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Do I Need Negative Copy?

Post Categories: Copy

Woman looking up at illustrated rain clouds

Does a website need to have negative copy?

If you plan to make sales from the copy on your website, then yes, you do need copy that speaks to the negative side of your ideal clients’ experience. But, it doesn’t have to bring down the overall message and you can do it without the intent of directly scaring your ideal clients into action.

Why it is Necessary

Your copy is how you connect with your ideal clients and show them that you understand them. Without revealing the negative side of what they’re feeling or experiencing, you’re not able to truly illustrate your depth of understanding about their current situation.

What your copy needs to include in some way on every page of your website to lead to sales:

  1. That you understand their issue/problem.
  2. That you know the result they want and will deliver that result.

For some websites pages, you’ll need to include more copy with greater depth than others. Applying this to two standard pages, an offer page will need more details than a home page.


You Understand Their Issue/Problem

Your goal is to show you understand what they’re feeling and experiencing. Get as specific as you can with details that are accurate for your specific ideal clients.

If the issue or problem of our ideal clients impacts the lives of their family members, co-workers, or friends, include that in your copy. If the issue or problem only impacts them, then going into how it affects others will feel inauthentic to your ideal clients when they read your copy.

If their issue or problem has a more significant impact and your ideal clients feel or see that impact, take your copy that far. The point with copy that speaks to the negative issues coming up for someone is to get as detailed as the issue or problem is for that specific person.

To inspired them to feel that you truly understand the issue, you’ll need to get very specific about what’s going on for your ideal clients. Without showing that you know the issue, they won’t believe that you can get them to their desired result.


You Know the Result They Want and Will Deliver That Result

You can also clearly illustrate the result they want: either the solution to their problem OR the idea of who they’ll be when they’ve gotten the result they want. Every small business website needs to include the specific details that their ideal clients want. Showing the specifics of what that result is and how it impacts their lives, as you did with the current issue or problem they’re facing, will speak to how well you know what they need and that you can get them to that result.


Taking It Further

What if your ideal clients won’t take the step to work with you after learning how well you understand their current situation and the result they want?  What if they put off the work that it takes to make it better?

Your ideal clients may need a bit more of a push to work with you than the simple two steps above. If this is true, create copy that looks at how much worse their lives could get without taking steps to work with you. In this additional type of negative copy, you’ll help your ideal clients see how urgent the need is for them to work with you. To do this successfully, give your copy space to speak to a realistic version of how much worse their lives could be without taking action.

How far do the negative feelings and experiences of your ideal clients reach? Start building your bank of negative copy today by listing what’s going on for your ideal clients, how far it reaches in their lives, and how much worse it could get for them if they don’t make a change today (like working with you!).


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