You have a natural knack for writing.
You can string words together and create something fun and engaging.
But, when it comes to sales copy, writing those pieces that are meant to convert every time, you can’t seem to convey what you’re thinking into the right words.
Is that you? I get it. Writing content is not the same as writing sales copy.
As a sales copywriter, you need to speak to your reader, compel them, and force them to take action.
Think of that infamous hypnotist trick. You have a group of people the hypnotist gets to cluck like a chicken, dance funny and do just about anything they want. They are the puppet master.
You want the same power, but via words.
You want someone to read your sales copy and feel entranced. Without thinking, they will click through, sign up, or call.
While we can’t teach you how to make readers cluck like a chicken (or can we?), we can share some insight and tools that will help you transform your marketing drivel into compelling copy.
Might take a little time, and practice, but once you use these tips, you will be well on your way to sales copywriting mastery.
13 Ingenious Tools And Tips To Improve As a Sales Copywriter
1. Learn How To Build Trust
No one is going to do anything you ask if they don’t trust you.
You don’t have years to gain that confidence; you have seconds. So, every word on your sales copy has to count, and it has to compel the reader to believe what you’re saying.
Tossing in a “you can trust me” statement isn’t the way to go about this either.
Instead, you need to be authoritative and savvy. Georgina Morshdy at Copyblogger shared her ten tips for building trust with the audience, and it’s quite compelling.
How Does A Sales Copywriter Build Trust?
- Give away
- Be reliable and don’t disappoint the audience on what is promised.
- Be consistent in quality.
- Incorporate customer testimonials that are genuine.
- Use case studies to show success.
- Do not plagiarize the ideas and styles of others.
- Avoid jargon.
- Give an apology when it is due, such as correcting errors if they’re present.
- Offer guarantees to customers (i.e. a money back guarantee).
2. Be A Virtual Salesperson
You have a goal to make a sale, so you need to act like a salesperson.
Put on your suit and tie and pretend you are on the sales floor talking to that customer. What would you say if you were face-to-face? What features, benefits, and reasons would you be throwing at them to get them to buy?
Whether you’re selling a car, washing machine, or a service, you need to picture yourself talking to one customer (not a mass).
According to Demian Farnworth at Copyblogger, all it takes is one bad salesperson to ruin the company; and you certainly don’t want to be that guy or gal.
So, picture yourself talking to one, but selling to many.
3. Use Compelling Headlines
A great headline is one that touches on a person’s spiritual, emotional, and intellectual levels.
What sounds great to you might not sound so great to others, and it is hard to tear yourself away from your copy and look at a headline as an outsider.
Luckily, you don’t have to.
There are tools out there that help you analyze the quality and power of your sales headlines.
Take Advanced Marketing Institute’s free headline analysis tool.
They don’t just give you a score; they tell you what you should aim for as a sales copywriter, why you’ve received the score you did, and how to improve.
CoSchedule also has a headline analysis tool that is also worth trying.
They break down your headline based on the number of words, keywords, emotional value, type of headline, and even preview it in the Google search results.
They dive into your headline, tear it apart, and let you know how it performs at every angle.
Do you have to use all of this information? No.
But, if there is a particular group or emotion you’re trying to strike, they may help you identify how successful you are in doing it.
Why does all of this matter?
According to Neil Patel, 90% of your advertising dollars go to the headlines. All it takes is a single word to change the click-through rate by as much as 46%. That’s rather important.
A Few More Tips For Attention-Grabbing Headlines
- Include numbers
- Add a creative adjective
- Use call-to-action-worthy words
When you’re struggling, HubSpot’s Marina Barayeva has shared her formulas for crafting better headlines. She shares six formulas (i.e. Call-to-Action + Keyword + Promise = Headline), which help you create a compelling headline from scratch.
Give them a whirl and see if that improves your headline creation.
4. Give Readers A Reason To Act
A great sales copywriter doesn’t just tell people what to do; they give them an overwhelming reason to do it.
Your content is designed to make someone happier, healthier, richer, more successful, etc. So, use that when creating your call-to-action statement.
