pretesting-salescopy

How to pre-test your sales copy BEFORE it goes live…

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

Of course the only way to know for sure if your sales copy is effective is to test it and measure the results.

But there is a way you can pre-test your copy to give you a better than average chance that it’ll be good…

 

Have people read your copy before you put it out into the world.

In fact, have as many regular / average people as possible read it before you put it out into the world.

If you work at a company, show it to the non-advertising people. Show it to the mail clerk, show it to the maintenance guy, show it to the person who brings you coffee in the morning…

 

If you don’t work for a big company, then show it to friends, neighbors, or family members. Hell, you can even show it to the mailman if you get the chance.

 

And here’s the key to this whole process…
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common-enemy-in-sales-copy

Persuasive Copywriting Technique – Find a Common Enemy

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

There’s an old saying that goes… “The enemy of my enemy, is my friend”.

And when it comes to writing great sales copy this can be a very powerful thing for you to remember.

 

When writing copy, if you really want to rally the troops behind your cause, few things sell better than a little outrage at a common enemy.

If you and your target audience share resentment towards the same institution, corporation, or deity, then you’re already on the same side. And when you’re on the same side, it’s easy to get people to pay attention to you when you speak out against the enemy.

 

In religion, it’s the devil trying to get your soul…

In finance, it’s the big banks or the government that wants to steal your money…

In the health industry, it’s bogus medical claims from the other guys, or it’s big pharma and the FDA that’s corrupt, and they’re the ones who are keeping you fat and sick…

In many retail sectors it’s the big box stores, or Amazon that’s destroying the livelihood of small business…

 

By drawing on a common enemy, you create an emotional reaction in your reader. (the most likely emotion is “fear” or “outrage”).

And invoking emotion is the holy grail when it comes to copywriting.

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The Fastest Way to Master Copywriting

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

What’s the fastest way to master copywriting… or anything, for that matter?

You could sign up for the courses online. You can read all the books. You can go to the seminars, drink protein shakes at the keyboard, or slaughter goats at the foot of a guru. And all are good, except maybe the goat bit.

But there’s an even easier way.

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too-many-choices-kill-the-sale

Why giving customers too many choices can kill your sales

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

Have you ever wanted to buy something, so you decide to do a little “due diligence” in order to find your best choice? Only to discover that the more you learn – the more confusing it gets to make a decision?

 

Who knew there were so many different types of earbuds for my mp3 player?

I just wanted a pair that sounds good at a reasonable price. So I headed over to Amazon only to discover 400 pages of earbuds for sale!!!???

Holy crap!!! (I thought this was going to be an easy purchase, but now I don’t know which ones to buy)

 

Do I want sound dampening? (whatever that means?)

Noise reduction? (No, I want them to make noise. It’s kinda the whole purpose)

Wide ones or skinny ones? Rubber tips or plastic tips? Over the ear or not?

And what the hell are “Airpods”???

 

Now I’ve got a headache, when all I wanted to do was buy a pair of earbuds for my mp3 player.

 

Of course, that was Amazon where we expect to find a massive variety of choices for sale.

But there’s a valuable lesson here for all of us smaller marketers…

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storytelling-in-copywriting

The power of story in copywriting

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

If you’ve ever heard a good story, or got caught up in a great movie, then you already know the power that stories have to enchant an audience.

One reason stories captivate us so much is because, as humans, for thousands of years it was the way we taught lessons and communicated ideas from one generation to the next.

So basically humans are hard-wired to tell, and listen to stories. And they’re an essential part of human communication.

Another reason stories work so well is they have the ability to create empathy with the characters. They can stir up our emotions and cause us to create a bond with the main characters and their situation.

 

As copywriters we can tap into this natural urge for stories and draw customers into our message, and into our brand.

In fact, stories can be one of the most powerful marketing tools we have, because when used properly stories can influence our emotions, behavior, and ultimately our buying decisions.

So the real question is… “How do we use stories to sell our products”?

 

Storytelling to engage consumers…

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copywriting-guarantees

How to craft a powerful guarantee in your sales copy… And increase conversions

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

One copywriting staple that belongs in almost every offer is the “guarantee” (I say “almost” every offer because some offers, like clearance sales, or going out of business sales, or private sales, might be “as is, as seen, no guarantee” offers)

 

But for the most part, if you plan on making a lot of sales, a solid guarantee is a must have to relieve the natural skepticism from consumers.

If a company is willing to guarantee their product, then it must be pretty good… right? And if you’re willing to refund my money then there’s no risk to making the purchase.

So a solid guarantee can remove some of the hesitation from the purchasing decision.

 

Of course, nearly every product has a guarantee or warranty of some kind. But not all guarantees are created equal.
For example, most products will at least have a generic guarantee that looks something like these…

 

– Try it risk-free for 30 days.
– If you’re not completely satisfied, we’ll give your money back.
– Simply return the product within 90 days for a full refund.

 

Now technically there’s nothing wrong with any of these guarantees. And while it’s true that all of them make the purchase seem less risky, and might instill a little more confidence in the product, the problem is they all look exactly the same as the guarantee everybody else (aka. your competition) is offering.

