Professional copywriters use words as tools to persuade an audience:
- Their client has the answer to their particular problem.
- To motivate the reader to get their client’s product or service for themselves.
This is the art of selling through words.
Whatever you’re writing, whether it’s a networking minute, presentation, social media message, sales letter or brochure you too can write and sell like a professional copywriter.
Before you write
Know your customer
The key to all successful sales copy is to know your customer. You need to understand a typical customer for your product or service and how your product or service can help them solve their problem. Think about their age, lifestyle, their mind-set and most importantly what their problem is.
Know your product or service’s benefits and features
Have you asked your customers which features and benefits they like best? Do they use it in a way you haven’t thought of? How is it different from the competition? Take time to re-acquaint yourself with every detail of your product or service, then your enthusiasm, expertise and knowledge will shine through.
Know what you want your reader to do. What is your ‘Most Wanted Action’?
It’s no good spending time writing a great sales letter or web page if you don’t ask for the order. Think about what is your ‘Most Wanted Action’? What single thing should your reader do after they have read your copy? This is your call to action.
Plan your strategy
Before your start writing, know what it is that you are writing. Is it a sales letter, a leaflet, an advert, a social media campaign or a networking minute? How long will your copy be? Adverts will be shorter and punchier whilst leaflets and brochure copy will go into more detail. A social media campaign will need a theme to tie it all together whilst a networking minute needs to last just a minute.
When you write
When you’re writing words that sell, you need to keep in your mind that your primary goal is to sell your product or service. This means that you need to present more than just the facts but don’t let your creativity run away from you so that your message and the benefits get lost in the copy.
Here are my top tips to think about when writing your sales copy:
- Keep in mind your customer when you are writing and write for them.
- Spend the majority of your writing time on your headline. More people will read your headline than anything else. It needs to grab their attention and make them want to read more.
- Stress the benefits. How will your reader’s life be better after they have bought your product or service.
- Be accurate and specific. Don’t over-hype your product or service to get an easy sale and avoid abstract phrases such as ‘lasts longer’ that will leave your reader asking “than what?”.
- Keep it simple to read. Progress logically from the headline to the call to action. Stick to one benefit, idea or point per paragraph and use bullet points and lists to keep your reader engaged.
- Don’t waffle. Stick to the point and write in simple everyday language that your reader will understand.
- Appeal to your readers’ emotions rather than their intellect. Emotions influence our buying decisions and then we use logic to justify the purchase.
- Use testimonials, reviews and case studies to build your creditability and establish trust.
- Ask for the order!
After you’ve written
You’ve finished writing your sales copy but don’t print just yet. You need to revise, edit and proof your work. Check your facts, spelling and grammar. Ask a colleague or friend to proof-read it too. If you don’t have someone you can ask to proof-read it then reading it aloud can help highlight any typos.
No professional copywriter just sits down at their laptop and starts typing. Writing great copy that sells is all in the planning, so you should expect to spend more time planning your copy than actually writing it.
Spend some time writing down who your ‘ideal/typical customer’ is, what their problem is and how your product or service solves that problem. Print it out and have it in front of you when you write to keep you focused.