Copywriting is the art and science of producing words that sell. Good sales copy contributes to making a winning marketing strategy, as it persuades customers or clients to buy your products.
If you want to write a good sales copy for your business, you must follow a proven copywriting process from start to end.
The process includes understanding certain principles, motifs, and techniques that help communicate effectively with people online. Below are some guidelines on writing good sales copy:
Know your target audience
Understand who you’re selling to.
Before even starting the writing process, think about who or what your market is really after? What do they want? What problems do they have that can be solved through your product or services? What is their demographic profile? What are their needs and wants?
These insights will help you effectively communicate with potential buyers.
How to write good sales copy for your audience – as a start, you can do the following:
▪ Survey, conduct interviews, and research online – these tasks give vital information on how to present your products or services effectively.
▪ Create a buyer persona – make profiles of typical customers based on demographics, personality traits, lifestyle preferences/needs, and psychographic (“what” they do), then write about them from their perspective.
Also, consider these factors that influence people’s decision-making process when buying products:
▪ Time constraints – both in terms of availability and limited attention span (when faced with multiple options). Marketing messages must be short enough and clear enough to be understood quickly.
▪ Environment – what is the customer’s environment at that time of exposure? What other information are they receiving simultaneously or prior, and how will it affect their decision-making process?
▪ Decision criteria – consumers, use a set of factors when deciding what they need to buy. Knowledge of these criteria helps you approach customers in more effective ways and sell your products as such. Some common examples include money, comparison between options, brand/store reputation, price, quality, instinct, etc.
Acknowledge the problem
Your product or service must solve a problem of some kind, whether it’s serious or something more mundane.
You know what your market wants, and now you have to help them see why they want it and why you can provide the solution. Paint a picture for customers that illustrates their struggle and shows how buying your product will end their pain.
Your customers must feel like you know them and their problems and that you know how to help them.
It’s also about demonstrating why your product or service is superior to others in solving the problem. You can do this by:
▪ Showing appreciation for the customer’s need(s) – let them know their pain/problem is understood and that it requires a solution.
Use emotion and logic
When writing copy, it’s tempting to focus on the emotional side of things and overlook the logical.
But it’s important to use both emotion and logic when writing sales copy to make sure your customers will get a clear picture of what they can expect from your products or services.
Emotional appeal is key for better sales. People are more likely to pay attention if you can relate with them on an emotional level, particularly through stories, because, as we’ve learned over the years, people tend to remember stories well than reams of facts and statistics.
Most purchases are made because of emotions. However, we also need logic to really clinch the sale.
Here’s how you can combine both:
▪ Begin with the emotional – this is what your product or service will do for them (and why they need it).
▪ End with logic – explain your product as well as its specifications and features.
For example, if your sales letter focuses on winning customers based on free shipping, show them how much time and money that translates to in terms of savings and convenience.
Also, consider these things when you write sales copy:
▪ Be consistent in your approach – make sure every page of the website talks about advantages, benefits, and solutions-not about products or services. For instance, if you sell furniture online, make sure all pages talk about how buying from you means instant delivery and a hassle-free experience.
▪ Keep it simple – use short sentences, short paragraphs, and bullet points to make your sales copy easy to read.
▪ Explain why you’re different – and what makes you better than other options – state your key strengths and unique selling proposition (USP), and prove it by using proof points. You have to show evidence on why you are the best.
▪ Reinforcing your message – repeat and reinforce what you want your audience to know, and drive home your strongest selling points.
Remember that the benefit is what people get out of buying from you-whether it’s money saved, time saved, stress relieved, pain eliminated, etc. Always tell them how much they’ll benefit from using or buying from you (the solution).
Let’s face it. Online, anybody can make any claim they like. So you need to back up your claims with proof.
There’s no proof like facts and figures, third-party endorsements, awards, and testimonials from customers. You need to back up everything with facts before they take it seriously as a viable option for them.
▪ Case studies – include examples of people who have already succeeded with your product or service. This will help persuade customers that the products can work for them as well, and they don’t even have to try it out first (which saves them time and money).
▪ Testimonials – Evidence of good customer service/credibility – proof that customers or users have had a positive experience with you or your products.
