Copy is important to the sales process. Often newbie copywriters — or webmasters trying to be one — waste a lot of their time focusing on selling tactics that just aren’t important. Worse, there are essentials that are often missing which can help the reader make a decision more quickly.
Here’s a few must-do’s I pulled off the top of my head, which when implemented into your process will definitely kick your conversions into high gear:
Modern man and woman don’t have the attention span for a good old country gab with a stranger anymore. We live in a world where if the punchline isn’t there at the ready, we click away and find something less taxing on our patience. Incidentally, if you’re one of those bloody webmasters trying to decuple your pageviews with those annoying slideshows, that’s akin to a way drawn-out intro too!
There are a few industries where a little extra storytelling may be beneficial, such as the make money online niche, but you still have to split-test the length of your intro to be sure — especially if you’re getting abnormally high bounce rates. Depending on what source you believe, you have only 8 seconds to grab someone’s attention. Don’t waste that valuable time on nonsense and warm-them-up jibberish, thinking you’ll draw them in. Consider writing your intro to the length of a tweet, instead of the first chapter of a book.
Look at how fast this one gets right to the point:
Features Distract Not Sell…
If you think potentials are landing on your page to spend their time reading line after line of nauseating features, you’re still living in acai berry land, circa 2007. In this day and age, customers (and you and I) all know that it’s easy to write down an endless number of features about a product. Outside technology specs such as processing speed, ram, frames-per-second, megapixels, etc. — features will only distract your customer and even frustrate them into not being able to make a decision.
They want to know if you can help them solve their problem, what differentiates you from the competition they may have already analysed, and why specifically they should buy from you. List your features at the end of the copy. In most industries, this is when specs and features matter most.
Images Help Develop Rapport
If you’re selling a psoriasis cream, before and after images of people with psoriasis who used your product will be really impactful. Selling a weight loss product? We all know that no weight loss product sales pitch is complete without before and after pics of obese people who now have a six pack. If you’re selling a next-gen product to soothe crying babies, you definitely want some pics of crying babies contrasted by calm, smiling, giggling ones throughout your copy.
Over-Elaborating Often Leads to Confusion
Short, punchy one or two sentence paragraphs are most effective in sales copy. Readers aren’t hanging on your every word, they’re scanning — quickly! Just as you need to get to the point quickly, your copy has to be able to be read/scanned quickly. Elaborating on every point, treating the reader like a brain-dead moron who can’t put two and two together on their own — are just sure-fire ways to lose the sale.
This is where bullet lists can shine too. If you have a lot of points to make (ie., problems the product solves, ease/speed of use, time saved, etc.) put them in snappy bullet points that can be scanned easily.
Numbers Grab Their Attention Best
Whether it’s money earned / money saved, time saved / time gained… Numbers rule the world and a few numbers that are significant to the prospect will sell your product way faster than any words could. And I’m not talking about numbers in word form either. “Twenty Six Billion” is but a mere word. “26,000,000,000” is something we see frequently at the top of the Yahoo Business main page, talking about the latest overnight startup that got bought out by Google or Facebook.
- “Save 1 hour a day using this stupid simple trick.”
- “Make 200 a day using this easy method.”
- “Sleep for 6 hours a night and wake up feeling like you slept for 9!”
This study showed pretty conclusively that digits are far more effective than letters and words
That’s all I have for today. Share your own copy tips below, if you dare to share them with your competition!
Main image courtesy Clare Chambers