Quality sales copy is crucial to your sales.
It’s what gets readers to take action.
Whether it is buying a product, digging for more about your solution, jumping on your email list, downloading a free report, or simply following you on a social network – everything hinges on your sales copy.
Effective sales copy must be engaging, credible, clear, concise, and persuasive.
It’s one of the most powerful marketing skills out there.
And over the course of this piece, I will give you 3 hefty sales copywriting approaches.
Do them right, and you’ll be spinning gold in no time.
Without further ado, let’s get started:
1. Hypnotize readers with a compelling story
In fact, telling stories is what sets us homo sapiens apart from other species. According to psychology today, stories are essential for human survival:
Stories help educate us. They shape our understanding of events.
They root us in an ongoing stream of history. Ultimately, helping us with our sense of belonging and establishing our identities.
Humans love sharing stories with one another. And stories are the best way to connect with a persona to build a relationship.
So storytelling must be a part of your marketing strategy too, right?
Given it’s such an effective way to relate with people 1-on-1, a good story is a crucial factor in terms of building relationships with your target audience.
Chances are, you’re not the only business offering your particular type of solution. You’ve got competition.
And even if you don’t work in an extremely competitive market, you still have to fight for the attention of your target audience.
Why the word ‘fight’?
Because every 60 seconds in 2017, people publish:
And all of that happens over and over again. Every minute. Every day.
As a marketer, your job is to cut through that huge noise and strike a human connection.
And again, one of the fastest ways to make a human connection is by sharing a compelling story.
In marketing, you’ll be doing a lot of storytelling with your content. So it’s essential to study the anatomy of a good story.
Marketing storytelling isn’t very different from literature storytelling.
You’ve got characters. You’ve got a perspective. You’ve got a conflict. And you’ve got a resolution.
Let’s go over these elements one by one, so you can understand them better.
Element #1: Characters
When crafting a story, first, you must consider the people involved.
Who is the story about? Who’s taking action? Who’s facing a problem that needs to be overcome.
In marketing stories, the main character of your story will often reflect your reader.
But for that to work, it’s important to know your reader. And how do you do that?
By creating detailed buyer personas. So what’s a buyer persona?
It’s basically a composite sketch of a certain segment of your audience. Based on a combination of raw data and education guesses about who your readers are.
It’s a way to visualize an individual person consuming your content and identify the best way to connect with them.
If you work in a big company that’s been doing marketing for a long time, you may already have some buyer personas to work with.
Here’s the creation process:
Each buyer persona will have a name. This is totally arbitrary but helps to picture them as real people.
The rest of the information will vary depending on what your business does. But here are some examples of data points you’d want to include:
Job title: What do they do? What’s their job description?
Salary: How much money do they make?
Age: How old are they?
Gender: Does your audience skew toward one gender or another?
Location: Are your prospects based in a single place or distributed?
Education: Are they college-educated? Do they have a common field of study?
Family: Are they single? Married? Do they have kids?
Hobbies: What do they like to do for fun?
Reading habits: Who do they turn to for information?
Goals: What are their ambitions? What do they want out of life?
Challenges: What problems are they facing? And how could you help solve them?
Values: What’s most important to them? And why?
Fears: What keeps them up at night? And what helps alleviate those fears?
While these are just examples, these are the kinds of things you’d want to know.
You must be wondering where all this information is coming from.
It’s a combination of raw data and educated guesses, and it can come from a variety of sources.
For example, you can look at your website analytics to see where your visitors are coming from, what keywords they use to find your site, how long they stayed, which links they clicked, and so on.
These can tell you a lot about the desires and motivations of your audience.
Element #2: Perspective
Next, you must consider your story’s perspective, which ties directly to your character.
It could be the first person, second person, or third person.
First-person: Here, your main character is the author. You use words like “me” and “I,” and your story generally comes from firsthand experiences.
This is ideal if you’re an expert on a topic, and you want to share tips, advice, and experiences – based on your unique background.
Second-person: This approach is more focused on your audience. You use words like “You” and “Your” – and your reader plays the lead role in your story.
It’s all about their circumstances, their challenges, and how they can solve their problems. The second person is rare in common literature. But in marketing, it’s very common. Because, again, your audience would often be the primary focus of your story.
And of course, we also have…
Third-person: This is where the main character of your story is a third party. Here, you mainly use pronouns like “He,” “She,” or “They.”
This is something you’re probably familiar with. Because most books are written in the third person.
However, it’s not quite as common in marketing. The reason? Because it’s generally not as personal.
However, one common use of the third person in marketing is a case study. Here, you tell the story of how a customer/client used your company to eradicate a problem, and highlight the results.
In this case, that particular customer is the main character.
Element #3: Conflict
Conflict is what makes a story – a story.
Any compelling story needs an element of conflict.
This can be a specific conflict between two or more characters, or even just a problem in the main character’s life that needs to be solved.
So when you’re creating a piece of content to help your reader do something, you want to frame it as a conflict – a problem that you can help them solve.
If there’s no conflict, there’s no story.
Element #4: Resolution
All stories need a resolution.
If you just present a conflict and end it there, your story will seem anti-climactic, and your reader won’t benefit from your content.
The resolution is the main conclusion, based on how the main character solved the problem.
So, if you’re writing in the first person, you’d be writing how you solved the problem.
In the second person, it’d be how the reader solved the problem.
And in the third person, it’d be how some third party solved a problem. Think case studies.
So now you know why stories are important, and you’re familiar with the core elements of a story.
Keep these in mind when approaching your content creation process.
2. Cash in on their emotion
As a copywriter, words are your weapon.
