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Systematic Framework for Conversion-Focused Copywriting: A Game of Growth (Chapter 8)

Vineet Karhail

Last Updated: September 12, 2020

conversion-focused copywriting

In this chapter, we’re going to discuss how to write conversion-focused copywriting for your sales pages or landing pages. In the previous chapter, we saw how the copy and design, along with information and visual hierarchy, are very important for landing page conversions. However, we didn’t go deep into how to evaluate your copy. You learnt how to structure the information and answer the questions your users have with your copy and design.

In this chapter, we will learn about three frameworks to evaluate the persuasiveness of the copy.

The problem with most of the “expert opinion” is that they are all subjective and don't help you understand whether one copy is better than the other. This approach was introduced by Momoko Price from Kantan Designs in her course - Product Messaging, at CXL Institute.

🛡️ You are reading "Systematic Framework for Conversion-Focused Copywriting: A Game of Growth (Chapter 8)" - a series of articles on growth marketing. To read the first article, click here 👉 Fundamentals of Growth Marketing: A Game of Growth (Chapter 1)

The three frameworks we’re going to study in this article are:

  1. MEClab’s Conversion Sequence Heuristic Formula 
  2. Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion
  3. Claude Hopkins’s Scientific Advertising

Let’s have a deeper look into each of them. 

MEClab’s Conversion Sequence Heuristic Formula

This framework puts together 5 key elements of conversion in a simple-to-understand formula. Just to be clear, this is not a mathematical formula to swear by, but an indication of the importance of these elements.

C = 4M + 3V + 2(I-F) -2A


C = Probability of Conversion

M = Motivation 

V = Value Proposition Clarity

I = Incentive 

F = Friction

A = Anxiety


Your prospect’s motivation is by far the most important element in the conversion-focused copy. That’s why it’s coefficient is the highest in this formula i.e. 4. The motivation can also be interpreted as the “Why” of your product. Why should they buy your product? 

Your prospects have certain expectations and driving force to guide them to buy products. Your copy and the messaging needs to be aligned to their motivation. You can’t control their expectations or motivation, but your copy can influence whether or not they find your offer compelling.

Value Proposition

The clarity of your value proposition is the next important element with a coefficient of 3. The value proposition is the payoff or the benefit that they are going to get from your product. Can they get it from elsewhere? How is your product different from others in the market? Is that clear in your copy?

Incentive and Friction

Next important elements are the incentive and the friction. They both have equal but opposite coefficients. While your copy and the page should promote the incentive, it should avoid friction at the same time.

Friction comes down to how hard you are making for them to act and convert. Are you making them click through several links or fill out a form before they can see your offer or buy your product? Do they have to look for the right information elsewhere? Is there any information they need first but they have to scroll to the bottom of your page? Do you have distracting design elements and animations that are delaying action?

Incentive is the opposite of friction. How can you accelerate their will to take action and incentivize them? Are you making it easier for them to take action - be it buying your product or filling out a form? 

It could be a limited time offer or a promo. 


Anxiety is anything that psychologically causes them worries about your product or offer. Are they afraid of any risks? Maybe, your product reminds them of another product that didn’t solve their problem and they’re afraid of wasting their money? Are they afraid of extra shipping costs because it’s not mentioned in your copy?

Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion

Once your copy has taken care of the 5 key elements, you can now think about incorporating these persuasion elements to strengthen your copy and influence the buying decision:

1. Social Proof

Is there any evidence that other people are buying your product or are interested in it?

2. Authority

Are the authorities in your industries talking positively about your product? Do they recommend it? It could be the press, media, or influencers and experts?

3. Likability

It’s easier to say yes to you when they like you and your products. So think about how you are making them like you?

4. Scarcity/ Urgency

When people think something is scarce or in short supply or is limited by time, they want to grab it. If your product is limited by time or supply, make sure you mention it in your copy.

5. Reciprocity

People tend to reciprocate the favour if you have already given them a small favour or given them something for free. It could be a free ebook.

6. Commitment / Consistency

If you can get people to commit to doing something small, it’s easier to get them to say yes to a bigger ask.

7. Unity (Us vs Them)

This is a relatively new but very strong element. Can you make people feel like they are a part of a community or a group and they belong to this group?

Claude Hopkins’s Scientific Advertising

These are some rules and insights for effective copy, which will boost your conversion.

Rule #1: Be Specific

As a copywriter, if you try to appeal to everybody, you won’t appeal to anybody and your copy will be generic and forgettable. For a conversion-focused copywriter, it’s more important to be specific to one group than to speak to everybody.

When you are specific about your claims, data points and attributes, people believe you’re saying the truth because it’s hard to be specific and lie. It’s unethical to lie about data points and claims, so your copy is more believable when it is specific.

Rule #2: Offer Service

While writing copy, most of us think like salesmen that the copy should be selling the product. Rather, it should be offering a service to your customers. While reading your copy, the customers are always thinking about themselves and how your product can benefit them and solve their problems. 

The last thing they wanna think about is that you are profiting yourself and do not care about them. 

Rule #3: Tell the full story

This is one of the biggest mistakes we all make as copywriters because we think people don’t read everything on the internet.

We think writing less will help with conversions, but we end up with an incomplete persuasive argument with missing details.

Rule #4: Be a real salesperson

Imagine if you were a real salesperson talking to a client, how would you sell your product? How would you convince your prospects in a real-life environment? Would this copy help you sell in real?

There you go! In order to be a conversion-focused copywriter, my recommendation is to practice, practice and practice as much as possible. Use these frameworks and key elements of persuasion in your copy to convert higher.

Remember, you are selling to real human beings and a good copy should speak to them directly. No other conversion technique is as effective as a well-written conversion copy.

🛡️ You just finished reading "Systematic Framework for Conversion-Focused Copywriting: A Game of Growth (Chapter 8)" - a series of articles on growth marketing. To read the next article, click here 👉 Email Marketing: A Game of Growth (Chapter 9)

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