 

I’ve said it 1000 times before and I’ll say it again…

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classy-professional-copywriter

You know it’s time to hire a professional copywriter when…

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

 

– You need copy that sells, but your current sales copy isn’t getting the job done

– You’re doing a dozen other things in your business, and you don’t have time to do everything yourself

– You’ve hired cheap copywriters from freelance sites, and just ended up wasting your money

– You’re ready to get serious about bringing more sales to your business

 

If any of these things sound familiar, then it’s time to hire a professional copywriter.

You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on some corporate ad agency… But you also don’t want to hire some $50 content spinner who’s never sold anything (except for $50 copy, to you).

No, you need to hire a professional copywriter who…

 

1. knows the “power of words”…

2. charges reasonable rates that bring you a solid ROI…

3. knows how to sell from the written word, and knows what they’re doing when it comes to bringing you more sales.

 

Now to be fair… Some businesses simply don’t need professional-grade sales copy.

If all you need is inexpensive content to fill your website with articles or blog posts, then there’s millions of low priced content writers on the low end freelance sites. And many of them can serve your purpose quite well.

But, if persuading your audience to spend their money with you is important… Then you need someone who specializes in Direct Response Copywriting.

 

Think of it this way… You wouldn’t hire a cashier to be your accountant, would you?

Sure, they both serve an important purpose. And they both handle financial transactions. But they are two very different specialties.

 

So if it’s time for some new copy, to help you increase your sales…

 

Here’s 3 reasons why it’s well worth your investment to hire a professional copywriter who knows what they’re doing…

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Overcoming objections in your sales copy

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

When selling through the written word many writers are tempted to only talk about everything that’s great with their product.

Which makes sense at one level, because if we only talk about the good stuff it will cause our reader to only think about the good stuff, and they’ll be more likely to want it… right?

 

At least that’s the theory… But the reality is quite different…

 

The truth is… People are skeptical of marketing and sales pitches in general. And everyone knows that even the best products aren’t perfect.

So when we only talk about the good stuff, there’s a little voice in the back of your readers mind (sometimes it’s a big voice in the front of their mind) that’s wondering “What’s the catch? There’s always a catch! Because if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true”.

 

That’s why when we dismiss or ignore objections, and try to hide all the flaws in our offer, many people become even more skeptical. And they start to think of all the things that could be wrong with your product, and all the reasons they shouldn’t buy what you’re selling.

It’s not that they don’t want to trust you. But they’ve been burned before, or they heard about someone else who got burned, and so they naturally resist being marketed and sold to.

 

If your product isn’t perfect, never believe for a second that if you only highlight the good qualities, that the bad qualities won’t be noticed.

Consumers are very sophisticated these days, and online shopping has made it relatively easy for them to comparison shop without having to leave their homes or visit multiple stores.

On top of that, some sites even have reviews of products that tell consumers what they can expect from a product and what makes one different from another.

 

Quite frankly, it’s a bit foolish and naive to think that in this day and age you’ll have a totally uninformed consumer show up at your store.

 

So what do we do about the natural skepticism of today’s consumer?

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Writing Tips You Need to Know To Write A Great Blog Post

Reading Time: About 3 minutes

Do you want to be a great writer? If you have a passion for writing, then your answer is probably yes.

But these days more and more writers are showing up on the internet, and with new blogs being created every day, one of the biggest challenges is standing apart from the crowd. And also writing posts that people want to read.

 

Writing a blog post is not the same thing as writing a book or manifesto. Most successful bloggers understand that readers on the internet have short attention spans, so they distribute information in bite-size pieces, which means your writing has to be interesting, but also concise and to the point.

If you’re starting your blog, you can improve your chances of success by using the following advice…

 

Here are a few pointers that can make your blog posts more engaging for your readers

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engaging-copywriting

Keeping Your Audience Engaged – Part 2 of 2

Reading Time: About 8 minutes

Welcome back…

This is part 2 of my post on “Keeping Your Audience Engaged With Your Copy”.

As always, I’m going to pack a lot of info onto this page for you (while still keeping a reasonable time limit). So make yourself comfortable, and prepare yourself for a few minutes of education and entertainment (I guess we can call it “edu-tainment”?)

 

In Keeping Your Audience Engaged – Part 1 we talked about staying focused on your audience, and staying focused on 1 main idea per piece. In this lesson we’re going to talk about structure, word usage, and flow of our copy.

Note: We’re going to primarily talk about online copy throughout this lesson, but aside from a few structural differences most of the concepts apply to offline as well. And with some minor adjustments much of it applies to audio and video scripts too.

So let’s just dive right in and I’ll do my best to make the next few minutes of your time as edu-taining as possible…

 

Rule #3 – Making it easy to absorb your message

When it comes to keeping our audience engaged with our copy, there’s a few key concepts we need to remember about our average reader… This isn’t meant to be derogatory, and it doesn’t apply to everyone, but these things are nearly universal for the mass of our average audience…

 

To begin with, the attention span of your average reader is short, and getting shorter all the time. Thanks in no small part to the sheer amount of distractions, and information overload available to us on the internet, there seems to be an exploding trend of what I refer to as “electronically induced ADHD”.

