7 Secrets to Good Sales Copy

by Alex on September 1, 2010 · 25 comments

7 secrets to good sales copy

As much as I would love to think that you are reading this sentence because you saw that the post was written by me and you went ‘ oh totally wicked  dude– I love Alex’s stuff’ I know this is not the case. 1:) because you are not a Ninja Turtle (really, does anyone speak like that?), and 2:) because the reason you are actually reading this is to do with the first secret of good sales copy.

Copywriting is a billion dollar business, and there are thousands of books written on the subject, so it goes without saying that understanding and implementing at least the basics is critical to your marketing success. The Guru’s have turned it into unethical trash, but whether you like it or not – good sales copy is something you are going to have to implement. So let’s look at the six (seven?) elements or ‘secrets’ that make up a well written piece of copy.

Sales Copy Secret 1: People buy for emotional reasons, not logical ones

When you saw the post title you immediately thought of all the ways you might possible profit from reading this information, so it aroused your sense of Greed, and perhaps laziness. As much as you would like to think that the reason you are reading this is because of the logical education you were going to receive, you are very much mistaken. Remember, when you are writing your sales copy – trigger this emotion, because then you will have the reader thinking not about the product or the service but about the ‘what’s in it for me’ aspect.

Sales Copy Secret 2: Help the reader picture EVERYTHING

No matter how powerful your emotional trigger, pretty soon logic is going to come to the party – and that’s where the power of imagery comes into the copy. It is not enough to simply make a promise in your copy, you need to help the reader picture it in their minds. You have to help them see it and feel it, and a good copywriter will have you believing that you can taste it too – because then you will allow the logic to subside again. It’s not that logic is a bad thing, not at all – it’s just that logic is best friends with skepticism, and if you let them in – pretty soon there will be a hundred reasons to not believe a word you are saying.

Just think of the last commercial you saw for any new car. Lots of luxury, happy scenes and scantily clad men and women, groovy music and funky sets. I think I saw a car in one of the scenes, but then it could have been a passing bus?  Does any of this have anything to do with cars??! No, but it sure as hell helps sell them! Help your reader picture the awesomeness about your product or service – don’t just tell them about it.

Good copy should make the promise of what your product or service can do a reality that the reader can picture and apply to their own circumstance

Sales Copy Secret 3:  Now apply the logical proof

Logic has to enter the fray at some point. No one makes a decision from start to end without ever applying logic (OK I just thought of every woman I have ever known in a shoe store and realised my statement is simply not true, but for the sake of argument –it is!) The difference here though, and the secret to Good sales copy is in the ability to give logical reasons to help justify the emotional decisions they are making.

This is where you can combine good copy with Testimonials, real world examples, and stories of success that they can relate to. Stories that combine to provide a logical reason for acting on the emotional decision you are already helping them make basically.

Sales Copy Secret 4: You need one primary USP (Unique Selling Point)

No matter how good your copy is, if you are not focusing on that one unique selling point that sets it apart from every other product/service around then you are wasting your time. As important as it is to have a defined USP on your blog, it is ten times more so in your copy. Here’s some classic USP’s for you to play a game with, chances are you will know ALL of the brands that they belong to.

  • Don’t leave home without it
  • The Milk Chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand
  • Sheer Driving Pleasure
  • Let your fingers do the walking

See how powerful a Unique Selling Point is?

Sales Copy Secret 5: Get Specific and end with a call to action

The Call to Action is a term synonymous with marketing, but now with blogging too because it is all about getting your reader to do something, whether subscribe, buy, click, comment, whatever the case may be. In the world of good copy this is especially true, but it is also important that we get specific as well.

You have led your reader on a journey, promising them the answer, and helping them to see how well it will apply to their current situation, so now it is time to close the deal with a specific call to action. The most common specific call to action used is the timely offer, with the sense of urgency being the action trigger, but it is not about necessarily misleading the reader. A specific offer like the discount if you buy it now, or the introduction of bonus materials are also triggers that can help call a prospective buyer to action.

