Persuasive Sales Copy 101
If you would like your readers to take a specific action then you need to learn the art of writing persuasive sales copy.
Persuasive Sales Copy….simply defined is the sales copy you use to persuade your readers to take a specific action.
The ability to write irresistible sales copy is the most important marketing skill you can learn if you want your audience to do what you want them to do. You need to understand the techniques that make copy more persuasive; and you need to know which copywriting mistakes turn readers off.
What is good sales copy?
Sales copy often conjures up images of yellow highlighters, CAPS, bold text in red, and lots of exclamation marks!!!
“But sales copy doesn’t have to be pushy, sleazy, and aggressive”.….says Henneke
Good sales copy is:
- Engaging: it focuses on reader benefits;
- Clear: it is easy to read and easy to understand;
- Concise: sales copy doesn’t use more words than necessary;
- Persuasive: it encourages a reader to take action.
Sales copy is good if your readers take the action you want them to take.
So, how can you learn to write compelling sales copy?
First, you need to apply these 3 tantalizing techniques from Henneke, that will help you to create mesmerizing sales copy. They will make your copy more beautiful and more appealing and make your statements stand out.
1. Delight your readers with rhyme
- Rhyme is pleasant to hear.
- Rhyme is also associated with being accurate or truthful.
- You don’t need to write poems to use the power of rhyme.
- Use rhyme to make important points in your sales copy smoother and more memorable.
2. Grab attention with deliberate repetition
- Deliberate repetition of words draws attention to statements.
- Repetition often changes the rhythm of sales copy…….Interrupt long sentences with super-short sentences.
- Use repetition to stress important points in your copy.
3. Entice your readers with vivid imagery
- Creating an image with words is one of the most powerful tools of a copywriter.
- Vivid text is easier to remember because it takes up more brain processing power.
- Use vivid images to mesmerize your reader.
- Allow your reader to imagine working with you or using your product.
Writing persuasive copy is both science and art.….You need to understand what makes your readers tick. Appeal to their desires. Their wishes. Their dreams. And write seductive and mesmerizing copy.
Next, you need these 9 tips to writing persuasive copy
1. Treat your web visitors like wild animals
- Your website visitors behave like wild animals
- They’re hunting for information or a product to buy – just like a hungry panther hunts for his next meal. When a panther sniffs a scent trail he quickly decides: will the scent trail lead to a good meal? And will it be an easy catch?
- Your web visitors consider the same two things: Does your website offer what they’re looking for? And can they find it easily?
- A hungry panther doesn’t like wasting time to catch a meal. And your web visitors don’t want to browse around your website for several long minutes to find the product they’re after. They want to find it quickly.
- Just like the panther makes a fast decision whether to follow a scent trail or not, your web visitor decides quickly whether your site is useful or not.
- So if your site looks complicated with a lot of options to choose from, they click away to check out another website.
2. Put your most important information first
- Your most important points should always come first.
- Information that’s most important to your web visitors is often a simple statement of what you do.
- Once they understand what you do, they might want to know some important details. And then – maybe they’d like to know some background information.
- Your customers want to know the big picture first.
- Basically: What do you do? Or what can you do for them?
3. Don’t try to be clever or creative
- On the web it’s rare that a reader hangs on to every word you write.
- He doesn’t have time.
- He’s in a hurry because he could check out several other scent trails – websites – instead of wasting time trying to figure out what you do.
- Simple statements often work best.
- Clever phrasing requires people to think. And asking people to think, doesn’t work on the web because web visitors are hunting – they don’t have time to think. So keep your web copy as simple as possible.
4. Write for scanners
- Most web visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for
- Does your headline communicate what you’re about?
- Does your image caption communicate a sales message?
- Do your sub headlines summarize your key points?
- Do easy-to-scan bullet points reduce wordiness?
- Your web visitor is hunting for information or products.
- Ensure he can understand your most important information by just glancing at your web page.
5. Use familiar words
- As Web readers, we are hunter-gatherers once again – only this time, instead of scanning the horizon for prey, we scan pages for carewords.
- When we see these words, we click, we act.
- Carewords are the words people are looking for.
- Your web visitor is looking for familiar words – carewords – because they’re the scent trail that tells him he’s in the right place.
6. Write for lazy people
- Just like the lazy panther looks for an easy catch for his dinner, your web visitor doesn’t want to make an effort to read your text.
- Make your copy easy to read:
- Use short paragraphs – four sentences max
- Use short sentences – twelve on average
- Skip unnecessary words
- Avoid the passive tense
- Avoid needless repetition
- Address your web visitors directly. Use the word you
7. Expect people to arrive anywhere on your website
- Most web visitors will not start reading at your home page.
- They may arrive on any of your web pages.
- If each web page can be an entry page what does that mean?
- Each page should be easy to scan and should clarify to people where they are; and what your site is about
- Each page should have a call to action telling people where to go next – to read another blog post, sign up for your email newsletter, check out a detailed product description or testimonial, request a quote or add a product to a shopping cart.
- Don’t rely on your navigation bar to tell people what to do next.
- Include a button or link to guide people to take the next step.
8. Make it easy for hunters (website visitors that is) to find you
- Potential customers are hunting for information or products.
- How can you help them find you?
- Lure potential customers to your website by providing useful information.
- Answer the questions potential customers are asking
- Use phrases and words your potential customers are looking for.
- Above all: Be helpful.
9. Make a visual impression
- You can’t write your words, you can’t compose your sentences, you can create your bullet points, without considering how your web page will look.
- The visual appeal of your website impacts the readability of your text; and influences whether web visitors can quickly get what you’re about.
- To increase the visual appeal of your web copy:
- Replace text by photographs or videos;
- Consider different font sizes
- Emphasize quotes of customers (or experts) to add credibility
- Play around with highlights, bold text, CAPS, or italics;
- Change paragraphs into bullet points.
- Most importantly: de-clutter.
- Reduce noise and add white space.
- Not only will it make your website easier to read, it will also increase your perceived trust
The truth about writing persuasive web copy
Don’t treat your web visitors like academics who love reading challenging and complicated texts or like lawyers poring over small print. Don’t be wordy. And don’t show off your extensive vocabulary.
Instead make your text as simple as possible.
Don’t try to be everything to everybody.
Know who you are and what you do.
If your positioning is clear, it’s much easier to stand out on the web and to be found. If your message is clear, it’s much easier to create persuasive web copy.
Be clear…..Be specific…..Be bold.
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To Your Success,