What Compelling Copy Looks Like (Part Two)

Sean Galli
What Compelling Copy Looks Like (Part Two)

Good copywriting isn’t any less important this month than it was last month. In fact, it’s always important. That’s why we’re back with Part Two of “What Compelling Copy Looks Like.”

In Part One of this series, we went over some key elements of amazing copy. To recap, those elements are:

  • Good grammar
  • Amazing headlines
  • Three to five bullets in a list

This time, we’ll cover some less nitty-gritty topics and some more big-picture ones. These approaches are more philosophical than running a spell check, but your credit union or community bank still needs to use them if you want marketing success.

Are you ready to know what they are? Alright, let’s dive in!


Write Something Familiar, But Different


Copywriting is a complex balance between the familiar and the new. Make your writing too familiar, and you bore the reader with eye-rolling levels of “we’re not so different, you and I” cliché. Make your writing too unfamiliar, and you might offend potential consumers who enjoy what they already know.

Let’s think about this concept using Star Wars movies as examples.

“Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” divided viewers because it was too much like the original “Star Wars.” On the other hand, “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” alienated audiences because it subverted too many expectations. However, “The Empire Strikes Back” hit neither of these extremes. It continued the first movie’s story with enough changes to surprise audiences.

What does this look like in writing?

As an example, a recent blog post we wrote for a client included the headline “New Year, Fake You” to talk about identity theft. Website copy we wrote for Heart of Louisiana CU used the term “Heart Rates” to make this common financial term more interesting.

So, seek out the familiar with a twist. Find something clever, not something totally out of left field.


Showcase Your Benefits (Not Your Features)


Marketing guru Donald Miller says it best: “Features tell; benefits sell.”

Credit unions and community banks often get carried away describing the loan application, the rate and so on. The problem is, your consumers don’t care about those details.

Your members or customers live by the “WIIFM” principle, or the “what’s in it for me” principle. This means you must show consumers what’s in it for them. Instead of writing “online loan application,” write “save time and frustration with a six-click application.” Rather than “4.65% APY,” say “lower monthly costs with a special 4.65% rate.”

You’ll notice you can still weave features into your points. However, the benefit is the star of the show.


Make It All About “You”


Forget the “about us.” Drop “we” from your vocabulary. That’s right – it’s all about “you” now – that is to say, your members or customers.

A common mistake found during marketing assessments is a credit union or community bank’s focus on words like “we” and the “about us” section of their website. These words center attention on you. And while your brand is definitely important, it’s not the most important thing to consumers.

Obviously, your members or customers are already the center of your world. You just need to make them the center of your copy as well.

Simply using the word “you” goes a long way toward achieving this goal. Make “our checking account” into “your checking account.” Transform “we give you the power” into “you have the power.”

Constantly ask yourself, “am I making the consumer the hero?”

And if you have any questions or need any more tips, you can book a free consultation to discuss how On The Mark Strategies copywriting services can launch your institution into the copywriting major leagues.

Sean Galli
Marketing Coordinator