Before I became a copywriter, I literally didn’t know the difference between copywriting and copyright… and I know I’m not the only one! Then, I discovered the world of copywriting and dove head-first into all things copy-related, including using the word “copy” in every sentence, all the time. But it’s extremely important to me that no one ever feels like that don’t know what I’m talking about, and I know sometimes we don’t feel comfortable asking for clarification of terms.
So, I’ve created this post as the ultimate glossary of copywriting terms that you can save and come back to over and over again! Go ahead and bookmark it right now, and then you can scroll through to find what you need. This post is organized by topic so you can easily find what you’re looking for.
Don’t see something you need? I’d love to expand on this list and include as much helpful info as possible! Please feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add your suggestions to this post!
Alright, let’s get started!
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Table of Contents:
- Basic Copywriting Terms
- Copywriting Elements
- Copywriting Formulas and Techniques
- Marketing Messaging
- Website and Blogging
- Social Proof and Persuasion
- Measurement Parameters
- Email Marketing Terms
- Content Creation
- Design and Layout
Basic Copywriting Terms
- Copy: The words used in advertising or marketing materials, including headlines, body copy, and calls to action.
- Copywriting: The process of writing copy for advertising or marketing purposes.
- Ad Copy: The specific words written for an advertisement, often consisting of a headline, body copy, and call to action.
- Direct Response Copywriting: Copywriting that is designed to elicit a specific response or action from the reader or viewer, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
- Content Marketing: The process of creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage a specific audience.
- Headline: The title or main text of a marketing piece that is designed to grab the reader’s attention and entice them to read on.
- Subheadings: Smaller, secondary headlines that help break up the text and provide structure to the content.
- Body copy: The main text of a marketing piece, often placed beneath the headline and subheadings.
- Tagline: A short, catchy phrase that summarizes a brand or product’s value proposition.
- Call-to-Action (CTA): A statement or instruction that encourages the reader to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
- Bullets: Short, concise statements used to convey information in a clear and easy-to-digest way.
- Power Words: Words and phrases that are designed to create emotion and persuade the reader to take action.
Copywriting Formulas and Techniques
- PAS: Problem, Agitate, Solution. A formula used to structure copywriting that aims to identify a problem, amplify the reader’s pain points, and offer a solution.
- AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. A formula used to structure copywriting that aims to capture the reader’s attention, build interest, create desire, and encourage action. (This one is my personal favorite!)
- Before-After-Bridge: A formula used to structure copywriting that aims to create a narrative that describes the customer’s current situation (before), the desired outcome (after), and a solution that bridges the gap between the two.
- FAB: Features, Advantages, Benefits. A formula used to structure copywriting that aims to highlight the specific features of a product or service, explain the advantages of those features, and ultimately describe the benefits that the customer will experience as a result.
- Problem-Agitate-Solve-Execute (PASE): A formula used to structure copywriting that aims to identify a problem, amplify the reader’s pain points, offer a solution, and provide a call to action that encourages the reader to take immediate action.
- PPPP: Picture, Promise, Proof, Push. A formula used to structure copywriting that aims to create a mental image of the desired outcome, make a promise that the product or service can deliver that outcome, provide proof that the promise is credible, and push the reader to take action.
- The Four Us: Useful, Urgent, Unique, Ultra-specific. A formula used to evaluate and optimize copywriting that aims to ensure that the copy is useful to the reader, conveys a sense of urgency, highlights the unique value of the product or service, and provides ultra-specific details that help the reader make a decision.
- The Five Cs: Clear, Concise, Compelling, Credible, Call-to-Action. A formula used to evaluate and optimize copywriting that aims to ensure that the copy is clear and easy to understand, concise and to-the-point, compelling and engaging, credible and trustworthy, and includes a clear and persuasive call-to-action.
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP): A specific aspect of a product or service that sets it apart from its competitors (think about what makes your product or service unique!).
- Value Proposition: The set of benefits or value that a product or service provides to its customers.
- Features: The specific characteristics or attributes of a product or service.
- Benefits: The positive outcomes or results that a customer experiences as a result of using a product or service.
