When ChatGPT took the world by storm in 2022, most writers already (kind of) knew about AI copywriting tools. It’s no secret that OpenAI had been pushing natural language processing (NLP) technologies for years.
What changed, however, is that the hype finally went mainstream.
So much so that, not even one year later, making sense of the AI copywriting software market seems almost impossible. There’s a new AI tool popping up every other day. And to add salt to injury, all of them claim they’re the best.
So, hype aside, how do you sift through all the information and narrow down your options to settle on an AI copywriting tool worth your money, time, energy, and copywriting genius?
Keep reading and learn more about:
AI copywriting is the process of writing copy for ads, social media, emails, scripts, banners, and web pages using natural language processing and machine learning software.
To an untrained eye, AI copywriting might seem like no short of magic. But as any copywriter will tell you, writing effective copy is about (a lot) more than stringing words together. So while AI copywriting software can definitely save you time and energy, it’s not meant to be a replacement for human writers, but an assistant to help them be more productive (and focus on the actual creative elements of their work).
Now that we’ve taken that out of the way, let’s discuss another confusing matter that’s been roaming the social media world for a while. And that is…
AI copywriting vs. AI content writing
When it comes to copywriting and content writing, there are different schools of thought that either separate the two in different areas of the same discipline, or consider them two sides of the same coin.
Most specialists agree that content writing (and content marketing) has educational purposes, whereas copywriting has persuasive purposes. In this acception, the two work in tandem: content provides value and builds trust, while copy convinces people to take action.
Most AI writing software can do both copywriting and content writing. Some AI writing tools will even provide you with frameworks specific to each category (like the classic PAS – Problem/Agitate/ Solution framework for copywriting and the AIDA – Arouse Interest/Inform/Demonstrate Desire/Ask for Action framework for content writing).
That being said, in both copywriting and content writing, human input is necessary (and we will discuss this a bit later on in the article).
AI copywriting tools come with great promises, but it is important to know they cannot (and likely will never be) a magic wand for all your business writing needs. Still, they can be tremendously helpful for businesses in many ways:
1. Getting inspiration
Your AI copywriting tool can behave as a sort of digital brainstorming companion. While it cannot replace human discussions, it can be used to explore new perspectives and trigger new ideas.
2. Generating content ideas
AI copywriting tools are also efficient at identifying current trends, topics, and buzzwords in your industry. They can help you develop a diverse content strategy that is both fresh and relevant.
3. Reducing errors
AI copywriting tools are programmed to check grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors in your writing. They can also flag any potential biases or problematic language that may need to be addressed before publishing. This helps ensure that businesses maintain a professional image and avoid costly mistakes.
4. Enhancing productivity
With AI copywriting tools handling repetitive tasks like generating headlines, product descriptions, or social media posts, businesses can save time and resources. This allows writers to focus on more complex and creative tasks that require human input.
5. Rewriting ads
Google Search Ads allow you to enter multiple titles and descriptions for your ad. The platform then uses AI to test different combinations of these elements and determine which ones are most effective. This allows businesses to create better-performing ads without having to constantly think of new variations themselves.
6. Personalizing user experience
As we mentioned earlier, writing effective copy is not just about stringing words together. A significant part of the process involves understanding your audience and crafting a message that resonates with them. This is where AI copywriting tools can come in handy for businesses. With large amounts of data at their disposal, these tools can help.
7. Understanding your buyer persona
Chat-based AI copywriting tools can help you delve deeper into the psychology and behaviors of your target audience. Nothing replaces actual customer interviews, for sure, but AI can help you identify patterns and trends to better understand the people you’re trying to reach.
8. Providing real-time suggestions
Some AI writing tools come with plugins that allow them to fit into your text editor of choice. These plugins often analyze your writing in real-time, offering suggestions for improvement based on factors like readability, tone, or even SEO optimization.
In short, yes. AI copywriting tools have plenty of limitations you need to be aware of before you start working with them.
To understand the limitations of AI copywriting tools, you must first understand how they work. More specifically, AI writing tools are trained using machine learning algorithms that analyze massive amounts of text data and learn to mimic it. This means that the output generated by these tools is only as good as the input they were trained on.
