“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.” – Joseph Pulitzer
Keep your sales copy lean and mean. Trim it down. Cut away the fat. Get rid of any fog that creeps into your writing.
Don’t write the same boring, cheesy sales letters that thousands of mediocre Internet marketers churn out by the minute. Stay in touch with the desires and needs of others.
Keep these basic guidelines in mind whenever you write sales copy:
- State your purpose in the first sentence. Even better, put it in a boldface headline above the body of the sales letter.
- Write direct, clear, conversational sentences.
- Keep your paragraphs short. Long, unbroken paragraphs are the hardest kind of copy to read. Bullets and sub-headings keep the text flowing. Short paragraphs are easier to scan for information.
- Be merciless with your delete key. Eliminate everything that’s not central to the main thrust of the letter.
- Turn down the volume. The soft sell works better on the Internet. Engage your reader’s senses—customers can relate to that kind of writing.
- Keep the letter short. The shorter the letter, the greater the chance that someone will actually read it.
When you get stuck, ask yourself how you would say it so your best friend would immediately grasp your point. With practice, this simple technique will solve every writing obstacle you run into.
Focus on the benefits selling
The Internet reduces your window of opportunity to only a few seconds. An effective sales letter focuses on benefits. Ineffective sales letters spend too much time talking about the features and advantages of a product or service.
A sales letter on your website must grab the visitor’s attention from the first line. If visitors are distracted or frustrated in the first 5 to 10 seconds after arriving at your sales page, the vast majority will abandon your site with no intention of returning.
That’s why your sales letter must focus on benefit selling. Start your letter by talking about the benefits customers will get by buying your product or service. Control the urge to demonstrate your expert knowledge of the product’s features and advantages in every line of your sales copy. Your sales letter is not the place to do this. It’s not about you—it’s all about the customer. Your customers only want to know how your product is going to solve their problem.
Make sure your copy focuses on how your product is going to improve the lives of your customers. The only reason to go into detail about features and advantages in a sales letter is when it helps customers get a clearer picture of how your product is going to make their lives better.
The easiest way to shift your focus away from what you say and do—and onto what customers want—is by shifting the focus of the words you use. Instead of talking about I and mine, talk about you and yours. By consciously focusing on the words you use, you’ll be able to write more powerful, customer-oriented sales copy that immediately engages visitors in the sales dialogue.
Converting prospects into buyers is the key to business success, whether you make your sales presentation in a conference room or over the Internet. When you make a sales presentation on the Web, your sales letter is your salesperson. Improving your sales letter is the first step to increasing your Internet sales. A sales letter that turns visitors into buyers must do the following:
- Captivate the visitor’s attention with a dynamic headline.
- Guide visitors through the sales process by showing them how your solution is connected to their problem.
- Raise their desire to a peak by showing them how your product will improve their lives.
- Make it easy for visitors to take action and satisfy their desire by buying your product or service.
The power of persuasion
“If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words.”
Writing is not something you do in addition to selling. Writing is selling. Every letter that goes out over your name is a potential sales letter. Successful sales people are like hypnotists. They use the power of suggestion to persuade customers to buy.
I don’t believe that hypnotism exists, but I know that a sales message is more convincing when it speaks to our emotions—to our hopes and desires for a better life. Here are 5 ways to put the power of persuasion to work in all your sales copy:
- Deliver your message with conviction.
- When you explain the benefits of your product or service, use different languages to reach different types of customers.
- Establish and maintain rapport. Always be positive.
- Guide your customers’ thought processes. Anticipate objections.
- Use compelling stories to get your message across and convince customers.