If you ever want to sell anything, the need for sales copy is a fact of life.
You need to be able to explain why people should buy your product or service. Sales copy is how you gently lead them to the conclusion that they must buy your product, now. You can have the finest product ever and it go completely unnoticed without decent sales copy.
Without copy, your readers must come to their own conclusions about your product or service. Those conclusions could be inaccurate and can affect your bottom line. It’s your job, when writing copy, to guide the process in the direction you wish it to go. Otherwise, it’s all just a guessing game. Will the reader see the benefit if you don’t show it to them? They might not…and you should never leave things to chance when it comes to business. Having high quality sales copy is not an area to skimp in; It can make you, or break you.
So, you know the need for quality sales copy is inescapable, but you dread the thought of even thinking about it, and break out in a cold sweat when you try. You know how important it is, but don’t know where to start. You are not alone. We have all felt that way before.
The fact is though, unless you can afford to hire a professional, you are going to have to do it yourself.
I know. It’s intimidating. But you CAN write effective sales copy… yes, even all by yourself!
Copy written by someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about the product (that would be YOU) can outperform copy written by a pro. When you let that passion shine through, you will surprise yourself with how effective your “homemade” copy can be!
So, keeping that in mind, let’s get started with learning to write your own sales copy in six simple steps.
1. Brainstorm a List of Your Product Benefits
Know the reasons WHY your target customer will want to buy your product. If you sell Gizmo X, featuring specs A, B, and C, those specs are not the benefits the product will give. They are the features, the details. Mention features in your copy, yes….but then elaborate on benefits. Focus on what that product will do for them.
To use the example of Gizmo X, you will point out how the specs lead to benefits like saved time, or saved money, or the ability to do something quicker and easier, or to feel better about themselves….those are the reasons WHY people buy. Emphasize those. People buy benefits, not features.
Now that you understand the difference between a product’s features and its benefits, write a list of benefits for your product…and make it as long as you can. You really want to let ‘er rip! Ask friends, family, networking buds etc for ideas. There is no such thing as a right or wrong answer. Once you have that nice long list, you’re ready to start creating your sales page.
Ready? You can do this and here we go!
It starts with…
2. Create a Headline
Now that you have this extensive list of benefits, pick out what’s most important and build your headline around that. For this blog post, I chose to build the benefit ( of reading the post ) around a need for a simple, easy to apply approach to a pretty scary subject. It tends to be intimidating and overwhelming. Six easy steps sounds achievable.
Ah ha! A possible solution! And if you are reading this post, it worked.
Here are some other tips for writing your headline:
- Focus on your reader and their needs…not what your company does. Your goal is to fill their need.
- Promise something with your headline. An example would be “No More Embarrassing Leaks” or “Learn Basic French in a Week”.
- Understand that emotions guide buying behavior. Feelings like envy, fear, desire, insecurity, laziness, pride, vanity, etc… are all strong motivators, whether or not we are aware of it.
- Use your reader’s sense of curiosity to lead them into your sales letter. You can do this by letting the headline tell only part of the story. Ex. How This Revolutionary Product will…(they need to keep reading to see what the product will do.)
- Be specific and use numbers in your headlines. Ex. 5 Things to Avoid…6 Simple Steps to….
Don’t fret too much over your headline at this point. If it just doesn’t feel right yet, go on to writing the rest of your copy. You can return to tweak it at the end. Often, it’s easier to create a winning headline after you’ve written your main text. So, don’t sweat it and let’s move along….
3. Write Your Introduction
Now that you have a headline and are armed with that list of benefits, you are ready to write your introduction. The purpose here is to connect with your readers….to show that you understand them and care about their needs. It’s the beginning of a relationship that will lead them to trust you. Then you gently lead them to the conclusions you want them to have…and ultimately, to buy your product.
Then introduce your product, so you can share the benefits. It doesn’t need to be long or elaborate at this point. What matters most is the connection….that the readers feel you understand them. You are establishing relationship.
Ex. If you’re like most working mothers, you’re overwhelmed with all the things you must do daily. You’ve been frustrated with the amount of time it takes each day to do your skin care routine and apply your makeup. You really don’t have time for this, but the alternative? Well, it isn’t pretty!
Don’t despair… we’ve got great news! With our revolutionary patented formula, we have pared that routine down to just one step! No more bottles, jars, and tubes taking up space on the counter. No more of your precious time or money wasted on using unnecessary products. In five minutes, with one product, you can go from morning face to feeling pampered and looking gorgeous, ready to seize your day!
Are you stumped for words? Try using an image to convey the feeling. In this case, a frazzled mom, toddlers wrapped around her legs, juggling a baby, jars, makeup brushes etc in the bathroom, trying to get ready for her day…..could do wonders. Or maybe a picture of a bathroom vanity ridiculously overflowing with products could create that right mental image.
Now that your introduction is done, we are ready to…
4. Add Your Benefits
Let’s go back to that list of benefits you brainstormed at the beginning. Now you’re going to fine tune it and emphasize the benefits that appeal most your target customer. Keeping them in a bulleted or numbered list makes it easier to read. Create a video that shows how the product works, or at least add some product photos. You want those benefits to entice.
5. Make Your Offer
Now it’s time to officially make the offer and write a clear, definitive call-to-action. Explain how to get your product (order link) and again, remind them why they need it. Try to build in a sense of urgency if possible, and then tell them what to do, urging them to do it now.
You also might want to include reasons why they should pay that price for your product.
Ex. $40 for a revolutionary skin care product that replaces hundreds of dollars worth of similar products and has a money-back guarantee.
6. Finish it Off
Wrap up your sales page by reminding the reader of some of the key benefits and including information about your money-back guarantee, if you have one. A money-back guarantee gives some reassurance if they are undecided about purchasing. That might be all they need to trust you and purchase.
Ex. Our product comes with an unconditional empty-jar guarantee. We’re so sure that you’ll love your purchase that we’re willing to offer you double-your money back if you use the entire jar as directed and are not thrilled with the results…
Putting it Into Practice
Well, well…just look at you! If you followed along and did the six simple steps, you have now created your very first sales letter, all by yourself! I’m betting you are impressed too!
Now, practice, practice, and practice some more. The key to writing effective sales copy is to simply do it. A lot. As with all things, practice does make perfect. So keep at it…keep learning about your target market’s needs and what motivates them, keep writing copy, tweaking it along the way. When you better understand where your reader is coming from, it is so much easier to share the benefits in a way that motivates sales. When you find what works, perfect it. And do it again.
It is a lot of effort, but few things will benefit you more than learning how to write your own copy. Who knows? You may even find you enjoy it!