Posted by a Singapore Freelance Copywriter staff writer:
Most people are very comfortable with either or propositions.
Known as dichotomies, the premise is that any splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts is a good thing. It’s a modernist affectation, really.
In these post-modern times, taking a whole and dividing it into two parts no longer makes sense when examining a specimen, or a theory, or copywriting. Dividing things into separate parts has become artificial, and in terms of website conversion, it could be a real problem.
Everything must not belong to one part or the other. Being mutually exclusive, that is, belonging simultaneously to both parts of a thing, can undermine a holistic point of view. Seeing your site as a system can positively impact your traffic.
In the meantime, some experts out there will be only too happy to stress that copywriting is a science, not an art. Some will take the opposing view. It is an art. Period. Um, well, actually kids―it’s both.
I’d love to say it’s more one than the other―more science or more art―but I’m not going to be able to quantify that. Sorry.
There are aspects of copywriting as a science that are important to know. Same for copywriting as an art. Having a handle on both sides of the issue (or in my opinion, non-issue) will make your writing more meaningful.
The Psychology of Copywriting
During your secondary school's science class, you may have learned a little about Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov. His experimental model of learning led to theories about Classical Conditioning.
Remember his dog?
The dog was given food while a bell rang. After a while, the ringing bell caused the dog to salivate because Scooby associated the sound with getting a Scooby Snack.
In copywriting, a good call to action is like Pavlov’s bell. If the CTA is crafted artistically, the science encouraging me to click will be taken care of. But I need a Scooby Snack or I’ll go to another website for one immediately.
Behaviorist and psychologist B.F. Skinner said that behavior is a consequence of environmental histories of reinforcement. He talked about consequences that strengthened behaviours.
To reinforce my visiting behaviour and get me to click, offer me a free eBook or PDF, offer me "awesomeness for a small fee". Reinforce what I’ve learned as a consumer my whole life, and do it in a new and seemingly exciting way, and *bing* - desired result. A sale. I’ve pulled the lever, so to speak, and I’ve gotten my snack. And you’ve got the conversion you were hoping for.
Part of good copywriting and creating a great landing page and a great call to action requires us to understand human behavior. The reason a visitor becomes a customer is because of how she was conditioned to respond to what’s being offered on your website. Use that. Reinforce those learned and conditioned behaviors.
Being Holistic: A Systems Approach
In science, especially in psychology and psychiatry, the treatment of the whole person has become standard. Systems theory, in particular, views the individual in the context of something larger―family. It’s a theory that says “No one is an island,” and it really embraces our interdependence with others.
It is helpful to see your website, landing page, and calls to action in a similar way. If we apply a systems approach to copywriting, we can create consistent, powerful, impression-makingwriting. Writing that converts.
No part of a website is an island unto itself. If we take that approach, we could create a disconnected experience for the customer. Seeing your site as a system is a step in the right direction toward optimizing your site as a whole.
Every part of every section, when seen as a conversion system, will stand stronger than when it’s broken into separate parts. Flow and consistency are important. It makes it easier for the visitor to become a customer when that visitor’s behavior is properly understood.
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