You can easily collect these through email, online survey forms, or on your website.
Define your CTA
CTA stands for Call To Action. It’s what you want your audience to do as a result of reading your copy.
Once you have laid out all the details and convinced your customers that what you’re offering them is indeed a valid solution to their problem (s), then it’s time to close the deal.
A good CTA is clear, simple, and actionable and brings the reader closer to achieving the goal or solving their problem.
▪ Always include an offer – let your readers know about any special promotions on products/packages they can avail of by taking advantage of your Call To Action link or button.
▪ Keep it short, clear, and actionable – use a simple verb like “get,” “claim,” “download,” etc., so that your audiences know exactly what they’re getting if they click on the link or button.
Also, don’t make customers guess where to go next. Tell them clearly what will happen once they’ve made a purchase. Give specific details as to how you’ll deliver the product or service.
It should also be consistent with the rest of the sales message. If you promise big savings through free shipping, then make sure the main CTA emphasizes savings in some way, whether it will be money saved for each order or bonus items that come with each purchase.
Offer relief through urgency
Urgency exists when there is limited availability-and this gives customers the sense that there are other people also vying to buy your product.
A classic example is when companies offer something at a certain price, but for a limited time only.
When you use urgency in sales copywriting, it’s more often called scarcity (which is basically your relationship with a resource being scarce or close to extinction).
To make things less complicated, I’ll just stick to calling it urgency.
How you define that urgency is up to you. But it can be as simple as letting people know that supplies are limited, and if they don’t act now, they will miss out on a great opportunity.
Urgency doesn’t need to merely involve money.
▪ Natural/seasonal scarcity – if you’re selling products that are seasonal/natural in nature, use this to your advantage by letting customers know how little time or stock they have left before the produce expires (e.g., Valentine’s Day chocolate treats).
▪ Time scarcity – tell customers that you only have a few items left of the inventory as of today, and when they’ve all run out, you’ll replace them with something else. Or that there is a limited number of seats available for an event from a certain time (this is more effective if it’s free tickets or discounts rather than paid ones).
▪ Inventory/investment scarcity – let your readers know that there are limited slots available for a certain inventory, and after that’s sold out, you won’t produce any more of it. This can be used to promote limited edition products (e.g., commemorative merchandise).
▪ Bonuses – Throw in extras to give customers more value. It is much easier to sell $50 worth of stuff when it comes with $15 worth of freebies thrown in for no extra charge. Extra incentives such as free shipping, expedited shipping, gift wrapping, bonus items/subscriptions usually go a long way toward persuading customers to make that purchase.
Basic Copywriting Tips
▪ Minimize distractions – so that people focus on what you’re saying and not on how you said it.
▪ Proofread your copy – repeatedly for spelling and grammatical errors.
▪ Keep the tone of your sales copy consistent – don’t shift from formal to informal or from business talk to casual speech. Be professional at all times.
▪ Use SHORT sentences – 5 to 7 words is the ideal length if you want readers to remember the content afterward. Try using bullet points so that everything is easy to read and understand.
▪ Stress the benefits – What’s in it for them? Most people are looking to solve their problems these days, so remember to tell what they’ll get out of it: money saved, time saved, stress relieved, blown away by your awesomeness, etc. Make sure you describe how much they’d benefit from using your products/services (the solution).
▪ Use bullet points – to highlight the important stuff – or use numbered lists if you want people to take note of specific things.
▪ Formatting is also key – different types of formatting can impact how people perceive your message, so be sure to choose one that helps sell what you’re trying to say. For ebooks, I like using single space between lines instead of double spaces. It looks more professional with less white space on pages.
But it’s really up to you what works for you and your audience.
Remember that these aren’t set rules when it comes to writing sales copy – just some tips to help you along the way.
There are no hard or fast rules in this business; what works for one can end up failing miserably with another and vice versa.
Think of these as guidelines.
Knowing your target audience is just one of the ways you can use neuroscience to increase sales.
Acknowledging a problem that customers are facing and then showing how their purchase will solve it, using emotion with logic. Then proving it works for others by providing case studies and introducing an urgency, all work together to make sure people buy from you instead of someone else.