Performance Copywriting – Writing for Conversion

Performance copywriting is all about driving conversions. Today, media buying channels offer a wealth of tools to optimize the copy we write for ads. Yet it is still important to note: the principles of copywriting have stayed the same.

Papers on desk with white post-it note that says, "Research & Find Best Pet Insurance". Liam Hennessy, Digital Strategist
Source: Daria Nepriakhina

Performance marketing is the term used to describe modern online advertising.

Some may associate it more with “paid advertising” (Facebook, Native, social media marketing), but it goes beyond that.

Performance is anything you can measure and improve, and that’s what today’s digital landscape is all about. This includes your website and your email campaigns.

While you may think of media buying, affiliate marketing and SEO, it’s important to remember that copywriting is an integral part of the process.

Enter performance copywriting.

What is Performance Copywriting?

Performance copywriters write copy for paid ads, email campaigns, landing pages, videos and more. This copy is then taken by media buyers and tested, and the copywriter will look over its performance and make adjustments to tone, language and structure based on analytics and insights from campaign managers.

Performance copywriting is more than just writing for ads. And many of its principles overlap with user experience (UX) copywriting. The main point is that performance copywriting is always tested, improved, tested and improved again.

Copy 2.0 – Faster, Better, Targeted

Copywriting has a long modern history.

Billboards, direct response, television, sales copy all existed before the Internet. The difference now is that we can test, measure and approve our copy on a scale like never before. We can also target our users with almost frightening precision, and sell them (almost!) exactly what they want.

This makes copywriters more powerful. However, the principles of copywriting have never changed. The only difference now is that we’ve got more accurate measurements.

A Recipe for Success

Successful copywriting recognizes that you’re still speaking to people. Even though you are focusing more on performance, you still need to focus just as much on the other aspects that make people ticket.


Performance copywriters don’t have to be expert psychologists, but they do need to know how words move people on an emotional and yes, even neurological level. Understanding the general linguistic and cultural background of your target audience is also important.

There are so many tips, tricks and basic psychological quirks you can use to improve your copy. Just take a look here.


A performance copywriter isn’t just analytical: they are also highly creative and have a solid understanding of the creative process. And while such a process may seem hard to pin down, there is actually a method to this madness.


We can see the results of our copy almost immediately, thanks to online analytics tools. Measuring your ad, landing page or email copy is vital and the only way to see what gaps there are in your content and how to improve them. This is why performance copywriters work closely with media buyers and performance specialists.

Test, Test, Test

Digital marketing is all about testing and improving, and performance copywriting is no different. If your copy didn’t perform the way you wanted it to, it’s time to switch it up and test it again. This doesn’t just include paid ads. You can also test your website copy, albeit probably on a slower scale.