So, if, for example, you start writing a sentence (“Mary will…”), the AI tool will complete that sentence with the most likely and statistically popular endings. If that sentence comes in a context (e.g., three other paragraphs where you describe Mary being a doctor,) then it may offer you a different result.
The way AI copywriting tools work limits them from multiple perspectives:
1. They can’t “think” or come up with original ideas
AI writing tools are not creative. They cannot generate entirely unique ideas or concepts as humans can. Instead, they rely on existing patterns and data to create content (even if it’s in a slightly different form). This means that human input is still required for truly original ideas and creative solutions.
2. They are limited by their training data
As mentioned earlier, an AI copywriting machine won’t be able to generate content outside of its training data. This means that if you want to create something specific (e.g., a product description for a new item), the AI tool may not have enough information to work with and may struggle to produce quality output.
This downside of AI tools also leads to biases. As a general rule, AI writing tools tend to replicate the biases found in their training data. This means that if there is a bias within the data, it will likely be reflected in the content generated by the AI tool. Businesses must be aware of this and take steps to address any potential biases before publishing.
3. They lack human understanding and emotion
AI writing tools can generate text that looks and sounds human-like, but they lack the ability to truly understand human emotions and context. This can lead to awkward or insensitive messaging that may harm a brand’s reputation. Again, this is where human input and oversight are crucial in ensuring that the content generated by AI tools aligns with a brand’s values and goals.
Think of it this way. If you get a new bookshelf from Ikea, the different pieces that comprise a bookshelf all come from the same instruction guide. You can put it together in different ways, but ultimately it’s still just pieces of wood and screws following a specific set of instructions. You haven’t yet added your favorite books on the top shelf, created memories with this bookshelf, or decorated it with small trinkets from your vacations.
Similarly, AI copywriting tools can generate content that looks and sounds great, but they are limited by the data and patterns they were trained on. As such, businesses must use these tools cautiously. In the end, the purpose of any kind of business writing is to appeal to humans and to create connections with them. If all your texts are just AI-generated, you may lose out on creating truly meaningful connections with your audience.
4. They don’t always understand context
Most of the last-generation AI writing tools are fairly good at picking up on the context. However, they aren’t perfect. For example, if you’re writing a social media post about your new product launch and include the phrase “our latest addition to the family,” an AI tool may not understand that you’re talking about a product and not a literal family member. This can lead to awkward or confusing messaging that could harm a brand’s reputation.
5. They don’t have creativity and intuition
Another limitation of AI copywriting tools is the lack of creativity and intuition. While they excel at replicating existing patterns, these tools are not capable of creating something entirely new or out-of-the-box (at least not yet). That’s where human writers come in—to add that creative spark and push the boundaries that AI cannot.
6. They can be repetitive and cliche
Last, but not least, there’s only so many ideas and phrasings AI can recycle based on a limited training data. Even if they are able to access the internet (like ChatGPT4 or Bing’s AI), they can still fall into repetitive patterns and use cliche phrases that may not be appropriate for your brand’s tone or voice. Again, human input is crucial in editing and refining the output generated by AI tools to ensure it aligns with a brand’s unique style.
According to our 2023 State of Digital Advertising Survey, 48% of our respondents said they’ll use AI for scripts and copy this year. Yet, choosing one AI copywriting tool to actually serve you well can prove a challenge, especially since simple look on G2 for “AI writing tool” reveals 60 entries (and that’s just the AI writing tools in G2!).
To make sure you choose an AI tool your business can benefit from, keep the following criteria in mind:
1. Training data size and accuracy
The size and accuracy of an AI tool’s training data are crucial factors in determining the quality of output. Look for tools that have a large and diverse dataset, as well as those that continuously update and improve their algorithms based on user feedback.
2. Customization options
Some AI copywriting tools may allow for customization of tone, voice, product information, or even specific keywords to include in the content and copy they generate. This allows you to tailor the output to your brand’s unique style and needs.
3. Integrations with other tools and platforms
Consider whether an AI copywriting tool can integrate with other tools and platforms that your business may already be using. This can save time and effort in transferring data between systems, as well as streamline your overall workflow.
