Published by Patrick on 15 Jun 2008 at 11:35 am
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If you’ve spent any time in internet marketing circles, you know the importance of killer sales copy. You’ve received the emails describing some incredible product and telling you how much better your life will be once you’ve purchased it. On a few occasions, you’ve probably clicked through to the website where the process starts all over again, explaining the superiority of the product, listing all the valuable features and offering dozens of glowing testimonials.
The objective, of course, is to sell the product and the art of writing killer sales copy has become a science. In fact, every aspect of this process has been tested and optimized by seasoned internet marketers and a clear process has emerged as the leader. It’s a motivating sales sequence that has consistently tested higher than other approaches. And the best part is that even if you’re not a great writer, you can follow the sequence and see real results just by following the sequence. Let’s take a look.
Step 1: Get their attention.
The beginning of your copy needs to capture the attention of your audience. There are a variety of ways you can do this but here are a few ideas. You could ask a provocative question. You could make a shocking statement that appears unbelievable at first glance. Or you could simply make a very specific statement. People love specifics. Quite often, including a specific number (like a percentage of statistic of some kind) will dramatically improve the conversion.
Step 2: Identify the problem or need.
Now, don’t just talk about the problem in isolation. Talk about it as it relates to the person. Always address the prospect, not your product. Describe the problem and how it affects a person’s life. If your readers experience those problems themselves, they’ll keep reading. They’ll identify with what you’re writing. The more detail, the better. Present the problem front and center, so you can almost touch it. You might even magnify the problem by describing what might happen if the problem isn’t corrected.
Step 3: Position your product as the solution.
This is where the selling begins. Explain how your product solves the problem. Specifically. Tell them exactly what your product does to alleviate their pain. Stress the benefits they receive by having your product at hand. Don’t focus on your product’s features. No. Focus on the benefits. Even go a step further and describe the emotions your readers will feel when they have your product and have a way to eliminate the problem from their lives.
Step 4: Differentiate yourself from the competition.
What makes you better? What makes you different? This is where you need to present your unique selling proposition (USP) and explain the importance of your differentiating features. Don’t be shy – about your product OR your competitors. Address them by name. Be specific. Tell your readers exactly who your competitors are and why your product is a better choice. A lot of people don’t want to name their competitors by name. Don’t worry about it. Your readers are thinking about them anyway so you might as well step up and address the issue head-on.
Step 5: Establish credibility and build value.
This is where you justify yourself. Tell them about your experience and describe all your guarantees. Build value into your product by describing other products that do the same thing but are priced higher. Talk about the financial impact of the product; how much money it could save the reader. If a product could save your thousands but only costs $149, that’s a good deal. If you offer a no-questions-asked 100% guarantee, that lowers the risk for the buyer. And if you’ve been doing this for 16 years, you must know what you’re doing.
Step 6: Provide proof (statistics & testimonials).
Bring out the big guns! Tell them about the awards you’ve won. Give them statistics of how your product has preformed. Get as specific as possible, describing your product’s advantages in tested mathematical terms. That all represents factual proof. But human proof is often even more powerful. List a bunch of testimonials. Include photos of the people if possible. Photos dramatically increase the trust factor for readers. Even include links to the websites of those same people. For many, it’s the testimonials that end up closing the sale.
Step 7: Close with a call-to-action.
Tell them what to do. Your readers are in the submissive position. They are receiving your information. That’s not an empowering place to be. Give them direction. Tell them how to take action. They will rarely do so on their own. They’re looking for direction. That’s why they’ve read through your entire sales sequence. They’re still reading. That means they’re interested. So step up and tell them what to do next. You’re doing them a favor. If they’re interested, that means they have the problem your product solves. So give them the direction they need to take that last step. Without those final instructions, all your efforts are wasted.
Effective sales copy is at the center of internet marketing. In most cases, your readers are by themselves when they receive your email or visit your website. That means they’re making the purchase decision all by themselves. Your sales copy has to lead them through that process. It has to give them the information they need to justify the purchase. And if you’re truly confident in your product, your customers will be thrilled once they receive it.