Writing good sales copy takes a combination of strong verbal skills and a clear understanding of what creates and emotional response in your target audience.
Sales writing is equal parts wordplay and human psychology. Sales copy is all about direct response - in other words, getting a reader to buy now, not later. The following five fundamentals of writing good sales copy will help to ensure high conversion rates for direct sales campaigns, online and offline.
People are busy. Everyone is obsessed with trying to economize their time. Because of that, they won't give you sales copy a look-in if you can't grab their attention straight away. That's where attention-stealing headlines come into play.
One of the keys to killer sales letter writing is a powerful headline. Your headline must be so intriguing that your readers can't help but notice it and feel compelled to read on.
There is a caveat to this: an attention-grabbing headline which is backed up by poor sales copy or a poor product will attract a lot of attention, but will either receive low conversions overall or a high return rate.
Headlines get the reader's attention, but the rest of the sales copy must finish the job.
When faced with a sales letter, the majority of readers won't read the whole thing from top to bottom. This is especially true for online sales pages. Instead, they scan through the copy, looking for bits and pieces that interest them.
This is especially important for search engine optimization copywriting, since readers don't read as thoroughly on the web as they do offline - rather, they scan the page and hone in on whatever interests them.
When a headline here or piece of bold copy there catches their eye, they will read it. They will delve deeper into the points that interest them most.
This explains a phenomenon which is rather confusing to many online entrepreneurs: why Internet sales pages are usually very long. "Surely no one is going to read all that?" they think. Well, it's true - no one person is likely to read the whole thing.
But the fact is that different readers and will be interested in different benefits and features of a product. By creating a long Internet sales page which is easy to scan with eye-catching headlines, you'll draw each reader to the part of the sales copy which interests them most.
Testimonials are extremely crucial to the conversion rate of a sales letter. This is due to a concept in psychology called "social proof" - this is discussed by Robert Cialdini in his landmark book "Influence." The idea of social proof is that when you see a whole lot of other people like you taking an action, you're more likely to take it yourself.
So when a reader sees a whole lot of enthusiastic, real testimonials from satisfied buyers in the same demographic, that reader is more likely to convert to a customer. Killer sales letter writing requires the intelligent use of testimonials within the copy.
One common mistake of sales writing is to aim the copy at an audience which is too broad. Writing good sales copy requires careful targeting at a tight demographic and an aim specifically focused on the "ideal customer" in that market.
If your sales copy tries to appeal to everyone, it will end up being too general and appealing to no one.
Never assume a reader will do what you want on her own. You have to guide her every step of the way until she delivers the Most Wanted Response - the purchase. It's entirely possible for a reader to get to the end of a sales letter, be ready to buy, but end up not purchasing because of the lack of a clear call to action.
Tell the reader exactly what she needs to do to carry on with the sales process, in a way that a five-year-old could understand. Leave no room for confusion or mistakes. And make sure the call to action appeals to emotion, not logic.
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Author: Tom McSherry
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