Best Practices in High Converting Copywriting: How to Write Copy That Converts


What is High Converting Copywriting?

High-converting copywriting refers to the art of crafting persuasive, captivating written content aimed at impelling readers to undertake a definitive action. This particular action can involve making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a form, or responding effectively to other calls-to-action (CTAs). High-converting copy serves as the powerhouse of persuasion, blending well-established psychological principles with imaginative creativity to draw attention to the desired action a reader ought to take.

Why is Copywriting Important for Conversion?

Copywriting stands as one of the most significant elements in marketing that impacts conversion rates. It dictates the customer’s journey, engrosses potential customer’s attention, and persuades them to take action. A poorly written copy could confuse or deter potential customers, resulting in lost prospects and negligible conversions. Conversely, a well-written, persuasive copy holds the potential to tremendously elevate conversion rates.

According to marketing manager Chloe Mason Gray, “Masterful copywriting plays a big part in the difference between a website that converts like crazy and one that simply falls flat.” It’s the compelling copy that aligns with the reader’s needs effectively and offers a clear value proposition, making all the difference. This is why the Crazy Egg website’s conversion rate swelled by 363% after the redesign, where copy played a big role.

Unlocking the Secrets of High Converting Copy

Know Your Audience: The first step to effective copywriting

Understanding your audience forms the fundamental bedrock of successful copywriting. Transparent knowledge about the target audience, their needs, their preferences, and their language can make your copy resonate with them more effectively. It enables you to craft copy that speaks directly to the audience, addresses their pain points, and positions your product or service as the optimum solution.

Here’s a pro tip to remember: One way to better understand your audience is by conducting market research, surveys, social listening, or even getting feedback on your copy from your ideal customers. It will provide valuable insights to tailor your message accordingly, thereby enhancing the likelihood of conversion.

Concentrate on customer-centered benefits. Instead of listing the features, emphasize how your product or service can solve their problems or enhance their lives. This approach fosters a connection with the audience and presents your offering as a solution that meets their needs and expectations.

Remember the golden rule: “The more you know about your audience, the better your copy will be.

Crafting Compelling Headlines: Grab attention right off the bat

The significance of compelling headlines cannot be overstated. They serve as the gateway to your content and can significantly affect your conversion rates, as it’s said that around 80% of people only read headlines, and only 20% proceed to read the content. A potent headline is attention-grabbing, intriguing, and relevant to your target audience’s pain points.

The Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer is an indispensable tool to examine how strong your headline is based on emotion, intellectualism, and spirituality. Additionally, here are tips to enhance your headlines:

  • Ensure clarity over cleverness. Your audience should understand your message instantly.
  • Use ethos (credibility), logos (logic), and pathos (emotion) in your headline. The combination of these methodologies can significantly be persuasive.
  • Incorporate scarcity and urgency to nudge readers towards making a quick decision.
  • Question-based headlines can spark curiosity.
  • Make sure to use powerful words to elicit emotion and provoke action. Such words strike a psychological or emotional chord that drives readers to action.

Integrate these best practices into the headline, promising a solution to their problem, intriguing the users by addressing the problem you’re solving, and evoking their curiosity making it irresistible not to click.

Refine your headlines using A/B tests to find the most effective headline version, continually improving your copy for the best conversion possibilities. Remember, your headline is the first impression you make on your potential customers, so make sure it’s a great one!

Understand and Utilize Solid Structures

Familiarize yourself with Proven Copywriting Frameworks

Utilizing proven frameworks can simplify the process of crafting effective copy. They provide a step-by-step guideline that can make your message more persuasive and compelling. Frameworks can help in organizing your copy and maintaining a natural flow to guide the readers through their journey smoothly. Let’s review some notable frameworks that have been used successfully over the years.

AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action): One of the most common and successful frameworks, AIDA, works by grabbing the reader’s attention, stirring their interest by demonstrating benefits, stimulating desire by establishing value, and finally prompting action.

QUEST (Qualify, Understand, Educate, Stimulate, Transition): The QUEST model first works by qualifying the audience, then understanding and educating your audience about the solution to their problem. By stimulating interest and desire for your offering, it helpfully triggers an action.

PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution): The PAS framework starts by identifying a problem, agitating it by emphasizing the consequences of not resolving it, and then presenting your product or service as the solution.

Remember, the best copywriting framework for you depends entirely on your audience’s stage of awareness and market sophistication. Consequently, it’s crucial to understand these parameters before you choose the framework to use.

By continually refining your copy around these frameworks, you can create a compelling story around your product or service that draws readers in and guides them through to the desired action. Familiarizing yourself with these frameworks can therefore significantly boost your copywriting skills, enhance your ability to capture your readers’ attention, and drastically improve your conversion rates.

AIDA, PAS, VACUUM, and more: Breaking down Popular Copywriting Formulas

These popular copywriting formulas have stood the test of time and have continually shown to be effective in impacting conversion rates. They provide guidelines that can help in creating persuasive and compelling copy that resonates well with your readers.

AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action): One of the oldest and most effective frameworks, AIDA draws readers in by first attracting their attention, usually through a potent headline. It then stimulates interest by providing new and engaging information. It creates desire by appealing to their emotional or psychological needs and finally encourages them to take a specific action.

PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solution): This formula is ideal for addressing the needs of a problem-aware audience. Identify a problem your target audience experiences, then agitate that problem by highlighting its adverse consequences and stressing the need for a solution. Then, position your product or service as that solution.

VACUUM, by AutoGrow: This formula starts by identifying the Void, the problem or need your audience has. Then, you Amplify the Consequences of not addressing the issue. Address the uncertainty (Uncertainty) they might feel about the problem or potential solutions. Paint a picture of the Ultimate Outcome your product/service provides. The second ‘U’ stands for urgency—why should they take action now? And, ‘M’ is the motivator or the call to action.

And some more, let’s take a quick look at –

BAF (Before, After, Future): This formula involves presenting a scenario of a customer’s life before using a product (the problem), after using the product (how the problem is solved), and a vision of a future with continued use of the product.

Egner’s 9-Point Sales Letter Formula: This includes grabbing attention, identifying the problem, positioning the product as the solution, providing proof that the solution works (through testimonials), listing product details and benefits, making an offer, injecting scarcity, providing a guarantee and finally, a call to action.

Remember, each formula serves a distinct purpose and caters to a different type of reader. Choosing the right one will depend on the product or service you’re selling, the medium you’re using, and the demographic you’re targeting. Familiarize yourself with these formulas and take the time to test each one to see which could work best for your needs. As respected ad man David Ogilvy once said, “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving”.

Techniques to Supercharge Your Copy

Using Emotion and Storytelling in Your Copy

Emotion and storytelling hold tremendous power in copywriting. By packaging your message in a story, you tap into the emotional responses of your reader, which makes your copy more memorable and impactful. As American philosopher and psychologist William James once noted, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” Harnessing emotion can guide that choice.

Stories allow you to incorporate personal anecdotes, customer success stories, or industry-related narratives into your copy. They activate parts of the brain associated with experiences, which helps your audience empathize and connect with your content. More than 60% of people remember stories, as compared to only 5% remembering individual stats.

Emotion, on the other hand, is the backbone of decision-making. By triggering emotions, you can motivate your reader to take action. Whether it’s joy, sadness, anger, surprise, or fear, your copy should resonate with your reader’s feelings. Techniques to evoke emotions include:

  • Calling Out Pain Points: Show empathy by understanding their struggles and presenting a solution.
  • Utilizing Reciprocity: Offer something of value, fostering a reciprocating response.
  • Harnessing the Power of Guilt: Tap into their guilt to motivate them towards solving the problem.
  • Using Emotionally Charged Words: Certain words can trigger specific emotions and encourage decisive action.

By creating a deeper emotional connection, you can foster loyalty and inspire action, driving up conversions.

Remember, as American poet Maya Angelou wisely noted, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The Power of Social Proof and Testimonials

The use of social proof and testimonials is a prominent technique that can bolster the effectiveness of your copy, instill confidence in your product or service, and ultimately drive conversions. Social proof is a powerful psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.

