Human beings are very visually oriented. We love visuals. We love shiny things that catch our eyes. And that can play to the any marketer’s advantage. This is not only the case when it comes to the use of images, but also how the text is displayed on a page. Since copywriting is so important, that means how that copy is presented matters—A LOT. What makes copywriting so critical? Let’s take a look…
Copywriting is everything when it comes to online marketing! Good copywriting allows a person to sell absolutely anything. And this means that anyone who wants to have a successful online business MUST know the art of copywriting. Every business person who wants to become a huge success in the world MUST learn how to sell through the written word. What makes copywriting so special? Simply put, good copywriting makes a person a more effective communicator. And this is incredibly important when it comes to online marketing. We can no longer meet with our customers face-to-face. Most communication with customers happens online now. This communication has to grab the attention, develop a relationship, convey information, AND make the sale. If it fails at any one of these, the sale is lost. Period. But the good thing about copywriting is anyone can do it! Anyone can become a good copywriter. I know this from personal experience…
My Copywriting Story
A teacher once told me that I would never be a good writer. She actually told me to stay away from a career that involved writing. Now, I am sure she gave me that advice out of the very best of intentions. However, because of what she said, I stayed away from writing for many years. I had formed a limiting belief that I was no good as a writer. As time went on, I found myself in Medical school, yet I was not enjoying myself. I wanted to own my own business and control my own future. I eventually found my way to internet marketing—but to be a successful internet marketer, I had to learn how to write. Fortunately, I found a mentor named Justin. He saw one of my early sales letters and he reached out to me. He said I had potential, but I could do better. Justin invited me to a workshop and I did an internship with him so I could learn more about copywriting. And one thing he said has always stuck with me. He said… "The most important skill in business is selling with the written word." So, I studied the masters. I practiced and practiced. And I learned how to become a great copywriter. Not only that, but I’ve learned how to use one VERY overlooked aspect of copy that allows me to write better copy than anyone else….
How copy looks on the page matters! Visual flow is THE #1 most overlooked aspect of copy. Believe me, I have looked around and even the top sales pages don’t use this strategy—if they did their conversions would be even higher. Copywriters tend to focus on the words – but what about how it looks on the page? What about the flow of the words? Because no matter how great and compelling your words are, if no one reads them, it doesn’t matter. If the paragraphs are too big or the writing on the page looks intimidating, people won’t bother. They’ll move on to something else. We’re visual creatures. The page needs to be visually appealing for us to pay attention to it. Think about where people’s eyes go on a page. It’s important to ask:
- Where do people look?
- What’s the flow of their attention?
- How do you draw and guide their focus?
Copy needs to be structured in a way that attracts the eyes and flows naturally. This flow can make or break any copy.
How to Create Visual Flow
Creating visual flow is actually very easy! There are a few simple strategies that can be used to ensure the visual flow on a page will catch the eye and guide it through the copy. These include the following: Break Up the Text First and foremost, NEVER use giant paragraphs. No one wants to see a wall of text in front of them. Keep the paragraphs shorter. They shouldn’t be any longer than four lines. People tend to skim while they read, especially online. Keep Sentences Short Sentences that are too long are difficult to read. Keep them short and sweet. If they take up a whole paragraph, split them up. Use Font Changes We can do so much with the written word today. We have the ability to use bold, italics, and underline to make text stand out. We can use color whenever we want. This adds a lot of character to the text and that makes it less boring. It also allows us to emphasize key points. Include Images Images are a great way to supplement the copy and drive the message home. Images can include diagrams, charts, or photographs—anything that adds to the copy. Just don’t go overboard. Keep the use of images minimal and minimize the amount of text in the images for the best results. Switch Things Up Don’t make all the paragraphs the same length. Use a mixture of short, medium, and long paragraphs. Keep it Clean The copy should always look clean and sleek, rather than messy or jumbled. If it’s too cluttered, it won’t attract the eye. All of these tips will help any copywriter write captivating copy and avoid monotony. Remember, visual variety is the spice behind any copy. This variety is created when the font, paragraphs, sentences, and images are combined in such a way that they attract the eye. And this keeps the copy fresh and interesting before the audience has read the first word! Think of this variety in the flow of the copy as the copy’s visual rhythm—people connect with and enjoy a good rhythm. And now, with these points in mind, let’s take a look at some examples of visual flow…
Examples of Visual Flow
Good visual flow is really quite simple to achieve. But sometimes it is useful to see some examples of what works and what doesn’t. What follows are examples of both poor and good visual flow.
Examples of Poor Visual Flow
The following examples show poor visual flow, which tend to result in boring, monotonous, hard-to-read copy. Let’s take a look… Written Sales Letter (WSL) This is an example of a written sales letter. The goal of this WSL is to capture the reader’s attention and keep their attention so the marketer can make a sale by the end of it. However, this WSL struggles to accomplish good visual flow for a number of reasons. How it fails at visual flow: At first glance, it is obvious that this WSL is monotonous and boring. It’s just a bunch of text broken into paragraphs of roughly the same size. And a lot of these paragraphs are made up of one sentence. That means the sentences are too long. There is larger bolded text that stands out. Visually, it looks like it should be a sub-headline, but the text is actually a part of the regular copy. The one image that can be seen is a step in the right direction, but doesn’t do enough to break up the monotony of the copy. Overall, the copy looks like a giant wall of text and that’s just plain unappealing. Most people who look at this page wouldn’t even bother to read it. This WSL will NOT grab onto and hold the reader’s attention. Facebook Ad This next example of poor visual flow is from a Facebook ad. Although a Facebook ad is a very different type of copy than a WSL, the same strategies apply. The copy still has to have visual appeal and variety. Here is the ad: How it fails at visual flow: At first glance, this ad looks like a big block of text, which is exactly what it is. There is simply too much text all together. It creates one big, overwhelming paragraph. The text isn’t broken up and there is no variation at all. Aside from the actual text, there is a link, which isn’t visually appealing either. This link should stand out and add some character to the copy. Instead, it blends in with the text so that it’s hardly noticeable. The image is dull and very gray. It doesn’t catch the attention at all. Plus, it contains way too much text. Overall, this Facebook ad has too much text and not enough visual stimulation.
