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12 Quick Tips to Better Sales Copy

Sales copy can be used to increase conversions on your text ads, landing pages, emails and more. Here are 12 simple steps to improve your copy, fast.

1) Focus your energy on a headline—not all copy is created equally, and the headline will determine whether the vast majority of readers will continue reading.

2) Emphasize a main selling position—try to focus on one principal benefit that your product or service provides, especially in a headline or short text ad. In a longer text ad you can list multiple benefits, but make sure that one message remains primary throughout. Offering more than one option can cause confusion or distract from the chief benefit.

3) Translate all features into benefits—Customers don’t care about the exciting and innovative features your product has, they care about how those features will benefit them. Think about ways to turn your features and advantages to a personal benefit. For example, don’t just claim your service is fast, say it will save time.

4) Write conversationally—remember that you’re speaking to human beings. You should sound intelligent but not pretentious, and avoid obscure words. Remain personable, as if you’re giving advice to a friend.

5) Avoid exclamation marks or all capitals—All-caps text actually slows down the reader (since they are not used to reading capitals as much as lower case), and adding exclamation marks looks like you’re overcompensating for a mediocre product with loud advertising.

6) Make text readable—no matter how good it is, people won’t get through your copy if it’s difficult to read. Here are a few rules of thumb:

  • Avoid font smaller than 14px
  • Write short paragraphs, no more than 3 or 4 short sentences
  • Use lots of sub-headlines
  • Break up text with images
  • Make sure the text and the background have a clear color contrast

7) Tap into people’s innate fears and desires—good copy really digs into people’s psyche, and touches on their most primal concerns. At a deeper level, people want money, they want to be attractive, they want to be healthy and they want people to like them. On the flip side, they fear pain and loneliness. So, for example, if you want to entice people to go to the dentist, rather than simply saying “fill in your cavities before it’s too late,” try an approach like “avoid the pain of the drill” or “get the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.” These may incite a more emotional response, because they touch on the reader’s more primal worries and wishes.

8) Emulate competition—you should never directly copy a competitor, but analyzing their successful landing pages and sales copy can be extremely helpful. You can use a site like ClickBank to access the more successful sales pages of your competitors. Take note of the buzzwords, offers, approaches that have worked for them.

9) Use real testimonials—testimonials have been proven to increase conversions, but if they seem fake their effect can be neutral, if not negative. Get real testimonials from real people, and use real faces and names if the customers are comfortable with that (even it’s only their first name).

10) Be concise, but don’t leave out key benefits— the majority of people won’t read the entire body copy, but the small percentage of people who are actually interested in your product will. Make sure you paint a full picture for them; they want to understand everything they will be getting.

11) Add urgency—Let’s say a reader likes your product but can’t spare the money now, what are the chances he or she will remember it later and loop back around to buy? The chances are extremely low; if customers are interested, you want them to purchase now. Add urgency through approaches like a “limited time offer” or “20% discount until Sunday.”

12) Assure readers—customers want to feel 100% reassured that the product or service will fulfill their needs as advertised. Offer some information about your track record of success (actual results, percentages or your amount of years in the field, etc.). If possible, give a money-back guarantee, and highlight it clearly.

Article by Rochelle Bailis