Various forms of social proof can be utilized in copywriting which include:

  • User Testimonials: Statements from satisfied customers that testify to the quality and effectiveness of your product or service. For maximum impact, focus on transformational testimonials that highlight real-life success stories.
  • User Reviews and Ratings: These demonstrate social proof on a grander scale by showing positive feedback from multiple customers. A notable highlight is to showcase the “stars” or ratings given by a customer, which we often see on Amazon and other e-commerce websites.
  • Publication Mentions and Features: Feature any memorable or notable mentions of your product or service in respected or well-established publications.
  • Certifications and Awards: Showcasing certifications and awards earned from reputable sources can significantly add credibility to your business and product.
  • Endorsements by celebrities or thought leaders in your field: An endorsement from a trusted figure in the industry or a celebrity can optimize your product’s appeal significantly.

By incorporating as much social proof as possible into your copy, you tap into an innate human tendency to trust the judgment and actions of the collective, thereby enhancing your credibility and ultimately, driving conversions. As quoted from the founder of SocialProofDoctor.com, Robert Cialdini, “Social proof is the most powerful concept in persuading humans to take just about any action.

Creating Urgency and FOMO in Your Copy

Leveraging the principles of urgency and the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) can be an exceptionally potent strategy in high-converting copywriting. By instilling a sense of scarcity or a ticking clock, you can stimulate your audience to take immediate action, thereby driving conversions.

Two significant ways to create urgency and FOMO include:

Deadline-Driven Urgency: This method involves putting a time limit or deadline on an offer, for instance, “Offer ends in 5 hours”. For this strategy to be effective, the countdown should be believable and genuine. The Nectar Sleep’s Memorial Day sale is an ideal example, where a countdown timer was deployed to reflect the end of the sale.

Scarcity-Induced FOMO: Scarcity revolves around the concept of a limited number of units or offers being available. Statements such as “Only 3 left in stock” can induce a fear of missing out on a good deal, hence triggering immediate action.

One key reminder here is to ensure credibility at all times, as overused or far-fetched FOMO tactics can turn off customers and yield counterproductive results. It’s always crucial to balance the urgency of your offer with the needs and expectations of your audience. When used mindfully and genuinely, urgency and FOMO tactics can significantly boost your conversation rate.

As WiderFunne’s Chris Goward rightly says, “You must understand your customer’s motivations and align your optimization strategies with their behaviors and preferences”.

Nailing Copy Elements that Convert

Effective Calls-to-Action: From Design to Text

Mastering effective Calls-to-Action (CTAs) can significantly impact your marketing campaigns’ success, given that CTAs guide your audience toward your desired outcome, propelling them down your marketing funnel. According to a study by Wordstream, emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.

CTA Design: A well-designed CTA should be eye-catching and consistent with your brand’s overall design. Contrasting colors can be used to help your CTA stand out without disrupting the overall design. An example would be Trello’s homepage where they use bright blue for their “Start Doing” button that stands in contrast to the mostly white and pastel-colored page.

CTA Positioning: Positioning is crucial as well. Generally, CTAs should be located on a spot where your readers’ attention naturally goes to. For instance, placing the CTA at the top of the webpage or following a compelling piece of information or testimonial can be effective. Trello, for example, places its CTA right at the top of its homepage, encased in a contrasting, eye-catching blue box.

CTA Text: The wording on your CTA should be brief, clear, and action-oriented. Active words such as ‘buy’, ‘discover’, or ‘get started’ with terms that evoke emotion or a sense of urgency are particularly effective. As an example, Omstars’ Black Friday email uses the straightforward yet compelling CTA, “Get Access Now”, which creates a sense of urgency.

Remember, each audience is different and it’s always important to A/B test your call-to-action to see what works best with your viewers. With a finely tuned CTA, you can influence your viewer’s next step and increase your conversion rates significantly.

A person typing on a typewriter at a table.

Pricing Strategies: Make it Hard to Say no

An effective pricing strategy involves more than just determining a cost for your product or service. It is an integral part of marketing and has a direct impact on conversion rates. Joseph Sugarman, a successful direct marketing copywriter, once said, “Each man creates his own God for himself, his own heaven, his own hell, and his own pricing methodology.”