- Feature-led Benefits: Describing a feature and tying it in with the benefit. You can do this by asking “why should they care?” after you write each feature.
- Pain Points: Problems or issues that potential customers may have that a product or service can solve.
- Solution: The product or service that addresses the customer’s pain points.
- Emotional Appeal: Copy that targets the emotions of the reader or viewer to make them more likely to take action.
- Rational Appeal: Copy that targets the reader’s logical side to convince them to take action.
- Storytelling: The use of narrative elements to convey a message or sell a product.
- Brand Personality: The set of human characteristics associated with a brand.
- Tone of Voice: The way in which a brand or product speaks to its audience.
- Persona Mapping: The process of identifying the key traits and behaviors of each audience segment and creating fictional personas to represent them.
- Audience Segmentation: The process of dividing an audience into smaller, more specific groups based on characteristics such as demographics, interests, or behaviors.
Website and Blogging
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The process of optimizing a website or content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Keyword: A specific word or phrase used in online content to improve SEO and attract traffic from search engines.
- Meta Description: A brief summary of a web page’s content that appears in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Alt Text: Descriptive text used to identify and describe images on a website, often used for accessibility and SEO purposes.
- Landing Page: A specific page on a website that is designed to convert visitors into leads or customers.
- Above the Fold: The content that is visible on a website or email without the need to scroll down.
- Lead Magnet: An incentive or offer that is designed to attract and capture leads, such as an e-book, checklist, mini-course, or challenge. Also known as a “freebie” or an “opt-in.”
- Lead Capture: The process of collecting information from website visitors in order to convert them into leads, such as through a form or pop-up.
- Lead Nurturing: The process of building relationships with potential customers over time in order to convert them into paying customers.
- Evergreen Content: Content that remains relevant and useful over a long period of time and continues to attract traffic and leads.
- Blog: A website or section of a website that contains regularly updated content, often written in a more informal and conversational tone.
- Blog Post: An individual article or piece of content published on a blog.
- Guest Post: A blog post written by a guest author and published on a website other than their own.
- Backlink: A link from one website to another, used to improve a website’s SEO and credibility.
- Domain Name: The unique web address that identifies a website, often ending in .com, .org, or .net.
- Hosting: The service of providing server space for a website to be accessible on the internet.
- Sales Page: A web page that is designed to persuade visitors to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or filling out a form.
- Sales Funnel: The process or journey that a potential customer goes through to become a paying customer, often consisting of awareness, interest, desire, and action.
Social proof and persuasion
- Testimonial: A statement or recommendation from a satisfied customer.
- Social Proof: Evidence that others have purchased or used a product, such as reviews or ratings.
- FOMO* (Fear of Missing Out): A psychological trigger that encourages people to act quickly to avoid missing out on an opportunity.
- Scarcity*: A marketing tactic that creates a sense of urgency by emphasizing the limited availability of a product or service.
- Urgency*: A psychological trigger that encourages people to act quickly.
- Credibility: The believability or trustworthiness of a message.
*Please be mindful of using these techniques. I never teach to use these to make people feel bad or pressure them into buying something. If you are going to use these, please do so sparingly and only authentically and ethically!
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on a specific link in a piece of copy or advertisement.
- Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who complete a specific action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
- Cost Per Click (CPC): The amount paid for each click on a paid advertisement.
- Cost Per Action (CPA): The amount paid for each desired action, such as a purchase or form fill.
- Return on Investment (ROI): The amount of profit generated compared to the amount invested.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Specific metrics used to measure the success of a marketing campaign.
Email Marketing Terms
- Open Rate: The percentage of people who open an email that is sent to them. It is calculated by dividing the number of unique opens by the number of emails sent, and is often used as a metric to measure the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign. A higher open rate generally indicates that the email’s subject line, content, and sender are appealing and relevant to the target audience, while a lower open rate may suggest that the email needs to be improved or that the target audience needs to be refined.
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click on a link in an email that is sent to them. It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of emails sent, and is often used as a metric to measure the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign.
- Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form, as a result of an email marketing campaign. It is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of clicks or opens, and is often used as a metric to measure the ROI of an email marketing campaign.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of emails that are returned to the sender because they are undeliverable, often due to invalid email addresses or full inboxes.
