How useful would it be to have a handy list of great copywriting examples bookmarked for inspiration?
A swipe copy of high-quality examples that inspire you to write engaging website copy, perky popups, and emails that zing with persuasion.
That’s what you’ll find here. Hot tips, tangible advice, and resources to take your adverts, taglines and other sales copy from meh to mind-blowing.
Let’s dive in.
You know those ads on Google and Facebook? What about all that stuff in your mailbox you forgot you subscribed to? Those are examples of copywriting.
But are they great copywriting examples? Probably not.
You see, killer copywriting triggers an emotional reaction so deeply rooted in our psychology, we’re unable to control it. Emotions like greed, compassion, envy, the need to belong, or the fear of missing out.
It can be as simple as writing copy that tempts us with something free. Or convincing us to spend up big because it increases our self-esteem and social worth.
Like this 1958 classic from the “Father of Advertising”, David Ogilvy:
Ogilvy knew what made his target audience tick. His headline put them in the driver’s seat. They could smell the plush leather and hear the purring of the engine under the assured ticking of the clock.
Best of all, they could feel the envious stares of other drivers, clattering past in their clunkers and rattletraps, wishing they too could join the exclusive Rolls-Royce owners club.
It was the longest running and most successful Rolls-Royce ad, resulting in a 50% increase in sales in its first year, and it formed the go-to template used by many copywriters. No list of great copywriting examples would be complete without it.
Now let’s look at 10 more copywriting examples that target a range of psychological triggers and compel us to say, ‘Yes please! Where’s the Buy Now button?’
One second. Maybe two. That’s all the time you’ve got to persuade people to keep reading your web copy.
Marie provides online training and resources, and her purpose is to inspire you to build your dreams.
You need to visit the site to get the full effect, but here’s why it’s a great piece of copywriting:
Firstly, the focus is on you. Her opening statement is warm, encouraging, and empathetic. Like a big hug from your Mom.
Scroll down and the empathy continues with phrases like, “You don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going.”
There’s no hard sell, no credit card required. She draws you in with free resources and big, bold call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
Then she convinces you with testimonials from happy customers and impressive endorsements from Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson.
Billboards are usually targeted at motorists. They need to grab attention and leave a lasting impression, as the cars whizz by.
This is a perfect example:
This billboard sells a serious message with great impact. Literally.
The message is instant. It slams into our brain using 4 words and 1 image. And it’s even more powerful because they crumpled the actual billboard at the point of impact.
Great copy isn’t just about words. The context, layout, and relationship of the words and images are just as important.
Popups. We all hate them, but everyone uses them.
It’s apologetic. It knows it’s annoying, so it uses cheeky charm to win you over.
This whimsy continues in the ‘name’ field where it uses a silly name to show where you need to enter your details.
Just think: if Really Good Emails can make its popup worth reading, the rest of the site must be great.
How many emails do you delete without opening? And what makes you open the others?
Usually it’s because:
Here’s a typical email from Laura, the second in her welcome sequence to new subscribers:
Laura has one of the strongest voices in the world of copywriting. She writes like your best friend would. She’s funny, irreverent, ballsy, and honest.
Her language is full intimacy and humor, but above all, she’s a skilled salesperson. She’s like a heat-seeking missile, on a mission to get you to click through (while charming the socks off you).
When you click a CTA link, it often takes you to a landing page, which has a very specific task — to convert potential customers into buyers or subscribers.
MasterClass is like an online university where the professors are celebrities. Imagine Samuel L. Jackson teaching you about acting, or Anna Wintour tutoring you on leadership!
Apart from being beautifully designed, with high-quality images and videos, this landing page pulls out every sales and conversion trick in the book, such as:
If you thought FAQs were created to answer questions, think again. Here are some of the reasons organizations include an FAQ page on their site:
And that takes some copywriting know-how. Just ask McDonalds:
Firstly, the questions are highly optimized to respond to keywords and phrases used in Google such as ‘Do any of the McDonald’s stores sell curly fries?’ As it happens, they don’t, but why miss the opportunity to capture the attention of people who ask.
McDonalds is cheap and convenient, but its food isn’t famous for its health benefits. Rather than avoid the elephant in the room, the FAQ page asks, and then side-steps the stickier questions, like this:
Most of the links in the answers direct people to other pages and content in the site, which helps retain visitors and boost their SEO. And with a highly visible search function at the top of the page, it’s like a directory for the whole site.
We all know that classic line from Ernest Hemingway:
For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.
It’s possibly the greatest ad copy of all time because it conjures up an entire story in just 6 words, each one dripping with emotion.
L’Oréal Paris comes close with this ad:
The ad — a 6-second video featuring actress, Eva Longoria — is targeted at women who want to get rid of their grey roots instantly.
The text above the video gets right to the point: “Instant coverage for gray roots?” It conjures up the problem and the target market in 5 words.
In the video, Eva Longoria demonstrates the product, squeals in delight, and says “I don’t know what it’s made of but it’s magic.”
Who cares what it’s made of! If it works for Eva Longoria, it’s going to work for every other woman who wants to look like Eva Longoria.
And that’s why the ad is so effective.
How many times have you clicked through to product details on an ecommerce site, only to find a lackluster description that leaves you cold?
Why would you want to buy any other brand of soap?
A topical ad is when the advertiser takes something that’s in the news and spins it to their advantage. Like this advert by international money transfer service, TransferWise:
The ad appeared in the Australian Financial Review newspaper following a government enquiry into the banking sector. The Deputy Chair of the enquiry criticized the four major Australian retail banks for their hidden currency exchange fees and said:
“It’s very, very simple. TransferWise does it… They just tell you how much you pay to transfer money. This isn’t complicated… You just need to come clean with people.”
TransferWise was handed a silver bullet on a golden platter, and they didn’t let it go to waste:
The job of a tagline is to sum up a key value proposition in a few succinct words. A great tagline is memorable (Nike: Just do it) and sets a brand apart from its competitors (Apple: Think different).
It can be heart-warming (Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth), or self-effacing (Volkswagen: Think Small).
A tagline is usually the last thing people see or hear at the end of any marketing copy, and its job is to keep the brand top of mind for future buying decisions.
Here’s arguably the all-time best copywriting example of a tagline:
It’s effective because it directly connected diamonds with eternal love (instead of wealth) and — virtually overnight — diamond engagement rings became the symbol of that sentiment. By 1951, 80% of brides in the United States wore a diamond ring, a tradition which continues to this day.
So great was the tagline, it has been used in every De Beers ads for engagement rings since 1948. In 1956, it inspired the title of a James Bond novel, and in 1971 the Shirley Bassey song of the same name.
In 1999, it was named ‘The Slogan of the Century’ by Advertising Age.
But in the meantime, we’d love to hear from you.
Which of these copywriting examples is your favorite? Is there a great example we missed?
Let us know in a comment below.
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