According to advertising guru David Garfinkel, in the age of the Internet, the old style of advertising copy - saying something clever and hoping people remember - just doesn't cut it. Plus, it isnít cost-effective enough for companies to afford in today's hyper-competitive market.
So how do you write killer copy that sells?
Before you start writing, sales consultant Bob Leduc recommends taking the following into account:
- The goal of your message. Everything you write should directly support this goal.
- What your audience wants. Advertising copy produces the biggest response when readers believe the message was written specifically for them. As you write, visualize you're writing to one person instead of to a large group of people.
- Appealing to self-interest. Customers only care about the benefit they get from buying your product or service. Keep your ad copy focused on the benefits you provide.
- Emotional appeals. Your ad copy should dramatize the feeling your customers get while enjoying the benefits provided by your product or service. Use word pictures and real life stories to draw readers into your message.
- Choices. Don't slow readers down with choices. They'll be afraid of making the wrong choice and will protect themselves by making none.
- Your best offer. The offer is the deal you're promoting (free information, special price, free bonus with order, etc.). The stronger your offer, the greater the response you'll get. Always include the best offer you can afford to as well as a deadline of when the offer ends.
- Simplify your copy. Simple, clear copy is easy to read and understand. It propels your customer to the decision point with no hesitation. After you've written your copy, edit it and shorten sentences and paragraphs.
Now youíre ready to write. Garfinkel suggests:
- Start with an emotionally packed opening statement that will get the attention of your reader. This opening statement may be:
∑ A headline;
∑ An opening sentence;
∑ A subject line on an email;
∑ The header on a website page; or
∑ The opening words in a telemarketing script, radio commercial, or TV spot.
After youíve written an emotionally packed opening statement:
- Make a promise. Address the strongest interests and concerns of your target audience. Successful ad copy shows a high level of knowledge and understanding of the product and the problem it solves. Tell the reader something he/she already knows, proving that you are well versed to his/her needs.
- Back it up with convincing proof. Stress a benefit and make that benefit immediately clear to the reader. People today seek specific, usable information. Ads that provide information the reader wants get higher readership and a better response.
- Ask for action in the most powerful way possible. Tell the reader the next step in the buying process and encourage him/her to take it now.
By following these four simple steps, in no time youíll be writing copy that persuades/sells.