Better Financial Copywriting: The Complete Guide

Financial copywriting for 2021
In an industry focused on numbers, financial copywriting is not a frequent topic of discussion.  That can be an expensive mistake, because financial copywriting is one of the most effective tools to get you noticed in today’s crowded digital marketplace.

In an industry focused on numbers, financial copywriting is not a frequent topic of discussion.  That can be an expensive mistake, because financial copywriting is one of the most effective tools to get you noticed in today’s crowded digital marketplace.

Unless you already have a well-established brand name, you need financial copywriting to capture your audience’s attention and turn website visitors into leads. To stand out, you need to differentiate your firm from your peers. That will only happen if website visitors can quickly grasp your firm’s unique strengths. This is what good financial copywriting can do for you.

This is especially true for small firms. Unfortunately, many small companies undervalue the role of financial copywriting. Many manage it in-house, with marginal success.

Financial copywriting is one of the most important aspects for which you should seek professional help. As a one-time expense, it is less costly than many other marketing efforts. Given its importance, it should be viewed more as an investment than a cost since it will make everything you do later more effective.

Whether it’s social media or advertising, establishing a solid message initially will help differentiate your firm effectively across any channel.  But before you hire a financial copywriter, you should be knowledgeable about the process so that you can get the best result. This short guide will help get you up to speed.

Should I Hire a Financial Copywriter or a Financial Writer?

When you look for a financial copywriter, you might expect someone who writes formal, research-style prose, but be careful! Formal writing is fine for an academic journal, but it’s precisely what you don’t want on your website.

For marketing content, you will need a financial copywriter, not a financial writer. So, what’s the difference? Financial copywriting uses emotions and creativity to capture attention. It’s not technical. On the other hand, a financial writer is technically-oriented.

Diving Deeper: Understanding Financial Copywriting

Financial copywriting involves writing for financial services, but the type of writing is different than found in most financial writing. To evaluate good financial copywriting, you’ll need to adjust your expectations.  Don’t look for grammar and formality. The copy will often break those rules, as it needs to be engaging and quickly explain the benefits the reader will receive with your service.

In practice, financial copywriting is more conversational than formal. The copy informs readers about the benefits they can expect when they use your service(s) or product(s). It also encourages them to take action (e.g., contacting your firm for more information, scheduling a free consultation, or buying a product). Copywriting always starts with a specific goal in mind.

Financial copywriters supply the information that will lead to the call to action, thereby encouraging readers to do more than just read the content. It’s a cross between informative content and sales content, and the right balance will create the desired result.

Why Do We Need Financial Copywriting?

If you already have clients, then you may think you don’t really need financial copywriting. It is true that in decades past, you could rely on referrals; however, if you get a referral today, then they will likely look at your website before contacting you.  Recent research suggests that the need for a great website is critical to financial advisors’ success since an estimated 90% of referrals don’t ever contact the firm. If you don’t have a good website, then this entire process short-circuits because your referral won’t find a compelling reason to contact your firm after looking at your website.

So, copywriting is more than just fishing for brand-new leads on the internet; it is also the best way to position your firm for critical referrals and further business development.

Is Financial Copywriting Different from Traditional Copywriting?

Traditional copywriting can help sell just about any product or service. The main difference between financial content and other kinds of content is the issue of compliance.

Compliance limitations are not necessarily bad, as you’re building a long-term relationship. Therefore, everything you do must be based on trust, and overpromising will only hurt you in the long run. So, not only must your content be easy to read and digest, but it must also follow all compliance regulations. All copy must be honest and factual. The outcome should be clear to readers without any false promises.

As a financial professional, you should know the regulations in your area, but you must also make sure your copywriter knows the requirements, as it will be difficult to change your financial copywriting after it goes to compliance. Therefore, your content should be written with compliance in mind.

The Six Factors Your Financial Copywriting Should Include

Knowing what should go into your financial content is half the battle when choosing the right financial copywriter. The copywriter must understand what your ideal clients want, and they must be familiar with compliance constraints. It’s a delicate balance, but with the proper steps, you can find the right copywriter or firm to help you.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

1.    Distinct Audience: Your financial content should be aimed toward a specific audience. Writing content for just anyone is extremely difficult. For example, people in their 20s have different financial needs than people in their 60s. Those with modest nest eggs also have different challenges than high-income professionals. So, find your niche and tell your copywriter to be as specific with it as possible. Niching down will give you the best results because you can tailor your content to the right audience. Once you choose your audience, get to know them well. Find their biggest concerns. What keeps them awake at night? Work with your copywriter to tailor your content to hit those pain points and supply solutions using the same vernacular as your audience.