- List Segmentation: The process of dividing an email list into smaller, more targeted groups based on specific criteria, such as demographics, behavior, or interests.
- A/B Testing: A method of comparing two versions of an email, such as subject lines or content, to determine which one performs better.
- Automation: The use of technology to automate and streamline various aspects of an email marketing campaign, such as sending triggered messages or personalized content.
- Opt-in: The process of obtaining permission from an individual to receive marketing emails, often through a sign-up form or confirmation email.
- Unsubscribe: The process of removing an individual from a marketing email list, often by clicking on an “unsubscribe” link in an email.
- Spam: Unsolicited or unwanted email messages that are sent to a large number of recipients, often in violation of spam laws and guidelines.
- Content Curation: The process of finding, selecting, and sharing existing content that is relevant and valuable to your audience.
- User-Generated Content (UGC): Content created by users or customers, such as social media posts, reviews, or testimonials.
- Interactive Content: Content that engages the user and encourages interaction, such as quizzes, polls, or surveys.
- Visual Content: Content that uses images, graphics, or videos to convey a message or story.
- Infographic: A visual representation of information or data that is designed to be easy to read and understand.
- Podcasting: The creation and distribution of audio content in a series of episodes.
- Webinar: A live or pre-recorded presentation, workshop, or lecture that is delivered online.
- E-book: A digital book that can be downloaded and read on a computer, tablet, or e-reader.
- Case Study: A detailed analysis of a specific situation or problem, often used to showcase a product or service’s effectiveness or success.
- Thought Leadership: The creation of original, insightful, and innovative content that establishes a person or brand as an expert in their industry or field.
- Content Strategy: The process of planning, creating, and sharing content in order to achieve specific business goals.
- Content Marketing: The use of valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a target audience.
- Editorial Calendar: A schedule that outlines planned content for a specific period of time.
- Guest Blogging: The practice of writing and publishing content on another website in order to increase exposure and traffic.
- Content Audit: A review of existing content in order to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
Design and Layout
- White Space: The empty space on a webpage or advertisement that helps draw attention to the content.
- Typography: The style, size, and arrangement of text used in design.
- Visual Hierarchy: The arrangement of visual elements in order of importance or priority.
- Grid: A framework used to align and organize design elements.
- Color Psychology: The study of how color affects human behavior and emotions.
- Composition: The arrangement of visual elements, such as images and text, in a design.
- Balance: The distribution of visual weight in a design, achieved through the use of symmetry, asymmetry, or radial balance.
- Contrast: The use of different colors, shapes, or textures to create visual interest and emphasis.
- Proximity: The arrangement of visual elements in close proximity to create a relationship and convey meaning.
- Alignment: The placement of visual elements on a horizontal or vertical axis to create a sense of order and structure.
- Grid System: A framework of horizontal and vertical lines used to organize content and create consistency in a design.
- Focal Point: The element in a design that is intended to be the center of attention and draw the viewer’s eye.
- Serif vs. Sans Serif: Serif fonts have small lines or flourishes at the ends of the letters, while sans-serif fonts do not. Serif fonts are often seen as more traditional or formal, while sans-serif fonts are seen as more modern or casual.
- Mood Board: A collage of images, textures, and colors used to convey a specific mood or aesthetic for a design project.
- Branding Board: A visual document that outlines the key design elements and specifications of a brand, including colors, fonts, imagery, and logo usage guidelines.
Elevate your understanding with these commonly used copywriting terms
Whew, that was a lot, right?! Don’t worry, you don’t have to memorize them all and there is no quiz! The point of this post is to provide you with a resource you can use over and over again, and save as a reference.
By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you’ll now have a solid understanding of the common terms used in the world of copywriting and marketing, and this will help you in creating your own effective marketing copy.
And if you’re looking for a supportive community to continue your learning journey, come join our free Facebook group, Creative Copywriting for Entrepreneurs. We talk about how to sell without sounding salesy, writing words that people are excited to read, and we support and encourage each other along the way!
Remember, great copywriting is all about connecting with your target audience, delivering value, and inspiring action. Keep honing your skills and never stop learning, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your marketing goals. See you in the group!