Your Copy Doesn’t Convert? Try Adding Specificity to The Mix

Clarity. Credibility. Trustworthiness. Authenticity. These are some of the qualities that specificity can bring to your copy. It's that powerful.

When your copy is specific, your readers don't have to figure out what you are trying to explain. They don’t have to connect the dots. It eliminates friction in your readers’ mind.

In this article, we'll see why specificity is important and how to make your copy more specific.

Why specificity is important when writing copy that converts

Let’s start by saying this: clarity trumps everything else. If you want your copy to convert, be clear. Your readers will not take the desired action if they don't understand what you are saying.

Specifics are clearer than generalizations. Specific words make an image or idea more precise in your prospect's mind. In contrast, vague words are open to interpretation. They could send your prospects in the wrong direction.

The moment you help your readers visualize what you are trying to say is the moment they start to say yes to your offer.

Specificity also brings credibility, trustworthiness, and authenticity to your copy. It demonstrates that you are not making things up.

Specifics make things real.

How to make your copy more specific

Copy that speaks to everyone, speaks to no one.

Before starting, commit yourself to following the Rule of One every time you write copy. It helps you focus on one thing (one reader, one promise, one offer) and makes your copy clear and specific.

Keep in mind that your copy should be specific to your ideal prospect’s life. Where can you find this information? Doing Voice of the Customer research.

Let’s see some things you can do to make your copy more specific when writing and editing your first draft.

When you write your first draft

Start by being specific in your headline. Headlines need to be attention-grabbing but also attract the right audience. Avoid writing vague and generic headlines that want to please everyone. Make them specific and descriptive.

If you are using a hero image, forget about generic stock photos. Make the image relevant and specific to your product or service.

Don’t use your subheads as mere placeholders, make them specific. For someone scanning your sales page, subheads can give an idea about what you are offering.

Write a call to action that is relevant to your business.

Use facts and figures when it makes sense. In your body copy, you should be specific about:

  • Examples of how to use your product.
  • Examples of outcomes of using your product (specific benefits and features).
  • Titles of people who are ideally suited to use your product.
  • Location of users.
  • Features that highlight specific aspects of your product.
  • Pains your solution solves.
  • Detailed information about how your solution can help solve specific problems or meet specific needs.
  • The action people are about to take.
  • Specific and relevant case studies or testimonials.
  • The number of hours saved, pounds lost, customers using your software, clients served…
  • Names of businesses that trust and use your product.

Keep this list at hand when editing your copy.

Pro tip: when using numbers, write them as digits rather than words. Numerals stop the wandering eye and attract fixation. They represent facts (Nielsen Norman Group research).
On sales and product pages, your reader looks for specific facts (product’s weight, dimensions, resolution, memory size, battery life). By using digits you are enhancing the scannability of your copy and making them stand out.

See 13 Ways to Make Your Copy More Specific with Examples.

When you are editing your first draft

People remember things they can visualize. Help your readers visualize how their lives will look like when using your solution.
Read your copy and ask yourself, “can my reader visualize what I’m talking about?”

If the answer is no, identify places where you could be more specific. Take the list above and go over your copy again.

Another thing you can do is to transform important messages into mental images by using sensory words and metaphors. Your reader can’t visualize intangible concepts so a metaphor can provide a concrete mental image.

Sensory words help you paint a mental picture for your readers. They allow you to describe how the reader should experience the world. Describe:

  • What you see. Words related to sight indicate colors, shapes, appearance.
  • What you hear. Words related to hearing describe sounds.
  • How it feels. Touch sensory words convey both tactile and emotional sensations.
  • How it tastes and smells. Words related to taste and smell will help the reader give taste and smell to the situation you are describing.

Sensory metaphors use figurative language to appeal to our senses - sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

Copy that lights up sensory areas of the brain is likely to be more memorable and persuasive. It seems the brain does not make much distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life.

Review your copy and see if you can find a sensory metaphor for key words in your copy. Adjectives like polished, sharp, fuzzy, heavy, and bright are commonly used as metaphors.

Use specificity to bring clarity, credibility, trustworthiness, and authenticity to your copy. It’s a powerful tool to have in your copywriting toolbox.