So in order to counteract this trend we not only need to make our copy interesting, but we also need to make it as easy as possible to absorb.

 

Of course, if our product is vitally important to our audience, like the last bottle of water in the desert, then their own self interest will do wonders to keep their attention focused on what we have to say.

But in our busy society, when a curious or only partially interested reader first sees your copy, one thing that goes through their mind is whether or not they have time to sift through your message.

 

Assuming your headline brings people into your copy (because if it doesn’t then the rest of this doesn’t matter anyway), and your lede gains some interest…

… As your average reader, I’m going to quickly skim or scan the entire page before deciding how much time to give you.

 

Your audience is looking for two main things at this point…

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hypnotic-salescopy

Keeping Your Audience Engaged – Part 1 of 2

Reading Time: About 7 minutes

Authors note: Throughout my teachings I use the terms “client” and “customer” interchangeably. I also use the pronouns “he” and “she” interchangeably, and also the words “product” and “service”. So whichever word I write on the page just know it represents both.

 

Welcome back,

In this session we’re going to talk about keeping your audience engaged with your copy.
And a lot of it has to do with the structure and flow of our copy, and how it relates to the readability of our writing.

We all know the importance of an attention-grabbing headline, and we understand that it needs to call out our ideal audience and pull them into our copy.

Now we’re going to look at how to keep things flowing beyond the headline so our writing not only communicates with ease, but so each element of our copy keeps the reader engaged right through to the conclusion.

First, let’s start with some guidelines. And then we’ll go deeper into each one…

 

Rule #1 – Stay focused on your audience

First and foremost, always focus on the reader and what’s in it for them.

If you want your reader to stay engaged with your copy, then we need to make sure they know exactly why they should care. And one thing that nearly everyone cares about is… themselves.

In sales copy make a big bold promise early on (with your headline and your lede) that tells the reader what’s in it for them and why they should care. Then make sure you give them a reason to stay with you.

And the best reason is because they feel they’re getting something in exchange for their time, and money.

 

One of the easiest and most obvious ways to make sure your copy is focusing on the reader, is a simple method I have my students do when they evaluate copy. The only criteria for this skill is you must be able to count.

I can almost hear you asking… “what does counting have to do with writing persuasive copy”?

Well, you’re about to find out…

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emotional-triggers-sales-copy

Emotional Trigger Words for Powerful Content

Reading Time: About 6 minutes

Before we get started I just want to say for the record… I’ve never been a big fan of so called “power word” lists.

The main reason is because too many people read those lists, and then scattershot random power words throughout their writing. By the time they’re done they end up with content that might sound exciting… but has no substance.

It’s like filling your car with high octane fuel, and then driving really fast in a undisciplined direction. Eventually you run out of gas and end up in the middle of nowhere.

Personally, I prefer writing that has substance. Writing that leaves people better off for having read it.
Especially when we want people to take action from our words, having a deliberate direction is far more important than just moving fast.

So, with that as my disclaimer… I think most of us would still agree that some words have more emotional impact than others.

The goal of this post is to give you a few examples of words that can bring emotion and power to your writing.

Use them wisely, and you can embrace high impact fuel in your writing. Use them haphazardly, and I’ll call you a cab when you run out of gas…

 

OK, after that lengthy introduction, let’s just dive right in… Shall we…

To begin, let’s start with a couple broad based categories from some of the more powerful “Emotional Trigger” Words

 

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5 Insider Secrets for Penning the Perfect Article

Reading Time: About 4 minutes

So you want to be a better writer? I have three words for you. Keep. It. Simple.

Seriously, if you can do that you’ll be in better shape than 90% of the hacks out there.

Because when it comes to writing, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Cast your mind back to the most riveting book you ever read … Got it yet? How did it feel as you
turned those pages?

I’ll bet the prose flowed effortlessly. I’ll bet it whisked you away on a journey of the senses. And
I’ll also bet that you were barely even aware that you were reading a slab of text. Because your
imagination was on fire.

There’s no doubt that the best writers tend to have a unique flair. But even so, the art of writing a
great article (or short story) is, well, actually more of a science. And that means that – with a bit of
experimentation – anyone can master this valuable skill.

So slap on your goggles and have your test tubes at the ready. (Or something like that.) Today
we’re learning how to transform words into solid gold…

 

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Guest Posts Welcome (Sticky)

Reading Time: About 2 minutes

 

Post your articles… Showcase your writing skills… Promote your brand…

As an active member of this community you’re invited to contribute your own quality articles or essays to this site.

Your articles can be about anything related to the craft of quality writing… Writing techniques, writing style, writing mindset or philosophies… (or pretty much anything related to the craft of quality writing)

 

As a bonus… You can include a Bio description that appears at the end of all your articles. Your bio can include an active link back to your own personal website. (Only 1 bio per author. The same bio will appear in all of your articles)

Contributing articles to this community is another great way to increase your credibility, showcase your expertise, and attract new clients.

 

We do have a couple guidelines that need to be followed for all submitted articles and essays. So read them over and make sure you agree with them before sending us your articles. Thanks.

The guidelines are…

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