The more powerful and triggering your words, the more you sell.
You can stir their emotions with words and persuade them to believe in your product/service. Belief increases sales.
Decisions and purchasing behaviors are mostly driven by emotion. According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of people make purchasing decisions subconsciously:
So, if you’re considering cramming your copy with facts, figures, and stats, discard the thought. You need to input sentences that click with your customers.
Something they can relate to instantly.
You need to write to the people and problems instead of writing for SEO. Of course, technical writing and keywords are important, but that shouldn’t outweigh the significance of the user experience.
Fuel customers’ emotions and sprinkle empathy. Figure out what problems they’re facing and what are their solution preferences.
When you write to their problems, show empathy. Let them feel you understand what they’re going through. Highlight their problems and show them how it could affect them after a while.
Once they’re on the hook, sell your product as a solution. Tell them how your product could solve their problem effectively.
There are 6 types of basic emotions. Happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, anger, and surprise:
Image Source: Verywell Mind
One of the most powerful among this is fear. Using fear to sell products might be an easier option. Copy that increases fear gets customers anxious to see your product/service as the solution to overcome the fear.
Whichever product you’re selling, understand how the customers are feeling with the problem and without any appropriate solution.
What emotion could they possibly have about the problem? Is it fear, desire, or frustration?
Let’s see some examples:
Let’s say you’re selling a pet microchip. “Are you afraid that your furball might get lost in a new area? We got you. Use our microchip to ensure maximum safety.”
“Do you want to steer clear from the wrinkle phase and stay ever-glowing? We know you do. Hold your youth with our rejuvenating skincare line.”
“Are you frustrated about failed job interviews? We have just the deal for you. Try out our monthly course to establish your business. The first week is free for you.”
In every case, we picked up their insecurity and assured them of helping with our product or service.
To promote/sell your product, you must find out the underlying cause of the solution they’re looking for.
Explain your offer with honesty and clarity. No over-promising stuff. Your offer will let the readers decide if the rest of the article is worth reading.
Once they decide to continue reading, it’s time for more persuasion.
Since there are a lot of over-promising, not-so-true claims, your readers will often have their guard on while reading your copy. You need to slowly take the guard off by asking the right questions.
Questions that get answered yes – all of them. That will make them feel understood, and they’ll put their guard down and be ready to read more.
Ask as many questions as possible to reveal more details and features of your product. Don’t leave them unanswered. That’ll only resist them from taking your offer.
Instead of telling them about the features of your product, tell them the benefit they’ll get from the features.
Like, instead of saying:
“Do you want to buy our super-fast race shoes?”
“Want running shoes to win the race? We’ve got you covered.”
See the difference?
Here, you’re fishing the right emotion, feeling it, and selling the benefits.
3. Do ground-breaking research
To unlock effective copywriting, research is the key.
Thorough research will lead you to the way of a successful sale. It’s the main element to produce engaging and motivating copy for consumers.
You can’t execute effective sales copy without deep research. You need to research your prospect, product, and a competitor to write a well versed, compelling, and detailed piece of copy. Proper research will give you knowledge about these three things.
To offer more than enough information for your customers, you need to know their expectations. When you do detailed research on your customer’s demands, you understand their needs completely.
You know what to offer them or what benefit will draw them in to make the call. This will even help you identify your potential customers.
Using the research, you’ll be able to carve out your offer according to your customer’s needs that resonate with them.
Instead of just sticking to the sale-sy mindset, put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and write persuasively.
Think about the benefits you’d want from the product and how you’d want it to be put in sales copy. That’ll give you an insight into what you need to put in your sales copy that will convey the right message and fetch you the sale that you’ve been dreaming of.
After gathering information about your customers, it’s time to study the product. You must find out every detail possible, no matter how trivial.
Every feature of the product will become a bridge to connect to the customer’s needs.
More and better research will give you more details to work with. You need to translate each feature into a benefit and each benefit into a story to draw your prospect’s attention from different angles.
Tell your customer in detail what the product does and how it could solve their problem.
Product research gathers specific information and characteristics of a particular product. This information allows companies to understand the customer’s demands better and improve or upgrade the product accordingly. Doing surveys will be a great initiative to play with new product ideas.
Now, you can’t just pick the description of the product and present it wrapped to your customer. You need to point out each potential benefit the product has to offer. Also, let them know how many extra ways they’ll benefit using your product besides just solving their problem.
Researching products is one of the inevitable steps.
Finally – research your competitors. You and your competitors are supposed to have a common objective – satisfying the customer’s needs.
Keep tabs on your competitor’s products. To help you with your research, answer questions like:
- What new products have they launched?
- What problems are they solving?
- What are their shortcomings?
- What’s their price range?
- What are their benefits?
- What are the features?
And so on.
Doing this will give you a few points to highlight in your copy in a competitive way.
It could be anything like longer shelf life, more savings, free servicing, or better customer care service. When you know their weaknesses, you’ll be able to lay your strengths against them.
That’ll help your customer see why your product is a better option. Ensure you point out the weakness and benefits clearly, and it should be able to shake your customer’s perception and encourage them to buy yours.
You just can’t make information up out of thin air. You need to put some solid material in it to work effectively.
So use Google and Google scholar as much as you can. Go join industry Facebook groups to understand the audience. Study the proven copy of the industry. Make a vault of quality sales copy, and you’re well on your way.
If you want to learn more about research, I will leave you with rockstar copywriter Joel Klettke.
There you are.
Armed with the top three most powerful sales copywriting approaches.
If done properly, these methods can impact your marketing and sales big time. Even small tweaks can lead to huge rewards.
So make good use of them.