Key Steps to Successful Sales writing
I started internet marketing a few years ago with no knowledge about copywriting or sales letters. No wonder my marketing campaign miserably failed to say the least. I spent more money on pay per click (PPC) ads marketing my products than I made in sales. It was a total flop. The products I’d been promoting were of good quality but something wasn’t right……my sales pitch; i.e headline, sub-headline, main body of copy and the offer.
I needed financial freedom and I could really see the potential of achieving that through internet marketing. Even though I was at the stage of recognizing there was something wrong, I didn’t really have much direction about how to improve my campaign or change what I was doing. Fortunately enough and just at the right time, I received an email from a familiar name about copywriting seminar. Knowing that I needed some help I attended and by the end of the two day coaching, I realized exactly why my campaign failed.
A sales letter formula and the principles I learned from the copywriting seminar turned my campaign around. Therefore, I’m beginning to see a lot of success in my business. I would NOT claim to be an expert in copywriting yet, but I would like to share some of the features of copywriting that have benefited me in recent months.
Know your product/service inside out – Know your target audience – Know what they’re looking for – Know their ‘want’ and desire – Make an offer your target audience cannot refuse – What solution does your product/service offer? – Answer the ‘What’s In It For Me’ question for the prospect
The key formula for writing effective ads:
Attention, Interest, Desire and Action (A I D A).
Other noted effective formula for copywriting include: – Attention, Interest, Description, Persuasion, Proof, Close (A I D P P C) – Picture, Promise, Prove, Push (P P P P) – Interest, Desire, Conviction, Action (I D C A)
Whichever formula you choose, the purpose remains the same. They denote similar elements of ‘hot key buttons’. Mastering the use of these formula turned my business around. One of the tips I learned from the copywriting seminar in writing a sales letter is integrating the formula into my HEADLINE to grab the ATTENTION of my prospect before even hoping to have an impact on them with my sales message. Therefore, it is essential that you spend several hours or even days in formulating your headline. You must keep on tweaking it until you know within you that you’ve hit the nail on the head.
It is particularly important that your best BENEFIT is integrated into your headline and second best in the SUB-HEADLINE. Your Sub-headline and Main Body of your sales letter are meant to develop INTEREST and DESIRE in the prospect. You should answer your prospects’ question; What’s In It For Me (W I I F M). The BENEFITS and irresistible OFFERS will drive your prospect into becoming a customer. Inevitably, the ultimate objective of the sales letter is for your prospect to take ACTION. So, all your sales letters should drive your readers to act.
1) Make a sale
2) Forge a relationship
If you can keep these in mind at all times you will be able to build a large customer database………The sky is the limit.
The focus of your sales letter should be on the prospect. It should NEVER be about you or the large sums of money you have made. They want to know how they would benefit from the product/services on offer. It’s all about benefits to the customer. You should provide solutions and quick fixes, making life easier for them. This is what your prospects want to know.
There are two important attributes of any successful sales letter; ATTENTION and ACTION. Between these attributes you should caress and romance your prospects into action.
My first sales letter was NOT worth reading, let alone able to motivate prospects to take action. People did not buy from me because I made exaggerated claims I could prove, my ad was too humorous, created too much doubt, advantages of my products were not clearly outlined and above all my website was too cluttered. If you are where I was just under a year ago, may I suggest you read this article carefully and make notes as necessary, because I’m about to give you the very same information I learned from the copywriting coaching seminar which I paid a four figure sum to attend. I believe you can avoid making the mistakes I made when I first started out if you pay attention to these key steps.
The best definition of copywriting is ‘salesmanship’ in print. Your copywriting should emotionally touch your prospects so that they will be motivated enough to take action. Bear in mind that selling is all about ‘psychology’ and ’emotion’. People buy things by emotion…..i.e. a car, a house, clothes or jewelery. Just think about it for a minute, it is the pleasure and the good feeling attached to owning these items motivated them to buy.
When planning to write emotional copy, it’s worth researching your target audience. Where they are now in their lives oppose to where they want to be. Draw the scale of ‘Pain and Pleasure’ i.e. Present Circumstances————–Desired Outcomes. Present Circumstances represent (Pain) and Desired Outcomes represent (Pleasure).
Your emotional copywriting should identify specific pain and pleasure reasons why prospects would be motivated to buy your product. Outline the major emotional motives for anyone to take ACTION for the product/service you are promoting;
Insufficient income, Work longer hours, Lack recognition, Failure, Financial worries
Make more money, Work shorter hours, Gain prestige, To be successful, To protect possessions.
When you have identified their fears, exaggerate those fears in order to inject anxiety for the prospect to consider taking action almost immediately. Having done that, quickly outline the benefits of your product and the pleasure (solutions) it would bring to them in record time. Tell them enough to activate a powerful emotional trigger.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not about deception, but rather capturing your prospects ATTENTION before telling them about the whole package. Most importantly, connect their ‘needs’ with ‘wants’ and make the ‘need’ a powerful ‘want’. No one would read your sales copy or buy from you without a compelling reason to do so.