Tell them what they’re getting from you for taking the action you’ve requested of them.
You want people to sign up to receive your free ebook on marketing. You’ll use those email addresses to send out your monthly newsletter and hopefully receive click-through purchases later on.
Sure, you could say “sign up to get a free marketing book,” but what reason did you give other than a free product?
Instead, focus on what that free marketing book provides the user.
“Sign up to receive a free marketing book and use these tips to transform yourself into a sales expert.”
Now, you’ve provided them with their benefit and reason.
5. Quit Being So Cute With Your Words
You’re all about the cutesy phrases and words.
You love to be buzz worthy and toss in a few clichés.
Too bad your readers aren’t a fan.
Sure, you can toss in a few clever phrases here and there, but look at it as a cherry on top of a sundae. There’s no need to throw in the entire jar of cherries here. All it takes is just one to sweeten the deal.
6. Stop Yelling At Your Readers
Exclamation marks are the enemy.
You may think you’re making one killer point, but all your reader sees is you yelling at them; or worse, coming off like that obnoxious salesperson on TV.
Enchanting Marketing’s own Henneke discusses how the exclamation mark is not as powerful or useful as you think; in fact, she calls it the mark of a lazy sales copywriter. Instead of the exclamation mark, she recommends:
- Using strategically placed pauses in your copy.
- Adding more spaces in between sentences and experimenting with the flow of your content.
- Posing questions instead of using exclamation marks.
7. Use Your Word Count Wisely
As a sales copywriter, you may be bound by a particular word count.
This shouldn’t strike fear in your eyes (especially when you’re being pigeon-holed into a short word count).
Instead, it should be an opportunity to build up your sales pitch while not getting too wordy.
When you’re writing short sales copy (i.e. something under 1,000 words), you don’t have a lot of white space to convince your reader to take action.
Instead, you must:
- Know your target audience
- Remember the power of tight and compelling copy
- Be clear about what your goal is and the benefits
- Tell the reader the promise early on
- Include a rock-solid guarantee
- Remove fluff and cut the excess
When you’re working with a longer copy, you have the opportunity to build up your audience and build up their interest. But, you have to do this wisely.
According to a stat sheet provided by HubSpot, when a post has more than 1,500 words, it receives 68.1% more Twitter shares and 22.6% more Facebook likes than a post under 1,500 words. This is a lot of power!
As we’ve already said before when you’re a sales copywriter, you’re speaking to one, but selling to many. So, if you structure and present your information just right, a long form sales copy could potentially reach more readers and customers.
Putting The Right Information Above The Fold
The term “above the fold,” used to apply to newspapers. This was the information that showed up after you opened the paper and kept reading past the captivating front headlines.
According to Moz’s Tim Allen, above the fold is highly relevant for online writing and the theory still applies today.
You must put your most interesting, captivating information above the fold so that readers scroll down to continue.
With long-form sales copy, this is a must.
Moz suggests leaving clutter out. Instead, your above the fold region needs valuable information, a strong value proposition, and a clear definition of what the user is going to get from the page if they continue to read.
Be “My Person”
The inspiration here comes from Grey’s Anatomy (true fans would already know this).
To write excellent copy, you need a bond like Christina and Meredith Grey. No, we’re not saying you need to become long-term best friend’s and survive plane crashes with your readers, but it might help to picture a bond with them that has gone through all of that.
Your readers need to feel as though you know them.
You should establish a close bond with them that lets them know you understand them. Your writing must convey how you know them, dig deep into their problems, and offer solutions.
Most importantly, you should speak to them as though they are your person (e.g. your best friend). You should have a natural conversation, the words should flow, and you shouldn’t sound like a disjointed robot trying to sell an entirely unrelated product.
How Can You Be Their Person?
- Boost their self-esteem
- Ask questions that you know they’ll answer “yes” to
- Make them feel special; as if you hand-selected them
- Make the opportunity seem exclusive (even if it’s not)
- Add emotional value and sentiment to your writing
9. Drop The Weasel Words
Eddie Shleyner at HubSpot said it best when he suggested to his readers to drop the “weasel” words.
