Copywriting Secrets for the Pet Business – Live blog from #WIPIN2014

By Amber Carlton

Want instant feedback – on blog posts, to buy a product.  Good copywriting can get that click, increase sales, and get new customers.  Writing for any marketing or products/sales.

The elements to good copywriting: 

  • Gets attention
  • Focuses on customer
  • Stresses benefits
  • Differentiates you from competition
  • Proves it s case
  • Establishes credibility
  • Builds value
  • Closes with CTA

Secret #1:

You or your is most powerful word in copywriting

Immediately turn off if only talk about the company, or you.

Customer at site because: Immediate need, want or problem that they want you to solve for them

First question: WIFM – what’s in it for me.

Secret #2:

People make purchasing decisions based on benefits not features, and emotion not logic.

Have to think of what’s in it for the customer. Use the word YOU. Ie: You can go away and rest assured that your dog or cat will be taken care of like the family. An emotional benefit can make it very powerful . Try to solve problem. “Advertising is based on one thing – happiness” (Mad Men quote).

Write down 2 or 3 things that your business features, and how it connects emotionally. Some ideas for:

  • Makes your dog stand out
  • Fun for events
  • Starts a conversation – decals or clothing.
  • Have something unique and handmade that other people don’t have.
  • 1:1 experience with manufacturer and retailer – custom and handmade just for you.

Experience. Price can always be undercut, but the experience with their dogs cannot be undercut. New emotional experiences. And people will pay more for experiences.

Secret #3

Know who your customers are and then talk to them.

Can’t figure out needs, desires, etc unless you know who they are.

Put together a survey and ask them  –  find out things that they want to do.

What makes them happy, what can you do better.

Give them a reward – discount or free product.

Talk to your customers how they talk to each other. Ie: talking to vets is different than trainers is different than pet parents. But don’t throw in too much jargon. Keep it simple. Nobody gets insulted by simple words, but people can feel insulted if you use words they don’t understand. Don’t talk down to them, but don’t talk above their heads. Talk naturally – copywriting is not creative writing. It is for advertising, marketing, and sales. Conversational.

Create a Persona of your customer.

Secret #4.

Don’t leave them hanging. Think of it like your house – your website is the one thing you own (vs. social media that you don’t). Take a person through your website like you would through your home. Make sure that you have a Call to Action. Never just let them do what they want to do – if you are able to take them through your home the way you want them to go, it could lead to the sale.

The customer wants you to make their lives better. You are doing a service – they need you, that’s why they are at your website.

Secret #5

Headlines are a really big deal. They are difficult, but they are the most important.

5 times as many people read the headline as the body copy. So it may be the only thing most people read.

A good headline will peak curiosity, and lead to the body copy. If you’ve done your job with the headline, then they will go to learn more and click through.

A lot of science and psychology that goes into a headline. Here are 5 quick hacks to use when you are stuck. An ad, a blog post, all of these will work:

Headline Hacks

  1. Secrets of…    Love to be on the inside, in the know, in the circle. Add this to the beginning.
  2. How to   Love to know how to do things, and if we already know how to do things that’s fine.
  3. Numbered lists More digestible.
  4. Do you make these mistakes? People don’t like to make mistakes, and especially with your pets. Or asking questions in the post title – reader will figure “let me go find out.”
  5. The surprising way to…  Use the word surprise immediately gets someones attention. Get curiosity without giving it away.

Length: More concise as you can be, but make it as long as it needs to be.

Length of lists: 25 things will get clicked through and shared more than 5 thing – perceived of more value, so it is shared more.  And use the number not the word of the number. Number jumps out.

Putting it all together




Action – good host, tell them what you want to do next.


Appropriate referencing. Get permission. You can quote and attribute.

Author Jen deHaan

Jen deHaan is a freelance graphic and web designer, fascinated with great layout and usability. She has been working in the software industry since 2001, and has held positions with Macromedia, Adobe, and Motorola in the Silicon Valley area near San Francisco. Jen has written and contributed to over 20 print publications on web design that have been published by Peachpit, Adobe Press, and Wiley. She now lives on a farm with her family and dogs in central Vancouver Island, Canada.

More posts by Jen deHaan

Leave a Reply