though people are reading? If you’re not sure why, ask them.
Your copy should be well-studied to be accurate. Don’t post false information either on purpose or by accident. Check your sources and check your facts.
You don’t want things to be too hard for your reader to understand. If you’re using too many big words or industry jargon, change them to small words. Speak directly to your audience, not over them.
11. What’s in It for Me?
Remember the fundamental test for effective copywriting? It doesn’t matter what platform you’re posting the copywriting on; your audience wants to know what’s in it for them. If the copy doesn’t answer that, start over.
12. Double Entendres
Sometimes double entendres are okay, but sometimes they can be disastrous. Be very careful with accidentally posting something that really means something else, especially if it’s controversial or dirty.
Yes, spelling matters. Even on Facebook. When you’re creating social media posts, and especially if you’re scheduling them in advance, pay attention to spelling. Don’t make the mistake of copying/pasting the same misspelled posts over and over again.
The same goes for your social media memes. Triple spell check.
If you post something that has a sequence, such as creating a recipe, or steps to do something technical, does it flow in the right order? Ask someone who knows nothing about the topic to read it to test if it works or not.
One of the most important aspects of copywriting is to make sure that what you are trying to impart to the reader makes sense. You don’t want to accidentally offend someone with your words. Read and re-read, and have others read for clarity.
16. Above the Fold
No matter what medium you’re putting your copy on – whether it’s print, webpages, or social media, the important stuff needs to go at the top, or you need explicit directions to scroll down to read more.
Since the entire point is to boost sales your first thought might be to look at your sales numbers, but you would not be looking deep enough. Plus, if you don’t look at a variety of factors and perform several tests, you may very well continue wasting time on activities with no payoff, or you might stop doing some that are paying off.