Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Tell More . . . Sell More . . . 10 Timeless Copywriting Tips!

1. Plan Your Writing
All successful writers think before they write. What are you selling? What are its benefits? Why should people buy from you? What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

2. Create a Benefit-Laden Headline
Five times as many people read the headline, over the body copy, so if your benefit isn’t in the headline, then 90% of your audience won’t see it. It really is worth spending time crafting a great headline. One copywriter I know of, won’t start focussing on the ‘body copy’ until he has come up with at least 100 potential headlines!

3. Why AIDA Has Become AIDCA
You’ve probably heard of the Copywriter’s Friend, AIDA, which stands for: Attention; Interest; Desire; Action. In these challenging times, maybe we ought to add Credibility as well. So AIDA has become AIDCA. Following on from your headline, your first paragraph needs to address these points in order.

4. Write Simply and Effectively.
This is not the place to show off with fancy or complicated words. Use simple language. Imagine you are telling a friend about your product, service, or business. Write for an audience of one and your copy will speak to everyone in that target group. And use emotional words rather than intellectual words for added impact.

5. People Buy Benefits.
Your audience is ONLY interested in what you can do for them. The fact that your company has been in business 20 years might add something to your standing, but when it comes down to selling, focus on benefits rather than features. A cosmetic dentist, for example, will focus on the benefits an attractive smile brings, rather than the procedures for fixing crooked teeth!

6. Recognise and Address the Five Basic Objections Your Readers Will Have.
1. I don’t believe you.
2. I don’t need it.
3. I don’t have enough time.
4. I don’t have enough money.
5. It won’t work for me.

Your copy should acknowledge and overcome these main objections.

7. Good layout and type will enhance your copy
Graphics, fonts and the right layout will make your offer more appealing, but don’t use pretty pictures just for the sake of it. Sub-headings and bullet points are also effective for breaking up copy and making it more readable.

8. Offer a Satisfaction Guarantee
Some businesses are afraid of offering ‘no quibble’ guarantees in case customers take advantage. In fact, the opposite is true. Less than 2% of customers will ever ask for their money back and offering a ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantee will give your customers added confidence about doing business with you.

9. Testimonials are like Gold Dust
Whenever you buy something on a website like Amazon, don’t you find it helpful that the products and the sellers are customer-rated? This means it’s less likely that you will end up with a product that will disappoint and it also means you can buy from reliable vendors, according to the feedback provided.
Wherever possible, ask your customers for testimonials and feature the best on your website and sprinkled in your sales copy.

10. Tell your readers what you want them to do next.
There’s no point in spending hours crafting great copy if you don’t tell potential customers what to do next! Try to offer as many alternative ways to order from you as is practicable: post, phone, website, fax. Wherever possible include a personalised order form as it’s been proven to increase consumer response rates significantly.

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