The Basics of Great Sales Copy

Writing Better Sales CopyFor most companies, sales copy is a critical tool in generating revenues. Effective sales copy is not simply a matter of describing what your company does or explaining how a product works. In order for sales copy to be effective, it has to be written in a certain way. Here are a few recommendations to keep in mind when your developing sales copy.

Write about your prospects

Don’t focus the copy on just the features and benefits of your product, write about your customers’ experiences using the product. If you have no customers yet, write about the expected results when prospects buy your product.  How will it make their lives better, easier, or more fulfilling? Think about how the use of your product will improve their social status, appearance, or daily routine. Write as if you are the reader – what would you want to know? This method of writing is called reader-centric and it focuses on producing copy that appeals directly to your audience.

Write about the benefits, not features

When you do insert copy about your product, think in terms of the benefits to your customers. Get some feedback from actual customers and reflect that feedback within the copy.

Although there are some consumers that are interested in the bells and whistles of your product. Most often, buyers want to know that they will receive certain benefits from purchasing the product. For example, writing copy about a car with a built-in touch screen navigation system should focus on the ease of finding locations while in transit or not having to handle and read a paper map.

Include proof when making claims

If your product provides solutions that are not available through competing products, make sure to provide proof of any claims that are made. For instance, the copy for a shampoo product that eliminates dandruff should explain that results were achieved during a testing phase.

Sales copywriters can get into trouble if proof of claims is not explicitly written in the sales copy for certain products. For example, products that address physical health must include disclaimers or evidence within the sales materials or risk a penalty from the Food and Drug Administration.

Include a call to action

Some products are sold using direct marketing copy and others rely on branding copy to create awareness. In either case it is important to include a call to action, a request (or command!) to perform some activity within a period of time. For example, inserting “learn more” following text about a product feature provides an immediate call to action for readers who would like more information.

It is important to include a deadline within a call to action when possible. An example might look like this: “Hurry! This offer ends on January 1st.” This gives the reader a precise date to act before losing out on a special offer. Sales copy does not need to be littered with “Buy Now” or “Don’t Delay” to be effective. Simply providing a written mechanism that engages the reader at a deeper level can produce results.

In the end, sales copy is judged on results. How many sales were completed? How many Web visitors were converted? Although writing sales copy is not rocket science, there is a craft to creating the right pitch that will get noticed and bring in buyers.

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