Writing is an art. Writing for marketing is art combined with science, and writing great sales copy is art, science and a bit of magic. In a world where everyone has something for sale, it is harder than ever to attract the customer’s attention, to gain their interest and to inspire the desire and decision to buy a product.
When it comes to sales copy writing, every writer has their own personal approach to creating a compelling text. However, if we take a look at the anatomy of the most successful sales ads and advertorials, we can notice a few common features. These features represent the science behind effective and successful sales copy and today we will share some useful and actionable tips to help you attain this science.
- Focus on One Key Benefit in the Headline
The first thing people notice on a webpage or in a newsletter is the headline. And the decision to start reading a piece of text is formed right then and there. If the headline is powerful and focuses on a key benefit of the product you want to promote, you have gained your reader’s attention – which is the first hurdle your sales copy must overcome.
The headline has to be direct, persuasive and to the point. You have only one chance to grab people’s attention and you cannot afford to blow it. So, before you start writing, stop and think: what is this product really doing for people? What problem does it solve? What is its core benefit? Find this benefit and you have your headline.
- Incite Your Reader’s Imagination
Imagination is one of the specific gifts people have to keep them always interested and entertained by creating vivid images, sounds and motion in their mind. Gifted writers from all eras have earned their place in the world literature heritage by their ability to provoke people to use their imagination in picturing characters, places and actions.
For sales copywriters, inciting the reader’s imagination is one huge step towards closing a sale. Psychology research has shown that when people can imagine using a product and enjoying its benefits, their desire to acquire that product increases to the point of actually deciding to make the purchase.
- Focus on Benefits, Not Features
One frequently made mistake in sales copy is describing a product’s features and presenting them as benefits. To understand the problem with this approach, consider the difference between talking about a Ferrari in technical terms – maximum speed, horsepower, and acceleration from 0 to 100 mph – and describing the sensation of sitting in the comfortable leather chair, hearing the engine roar and enjoying the smooth ride in safety and style.
Do you sense the difference? The first description may stir up the enthusiasm and interest of a car engineer, but the second one will drive sales.
- Overcome Objections
It is only natural that people will have objections to a new product. Innovation is always accompanied by doubts and suspicions. It is important to think of all the objections a potential customer may have and to address each of them. These kinds of arguments should be based on expert testimonials, verifiable sources and quantifiable evidence as much as possible.
For example, Kindle Paperwhite ad copy includes the justifiable objection that in bright light the screen may cause glare and poor readability. The copy assures readers that the matte display does not cause this light effect and that users can read just as comfortably in bright and low light environments.
- Write for People, Not Search Engines
Last, but not least, do not place your SEO targets above readers. Yes, you need to include your keywords and phrases to make your text easy to rank by Google, but first and foremost it must be easy to understand by people. The top mistake to avoid is using awkward sentence constructions just to keep a SEO phrase intact. Whenever you have to make the choice, sacrifice strict form in favour of readability.
Remember that Google helps potential customers find products, but ultimately the writing style of the sales copy will determine the purchase. Thus, always re-read your text and try to ask yourself and give an honest answer: would you really buy the product if you were to base your judgment strictly on the sales copy?