Your offer is your shiny sports car. Your copy is the power that makes it run.
The quality of both matter because…
Ever heard about Microsoft Zune? Probably not. It was sent to the tech junkyard, even though it was just as good as the iPod.
Microsoft admits that its marketing message was confusing. People didn’t understand why Zune was different and why they had to have it.
The copy failed to POWER sales.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create copy that will sell your products and services. Instead, use copywriting tips from trailblazers who’ve sold millions through the power of words.
Read on to learn strategies that’ll turn messages echoing your competitors into pitches that lift your sales to new heights. And leave your competitors wondering what happened to their market share.
I used these copywriting tips in an email campaign that increased revenue 10-fold for Sierra Club Colorado.
Copywriting Tip #1: Be Specific
Advertising pioneer Claude Hopkins raised the needle for Schlitz by pushing beer sales from 8th to 1st in the U.S.
Hopkins did this by being specific. He uses details to prove his point. Leaving no reason for prospects to doubt his offer.
Specificity in Action
Taking a walk down memory lane, you’ll find a time when all beers were advertised as “pure.” Until Schlitz got specific. In a series of ads, Hopkins explained what made the beer pure.
- They pictured a plate glass where beer was cooled in filtered air.
- Bottles were washed 4 times by machinery.
- Schiltz went down 4000 feet for pure water.
- It took 1,018 experiments to give the beer that matchless flavor.
Every brewery made pure beer the same way. But Schlitz was the FIRST to tell people about the process. In detail.
By adding more words to his copy, Hopkins left his competitors in the dust.
The copy master isn’t a fan of generalities. People don’t remember plain Jane copy like best in class. Those messages get lost in the sea of vague claims everyone else is making. Generalities can also put you on the slippery slope of coming off as an exaggerated liar.
Trailblazer Tidbit: Ad testing didn’t start on the Internet. Hopkins was one of the first to use key-coded coupons to test headlines, offers and value propositions.
Copywriting Tip #2: Overcome Sales Objections
Brilliant copywriter (and respected writing teacher) John Carlton wrote sales letters for Rodale Books. One of which was so profitable it mailed for 4 years. He made sustainable sales funnels by sticking to good ol’ proven salesmanship. Like overcoming sales objections that stop prospects from saying YES.
Here’s How I Put Overcoming Objections into Action
- Before writing any copy for the email campaign, I surveyed prospects who weren’t giving to Sierra Club Colorado. I wanted to find out why they weren’t donating, and the desires they were seeking:
- Many prospects hadn’t donated because they were on the fence. Some wanted to see an engaging action plan.
- Getting more pro-environmental candidates into office was something prospects wanted BADLY.
- I responded by telling prospects:
- The success Sierra Club had endorsing candidates who won the primary election. 28 out of 30 to be exact.
- Funds would be used to create a legislative scorecard. The card would make it easier for people to vote for pro-environmental candidates in the upcoming election. Funds would also be used to get the word out to more environmental fans about endorsed candidates.
- A testimonial put proof behind the benefits and quality of Sierra Club’s educational outreach.
Trailblazer Tidbit: Carlton was among the first to use blogs, podcasts, email and virtual seminars as effective sales tools.
Copywriting Tip #3: Tell a Good Story
Award winning direct marketer Joe Sugarman sold 20 million pairs of BluBlocker sunglasses by telling a story.
Stories create human interest. In childhood, stories read to us by our parents were the way we fantasized or even saw the world. In short, we’ve been primed for stories ever since we were very young.
Storytelling in Action
- Joe piques curiosity with his subheading.
- He tells an emotional story that gets people excited about the benefit of improved vision and how that will look in people’s lives. He proves his claim by explaining how the glasses improve vision.
- He creatively tells people how expensive brands don’t compare to BluBlocker.
- The newspaper ad was designed to look like an article.
Trailblazer Tidbit: Joe Sugarman was the first marketer to use 1-800 telephone numbers and accept credit card purchases over the phone.
If you’re serious about blazing a trail to more money, don’t confuse being succinct with leaving out details that make prospects understand what’s in it for them to buy from you.
Write your next campaign with sales penmanship by using these copywriting tips.
- Be specific by using numbers, vivid words and real benefits your clients get from your products.
- Ask your target market the hesitations they have about buying from you. Counter those objections in your copy. Use guarantees and free trials.
- Use storytelling to help people visualize how much better their life will be after they buy from you.
Now, go out and write copy that will power up your sales!