Weasel words are statements that are definitive and promise something.
While you want to make guarantees to gain trust, you have to be careful about what you’re guaranteeing.
Never guarantee what cannot be delivered.
For example, promising a product will “fight” acne. What if it doesn’t?
They are empty promises that cannot be validated.
The statements themselves are delicate, and your content is weak and useless.
If you use a weasel word, make sure you can back it up with real data showing that you’re doing more than fluffing up a phrase. If you can’t, get rid of the word.
10. While You’re At It, Drop Superlatives Too
Superlatives are adjectives or adverbs that exaggerate.
Unfortunately, these are useless fluff that weakens the copy and are a common copywriting mistake.
While you make think a superlatives add power to your words, your readers take them as insincerity.
Here’s a superlative-filled statement:
“We’re here to provide you with the best service in town.”
Can you prove that you are the best?
Instead of using an empty superlative, tell the reader why they should come use your company’s service without just tossing in the word “best.”
“With us, you will receive responses within 24 hours or receive a 10% discount off your order.”
Now, you have just told the reader what they can expect, and what they get if you cannot deliver the best service.
11. Be Persuasive In Your Call To Action
The best call to action statements are irresistible.
You feel compelled to click.
Most likely you have already seen great call-to-action statements out there, and some may have already tricked you into clicking.
Take Evernote for example.
They pull you in by reminding you of something simple: inspiration happens anywhere.
As a sales copywriter, you probably already know this fact.
But, imagine being able to capture that inspiration on your phone, computer, or tablet? Evernote highlights that concern and tells you how they can fix it.
Elements Of An Enticing Call-To-Action
Jeremy Smith at CrazyEgg shares his insights for creating killer CTAs after comparing tons of call-to-action statements on the web and in print. He suggests:
- Including a no-obligation statement; people like when they have nothing to lose.
- Encouragement to respond immediately because there’s little time to take advantage (i.e. sense of urgency).
- Offer up a “why not” argument that can help you create a great CTA even when there is no sense of urgency.
- Make it all about the benefits.
- Lead with the CTA too — meaning toss that CTA in your headline.
12. Incorporate Stellar Sound Bites
Have you ever watched a news interview and observed how they have taken away bits that trend all over the web?
Sound bites apply to copy, too.
The best sales copywriters out there know how to sneak in these creative sound bites that make the copy easy to remember, and in some cases, easier to share.
A sound bite is easy to quote, and will be shared by other bloggers and websites, according to Social Triggers. Derek from Social Triggers highlights a particular article in their post that had a stellar sound bite. This post was shared more than 200 times on Twitter, 100 times on Facebook and took over 9,000 hits.
To create sound bites, Derek suggest:
- Using the power of contrasting statements
- Using the power of three (i.e. I Came, I Saw, I Conquered)
- Violating the user’s expectations
13. Find Your Writing Mojo
The best sales copywriters aren’t sitting at their keyboard waiting for the words to spew out. Instead, they’re moving, thinking, and going about their lives.
They also find that magic writing hour.
Whether it is 2:00 AM or 7 AM in the morning with coffee brewing in the background, they sit down and write their first draft of copy when their writing mojo is at its peak.
Only you can decide when your writing mojo hour is, and you may have to play around with different times of the day. When you write during your optimum time, you may notice the words flow easier, you’re more conversational, and your writing is effective.
Be The Best Sales Copywriter You Can Be: Write Up Something Crafty Today
Now that you have learned 13 tidbits to improve yourself as a sales copywriter, now is the time to put them to work.
These best practices are designed for copywriters of all levels; seasoned and novice alike.
When you find yourself struggling to write something brilliant, come back to this guide and see what you might be missing.
And, always look for areas where you can improve.
If you implement these tips and activate your drive for success, you will notice your copy turns from boring drivel into compelling works of art.
Express Writers employs some of the most talented sales copywriters, and they are ready to create inspiring content for your website. Check out our Content Shop to see what we can do for your company today.