Simplify Your Pricing: Studies indicate that consumers may experience “analysis paralysis” or decision fatigue when faced with too many options. Simplify your pricing model and present only 3-4 options, making it easier for people to choose. BaseKit, a popular website builder, simplified its pricing and saw a 25% increase in conversions.

Price Anchoring: This strategy involves offering your most expensive product or package first, thus making the rest of your offerings appear more affordable by comparison.

Adding Value: Instead of slashing prices, add value to the purchase. Prove why your product or service is worth every penny and highlight the value they receive after purchase.

Offer a Money-Back Guarantee: Remove all perceived risks in the purchase process by offering a money-back guarantee. By indicating “No credit card needed” or “30-day money-back guarantee”, induces a feeling of safety and trust in making a purchase.

Payment options and plans: Offering various options and plans, including interest-free installments or a small discount for paying in full, attracts people of different levels of financial ability and effectively increases conversions.

These pricing strategies paired with copywriting techniques can result in a compelling offer that’s hard for customers to resist. Adhere to the principle that your price should reflect the value you’re providing, and in every communication, your end goal should be justifying your price, not justifying a discount.

Making Your Copy Irresistible

Employing Risk Reversals and Satisfaction Guarantees

Risk reversals and satisfaction guarantees can greatly help alleviate any customers’ apprehensions or objections, thus easing the buying process. According to research, “Incredible, but it’s true. People feel more motivated to avoid a loss than to win something.” Thus, risk reversal proves to be a powerful strategy in copywriting.

Risk Reversals: Risk reversal involves eliminating or minimizing the perceived risks associated with a purchase. This could be in the form of a “No questions asked money-back guarantee” or “Free trial for 14 days”. Risk reversals with bonuses, such as, “If you don’t love our product, just let us know, and we’ll refund your purchase. Plus, you get to keep the extra bonus!” can be incredibly enticing. DCfinder successfully increased its click-through rates by 68% using loss aversion on its landing page.

Satisfaction Guarantees: A satisfaction guarantee assures the customers that they will find value in your product or service. Essentially, it tells the customer that they’ll be happy with their purchase, or they’ll get their money back. These guarantees can give potential clients the confidence and peace of mind they need to close the deal.

Implementing risk reversal or satisfaction guarantee strategies gives the customer a feeling of security and helps build trust in your brand. They instill the belief that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, making the decision to purchase much easier. Test these strategies, to see which resonates best with your target market and amplifies conversions. As Steven MacDonald from SuperOffice.com advised, “Remove the risk, & you’ll increase trust.

Handling Objections in Your Copy

The capacity to predict and address customer objections proactively is an effective strategy to break down barriers to conversion in your copywriting. By acknowledging customer’s concerns and offering reassurances, your copy demonstrates transparency and builds trust.

Here are the steps you can undertake to handle objections:

  • Jack “Facts” in your Copy: Back up your claims with proven facts, figures, and third-party validations to provide a sense of accuracy and credibility. For instance, if you say your product increases productivity, substantiate it with a statistic or case study.
  • Provide Guarantees: Offering guarantees, such as a money-back guarantee or a risk-free trial can make customers feel secure about their investment. By doing such, you take on the risk, making them feel more comfortable about their purchase decision.
  • Address Common Concerns: Do not shy away from addressing common issues your customers might have. By acknowledging them and providing real solutions, you demonstrate that you understand their viewpoint and have their best interest in mind.
  • FAQ section: An FAQ section can be particularly useful for addressing common queries that potential customers could have. This allows them to find quick answers without navigating away from the site.

Handling objections in your copy versus handling them after they’ve voiced their concerns puts you ahead of the curve. Proactively address these possible objections in the copy itself to build trust, demonstrate rock-solid confidence in your product or service, and convert skeptics into paying customers. As Nabob Coffee’s well-known slogan endorses the idea, “Respect the bean, respect the customer”.

A person typing on a typewriter at a desk.

