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Writing Sales Copy

Updated on July 23, 2009

This is a brief introduction to writing sales copy. Learning to be a good copywriter takes considerable study and practice.

What is the Goal

You must have a complete understanding of what you or your client wants out of the copy. What will the copy be used for? Will it be a newsletter, a radio script, an advertising piece or a brochure or something else? What does the client expect to get out of the end product? You need a very good understanding of your target market. Who are the people who will buy? What motivates them? What do you or client want those people to do after they have read your copy? What is the action that you want them to take?

Collect Information

Perhaps the most important part of writing sales copy is collecting the information that you need to use. You have to ask your client for every bit of previous copy that was written whether it is for a website, brochure, letter, etc. You need to go beyond what was already written. Create a form to collect information. Ask every possible question that you can think of about the product, the company, the market, etc. Research! Use the Internet. Go to the library if you need more information.

You want to know the features and benefits of the product. What is its unique selling position? How will it be used? Are there any disadvantages?

Organize What You Collect

Your end deliverable will determine how you organize the information that you collect. If you are writing for the web, you may organize your material differently than for a brochure. Develop another form for organization. It may be easiest to start by organizing around features and benefits. Will you have to educate the customer? Determine everything that you may have to include in your copy to get the job done. You can always eliminate later if necessary.

Write What You Organize

Write your headline last. It is the most important part of your copy. Ideally, it should promise a benefit to the reader. It should put “you, the reader” into the headline or into the reader's mind. All copy should have a headline, even a brochure. The headline is different from a tag line. Remember that you will be lucky to get 10% of your readers to read all of the copy but they will likely read the headline.

Likewise, split up your text by heads and subheads. Readers may also read those without reading everything. Write your text to fill in the heads and subheads (your outline). Use bold, italics, underlining, and similar devices when it is important but only then. Make sure you tell your readers what your product or service will do for them and then ask for action. Make your call to action strong.

Review and Revise

Have as many people review your copy as you can get. Make sure you put eyes on the material and ask for feedback. Then revise. Your revisions may be minimal. Well organized material that promises a benefit delivered like the way you talk will work every time.

Hire a Copywriter

For copy that works, hire one here.

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