Tell your prospects about what they will be getting. You may want to consider alternative words like;
– You will discover – You will experience, You earn – You pay-off debts
– You achieve – You achieve financial freedom
– You gain access to – You gain unlimited access
– You obtain – You obtain unlimited ………….
Remember you are not trying to re-invent the wheels for copywriting. Copywriting has existed from time immemorial. One of the reasons why my campaign failed about a year ago was that I tried to re-invent the wheel. I simply wrote what I thought would help me to sell my products and earn more money without realizing that I wasn’t the only person promoting those products. I didn’t know anything about unique selling proposition (USP).
Give your prospects quick short key-phrases that describe exactly what you offer. This is specifically about your product or service. Also, tell them what you feel is your single, most marketable, unique competitive edge. This is your unique selling proposition (USP). In other words, what is unique about what you sell, or how you sell, package or delivery? What do you offer that your competitors don’t? This is one of the areas I got badly wrong with my campaign. Do your home work. Have a look around, search the internet and elsewhere to see what others are doing or offering and tweak a little.
Most importantly, list some features about your product or services that ‘jump out at you’. A feature is a fact about your product or service. For instance ‘copywriting made easy, easy step-by-step instructions, four hours of video footage (You may want to use bullet points). Features demonstrate how things are created, delivered and maintained.
Similarly, list benefits that your product gives your customers. A benefit is anything your product does which makes life better, easier or more productive. A benefit, in other words is what your product does for your customer. (This is the key, list as many benefits as possible).
On day 2 of the copywriting coaching seminar, my head was buzzing with so much information such that I started re-writing my sales copy during the coffee break. I approached the key speaker and showed him my draft copy. He read through briefly and asked me a question ‘where are you in this copy’? I didn’t understand his question. So he began to elaborate……he asked me to tell him a story about myself or my product, something unique, new, different, intriguing or mysterious. He asked another question ‘what’s the story behind the making of your product’? How and why did you start selling it? What’s the story behind my business?
Finally, he said think carefully, because the story behind the making of the product and why I started selling it would tie in with the benefits. That’s a powerful food for thought. On that note he walked away. I don’t know your story and don’t know why you sell your product, but I’m sure you do. So dig out the benefits.
Let’s talk about your offer. The offer is not only about your product and the selling price. It’s about creating a value-added enhancement. Put together a collection of similar products with similar benefits and features to make your main product more desirable to own. This is sometimes referred to as ‘perceived value’. An offer makes the product more appealing. This is crucial, don’t mess-up with it. This is just like inviting and showing someone the menu of a buffet.
Now, you’ve ushered them to the table, they can see the array of food or dishes. Their appetite is high; their mouth by now is salivary and wet. What you want them to do is ‘grab a plate and dish out’ ACTION! The offer has to be irresistible. If the prospects walk pass this stage and didn’t feel motivated to take action, you’re doomed.
A word of caution; in your attempt to add value to the main product; do not excessively increase your costs. I would suggest using digital products (e-books). Otherwise your profits would diminish. You may want to invest a little in e-books with rights to give away or re-sell.
A powerful guarantee makes the offer even stronger. Your guarantee encourages prospects to go ahead and take action. This is often the final hurdle of fear you must clear for prospective customers. Make them feel they have absolutely nothing to be afraid of and nothing to lose. Your guarantee tells the prospects how confident or how you feel about your product and its ability to deliver on the claims you’ve made.
Perhaps a standard 30 days money back guarantee would be satisfactory. I have always used 30 days guarantee and recently used 30 DAYS FREE TRIAL before paying me a penny, even with e-books. The choice is yours. If you offer shorter duration, prospects would not feel comfortable to take action. A prospect may see this as a warning signal. Therefore, thread carefully.
CAUTION: If you’re a beginner, be careful about ‘Absolute Guarantee Of Satisfaction’. This indicates that there is no time frame. So this means that customers can return your product for a full refund before or after 30 days, 60 days or even more. An example of such guarantee is:
“If you’re not 100% satisfied with the product or your purchase, simply return it for a full refund”
POST SCRIPTS: (P.S.)
This is as important as your main offer. It is one of the most read components of the sales copy. Prospects do read this before taking any action. So, use P.S. to remind them of your most catchy benefit, or repeat your guarantee of 30 DAY FREE TRIAL. You may want to add another incentive or bonus such as FREE Shipping if ordered within 7 days.
Do not get carried away with your use of P.S. Use no more than two or three P.S., P.P.S., P.P.P.S. Be sure you have something useful to say with P.S. Remember the selling job has already been done.
In conclusion, let me share these few words that mean a lot to me and hopefully they may inspire you too. A former prime minister of the United Kingdom once said;
“Success is going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm” (Winston Churchill)