Turbo-Charge Your Sales Copy: Copywriting 101
The quality of your sales copy can make you or break
you—it’s that simple.
It’s that important!
In fact, it’s an enormous element in securing your
overall success—whether you are preparing content for a website
or for an advertising campaign.
That’s why you need to be well acquainted with the “Big
Three:” writing, editing, and proofreading.
You don’t have to be a writer yourself to produce great sales
copy, but you should understand the underlying structure of it
in order to manage the process of having it written for you.
To this end, I’ve prepared a 5-Step Shortlist loaded with
tips and strategies for turbo-charging your sales copy.
It’s filled with examples of what works and what
doesn’t—so let’s get started!
Copywriting 101: The
1. Always write to a
specific target audience.
Do your homework and carefully study the nature of your target
everything you can about them—not just who they are, but also
what it is that makes them who they are.
Then you can place them into target-audience categories
and craft effective sales copy that will appeal to each group.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Are they male or female?
How old are they?
Are they married or single?
Do they have children?
Where do they live?
What level of education have they attained?
What do they do for a living?
What are their lifestyles?
What are their interests?
What problems do they face?
And so on, until you have built your profiles.
Understanding your different target audience groups is the first
step to understanding what barriers there may be to their buying
from you. Once you
understand these potential barriers (called “objections” in
sales language), you can work to overcome the objections and
lead them to a buying decision.
turbo-charge that sales copy!
You need a real winner here—a headline or lead-in that gives
your visitor a valid, enticing, and powerful reason to believe
that you are going to provide them with
exactly what they
want. You have the
answer to their problem—and it’s right there in front of them!
So that it’s easy to discern the differences, let’s start with
the less effective approaches that many people take when writing
their headlines. Here’s
how to write a truly limp headline for your weight loss product:
“How to Lose Weight with EZ Way Weight-Loss”
“Lose Weight the Easy Way with EZ Way Weight-Loss”
These headlines contain your branding, but not much else—and
they violate the rule of “WIIFM.”
That’s the rule of always sticking to “What’s in It for
Me?” which places the customer first, not the
Customers always want to know up-front what’s in it for them.
It’s only about you and your product
they’ve determined there’s something in if for them.
I cannot emphasize this enough—it’s the cardinal rule of
marketing—never to be violated!
And writing effective sales copy is nothing but
marketing, editing, and proofreading to perfection.
So, let’s go back to the concept of creating attention-grabbing
extend this weight-loss headline idea a little further—to create
a more effective lead-in than the first two examples.
Here’s the next possibility:
“Lose weight the easy way
still enjoy three meals a day with
EZ Way Weight-Loss.”
Still a bit limp, don’t you think?
Okay, let’s make it more powerful and more personal—with
more WIIFM in it:
“Have the body you want by discovering our secret to fat-burning
ours is a revolutionary way to shed pounds the easy
Get started now
with EZ Way Weight-Loss.”
Can you see the difference?
Of course you can!
This last headline solves the problem your visitor wants
customer-centric—it talks about
them. It puts you on
their side because you obviously understand what they want.
You may think that there are too many words in this headline,
but each word carries real meaning and contains the powerful,
personal, and emotional language you need to draw your visitors
3. Discuss benefits,
benefits, benefits—not product
The other thing you may notice about this last headline is that
it is rich in customer
benefits, not product
It’s critical to good copywriting that you know the difference
and can separate the two.
The benefits are the WIIFM elements.
The features are the particular properties of your
product—how it works, why it works, how it’s constructed,
research backing it up—that kind of thing.
Your potential customers primarily want to know what your
product will do for them personally, so always focus on the
Product features come next, after you’ve hooked them on the
Here are a few more examples of headlines so you can more easily
distinguish between those that are benefit-oriented and those
that are feature-oriented:
“Our revolutionary slimming system is backed by years of
“Amaze your friends with your new fat-burning system.”
(notice this one also offers them “ownership” by employing the
“Our weight loss system has been scientifically tested
and proven to produce results within one month.”
“Lose weight fast the natural, easy way—with super
Note: If you find
yourself struggling with features and benefits, then always try
and put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes and ask
yourself, “What do I hope to achieve by buying this product?”
4. Create a sense
of urgency—it’ll activate sales.
Once they have seen your advertising or visited your website,
many potential customers may be impressed, but still not be able
to pull the trigger and make the purchase.
Precisely because the internet offers such choice, they
may decide to continue to look around and compare products
If this happens, you may lose the sale.
So, obviously, you need to give them a reason not to go
anywhere else. This
is where special offers and discounts come in.
They inject urgency into the equation.
You can use a time-restricted special offer or give away
something free—sometimes absolutely free or sometimes dependent
upon the size of the order.
People love to think they are getting something for nothing or
something exclusive, so motivate them to stay with you with
something irresistible like:
“Order NOW and we will
give you an extra week’s supply absolutely
But it’s only if you order before midnight July the
31st—so don’t hesitate another minute!”
(And then keep your date deadline very tight and updated
credibility and trust.
Can you be trusted to tell the truth when web users know that
the possibility of getting ripped off definitely exists?
You need to establish your legitimacy early on in order
to hold your visitors and convert them into customers.
So what can you do to prove you can be trusted and that
you’ll follow through—that yours are not just empty claims?
Here are the tried and true methods for establishing trust and
Use real-life, real-people testimonials with their names
Guarantee your product or service.
Add personal touches about yourself, such as your photo and
a brief life story (it can’t be a snoozer, though—make it
relevant and interesting).
State a response time within which you will respond to
So, there you go...an experienced editor’s 5-Step Shortlist for
turbo-charging your sales copy.
A shortlist is not a
short cut, however,
because expert writing, editing, and proofreading are still the
three essential elements in writing really compelling sales
copy, sales copy that turbo-charges sales.
Denver Business Editor | Boulder Business Editor