Wrapping Up Your Copy

Offering Value Propositions: Leave them Wanting More

Creating a unique and clear value proposition is an effective method to make your product or service stand out from the crowd. A value proposition differentiates your offerings and clearly communicates why a customer should pick your product or service over your competitors.

Well-crafted value propositions should encompass three key components:

  • Appeal: It must clearly express how your product solves the customers’ problems or improves their situation (relevancy).
  • Exclusivity: It must deliver specific benefits and tell the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition (unique differentiation).
  • Credibility: It should avoid hype or superlatives that are hard to believe.

For example, Evernote’s value proposition, “Remember Everything,” is effective because it succinctly communicates the key benefits of its product and appeals to a broad market of people who struggle with organization and memory.

So remember, the more clean and direct your message is, the better it’ll resonate with potential customers. By offering clear value propositions, you give visitors solid reasons to stay longer and explore more, which increases the odds that they’ll convert into customers. As leading e-commerce specialist Peep Laja rightly says, “If I were to pick one thing to improve to get better conversions, it’s your value proposition. If I could give you only one piece of conversion optimization advice, ‘test your value proposition’ would be it.

Ensuring Ease of Use and Removing Friction Points

A smooth user experience can greatly amplify your conversions. Any form of friction or complexity encountered by the user could result in them abandoning your website before completing the desired action. By ensuring a seamless journey from the moment they land on your page to the completion of the transaction, you increase the likelihood of conversions.

Here are some best practices to ensure ease of use and remove friction points:

  • Keep it Simple: Do not complicate the user journey with unnecessary steps. Simplifying the landing page copy led to a 96% increase in customer loyalty and an 86% increase in the likelihood of buying, as per Adpushup.com.
  • Clear Navigation: Ensure your website or page is easy to navigate. The user should quickly find what they are looking for.
  • Easy Checkout Process: Avoid multiple steps or a complex checkout process. Lengthy forms or unnecessary steps could lead to cart abandonment.
  • Efficient Support: Provide real-time support to tackle any issues or concerns the user might face while making the transaction.
  • A/B Testing and Heat Mapping: Utilize resources like A/B testing and heat mapping to identify points of friction and remove them.

In conclusion, by ensuring ease of use and removing points of friction, you make it easier for the user to stay, engage, and convert. Remember, you want to guide your users to complete the desired action, rather than invite them to solve a puzzle. As Donald A Norman, the author of “The Design of Everyday Things,” rightly said, “Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible.

Keeping Your Copy Fresh

Regularly Testing and Optimizing Your Copy

Maintaining a potent copy isn’t a one-and-done process. To ensure your copy is performing at its optimum level and driving maximum conversions, regular testing and optimization are crucial. Marketing Sherpa’s Landing Page Handbook cites that in business-to-business marketing, a whopping 95% of companies found that website optimization strengthened their conversion rates.

Here’s how you can undertake testing and optimization:

A/B Testing: A/B testing involves creating two different versions of the same copy to see which performs better. For instance, you could test different headlines, buttons, or body copy to detect what resonates best with your audience. A case in point is when software company Animoto switched from using “Free Trial” to “Get Started”, resulting in a 3.78% increase in conversion rate.

Multivariate Testing: Multivariate testing involves changing various elements of your copy to determine the best combination. This method can reveal insights into how different elements of your copy impact user behavior.

User Feedback: Gathering user feedback can provide insights into what works and what needs improvement. You can employ user surveys or user testing to glean these insights.

Heat Maps: Using a tool like Hotjar to create heat maps helps visualize where users have clicked on a page, how far they have scrolled, and what draws their attention, providing valuable insights regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your copy.

Canva, for example, regularly A/B tests their website design and copy to obtain the best conversion rates, leading to a whopping rise in conversion rates by over 30% in a month.

Regular testing provides you with crucial data and insights to understand the inherent patterns of user interactions, thereby helping you make data-driven decisions to optimize your copy and markedly bolster conversion rates. As Digital Strategist at in-segment Alexander Kesler aptly summed up, “Without data, you’re just a person with an opinion.

