For business owners who know they need a sales page but aren’t sure how to get started
First, a quick definition of copywriting. Way back in 1905, copywriter, John F. Kennedy described it as “Salesmanship in print.” It’s a definition that still holds true.
Copywriting is NOT fiction. It’s NOT lyrical writing and it has nothing to do with the @symbol by a business name.
At it’s best it’s an engaging story that “hooks” your reader and takes them by the hand right to the cash register. Perhaps best of all, copywriting is a learned skill, like cooking.
And like cooking, you need certain ingredients to complete your recipe.
For example, you first have to decide what you’re making. Is it a sales page or a blog post or a social media post?
Let’s use a sales page as an example in this post.
- What are you selling? – Sounds simple but not everyone has a succint answer to this
- Who is your desired customer? (“Everyone” is not a profitable answer)
- How much is it?
Once you have those three elements down, you can go another layer deeper.
How is your product/service different from others in the marketplace?
How is it BETTER?
Why does your prospect want it? What problem does it solve?
Remember, your customer wants a specific result. In copywriting circles, there’s an old joke that your customer doesn’t want the drill, she wants the hole in the wall.
How do you supply the “hole in the wall?”
If you’re scratching your head and thinking, “huh?” Consider the title of this post, it’s not directed to veteran copywriters but to business owners.
Back to our sales page.
Before you write a word of copy, you need to know:
WHAT you’re selling
How they feel about their “problem.” What are the primary emotions your prospect feels in regards to this problem? Is she frustrated with her weight because she wants to look great for an upcoming event but diets fail her?
Are you a nutritionist who specializes in helping women drop stubborn weight for good? Great! She may be a great candidate. I say “may” because she may not be ready to commit to a radical lifestyle change or pay for your services.
That’s ok. There are millions of women out there who are ready for you. Those are the people you’re looking to reach.
The Basics of Every Successful Sales Page:
- A Compelling Headline that Captures Your Prospect’s Attention – If your headline doesn’t grab their attention, they won’t read. No reading = no sales. Copywriting legends say they spend at much as 80% of their writing time getting the headline right.
- A story that draws your reader in and confirms what they’re feeling
- A segue that allows you to incorporate yourself and connect it to their feelings
- When possible, create a common villain – government, non supportive people…it doesn’t matter what. When you share a common purpose it makes you feel supported and like you’re “part of the team.”
- Overcome objections — your product/service is different from others they’ve tried. Here’s why. I offer a “copy makeover” service for business owners who truly don’t have the budget to hire a copywriter.
- White space (to give the eye a break)
- Subheadings (to highlight the next section and keep people reading)
- Be SUPER clear on who this product/service is for – specifics will always outsell generalties.
- Be clear on who it’s not for — you might literally write that or just know it in your head
- Proof — Testimonials are good. So are statistics that back up what you’re saying.
- Your offer (don’t forget to make a CLEAR offer — including EXACTLY what they get and how to get it. — e.g., “click this button to get your first video.”
- Tell them HOW they’ll get it. Such as “You’ll receive your download link via email within 15 minutes.”
- Your Guarantee — even if you don’t want to give one, give a reason why. For example, there’s no guarantee because there are factors I can’t control. If you hired me to write your sales letter, I wouldn’t guarantee you a certain ROI. Why not? Because I don’t control your traffic. The best sales letter in the world won’t sell if only 3 people see it.
- More proof
- Make the offer again.
That’s the basic structure.
If you doubt what I’m saying, watch infomercials. The ones that play over and over — those companies buy expensive tv ad time to sell their gizmo.
They follow this same structure. These are your ingredients.
It’s possible to write a compelling sales letter without any copywriting training. Rare but possible. If you know your ideal customer well enough that you can get into her head, then you’re in a good place.
What about you? Do you have the ingredients to write your first sales page?
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