CWiA Course Showcase: The Scammer
March 29, 2019
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Copywriting Strategies Toward a Strong Conclusion

Copywriting The End

When it comes to copywriting strong conclusions, my go-to inspiration is the last line of the last song of the last album by The Beatles:

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

How it encapsulates the human condition. How it parallel phrases a simple truth. How it resonates deep within us all. How it lingers with relevance long after we go back into our daily lives.

Just as the opening line needs to hook the reader in with the promise of a compelling story, the closing line needs to reward the reader with a lasting gift for taking time out to read all of the text. In short, the introduction and the conclusion frame your story and provides a bridge for your reader to enter and exit.

So here are 8 strategies for copywriting a strong conclusion. Each comes with an example taken from projects in my Copywriting in Action course.

So What!? Strategy: After you’ve written a conclusion you’re not happy with, ask yourself “So What?” as you develop your ideas or your draft.

Case Study: Swarm Logic (device for smoothing out electricity consumption). The last line of The Substantiation and its Transition 2 reads:

So far, the result is a reduction in peak energy con­sumption of 20-30%. And as you can imagine, that goes straight to the cus­tomer’s bottom-line.

By asking the question “So What?” one is forced into reiterating the whole story into a kind of 10 seconds pitch to an edgy lynch mob. And that’s without compromising the thread of the narrative, ending up with a tacked-on conclusion. The narrative thread in this case was “the bottom-line”. So the conclusion:

  • Calls for a far-sighted vision
  • Reinforces the need to reduce coal and gas
  • Synonymising monetary bottom-line with environmental bottom-line
  • Makes the call for action urgent by quoting Elvis Presley’s “now or never”

And the final draft is:

In the long run, because this robust technology reduces the need for coal and gas, it also goes straight to the environment’s bot­tom line. By investing in efficient energy management now, we can restore the planet sooner rather than never.

Circle Strategy: Return to the theme/idea by referring back to the headline or introductory paragraph, using key words or parallel concepts and images.

This strategy brings the reader full circle. It also reinforces the idea while at the same time adding further meaning to it.

Case Study: Tennis Victoria (Online training program for tennis coach to develop skills in coaching players with Autism Spectrum Disorder). Their headline read: ELEVATE FROM GAME CHANGER TO LIFE CHANGER. The end copy circled back to, and reinforced, the life changer angle.

An A grade coach can change the course of a game from lose to win, but an ASD grade coach can change the life of a player on and off the court.

As you can see, it also has a nice and natural word play by making the phrase A Grade into ASD Grade.

Thought Provoking Strategy: Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research you did.

Case Study: Mushroom plastics (It takes 150 years for plastic waste to break down whereas MycoBond’s mushroom plastic is 100% biodegradable). The final thought we leave our reader with is:

The end result is landfill reduction of 25%. Imagine all the things we could do with that extra 25% of space on our planet.

Call to Action Strategy: Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or a question for further consideration.

This strategy can redirect your reader’s thought process and helps them apply your info and ideas to their own life, or to see the broader implications. While the usual Call To Action line is often literal (i.e.: download here, call us now, subscribe and etc.) we can also be more creative in the way we ask others to do something. In the following case study, the conclusion’s call to action opens the reader’s eyes to the many who will benefit from taking action:

Case Study: Wave Conversion Energy (the technology of converting wave power into electrical energy to feed the grid).

Now that’s the kind of ingenuity we need to give our planet and future generations an even break.

Big Picture Strategy: Point to broader implications.

Case Study: The Sahara Forest Project (a large-scale, man-made ecosystem for the profitable production of the four essential re­sources: food, freshwater, electricity and biofuel)

The conclusion ties back to the concept about biomimicking the desert dwelling fog-basking beetle able to extract moisture from the driest conditions on earth, and leaves the reader with the big picture view:

If nature’s ingenuity can extract water from thin air, the Sahara Forest Project can provide for that extra three billion people predicted by 2050.

And as a useful finish to this post, it is always worth keeping in mind as you write that … it’s not what the writer puts into the sentence but what the reader takes out that really does the talking.

Summary Strategy: This is your traditional academic finish, where you sum up the 3 or 4 (no more) points made in the paper.

Case Study: Our Watch (The Because Why page provides tools and resources to help mothers identify restrictive gender stereotypes and support them to challenge the limitations these place on their children.

In short, what they see, what you say and what we do matters in raising kids beyond stereotypes and reaching their fullest potential. And it all begins here.

The conclusion sums up the three main points addressed in the copy (the environmental, linguistic and behavioural influences on young children) in three clean summary phrases — “what they see”, “what you say” and “what we do matters” — that lead to strong cause and effect finish plus a call to action.

Pull Together Strategy: This is when you synthesise by starting with a summary of main copy points without repeating them verbatim.

For this one, (1st) summarise key points (2nd) Clarify the one meaning they add up to then (3rd) write this into one sentence. It’s about showing your reader how the points fit together.

Case Study: Our Watch (The Because Why page provides tools and resources to help mothers identify restrictive gender stereotypes and support them to challenge the limitations these place on their children.

When we appreciate differences; when we are sensitive to others; and when we make others feel safe, we have the makings of a gender-equal world.

The first three phrases summarise the main points made in the copy (environmental, linguistic and behavioural considerations) then the final clause pulls it together into the whole point of it all.

Rhythm Out Strategy: This is where you get to use a literary device.

is fairly a recent discovery of mine. It happened when I was co-writing with a couple of Tassie PD Facilitators  their company brochure. The conclusion they wrote used a classic literary device: the rhythm of three (tetracolon). They unwittingly created a new strategy toward a strong conclusion. And the three of us christened it “rhythm out”. After all, that’s what literary devices do — create rhythm and movement to any type of writing. The most likely rhythm outs are Rhythm of Three, Rhythm of Four, Parallel Phrase and Contrasting Pair. See my post on literary devices for the full story on this topic.

Case Study: Our Watch (The Because Why page provides tools and resources to help mothers identify restrictive gender stereotypes and support them to challenge the limitations these place on their children.

The conclusion sums up the three main copy points using the rhythm of three plus a call to action:

When we appreciate differences; when we are sensitive to others; and when we make others feel safe, we have the makings of a gender-equal world. And it all begins here.

And in the end, it’s not just what the writer puts into a sentence but what the reader takes out that makes a lasting impression.

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