During the course of implementing an epic content marketing strategy for your race (since you’re already well aware that content is ALL THE THINGS in marketing these days), you’re going to have to write about 12.64 million different types of copy: website copy, email copy, social media copy, ad copy…. The list runs longer than an ultramarathoner on 3 triple espressos.
Most of the time, your copy can be pretty casual and off-the-cuff. If you can string words together somewhat intelligibly, you’ll be fine.
But there are also going to be times you'll need to write copy that’s more than just good. You need to write copy that moves your athletes to take action, whether that’s checking out your new race registration website, signing up for your email list or clicking the “sign up now” button on your ad.
I’m talking, my friends, about writing copy that converts.
But how exactly do you do that? How do you write copy that makes your athletes crash your online race registration in their eagerness to race with YOU?
Tip 1: Know Who You’re Writing To
Golden Rule #1 of writing copy that converts is knowing who you’re writing to. The best persuasive copy works because the person reading it feels like you are speaking directly to them (just don't be too spooky about it). You should know your athletes inside and out, better than anyone else: the things that they love (protein bars!), the things they hate (long lines at bib assignment!), the things that they’re looking for in a race (awesome schwag bags!), what appeals to them about your race specifically (it’s awesome… duh). And you need to use that knowledge in order to get them to take action.
You need to have a specific person in mind that you’re writing to, so create an ideal athlete avatar that represents the majority of your racers. When you’re writing your copy, write to that one athlete. Write like you’re talking ONLY to them. Appeal to them on a personal level.
Trust me, your conversion rates are going to go through the roof when you write to one athlete in particular instead of writing to athletes in general.
Tip #2: Always Write In The Second Person
Building on Golden Rule #1, you’re going to want to always use the second tense and the word “you” in your copy.
For example, instead of writing “Get more information about XYZ race by clicking here”, try “We’ve put together an event that is going to knock your socks off. Click here to get your coupon for 20% off race registration!”
Notice the difference?
Writing the copy in the second tense and making it about your readers creates a more personalized experience, makes them feel like they’re in cahoots with you and your race, and will bump up your conversions.
Tip #3: Keep It Concise
If you’re trying to write copy that makes your athletes sign up for your race or opt-in to your email list or click on your call to action, the last thing you want to do is drone on like the president of the I Talk Just To Hear My Own Voice club.
Seriously, this is not a time to be overly verbose. You’re going to want to keep your copy as concise as possible when trying to inspire action with your athletes.
Think about it: the longer it takes for someone to get to your CTA, the more likely you are to lose them somewhere along the way. Athletes (like most people) have limited attention spans, and if you want a conversion rate you can brag about to your other race director friends, heed this advice: get to the point, and get there as quickly as possible.
Tighten up your copy and eliminate filler words, unnecessary adjectives and redundant phrases. They have no use in the land of Converting Copy.
Tip #4: Split Test
We’ve already covered why you need to split test your Facebook ads in our Guide To Facebook Ads For Races, but split testing is just as relevant when it comes to copy. In order to get copy that seriously converts, you need to ALWAYS be split testing it, changing it and optimizing it to get killer results.
For example, say you’re writing an email template to drive athletes to your online race registration. You should write one version of the template, and then create a replica with one minor change (like switching the wording in the first sentence or the location of the registration button). Then send each email out to half of your list, and track the performance. The next time you want to send out a registration email, take the template that performed better and repeat the process, changing and testing another detail.
Split testing like this is going to give you some major insights into your athletes that you can carry over into other pieces of content and continually optimize your existing copy for the best results.
Now that you know how to write copy that converts, it’s time to start turning those on-the-fence athletes into I-am-registered-and-telling-all-of-my-friends athletes.