Whether your preferred marketing media is your website, emails, FaceBook page, newspaper ads or a podcast, chances are your sales copy needs work. And frankly it’s rare for me to find great copy, although some of the principles that have been taught for the last 30 or so years are finally starting to seep through the unwashed mass of image advertising and branding most small businesses seem to be in love with.
And good copy can make the difference between making serious money online, and having to look for a job to pay the bills. It’s that important.
Almost all sales copy I see sucks harder than a kid with a giant lollipop. Just tune in to any TV advertisement and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Every car commercial looks exactly the same – the manufacturers are all interchangeable, switch them around and nobody would notice.
But this is where too many small businesses look to find inspiration for their advertising. They seem to think that ‘looking professional’ will make them sales. Newsflash: it does not. Everyone looks ‘professional’. You have to be professional, that’s a given. You have to do a good job, or your customers will find out quickly, and desert you in droves. This is not how your customer makes their decision on who to buy from.
They make their decision based on what’s in it for them – and the way you help them understand what’s in it for them is with good sales copy on your signage, on your business cards, on your packaging, everywhere.
The important part is the language you use.
I learned the importance of this in a handful of direct sales jobs when I was younger, telemarketing jobs, door-to-door sales, face to face, and I did this for a few years. When you’re in such an ‘us-vs-them’ scenario, and you say the wrong thing – the sale is lost. You can reel a few back in…if you’re really good…but by and large you need to watch your language.
I used to work for a Karate club back when I still lived in Australia, one of the largest clubs in the world who filled their dojos almost exclusively by knocking on doors and signing up new members. We used to do 2 rounds in an area – first we’d knock on doors, setting up appointments for that evening, then go back and do the appointments.
There was a script for the door knocking, and a script for the appointment presentations. It was all tested and proven over years of refinement and practice, and by the time I joined it was a well thought out system in use by people in every state.
And what you said during those presentations made all the difference between success and failure. For example, the word ‘presentation’ was never used. Because people may immediately think ‘sales presentation’. And once this happens their resistance goes up.
You want low resistance. Sure, everyone knows I’m there to sign them up for Karate. And it’s not gonna be free. But in their mind they’re thinking “Gee I’d like to find out about these karate classes and maybe I’ll go have a look at a class or something, I’ll hear this guy out.” That’s a much better internal conversation for them to be having inside their heads than “I’m interested in Karate but this guy’s here to sign me up for classes right now, feels like I’m being sold.”
Even the body language was important. When we’d mention the Karate club on the porch, we’d motion over our shoulder, as a subtle psychological hint that it was a local club just around the corner. Even our folder positioning was important – my preferred place was at my side, not completely hidden but just hanging back almost out of sight, as if forgotten during the conversation, until it came time to book the appointment of course. But having it right out front with pen ready to write, says: “Hi, I’m here to sign you up for something. What’s your credit card number?”
Copywriting strategy is the strategic use of sales copy. The language and positioning you use are important components – are you using the right words on your FaceBook page? Are you sending your prospects to a sales page before they are ready to be sold? The answers come from knowing your target market, and testing.
Brian Cassingena is Australia’s #1 Copywriting Strategy Expert, direct response copywriter and digital nomad. He runs Cassingena Copy, the 14 Day eBook Factory and other businesses while traveling the world.