Killer Sales Copy Is the Lifeblood of Your Business
Don’t Try to Market Your Company Without It
By John S. Cohoat
Where I spend a lot of my time and get the most kicks is helping a client with developing sales copy. And, I find it amazing how little attention most businesses give to the words you use to sell your products and services. Many don’t even know what I mean by “sales copy”, and they just blindly put together ads, web sites, emails and mail campaigns mostly using words prepared by vendors or advertising agencies. Some understand that there is something to be said for “direct response” copywriting, but they dive in and do it themselves or copy something from other direct response ads. Oh, and then there’s that guy who got A’s in high school because he could write good term papers and his English/grammar is perfect. He assumes he’s a great copywriter, too.
Well, I’m here to tell you that copywriting is a real art. I’ve been studying direct response copywriting from some of the masters like Gary Halbert, John Carlton, Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer and others for over 15 years. While I get better all the time, I know that there is constant learning and studying to get to the top of the copywriter’s mountain.
But, another point is this… you should know the basics of copywriting, even if you don’t want to write a word. Just so you know how to evaluate what you are putting out there and whether it really has the element to put your products and services in the best light. So, here’s a quick list I use with my clients and when I evaluate most ads, online copy and sales letters.
What to consider when reviewing an ad or sales letter
- Does it really use a direct response approach
- How is the headline? Compelling, plain vanilla, me too? Does it really draw you in?
- Testimonials? Are there any? Are they done right? (full name, city, etc.) Do they relate?
- Features vs. benefits? (Instead of talking about features, do they tell you the benefit?)
- Unique Selling Proposition? Is it evident? Is it clear why the product or service should be your unique choice?
- Organization- is it logical and organized or a mish-mash?
- Style- consistent and appropriate?
- Offer and call to action- strong and clear how to respond?
- Guarantee- Is there one and is it strong?
- Format/media- aligned with audience and the media?
- Misc. – premiums, cosmetics, etc. Are there any? Are they effective?
You can use this to take a look at stuff you are putting out. See what you think.
Get some basic copywriting books like Dan Kennedy’s “Ultimate Sales Letter” to at least get a few basics. But, realize what you say about your products and services sets you up for success or failure. If all you talk about is low price, that’s the impression you give…you’re just a cheap date. But if you want to be a cut above and sell to the affluent, say it with words and messaging portrayed by your sales copy.
And, if you don’t expect your sales copy to really sell… that is get somebody to do something like bring in a coupon, go to a web site, subscribe to a free report, whatever… you might as well just throw your money away.
Sales copy, when well done, is what tells your story and makes the sale… Don’t leave home (or your business), without it.
If you have interest in learning more about how I can help with any of your strategic marketing and sales copy, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.