The one thing that can skyrocket conversion rates and increase return on investment is great sales copy.
Even if you have the most amazing product or service, the outlet that contains those things is worthless if it doesn’t get in front of the right audience.
If your customers don’t buy from you, it’s likely a matter of bad sales copy. And if they are buying, then good sales copy has something to do with it.
Industry master, Ning Li, gives us 4 sales copywriting tips that you can use to get the results you’re looking for.
1. Choose Your Projects Wisely
No matter the industry we work in, we’re all faced with decisions. When it comes to copywriting, the project you end up focusing on can make or break a campaign.
If your client doesn’t have a clear idea of who their target market is, they may not have any idea what kind of sales letter will work best.
Contrarily, you might be hard-pressed to continue with a project that doesn’t have support from your team or data. That’s a big risk, and if it doesn’t come out right then you’ve just wasted 4 months writing up content for nothing.
Don’t be afraid to be picky. Look at the data, see what’s worked in the past, and use that to your advantage. Yes, it’s okay to take risks sometimes. But be willing to suffer the consequences if it doesn’t work out.
2. Get the Fundamentals of Copywriting Down
The best copywriters have a knack for the written word, but they also know how to blend it with other content marketing plan fundamentals — like design, psychology, and SEO — to create persuasive sales pages.
The basics of good copywriting apply to every niche, so it’s worthwhile to nail the fundamentals if you haven’t already. Things like using bullet points and using short sentences are a given, so continue on for more in-depth copywriting tips.
It’s hard to look at a magazine, newspaper or landing page and not see a headline that catches your eye. This is because the headline is what draws you in and makes you want to read more.
The headline is the first thing that people read when they see your ad. It must be attention-getting, clearly communicate your message and motivate them to read more. A good headline can make all the difference between whether or not someone reads your ad or walks away.
Be clear about what you’re selling — A vague headline won’t grab anyone’s attention because it lacks specifics about what you’re offering, who it’s for or why they should buy it from you instead of another company. Your headline should answer these questions so readers know exactly what they’re getting before they click on your ad.
You can use emotional copywriting in any kind of business, from marketing products and services to attracting new customers. The key to writing effective emotional, compelling copy is keeping your audience’s needs at heart.
Understand who your reader is and what they care about most, then use this information to craft the story behind your product or service.
Tell stories — not just facts. People connect with stories because they have a human element that makes them relatable and easy to remember.
Use words with emotional impact. The best way to do this is by using long-tail keywords in your title tags, headlines and body text that reflect what people want — not what they need.
Active verbs make your writing stronger, more interesting and easier to read than passive verbs do. The more active verbs you use in any given piece of writing, the more powerful it will be.
When you enforce an action with each paragraph or sentence, no matter if it’s a social media ad or a full web page, or the reader is pushed to take that action. For example, instead of saying “We offer fast shipping,” write “Order now and receive it within 24 hours.”
Not only on your call to action (CTA), but also in your text. You want to sound active, telling a story that’s happening now. People aren’t buying in the past, they’re buying at this second. And that’s the only second you have to make them click “Order Now”.
Your goal as a copywriter is to create content that engages and persuades your target audience. Without knowing who they are and what they want, it’s impossible to write content that speaks directly to their needs.
Great copywriting isn’t just about making money — it’s also about helping people solve problems or reach goals. If you don’t understand what makes them tick and what they expect from a company like yours, it’s going to be difficult for you to sell them anything at all.
Spend time getting to know who your potential buyers are and what their needs are, the pain points, before you start writing sales copy. Look at data such as demographics, purchasing behavior and buying habits; read reviews online; and take surveys to get an idea of what your customers want, not what they need.
3. Keep Doing What Works
If your copywriting is working, don’t mess with it. You don’t always need a new angle or spin. If customers are steadily coming in, then your copy is working.
Ning gave us a great, personal example of this. As a business owner looking outside of your business from within, things seem repetitive. You get tired of seeing the same thing over and over and over again. And, logically, you think that’s boring. And if you think it’s boring, your ideal customers must think it’s boring.
But that’s not the case. Your current customers have already gone through your front-end digital marketing experience. They’re done with it. The only people seeing it are new customers. That means the content is falling on fresh eyes.
Ning’s example was about a cookbook they had been giving away for free for a long time. He and his team were thinking up new ways to reach potential customers, and started changing things up with little success.
What worked for him? Pushing out that same cookbook. Or an updated version of it, rather. The cookbook was a proven method to reel in customers. It didn’t need to change.
A good point to keep in mind is what’s written in your testimonials. Those people were successfully drawn in by your current copywriting formula. Negative testimonials are also a good source to find out what isn’t working. Social proof is your friend.
4. Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome
This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip, but it’s worth getting its own mention.
We can chalk up shiny object syndrome is the tendency to be distracted by the next best thing, though it is a term created by Ning and his team. It’s common among marketers who are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing, but it can also affect writers who get easily excited about every new technique or trend.
The problem with shiny object syndrome is that it can lead to a string of failures. When you get obsessed with what’s new, you forget about what works, which means your copy will lose its effectiveness over time.
Don’t focus on the latest gimmick or technique. Instead, keep an eye out for timeless principles like storytelling and psychology that have been proven successful time and time again. Use them as your foundation and build on top of them with new techniques as needed — but don’t fall into the trap of thinking every new strategy is going to make your copy better than it already is.
Watch the Full Interview on How to Write Copy That Sells with Ning Li
This was just a snippet of the advice Ning had to share. You can check out the full-length interview here.