Never Stop Learning: Valuable Resources for Aspiring Copywriters

Continuous learning is a key to growth and progress for any copywriter, to ensure they stay current in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape. Here’s a list of valuable resources to sharpen your copywriting skills:

  1. Books on Copywriting: “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip and Dan Heath; “The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells” by Robert W. Bly; “The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” by Joseph Sugarman are notable mentions.
  2. Copywriting Blogs and Websites: Websites like CopyBlogger, Kopywriting Kourse, and Copy Hackers provide valuable resources, including blog articles, tutorials, and case studies on effective copywriting.
  3. Online Courses and Webinars: Platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare offer detailed courses on copywriting. Webinars like those hosted by Unbounce provide an opportunity to learn from seasoned industry professionals.
  4. Copywriting Podcasts: “The Copywriter Club Podcast” and “Hot Copy: A Copywriting Podcast for Copywriters” are great for learning on-the-go.

No matter where you are in your copywriting career, the process of learning should never cease. The greater your understanding of your craft, the better your conversion rates will be. As a lifelong learner, Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.


What Kind of Research is Necessary for Effective Copywriting?

Effective copywriting requires a surfeit of careful research. This enables you to thoroughly understand your audience’s desires, behaviors, motivations, and purchasing patterns. Here are the key types of research necessary for successful copywriting:

Audience Research: Understanding your audience’s demographics and psychographics is crucial. This can involve studying their age, gender, location, income level, education, motivations, pain points, and other relevant factors.

Product/Service Research: In-depth knowledge of your product or service is vital to showcase its benefits convincingly. This includes specifics about its features, the problems it solves, its unique selling propositions (USPs), and its competitive edge.

Competitor Research: Studying your competitors offers insights into what they are doing right, their USPs, and their business models. By acknowledging your brand’s unique abilities, you can craft copy that sets you apart.

Market Research: Understanding the overall market, including industry trends, market needs, and experts’ predictions, can significantly enhance your copy’s relevancy and effectiveness.

Keyword and SEO Research: Knowing what terms people are using to search for products or services like yours is essential for online copywriting. This understanding will help tailor your copy to increase your website’s visibility and rank well in search results.

Tools such as SEMRush and Moz for keyword and SEO research, Google Trends for market research, BuzzSumo for content research, and SurveyMonkey for audience research can be instrumental in this journey. Conducting interviews, using questionnaires, and going through existing customer reviews and feedback also yield invaluable data.

As a Pioneer of Management Theory Peter Drucker concluded, “Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation. Both increase the effectiveness of your copy in connecting and converting your audience.

What are the Most Common Mistakes in Copywriting and How Can they be Avoided?

Mistakes in copywriting can drive away potential customers and reduce the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

Failing to Understand the Audience: Not knowing your audience is a fundamental mistake that will likely yield ineffective copy. Carry out thorough audience research to understand their needs, interests, and values. Tailor your copy to address the audience’s perspectives and situations.

Focusing on Features, Not Benefits: Customers buy solutions to problems, not product features. Instead of focusing solely on the features of your product or service, highlight the benefits these features will provide. This addresses the customer’s ‘What’s in it for me?’ question directly.

Ignoring the Importance of Headlines: With roughly 8 out of 10 people only reading the headline, neglecting headline quality can be costly. Ensure your headline is compelling and clear, and entices the reader to click and read on.

Being Overly Formal or Jargony: Using overly formal language or industry jargon can deter readers. Simplify your language to ensure it is readable and understandable to your audience.

Skipping the Call-to-Action (CTA): Without a clear and direct CTA, your reader may not know the next step, and your copy will fail to convert. Ensure every piece of copy finishes with a compelling CTA guiding the reader on what to do next.

Not Proofreading: Spelling and grammatical errors can undermine the credibility of your copy. Always proofread your copy, or use tools like Grammarly, to maintain its professionalism.

Not Testing and Optimizing Your Copy: Writing the copy is just the beginning. You need to continually test and optimize your copy based on performance and feedback to ensure its effectiveness.

Remember, practicing and constantly refining your skills will lead to better copywriting. As legendary advertiser David Ogilvy advised, “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.

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