Ten tips for writing good sales copy
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an ad? The tips below -- and the important warning
that follows -- will help you to get the very best
Start by choosing a single benefit of your product
or service that you wish to highlight above everything
else. This is your "principal selling position".
To choose this, ask yourself what specific benefit
makes your product or service different, better,
or special. Is it the price?, the convenience? the
reliability? How are you different from your competitors?
Write attention-grabbing headlines. This is very
important. People are overloaded with information,
so they skim read -- particularly on the Internet.
If your headline doesn't get their attention everything
else may go unread. Your headline will often highlight
your principal selling position.
Write a list of all the features of your product
or service then translate each of these into a benefit
for the customer. One way to do this is to look
at each feature in turn then ask yourself "So
what?" Imagine you're a customer; why should
you care about this feature? Ask yourself, "What
will it do for me?"
For example, don't just say that you product is
fast (a feature) tell the customer that it will
give them more free time (a benefit). Better still,
paint a picture of them using their free time to
go to the beach, read a book, or relax.
Write copy that emphasises the benefits in a way
that makes an emotional connection. For example,
let's say you're selling toothpaste. A feature might
be that it contains fluoride. Sure, but that's boring.
Rather, say it "Lessens Tooth Decay!"
or even better: "Brush with Boffo and Avoid
the Dentist's Drill!" See? You've turned a
dull feature into a strong emotional benefit linked
to people's fear of dental procedures. Isn't that
more effective than "Contains fluoride"?
Start with your strongest selling points. The first
few paragraphs are particularly important. Use them
to create a desire for your product or service by
briefly touching on the major benefits it will bring
the customer. You don't have to go into too much
detail up front as you can expand on these benefits
later. Do try to get your big guns in early, though.
Testimonials sell. Good, believable testimonials
from real people will help sales, particularly on
the web where establishing credibility is a tough
job. For even better credibility, ask your testimonial
writers if you can include their contact details
along with their testimonial.
Write with a natural style. Don't try to be pretentious
or over friendly. Just write it the way you'd say
Decide who you're writing for and why. What tone
are you trying to convey: light hearted or serious?
What level of jargon are you going to employ? Suit
your language to your intended audience.
The final sales pitch can be strengthened with some
or all of the following techniques:
* A good deal; e.g. "20% off".
* Urgency; e.g. "This week only".
* Risk free; e.g. "Comes with a money-back
End by telling the reader what to do; e.g. "Ring
now" or "Click here to order now for immediate
delivery". Needless to say, ordering details
must be clearly visible and simple to follow.
Looking at these tips, it may seem that good advertising
involves manipulating the emotions of your customers.
Yes, it does. Selling is a blatant form of emotional
manipulation that involves convincing your customer
that they want to buy your product or service, and
they want to do it now.
this unethical? Well, it can be. It depends where
you draw the line. In point 9 I said that your sales
message could include a sense of urgency. A common
ploy on the web is to include a claim like "Offer
closes this Saturday". If you go back to the
site the following week, though, the offer is still
available. If you were tricked by such a claim, would
you order from that company again?
by all means, use the tips above to write as persuasively
as you can, but remember that if you attract sales
by deceiving your customers you risk legal action,
poor word of mouth, no repeat business and refund
be as persuasive as you can possibly be, but avoid
the temptation to be "too" persuasive.