Writing Sales Copy

You were designed for success
    Ever find a web site that makes you feel like you need to buy their product, now? Want to know the secret of how to write for websites, to make sales?

    Did they use the latest magical marketing buzz words? Hmm, not really. Is the product so amazing that it sells itself? Seems like it, but no, it’s not that either. Would their site still work a year from now? Probably.

    If you’ve made your own web page and it’s starting to attract visitors, you need to know some marketing magic. If your visitors aren’t becoming your customers, what do you need to do better?

Ask not, what your customers can do for you,
but, what you can do for your customers!

    I’m sure you think your product is the best there is. You know all the great features and can’t imagine why anyone would want anything else. This is a great first step, but it takes a bit more than features to convince people to buy your stuff on line.

    When you make your own web page, you should have a goal, and achieve your goal.

Why Would A Customer
Want Your Product?

    If someone is looking for your product, they have a reason. You need to make sure you understand your customer well enough to know that reason and include it. They want to benefit from your product. Benefits sell better than features. The real difference between features and benefits depend on your customers needs. How do you know what your customer needs?

    Next time you make a large purchase, watch how the salesperson works. They start by asking you questions. What they are really doing is finding out your priorities. What is really important to you, the customer? You won’t know until you ask.

    A good salesperson notices the reactions to the questions. Are they interested or bored? Are they intrigued or irritated? The best salespeople pick up these ques and adjust their tactics accordingly. They can lead the customer right down the road to purchase.

    How can you do this when you make your own web page? Since you just can’t see your potential customer and their reactions, how do you write for websites to sell to every visitor. The short answer is, “you can’t.” A better answer is, “you need to design your web page for your ideal customer.”

Who Is Your
Ideal Customer?

    The identity of your ideal customer depends on the product you’re selling. If you sell car accessories, you’d be wise to target people who have cars.

    Speaking to a real person, people generally have manners. We feel compelled to have a reasonable length conversation before we leave. People are considered rude if they end things too abruptly.

    The web is a much different environment. You have roughly about 5-10 seconds to get their attention. If a person searches and finds a million web sites, they won’t stay long unless your web page looks like it might fill their needs. They know they can easily click and go to another web site, without a second thought.

Visitors know exactly what they want.
Attract the exact visitor who needs your product!

    Don’t waste the visitors valuable time! Don’t expect every visitor to buy. This is why web pages are quickly becoming a great place to shop. If the customer doesn’t want your product, click, they can go to the next web page. Even if your web page isn’t exactly what they want now, they might bookmark it (favorites) for later. You could still be the best choice for what they really want.

Do What Is Right
    So the real secret to making sales with a web page is to provide a very specific product to a very specific customer. Every step of the way is a sorting process. Some people are specifically looking for your product. Those people are your perfect customers.

    We all want lots of web traffic. If you compare web traffic to sales, you can see a ratio. Would you rather have a thousand visitors a day, with only one sale, or a hundred visitors a day with twenty sales? Obviously, twenty sales a day is much more profitable, regardless of the web site visitors.

    A web site needs to target a specific type of person, buying a specific product. Different people have different priorities. You need to determine exactly who this person is. This can not be stressed enough! Sometimes your product or service does this for you, so pay attention.

    Make sure your message consistently speaks to the same customer throughout your sales copy. When you target the search engines, make sure that when they visit you, they are finding exactly what they were looking for.

    When you write to your target audience, think like them. When you read your words, you should be asking why this particular customer should care. Your web site visitors will be asking these questions. Your best sales copy anticipates these questions and answers them.

    So, who is this person, called “your ideal customer?” You can probably picture someone in your mind. Most likely, you can even name them. By all means, talk to them about your product. Find out what they like and don’t like. Discover what things they think are important. Nothing is as valuable as a real conversation, with a real person.

Different Types of Customers

    There are several ways you might sort through customers, depending on your product. If you sell high performance car parts, look for race car drivers instead of minivan drivers. Don’t expect to sell much Hip-Hop music to senior citizens. Some products sell better to men than women etc.

    What is important to your ideal customer? Different people simply think differently and have different priorities. We need people of every category for a balanced and functional organization. You can usually sort people into the following categories:

Works best with the big picture. Likes rules and order. Tells you exactly what they think.
Long range detail people. Very organized, but won't like making split second decisions.
Ready to try something new. Takes risks that scares others. Paper work is torture.
Everybody needs to get along. Remembers birthdays. Won't hurt feelings, even if it's best.

    People generally are a combination of these types of people, but they tend to lean toward one type. It is so very important to understand the needs of your customer.

    Since you can't actually talk to the customer and ask questions, you need to foresee their needs. If not, those needs can become an objection. Supply the answers before (or during) the objections. Most sales are made this way.

    The customer knows what they want, you need you to tell them exactly what you offer. You need to do it the best way that you can! Most importantly, it must make sense to them to buy your product, or they won't!

Product Features

    This example shows features of a computer. Unless you are part of the computer industry, you may not know exactly what each part does or why you would care. This really needs translation!

    Translation can be done in many ways. How about from techno to English first?

Intel Core i5-2430M (2.4ghz)
A new machine always has a faster processor than an old machine.
4gb Ram (DDR3/4Slots)
RAM (random access memory), the more the better. DDR3 indicates the vintage (year). 4 slots means you can add 3 more sticks of memory.
500gb Hard drive
The hard drive stores everything from programs to documents. 500gb (gigabytes) is equivalent to 500,000,000,000 characters.
DVD writer
A DVD writer can read and write to CD or DVD.
A motion picture camera with an interface to the web.

    Your ideal customer will understand this translation much better than the 'tech specs.' This still has little effect on whether they buy your product or not.

    The next step is to come up with reasons why your ideal customer would care about your product. Ever get excited and tell someone about it, only to have them respond “so what?”

    This is exactly what we’re going to do, but first, you must get into the mind of your ideal customer. Think like your ideal customer. The difference is amazing.

    Write down the feature. Then, from the mind of your ideal customer, ask ‘so what?’ Then, write down your first thought. Then ask again. Eventually, you will come up with some phrases that really matter to your ideal customer.

    Then, you need to take the phrases and turn them into proper, intelligible sentences. Keep it brief and full of benefits.

    Doing this for every feature, yields sales copy that actually addresses your ideal customers needs. Not every feature is important to every type of customer. Stack up these benefit statements in your text and you’ll be amazed how much better it reads.

    Here is an example that might be used for the different types of people.

A faster computer means you get more projects done. Computer lasts longer with 4 memory slots. Have business meetings from your desk with the webcam. Plenty of hard drive to store programs and data, then share with the DVD writer.
A faster computer allows you to organize and solve faster in greater detail. 4 memory slots for expansion far into the future. Plenty of hard drive to store programs and data, then share with the DVD writer.
A faster computer allows you to be more competitive, and do several things at once. Lots of memory for speed, and great video.
With a faster computer, you can finish paperwork sooner and spend more time with people. The webcam allows you to talk face to face with friends and family.

    The ability to write for websites can increase the profitability of your web page. Writing sales copy may take you awhile to learn, and there will always be better ways to write sales copy. Here are some more resources to help you improve your writing skills.

Make Your
Words Sell