The Importance Of Copywriting

Young woman writing sales copy from her 'office' on a hilltopIf you’re planning on selling anything online (or offline), and regardless of whether it’s a product or a service, the one thing you’re going to need is a good sales letter, otherwise known as… good copy. A first-class product can be left ‘dead in the water’ if your sales letter is dull and fails to connect with the reader – they will just lose interest and move on.

When it comes to concocting your sales piece it’s paramount to remember the prospective customer only wants to know one thing: what’s in it for me? – (WIIFM). They aren’t really interested in your business and how wonderful you think it is. However, what they really do want to know is… Will this product… make me richer? help me save money? make me feel better?… or will it satisfy some other desire?

Your letter, like a receptionist, is the first point of contact (the interface) between your business and the customer. How they feel once they’ve read the first few lines will decide whether or not they read on, and whether you end up making a sale, so it’s crucial your headline is worded in such a way that it makes them want to read more. Basically, your letter’s job is to take them on an emotional journey, leading them successively on until by the end you’ve fuelled their desires to such an extent that it triggers a response that makes them feel… yes, I must buy this. In effect you’re making them an offer they can’t refuse, they just have to have it!

Whatever you want to say, there are many different words you can choose that have the same meaning – the trick is to choose those that hit your potential customer’s ‘hot buttons’ (that spark an emotion) and ignite a desire they must satisfy, so select those that generate particular feel-good reactions. It’s almost a science, and it’s been shown that certain words and phrases do elicit particular responses and encourage our acquisitive natures and spending urges by appealing to our emotions. ‘Discover’, ‘learn how to’, and ‘free’ are just a few magical and alchemical examples that when slipped into your text, apparently have the power to produce ‘gold’.

Learning how to optimise this use of words to create increased sales is something anyone can learn. There are live courses and seminars you can attend by top copywriting gurus (such as Alan Forrest Smith and Brett McFall), not to mention DVDs you can buy, dedicated to the art of copywriting and what can be a very lucrative skill, should you choose to freelance in it. And if creative writing isn’t your thing, there are many such persons who will gladly battle it out amongst themselves for the privilege of doing the job for you, particularly at www.elance.com.

The key to a successful sales letter is… a) write from your potential customer’s point of view, b) hit them with the benefits right from the start in order to grab their attention, and c) retain their interest by keeping it simple yet focused on how much better off they will be if they take up your offer.

As the saying goes… ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. Your words are powerful persuaders – use them wisely and you will have customers falling over themselves to give you their money. Just make sure you bring a big enough bucket!