4. Focus on human assistance
AI copywriting tools do not replace human writers for all the reasons mentioned in the list of shortfalls AI software has shown and more. As such, you should probably steer clear of any tool that promises to do everything a human can do—it’s likely untrue.
Instead, focus on AI writing tool focused on assisting copywriters to be more effective at generating ideas, building compelling narratives, or finding relevant information for their clients. Bonus points if the tool has features like content optimization, plagiarism checks, and other quality assurance measures.
5. Cost and return on investment
The cost of an AI copywriting tool should always be considered in relation to its potential return on investment. While some tools may have a higher upfront cost, they may also provide more value and save time in the long run. It’s important to thoroughly research and compare different options before deciding based on cost alone.
AI copywriting tools have been “in the making” for a long time now. It all started with spellchecking features back in the 1980s but it all exploded around 2022, when OpenAI launched GPT-3. Since then, many AI copywriting tools have emerged on the market, each with its unique features and capabilities.
We wanted to test out some of the most commonly touted AI copywriting tools out there, so we thought of a prompt/brief, and ran it through them to see the results, as well as how user-friendly these apps are.
The prompt/brief we used was “Write me landing page copy for shoes with self-cleaning capabilities.” The reason we chose this specific prompt is because:
- We wanted to see how the AI works with products that are not very wide (ergo, have not been fed into the system)
- It’s also really easy to relate to existing products (everyone knows shoes)
- We picked a landing page because it has enough text
Here’s what we found out:
ChatGPT is, by far, one of the single most popular AI tools—so much so it’s nearly impossible to not know about it. ChatGPT isn’t necessarily a copywriting tool, but an AI chatbot that was initially powered by GPT-3, and is now powered by GPT-4 (on the paid version).
It’s not tailored for content, but it can generate text in a conversational manner, which can be useful for social media posts or chat support. You can also use it to:
- Generate ideas for copy
- Delve deeper into the psychology of your buyer persona (by prompting ChatGPT to behave as them and having a conversation with them)
- Rephrase or shorten sentences
- Find questions or objections your customers may have
ChatGPT is free to use for the basic version and $20/month for the paid one. The paid version allows you to use plugins, which can help with reading and summarizing documents, creating marketing plans, creating advanced tables, and more.
It’s widely used outside of marketing purposes (e.g., for coding or even composing music), so its capabilities go beyond copywriting. However, it’s not specifically tailored for marketing or advertising purposes, and the output may still require human editing to be suitable for those use cases.
Considering ChatGPT is free and that we didn’t add much information to the prompt, you could say it did well–not the most original landing page ever.
Copy.ai is another popular AI writing tool that offers features such as:
- Chat AI
- Implementing a brand voice
- Implementing your own infobase
- Automatic content rephrasing
- Snippets for e-commerce
Copy.ai has a free version, which you can use to generate 2,000 words in chat and 200 bonus credits. Paid packages start at $36/month and go as high as $3,000/month.
Some of the most frequently touted advantages of using Copy.ai include its ease of use, versatile features, and impressive AI capabilities. However, some users have reported that the output can still be somewhat robotic and may need further editing to make it sound more natural.
Wordtune has taken the world of SaaS by storm with a product that seems to combine Grammarly and GPT capabilities in one. You can use it as a standalone browser product or download the Chrome plugin (just as you would with Grammarly), and it can help you write and rewrite sentences, shorten them, change the tone of voice, correct the grammar, and more.
On the full desktop version, you can also upload documents and have them summarized (a feature available on the free version too, unlike with ChatGPT, where you have to pay to add this type of plugin). This feature is incredibly useful for creating summaries out of long reports or articles, making it a great tool for content writers.
Wordtune offers a free version with limited features and three paid packages, at $24.99/month for individual users, $37.50/month, and custom pricing for larger teams.
Reword makes a pretty bold promise: train your own AI, using your own blog. This is quite helpful if you want to maintain a specific brand voice, which could be useful for established businesses with an established content library.
Additionally, other Reword features include fact-checking, a free headline generator, and a free topic idea generator. As a general rule, Reword markets their tool as a copilot, rather than an automated solution, which is not something that can be said for many AI writing tools.
