Having a great product is only half the battle when it comes to making a sale. You also need a convincing argument to your potential customer that yours is the best product available. You must sell the customer on your goods, and to do that you have to have great sales copy.
Sales copy is the wording you use to persuade a customer to do something, and in most cases that “something” is buying your product. Most companies concentrate on perfecting the content on their website first, and then move on to direct mail, email and other pitches. For any of these approaches, you need to have a solid plan for crafting your copy.
Here are five proven steps to creating copy that sells. Use these ideas to revamp your website’s sales copy and start moving more of your product.
Scope Out Other Sites
Is there a particular store or business that seems to sell with ease? What about a site whose business booms during even the worst of economic times? Their magic secret may be in their sales copy. Look over sites of companies that you admire and have bought from before. Think about what these sites have in common.
Maybe they have a great hook, an opening line that really reels you in. Or perhaps they make a terrific case for why their product is the best. Apple, for instance, is known for its bold messaging. It has established such a strong brand identity that it needs only a few words to get its message across. Think about the examples you find and decide if any of the approaches are worth adapting for your site.
Just as Apple has branded itself as the height of hip technology, you want your brand to be summed up in just a few words. That is what you’ll craft your sales copy around. Think of what is unique about your product. Say you sell organic pesticide to farmers—what does your business offer that the other pesticide retailers don’t?
Once you’ve figured that out, you want to use the right language to express yourself. One trick is to equate your product with a higher message. That might be the idea of health and happiness, if you’re in the fitness industry, or it could be environmental, depending on what you sell. People respond to “big ideas,” and by aligning yourself with an aspirational concept, you’re more likely to sell your product.
Be Short and to the Point
If you have dreams of some day writing the great American novel, good for you. But don’t play out your ambitions on your web site. Sales copy should rely on short, direct sentences. They might even be a little choppy. Though that use of language would make your seventh grade grammar teacher cringe, it’s more effective when it comes to selling.
You don’t want to overwhelm potential customers with too many words or ideas. You want to inspire them to take action. The best way to drive traffic to your site and turn those leads into sales is to be straightforward. Avoid flowery words. Make statements instead of asking questions. Have someone else read over your copy to make sure that you still cover all your bases with your spare style. Don’t be afraid to chop words.
Oh, and don’t use all capital letters or exclamation points. Nothing screams “I’m trying to sell you something” like excessive capitalization or punctuation.
Keep It Natural
Your sales copy should flow like a conversation. Remember, you are addressing real people, and you’re trying to make a connection that will spur them to take action. Treat them like people rather than potential buyers. This is especially true for business-to-business sales, where jargon can hijack your web copy and result in a confused customer.
Address concerns that you’ve heard from customers. Pretend that you’re writing an email to a friend, and use the words and phrases that you’d use with your friend in your sales copy. You’ll sound less stilted and less like you’re desperate to convince someone of something, one of the pitfalls of selling.
Write Great Headlines
Ever heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, a good headline is worth a thousand pictures. More people read headlines than read the copy underneath them, so it’s important that you write a killer headline to capture the attention of your potential customer and convince them to keep reading.
Avoid buzzwords in your headlines, as they don’t really mean anything. Concentrate on snappy words that promise big results. Headlines are a great place to quote your customers, too, because many of them have the same concerns and desires. Quoting them will humanize your sales pitch.
By using these tips, you can increase the effectiveness of your sales copy, and your sales will increase as a result.
Published: February 7, 2014