If you’re like me, you’ve opened up your email to discover a sales letter that just begs to be opened.
“You won’t believe this…” or “This one trick could save you thousands…”
You open it up even though you’re well aware that it is going to be a sales letter. The copy draws you in and you can resist spending a few minutes reading it.
While you may not have even been thinking about making a purchase that day, suddenly you’re scrambling to find some extra cash because you NEED this new fangled tool in your life.
What just happened?
Great sales copy.
You can learn to write it too. Once you understand the elements, you can market yourself as a copywriter and write copy that sells.
1. Command Attention with Your Headline
This is the first thing that your reader will see and it will determine whether or not they even give you the time of day. If the headline stinks, your blog post or email won’t even get read. That is why it is the most important element.
8/10 people read the headline. Only 2/10 will read the rest of your copy. Your headline should state and address the problem.
Great headlines will focus on one idea. It will often be the most important benefit that your buyers will have from the product.
Keep it simple, but focus on that big benefit. Spark their curiosity so they will keep reading further.
Make sure that you are delivering information on what they signed up for. Do not send emails that are irrelevant to your message. For example, if they signed up for bass fishing tips, don’t bother sending them email messages on hunting gear. They may be interested, but most likely they’ll be annoyed that you didn’t deliver what you promised.
2. Be Personable
As you are writing, you can write as though you are writing to a friend. You can use their first name so they feel that the reader feels valued.
You don’t need to write as though you are writing an essay. The copy does not have to be perfect, and often times it is better if it isn’t.
The most compelling marketing copy that sells is when you treat someone like a friend and you write as if you are writing to your best friend.
Copywriting isn’t about being the smoothest writer out there. It is about addressing people’s objections.
Pro Tip: Print out your copy after you have written it and read it out loud. Does it sound like you are reading to a friend?
3. Connect with Emotions
Whenever possible, you want to use empathy. Your readers want to feel like you understand their problems. When they know that you understand their problems, they will feel like your solution is actually valid.
The main emotions that are used in sales copy tap into – fear, insecurity, benevolence, vanity and curiosity.
To tap into emotions, consider how you’ve felt during a situation and then write about it. Perhaps you were afraid for your life prior to buying a security system. Share a story that led you to the decision to make the purchase.
If you’re selling a make money online product, share how you were insecure about your financial future. You worried constantly about where your next paycheck was coming from. Then talk about how the product solved that for you.
People make buying decisions with their emotions. Most purchases aren’t rational or logical, but emotional. Use stories and experiences from your own life and the lives of current customers through testimonials to tap into the emotional side of sales.
“There are two motives to action: self-interest and fear” Napoleon Bonaparte
4. Focus on the Benefits – Not the Features
People want to have their problems solved. They want to know that their lives are going to improve with each purchase. They don’t necessarily care that a mattress is made with coils, foam or air, they just want to make sure that they are comfortable when they are sleeping.
When selling, make sure that you are focusing in on how the product will help to solve your customers’ problems. Whether their problem is not having enough money, being hungry, boredom, out-of-date clothes or safety, you can demonstrate how your product will solve their problem.
While each feature of the product may be unique and exciting, your copy should be focused around solving the customer’s problem.
“Sell a good night’s sleep – not the mattress.” Instructor at Academy of Art University, Advertising program
4. Keep it Simple – Copy Length Doesn’t Matter
Get right to the point when you are writing copy. People often don’t have much time and they have even less time for a sales letter. Therefore, it is important to share the benefits right up front.
While many sales letters are pages long with loads of testimonials and examples, they aren’t always more effective than a short and sweet email. Length doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you address people’s concerns.
If your copy can demonstrate the solution to a problem and address objections, it will convert.
Simplicity is the key. You may want to reduce your adjectives by half. Rid your copy of unnecessary adverbs.
Keep your copy effective by:
- Use a word instead of a long phrase
- Use a phrase instead of a sentence
- Pare down a paragraph to a sentence
- Say what you need to in a paragraph instead of a page
5. Stay Focused on Your Goal
Your copy should continually be focused on the main goal of selling. Being smart and funny can sometimes help you connect with your audience, but don’t make that the goal of your sales copy. It can distract you from the bottom line.
Keep in mind that people reading copy are often in a rush, so you need to quickly connect with them and their desires.
As you write the product copy, make sure that you are focused on how it will jump out at the prospects. Make sure that you tell people how the product will enhance their lives. Get to the point quickly.
Craft a message for your product that carries commercial clout. Don’t worry about alliteration and fancy writing styles.
Finally, sign off with a strong call to action which tells them why they need to purchase your product. Make sure you add in a sense of urgency. Include that the sale is for a limited time, or the product is a limited edition. Don’t let procrastinators rest on their laurels considering whether the deal is good or not.
Keep these tips in mind as you write your next sales email letter or compose your next advertisement.