Reword offers a free 14-day trial and offers two paid packages, at $48/month, respectively $80/month.
Writer is another AI copywriting tool that comes with a pretty big promise: create content and copy in copilot mode, ensuring you stay compliant with legal, regulatory, and brand compliance. Unlike other tools in the AI copywriting space, Writer doesn’t shy away from discussing the legal aspects of using AI-generated content, and it clearly outlines its responsibility towards keeping your brand safe.
Some additional Writer features include:
- The option to build your own templates
- Training AI with your examples
- Standardizing outputs
- Run recaps on podcasts and documents
- Create executive summaries on different documents
- Features that help you make sure all your content and copy are very well researched (asking questions, conducting research, and more)
Writer.ai offers a free 14-day trial and two paid packages: an $18/month one, and an Enterprise, custom one.
Jasper is one of the most well-known AI copywriting tools out there, and not without reason. It boasts some of the best integrations on the market, comes with a ton of templates and use cases, and even integrates an image generator straight in their platform.
As of recently, Jasper has also implemented brand voice features, chat features, end-to-end campaign creation features, a browser extension, and even an automated translator. They are also advising their audience to generate AI copy and content in a reliable, safe, and responsible manner.
Jasper has three pricing plans, at $49/month, $125/month, and custom pricing (which targets Enterprise customers).
Notable mentions: integrated AI copywriting tools
Although the following tools are not meant for copywriting per se, some people use them to get ideas, rephrase or shorten sentences, and more. These tools are integrated in larger platforms (which usually have purposes other than AI writing), and they can come in useful in a variety of situations.
Notion is a project management and documentation tool that has recently integrated an “AI-powered writing assistant” called Velocity. Although the tool is not specifically tailored for copywriting, it can be helpful in creating outlines or summarizing content.
Notion’s AI features can help you get better (and/or faster) at writing by generating copy/content and adjusting them (by tone of voice, making the text longer or shorter, simplifying the headline, and so on).
Some AI features in Notion are also helpful for taking meeting notes and generating to-do lists based off of them, which might come in useful for copywriters who run customer interviews and want to extract essential behavioral information this way.
Notion is free to use as a standalone tool, or you can opt for one of the paid plans ($8/month/member, $15/month/member, or custom pricing) if you want advanced features and team management in the platform. You can only use AI features as an add-on on the paid plans, and it will cost you $8/month/member.
Frase is an SEO and content marketing tool with AI capabilities. The main goal of this tool is to help you optimize texts according to NLP (Natural-Language Processing) keywords and SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Frase has an integrated AI writing feature that can help you generate text in the platform. It may not be the best or most effective AI integration, but it can help you with ideas, and it offers a good starting point.
There are three pricing plans you can choose from if you want to buy Frase: $14.99/month, $44.99/month, and $114.99/month. You can also get a 5-day trial for $1 if you want to test out the platform.
Grammarly is a well-known online grammar checker and writing assistant that also offers an AI-powered writing feature. The tool can help you with various aspects of your writing, such as sentence structure, vocabulary, tone of voice, and more. It is available on both the browser extension and desktop app versions.
The AI-powered features in Grammarly are not specifically tailored for copywriting, but they can still be helpful in creating and editing written content.
Grammarly offers a free version, which can run basic spellcheck and grammar checks on your copy. The paid plans are Premium, at $12/month, or Business, at $25/user/month. The paid plans give you access to the more advanced features (including, but not limited to AI writing.)
AI in Copywriting: The Future of Content Creation?
As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more powerful and efficient AI writing tools emerge in the market. It is likely that, in the future, the limitations of AI copywriting tools will become increasingly fewer as they learn to mimic human writing styles and tone of voice. Responsible use, will, however, be increasingly more important and increasingly more regulated (likely).
AI copywriting tools are here to stay, and they’ll most probably become a very common tool in the arsenal of content creators, marketers, and writers. Getting familiar with these tools and knowing how to use them effectively will likely become a necessary skill in the near future.
So, whether you’re a business owner looking to streamline your content creation process, a marketer wanting to test out new copy variations, or a writer exploring different writing tools and methods, AI-powered writing tools are definitely worth trying.