It’s funny, as I wrote this I kept thinking of examples and the only ones that came to mind where those misleading product launches that the Gurus release which are, in my mind borderline unethical. That is indeed Effective Sales Copy, but it is not necessarily good. Keep this in mind when you are drafting your next sales letter.

Sales Copy Secret 6: Give them an exit strategy

Known in copywriting as the Riskreversal this is the all important Money Back Guarantee. Offered almost everywhere now, and paid out almost nowhere I might add – this is an integral part of good sales copy, giving the reader the (apparent) peace of mind that all will be OK, no matter what happens.

OK, so there is no sales copy secret 7, but for some reason EVERYTHING in internet marketing either starts with or ends in a 7, maybe it’s psychological – I’m not too sure, but I’m jumping on the bandwagon anyway.

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Abhishek-seekersfind.com September 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Hi Alex

This is awesome post really teaches a lot.It has helped me with new points.I will surely work on them :D

Thanks For Sharing THis Great Post
Abhishek-seekersfind.com´s last blog post ..Best SEO Tips And Techniques For Blogger

Alex September 2, 2010 at 1:26 am


Awesome man, thanks for the great comments – glad you found value in the post my friend
Alex@nichesitemarketing´s last blog post ..What everybody ought to know about working from home

Onibalusi Bamidele September 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Really great post Alex,

You’re absolutely right, picturing everything for the readers is one great way to get more sales. I have read some great sales page that make me feel as if I am already using the product, it compels me to buy than other type of sales page.

Thanks so much for the great post,
Onibalusi Bamidele´s last blog post ..8 Blogging Lessons from My 8 Months of Blogging Experience

Alex September 2, 2010 at 1:27 am

Hey Oni!

Thanks for the support man!
I love your analysis – helps us see exactly why imagery is so powerful!

Awesome man
Alex@keywordresearchtips´s last blog post ..Bucs Hold On To Beat Jags In NFL Preseason Contest

David September 1, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Hi Alex

Really interesting post. I think the only thing I would change is instead of “Sales Copy Secret 2: Help the reader picture EVERYTHING” I would make it “Help the reader FEEL Everything”, to make it a full emotional attachment.
David´s last blog post ..27- Big News – The Plan Is Being Rewritten… Please Give Your Feedback!

Alex September 2, 2010 at 3:20 am

Oooh, awesome point David!

Thanks for the comment man, (now stop making me look bad :) )
Alex@nichesitemarketing´s last blog post ..What everybody ought to know about working from home

David Bain September 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I’m sure I could never do that :)
David Bain´s last blog post ..27- Big News – The Plan Is Being Rewritten… Please Give Your Feedback!

Wayne Howard September 2, 2010 at 12:20 am

I always wondered what exactly CopyWriting was but never researched it. You are right when you say that a lot of “Gurus” use these techniques to scam people. But hey, if it works that just proves how solid it is.
Wayne Howard´s last blog post ..Reader Spotlight 1

Alex September 2, 2010 at 1:28 am

Thats true -as sad as it is.
I think you need to have no morals if you want to make it big in that arena :)

Tia Peterson September 2, 2010 at 6:42 am

Alex, your post titles are always sneaky.

For me, the secret to good sales copy is to make it such that your intended reader can completely relate to whatever it is you’ve written. An acne sufferer should not come away from an ad about acne medication thinking, ‘but how can that help ME?’ because that’s the entire point of writing sales copy.

It’s the same even with blogging. Bloggers who try to cast too wide a net will find themselves actually catching no one. Instead, we should focus on a group we can work with so that what we have to say is totally in line with them. It’s smaller – it’s not the whole world – but it is much more doable.
Tia Peterson´s last blog post ..Two Must-Have Plugins to Make the Most of First Time Comments

Rahul September 2, 2010 at 7:11 am

Yeah…. USP is the most important thing dude :)

Nice article
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James King September 2, 2010 at 10:57 am

Hi Alex,

Excellent post. I couldn’t agree more, people like to buy for emotional reasons. It’s comfort spending. You may buy a health DVD and never use it. Still, it is a sale. The main purpose of comfort is there.