Examples of Good Visual Flow
Now, we will go through some examples of good visual flow. And since we’ve gone through the strategies, the difference between good and bad visual flow will be obvious. Written Sales Letter (WSL) Here is another WSL. This time, it is clear that the visual flow is good. The eyes enjoy looking at this copy because it’s interesting and varied. How it uses visual flow: In this WSL, the variation of paragraph length is apparent right away. This makes it appealing to the eye. Some paragraphs are short, some medium, and some long. There is a good mix, which makes it easy to read. The sentences are also short. Even in the longer paragraphs, there are at least two sentences. Now, take a look at the format of the text. See how it varies? There is plenty of use of bold and italics. And the text that looks like a sub-heading really is a sub-heading. It actually guides the reader’s eyes if they are skimming, helping them move from one section to another. Ultimately, this example is easy to look at and read. Written Sales Letter (WSL) Here is another good example of copy in a WSL. How it uses visual flow: Again, there is good variation in this sales letter. The lengths of the paragraphs are well mixed and there is good use of short paragraphs. They stand out like bullet points and give the eye a break from the medium and long paragraphs. Not only this, but the short paragraphs ask questions. They get the reader thinking and wondering and that keeps them reading. There are many different text formats in this WSL, including bold, italics, underline, and CAPS. The sub-headline carries the story forward. Overall, this WSL is easy to look at and read. Facebook Ad Now, here is an example of good Facebook ad copy. It’s long because it is posted right on the Facebook page as a status update. How it uses visual flow: Again, the visual variation in this Facebook ad great. There are plenty of short paragraphs and bullet points to break up the monotony of the medium and long paragraphs. This makes it pleasing to the eye. And this ad includes as much format variation as Facebook allows in terms of CAPS, “quotes”, bullet points, and other text variations. Notice at the bottom of the ad, there is a clear call-to-action box. Facebook Ad This Facebook ad also provides a clear example of good visual flow. How it uses visual flow: As with the other good examples of visual flow, this Facebook ad uses variation in the lengths of the paragraphs, short sentences, and bullet points. In addition, there is great use of icons, such as exclamation points and arrows. This ad clearly tells the reader what to do next. Opt-In Page Now, let’s look at an example of good visual flow on an opt-in page. How it uses visual flow: The first thing that stands out here is the use of a high-quality image. This is really important because it’s often the first thing on the page that the eye goes to. Next, notice the catchy headline. It uses the trigger word FREE and it makes use of CAPS and underline. There is not a lot of text on the page, which would be intimidating to the reader. And there is good use of bullet points to convey information. The best part of the visual flow of this page is that it guides the reader in the desired direction—the flow leads the reader right to the opt-in button. And that is the goal of this copy, to get the reader to opt in. Opt-In Page Here is another example of good visual flow on an opt-in page. How it uses visual flow: Once again, there is a high-quality image that immediately catches the eye. The visual flow is great. There isn’t too much text, there are bullet points, and the flow leads the reader right to the opt-in button. And again, there is good use of formatting such as bold and underline. This is an ideal model for an opt-in page. Email The next step in an email marketing campaign would be the email itself. With that in mind, here is an example of good visual flow in an email. How it uses visual flow: An email is a longer body of copy, which means it has to be approached in such a way that it immediately draws the reader in. This is accomplished with the use of a very short paragraph right at the beginning. This very short paragraph is the hook needed to get the reader interested. The email then offers a good mix of paragraph length to break the monotony of the copy. The overall flow is broken up. And even throughout the longer email, there is a variety of text formatting, including CAPS, bold, italics, and underline. Overall, this email is super easy to read and skim, which is incredibly important for longer copy. The absolute #1 skill any internet marketer can have is copywriting - the ability to sell through effective communication. Copywriting is the ONLY way to connect with the consumer and build a relationship with them. Yet there is one aspect of copywriting that is almost always overlooked, even by the top copywriters… The use of good visual flow to make the copy more appealing to the eye. I’ve learned to master the technique of good visual flow. And this has made me one of the best copywriters in the world. And here’s the good news… Good visual flow is easy to achieve—for anyone! To achieve good visual flow, all a copywriter needs to do is the following:
- Do NOT use long paragraphs—keep them to a maximum of four lines.
- Mix up the paragraphs by varying the length—use a combination of short, medium, and long paragraphs.
- Make sure the text is well broken up and draws the eye.
- Make use of bullet points where appropriate.
- Vary the text formatting by using bold, italics, underline, and CAPS throughout the copy.
- All images should be of high quality and their number should be limited.
- Never use too much text in an image.
- Make sure the copy looks clean.
When these strategies are used, the copy will have good visual flow and rhythm. It will draw the eye and guide the reader to the right spot on the page—which is the call-to-action. Anyone who is serious about copywriting and internet marketing MUST understand visual flow. It’s like a secret weapon. And we want to help more people understand these potent strategies! We want anyone who is interested in online business to have a good grasp visual flow and all other aspects of good copywriting. That’s why we are offering a FREE Copywriting Bootcamp! Join us at this bootcamp to learn from the masters. The experts we will have on hand have years of experience writing captivating copy that has good visual flow. And they will guide Copywriting Bootcamp attendees through the copywriting process. Just sign up below and be ready to learn how to create copy that will sell anything! I’m looking forward to seeing you at our Copywriting Bootcamp. See you there!