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.