Ryan Biddulph September 2, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Hi Alex,

Thanks for sharing the helpful ad copy breakdown.

Focus on the fact that people are emotional creatures and it becomes easier to tap into these emotions with your copy. Force negates: spare the CAPS and !!!!! and rely on cleverness and creativity instead.

Ryan Biddulph
Ryan Biddulph´s last blog post ..Which Home Based Opportunity Type Are You

Dennis Edell September 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm

The CTA – call to action is where so many simply fall flat. Either they forget, or feel bad for some reasons for “pushing”.
Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog post ..Welcome To The All New DennisEdellcom!

Steve September 4, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Your initial supposition was wrong, I did start reading because I thought, “oh totally wicked dude– I love Alex’s stuff’

It is like you are a mind reader!

I like your 7 reasons. It is an advanced version of AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)

Appealing to emotion and then subsequently filling a need is a sure way to get peoples attention and hopefully funnel them to the decision you want.
Steve´s last blog post ..Get to Know Yourself!

Alex October 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I likethat breakdown/translation Steve.
Not heard of that one before – BUT I like it!
Alex@keyword winner´s last blog post ..By- wp-popularcom » Blog Archive » Keyword Winner SEO Plug-in

How To Attract New Customers September 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm

When writing good copy, be sure and position your business as the “obvious solution” in the mind of a prospect!

Once you’ve done this prospects will be afraid of doing business with any of your competitors – even if your competitors have been dominating your market for the last 20-years or more!

How To Attract New Customers September 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Insanely, most web sites are designed to produce the least possible sales.

Heck, most web sites never even get visited. And if they do get visited they are so TERRIBLE and BORING that the majority of people “selling” on the Internet are… committing online suicide.

How tragic and what a waste!

Yet the Internet really does offer an opportunity unprecedented in the history of mankind. Thankfully, there are some fundamental principles to marketing online that have been proven to consistently and dependably work over and over again. That’s what you are going to learn about when we share our information with each other.

How To Attract New Customers September 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I really can’t help myself on this subject….I understand great copy. I’m also working underneath one of the top copywriters on the web. I don’t want to give his name away–but his writing will make you a superstar.

He and I are joint venturing on some projects–and he’s taught me so much about compelling copy. His style of writing makes you throw your wallet at him.
Anyway, I love this subject. Maybe I can guest post someday.
Thanks for reading,

How To Attract New Customers October 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm

How sweet and true your words are…..

It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is… If you can’t write a sales message that persuades people to buy it… you will fail online!

Keep up the great post.

Donald Brownlie Fleming October 24, 2010 at 2:53 am

Great article you got here.

There has been a tremendous amount of styles and techniques in Sales out there and it really takes a lot of creativity and patience to be able to sell. An effective sales person always equals to lot of sales and success.
I know an ebook that has really given me great tips and technique in Sales or Selling. It has great positive effects on my career. I thought I’d share it with you, it is a Performance Sales Ebook by Donald Brownlie Fleming.
Anyways, if you are interested, you can visit his blog:

Alex October 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

His blog, is your blog, and YOUR blog is not ready.
Why link to it?

Donald – you need to be prepared brother duck :)
Alex@keyword research plugin´s last blog post ..By- wp-popularcom » Blog Archive » Keyword Winner SEO Plug-in

Credit Card Loan October 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm

A very valuable post of yours. I’ve learned many things here, for me you can get it through once you have your USP. For this one is a very important matter and the others as well. By the way, I like your 7 thing.
Credit Card Loan´s last blog post ..People Think That Credit Cards are Dangerous

Alex October 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm

hhahaha awesome, thanks CC LOan dude
Alex@keyword winner´s last blog post ..By- wp-popularcom » Blog Archive » Keyword Winner SEO Plug-in

Odessa March 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Everyone loves it when individuals get together and share ideas.
Great site, stick with it!

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