“Sales copy” is not a dirty word – you just need to think of it more as effective copywriting!
For some reason whenever I ask new writers to write some ‘sales copy’ they get all nervous and say they can’t write like that. Maybe they think I want them to write in some kind of foreign language they’ve never written before.
And whilst this is partially true :), if they could just reframe their old ideas about ‘sales copywriting’ into something more meaningful like effective copywriting, they might soon realise it really isn’t as scary as some might think.
Let me explain…
Yes it is true that writing sales copy is different to writing brochure copy, or writing fiction where you have the freedom to just write things in a relaxed casual way.
However with a few key points you can write sales copy like pro!
The main thing to remember is that the reader is not reading what you have to say because they want to cuddle up to a good book. On the contrary – usually what we’re asking them to read is an interruption to their day.
They’re busy, they don’t have time and you really have to get to the point.
Think for a minute about a newspaper. This is a medium where people pay to read the content. They “choose” to read. But readers will still only skim headlines and look at the photos until they see something that interests them. Even when they pay to read, they won’t read everything.
So no matter whether you write for a newspaper or you write content for a website or a sales letter, you need to be conscious how people are going to interact with your content.
So how is sales copywriting the same as effective copywriting?
Use Effective Copywriting To Write Sales Copy
On a website, a direct mail piece or a sales letter we have a much more challenging task.
But the challenge doesn’t mean effective copywriting is challenging. It just means you need to look at your words a little differently.
Effective Copywriting – WIIFM
No matter how busy people are – they always have their ‘self interest radio station’ tuned in to WIIFM – an acronym for ‘Whats In It For Me’.
It’s important we know that and we tune our words into that frequency when we write.
We need to tell people how they will benefit, what they will get, how good they will feel, what this will do for them etc. The language and tone should all be focused on YOU (the reader) not I or We (the seller). So anything that is written with ‘I do this’ or ‘We do that’ should be simply re-ordered to reflect a language that is more about You’ll or You.
One way to do that is each time you get to a ‘me’ or ‘I’ statement, simply ask yourself ‘so what’?
For example this might be what you had:
“We take meticulous care when laying your grass”
It’s certainly a positive statement and yes that’s great to say, but when you apply the ‘so what’ question to that statement, it makes you think of the benefit, rather than the feature. When you figure out the benefit, simply add that to the front of the sentence.
By adding the benefit at the start, the sentence might now become:
“You’ll enjoy longer lasting grass with much less maintenance due to our meticulous care laying your grass”.
Can you see the difference?
The latter is more ‘sales focused’ because it focuses on the benefit. Effective copywriting simply considers a ‘so what’ and focuses on the customer self interest radio station WIIFM to hold their attention.
Now that you understand that principal, take another look at how you can change your words to include effective copywriting techniques.
You’re guaranteed to finish with more effective copy that draws people in and keeps them reading right to the very last word.
Good luck with your next piece of copy.
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