What Batman Can Teach You About Great Copywriting
Princess Jones is the evil genius behind P.S. Jones Communications, a boutique communications firm that helps you speak to your audience in a language they understand. Photo courtesy kevin dooley.
Batman is my hero. He’s not a superhero. He’s just a rich guy with mad fighting skills, a bad ass car, and a drive to right wrongs. But that’s enough for me.
I look up the Dark Knight and I often model my life after his teachings. Batman has even helped me fine tune my copywriting skills.
There’s an art to writing great copy – the persuasive wording on marketing and communications materials. Copy is supposed to connect the dots between a problem or need for the reader and get him to walk through the door where the client’s product or service waits.
I have a lot of copywriting heroes but when I’m in a very tough spot, I put on my cape and think: “What would Batman do?”
Lesson #1: Less is More.
Batman is a man of few words. He doesn’t have long conversations where he he tells you his super secret plan. He leaves that to the bad guys. Instead, he tells you just what you need to know.
Great copy is the same way. If you can say it in a simpler way or with less words, do it. The audience will respond to it in a way that significantly affects your success.
Lesson #2: A call to action is the most important part.
Batman doesn’t respond to text messages or tweets. If you want to reach him fast, it’s the bat signal all the way. Similarly, subtlety has its place but copywriting isn’t it.
A call to action – a line or group of lines that urge the reader to do something – is the most important part of your message. It must be persuasive and hit home with the reader. Without it, the reader walks away with some nice information or even some strong feelings but no direction on what to do with it.
Lesson #3: Focus on the ones you can save.
I’ve never seen Batman try to convince The Joker’s henchmen to take off that clown paint, go get their GEDs, and start going to church. That’s not his target market. Great copy is persuasive but it’s focused, too.
Let’s say the product is a pimped out car that turns into a boat, shoots fire out of the tail pipe and only fits two. I’m not going to persuade to anyone in the market for a minivan to seriously consider it. That’s OK because I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to a specific set of prospects and that’s how I get conversions.
Lesson #4: It’s not about you. It’s about them.
This is the best thing about Batman, actually. He could spend a lot of time whining about how hard it is to do his job, how his suit is riding up on him, or how cold the bat cave is. Instead, he makes it about keeping Gotham City safe.
A great copywriter makes it about the reader. She gets inside his head. She uses “you” more than “I” or “we.” She takes features of the product or service and flips them into benefits to the reader so that the focus stays where it should.
For more talk about copywriting, Batman, and how to parallel park the Batmobile, follow Princess Jones on Twitter as @iampsjones.
What’s your secret to superhero-style copywriting? Let us know in the comments section below!