2.    Specific Call to Action: Your audience should be asked to take a specific action after reading your content. Often, this action will be contacting your firm for more information, so you will have a chance to engage this potential client in a direct conversation. You’ll have a much better chance of this happening by making it easy for the reader from the start. Therefore, offer something easy for their first call to action. For example, downloading your free eBook in exchange for providing their email address, rather than asking them to call you on the phone. Once you decide on the call to action that you want to include, the copywriter shouldn’t beat around the bush. Be direct and make those elements of the copy easy to understand. However, remember that the call to action should not feel “pushy.”  The copywriter should walk a fine line that will get you what you want without using pressure tactics.

3.    Convey Your Message Quickly: If you’re a financial expert, then financial jargon may be an everyday language to you, but that’s not the case for everyone else. Using too much technical language is an easy way to turn off most potential clients quickly. Your copywriter should know your audience and discuss your offerings in simple, easy-to-read language. This means avoiding jargon. Your content should not be overloaded with words that your readers won’t fully understand; otherwise, you’ll quickly lose their attention. If there are more technical terms that you can’t avoid, then define them in a way that is easy to understand. If you drone on for too long with technical talk, then website visitors will move on to another website that isn’t so much work.

4.    Active Voice: Using a passive voice can make your website copywriting boring. Your readers will lose interest fast. They want to know what you can do for them, and this is best explained in an active voice. Using an active voice, show your audience what you can do for them. Again, this should focus on results, and how achieving these results will feel.  For example, use the phrase “helping you feel financially confident—regardless of what’s going on in the world,” instead of “striving for diversification and alpha”. Use active language that the average person can relate to, and you’ll get better results.

5.    Readable Financial Content: You have just seconds before a website visitor decides if they want to invest their time to keep reading. One study pegged this at six seconds. So, your copy must be easy to read. This means keeping it simple, organized, and easily scannable. The financial copywriter should break your content into readable chunks with subheaders, so people can quickly scan the page. This will give readers the choice of either reading the entire page or skimming for topics of interest. Keep your sections brief to keep readers engaged. With financial services, the complexity of the topic usually calls for longer copy, which is fine, as long as you keep it organized. For example, put critical information at the top of the page, then go into more detail farther down. This will help give people what they are looking for without making them hunt for the essential items.

6.    Usable Information: It’s also important not to waste your readers’ time. Like we said earlier, they’ll spend just a few seconds deciding if they want to continue reading your webpage. So, the content should supply helpful information from the start. Let them know why they should read your content, what they will get out of it, and how you can help them. However, the right copywriter won’t give all the information away in the first paragraph. The content should lead them along and give them more reasons to keep reading, so they can finally see what you have to offer. Keep the website reader’s point of view in mind. They need help. They’re probably wondering if you’re qualified, and how good you are at what you do.  While compliance limits what you can say in some instances, a good copywriter knows how to build trust and credibility. That’s the type of information that people are looking for, so be sure to include it!

What Your Financial Content Should Not Include

We’ve talked about what your financial copywriting should do. Now, let’s look at the other side.

What elements should your financial copy avoid?

  • Long sentences that are hard to understand,
  • Formal language,
  • Technical words/jargon, and
  • Long, drawn-out paragraphs.

The content should be easy to breeze through, supply plenty of information, and give a call to action. The writer should skip excessive adjectives and cumbersome words. Instead, be direct, tell them how your services will affect their lives, and don’t waste their time.

Finding the Right Financial Copywriting Service

So, we’ve looked at the basics. Now, you’re aware of the process and the outcome. So, how do you find the right financial-copywriting service? It’s best to talk to a few firms or providers to find the best fit.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Is the firm a specialist in the financial industry? Usually, you’ll be best served by collaborating with a firm or copywriter that understands your industry.
  • Does the writer have knowledge of compliance requirements? That’s important, otherwise you may end up having too many revisions.
  • Does the writer have a good understanding of your target market? While there are exceptions, those who write effectively for more affluent audiences should have more significant financial and business experience.
  • Ask to see several samples of their work—not just one or two.
  • Ask about their copywriting process. Pay attention to the background research they do for each client. More research will usually create a more tailored fit and better results.

Take your time looking around. Remember that you want to find a firm to help you achieve your goals. Do your homework and hire carefully, and this will pave the way to significantly better online results.

Looking for help with your financial website copywriting?  Wavelength, we’ve developed engaging content for many clients, including over 110 Registered Investment Advisory firms and many fintech, B2B and precious metals industry companies.    Contact us for a free consultation.



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