The headline is what gets someone to read your copy in the first place.
It is by far and away THE most important element of your copy.
It is vital that you learn how to write a great headline so that people actually start reading your stuff.
Invest your time to come up with a great headline.
Split test your headlines to see which one works best.
People scan advertisements first, they don't read every word. Bullet points are highly effective at catching their attention, so use them.
Before writing anything, particularly if it is for your own business, you need to establish that a market exists for the product or service you will be writing about.
The best copy in the world will not sell something nobody wants.
You can't write effective copy until you know about your customer. Before you start writing, you need to know:
- Who you are writing for.
- How they think. Remember, people are usually thinking "What's in it for me?"
- What they want or need.
To write good copy, you need a thorough understanding of your audience, so that you can resonate with them, serve them effectively and fulfil their needs.
Whatever questions your customers are asking, these are the answers you need to provide in your sales copy. These questions are also the basis for potential new products.
Respect your customers, as people only buy from those who they respect.
Respect their intelligence. Whatever you do, don't talk down to them.
They are looking to you to solve a problem. You are serving them by solving it. You need the sale as much as they do.
The promise of value, the solving of problems, the reduction in risk and an emotional connection.
Creativity for creativity's sake does not sell product.
"Advertising's only purpose is to sell, there is absolutely no other use worth mentioning." Raymond Rubicam, ad man.
You need to direct the reader's imagination so that they visualise themselves in the state your product provides (e.g. having a successful business, being happier etc).
You need to describe the benefits a customer will get from your product, not the features of the product.
For example, do describe a benefit to sell broadband:
"Get our superfast broadband and stream HD video instantly with no lag or buffering".
... but don't just describe its features, which don't communicate the benefit:
"Still stuck with 20Mb broadband? Get our superfast 50Mb broadband service installed today!"
Work out what matters to customers, i.e. the benefits they are looking for, and then describe how your product will give them these benefits.
Lead with benefits, and list features later in the copy. The benefits sell the product and give the customer reasons to buy. The features allow the customer to understand the product and compare it against other products.
Stories are very engaging, so use them when you can.
Tell people directly what action you want them to take next.
E.g. do say:
Sign-up now for our marketing newsletter.
E.g. don't say:
If you want to learn more, then sign-up now for our informative marketing newsletter.
A Call To Action can be made even better if you give a good and specific reason as to why someone should do something.
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The purpose of your copy is to convince someone to buy your product, not to showcase your creative writing skills.
Keep focused on the writing techniques that help to make the sale. Don't be creative and flowery for the sake of it.
The more informative your copy, the more persuasive it will be.
The buyer will have questions in their head, so if you want them to buy, you need to answer them.
They want to know:
Why should I be interested in this product?
Why should I buy it from you?
Why should I buy it now instead of later?
Why is this a good deal?
Your copy needs to answer all of these questions in order for you to have a chance of a sale.
People buy with their emotional brain, not their logical brain. You need to invoke emotions in people to make them want to buy.
For example, Apple is good at creating beautifully designed laptops that look good and people want to buy. People respond emotionally, when logic might say you can buy a different more powerful laptop for less money.
Selling a product is about creating a scenario where people want what you have for sale emotionally.
You need to provide proof that your product works.
Use testimonials to increase credibility. These should be believable story based testimonials.
Don't use gushing testimonials as these seem fake even if they're not.
E.g. don't use:
"John is an amazing copywriter. I'm so happy I found him, he did such a great job."
Instead use a story and overcome objections:
"I wasn't sure about hiring John at first. I looked at his website and whilst his service looked good, his rates were at the top-end of my budget. However, the rewrite he did for my website doubled the number of my customer enquiries within the first month, and the enquiry rate has kept climbing since. I am glad I choose him and it's true ... you do get what you pay for."
Other ways to prove your product works include before-and-after photos, case studies and celebrity endorsements.
Play on scarcity to sell your product.
Use countdown copy, e.g. "At [time] on [date] you will be able to buy one of our [product] but we only have 100 available, first come first served."
Providing it's written well, long copy can and does work. People do read it all. E.g. a 6,500 word advertisement for selling stocks and bonds in The Wall Street Journal has done exceedingly well.
Use specific numbers rather than common numbers such as 100, a million etc. A specific number is more believable and convincing, and is interpreted as genuine.
E.g. do say:
"294 small businesses have hired us to do their online marketing and are experiencing excellent results"
E.g. don't say:
"Hundreds of small businesses have hired us to do their online marketing and are experiencing excellent results"
E.g. do say:
"The simple steps I took to increase my website subscription rate by 108.3%"
E.g. don't say:
"How I doubled my website subscription rate"
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