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Copywriting: Increase Profits With The Right Words

Updated on January 31, 2008

In marketing and sales -- online or off -- everything is riding on the words you use.

The copy in your ad, web page, or sales letter is what reaches out and grabs your potential customer, and convinces them to buy what you're selling. Graphics are important, but your words decide whether you'll make money or not.

You want to grab your reader by the heart and the gut. Establish rapport with them and show them how you're going to solve their problem. You want to make them see how great life will be once they have what you're offering. Prove to them it will work for them. Then lead them to the sale.

How exactly do you accomplish all of those things? I'm glad you asked!

First, paint a picture. Paint a vivid image of life with your product. Let your reader see herself enjoying the benefits your product will bring to her life. This picture is where you connect with her emotions and her deep-seated desires.

Features don't make this kind of connection. Your potential customer doesn't yet care that your widget slices and dices. She cares that the healthy food it helps her create makes her a better mother. She doesn't yet care that your grass seed is coated in x chemical. She cares that her neighbor will be jealous of her lawn.

Go after her deep desires here. Subtly portray her realizing those needs from your product or service. Don't come out and say, "you'll be a better mother if you use my dicer." That's insulting! But show her dicing healthy foods and hint at the connection. She'll draw the conclusion for herself and it will be much more powerful.

Next, make promises. Once your customer has gotten a nice picture of life with your product, (or even while you're drawing that picture for her) it's time to spell out the benefits she's going to get.

Make a list of all the features of your product or service, then ask yourself, "so what?" Decide what that feature does for your prospect. Those are your benefits, and you want to tell her about every single one of them.

Tell her in such a way that she feels like she's already experiencing them. Tantalize her with the wonder of it all.

But don't resort to hype. Don't tell her your widget is the most revolutionary item since the wheel. Don't shout at her like a used car salesman.

But do fully explain everything she's going to get by taking you up on your offer. Leave no stone unturned or benefit unmentioned -- you don't know which one will be the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, and sparks desire.

Now, you have to prove it. This is critical -- it's where many writers miss out, and therefore lose the sale.

Your promises are not enough to convince the majority of people to buy what you have to offer. You must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your product will deliver on those promises.

To do this, you need two kinds of proof: Authority proof and social proof.

Authority proof comes in the form of scientific studies, expert endorsements and the like. It's relatively easy to find -- even if you can't studies or experts who comment on your specific product, you can usually find some backing up your concept.

Social proof is the ubiquitous testimonial. It can come in the traditional form with a quote from a satisfied customer. But online it can also come in the form of social media validation.

Diggs, online reviews, subscribers and ratings all add up to some powerful social proof in today's web world, In fact, this kind of proof is much more effective than testimonials, which have been overused and faked enough to lose some of their credibility.

Finally, make a mafia offer. The last thing your copy must do is make your reader an offer they cannot refuse.

To do this, you must establish the value in what you're offering. Merely saying "others charge 5 times as much" sounds like what it is -- a bunch of BS.

Show why your product or service is worth so much more. Give a legitimate reason why you're charging less than you could. Or show why what you're offering is a bargain at any price.

At this point, many articles or gurus will tell you to create scarcity -- this offer is only good for a limited time. The idea is to spur action now and not let the prospect put off taking some kind of action.

But this concept has been overused in a bad way. So much so that it just looks and feels scammy -- unless, of course, you have a legitimate reason for your scarcity.

So merely saying, "This price is only good till midnight tonight" kills your credibility and response -- especially when the prospect comes back in 2 days and sees the same price and offer.

But if you have a legitimate reason -- I've only got 100 slots open, or If too many people start using this info it will lose it's effectiveness -- then you have legitimate scarcity. And the tactic will work.

There you have it! Merely doing these 4 things will vastly improve most people's response rates. Just remember, the bottom line is to know your customer, know what she really wants, then prove you can give it to her.


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    • Lisa Packer profile image

      Lisa Packer 9 years ago

      Thanks for the comment, jaymz.

      Graphics definitely can help or hinder the sale, but it's rare that they can make it all alone. From my experience, they can either give a nice boost -- or if they're bad, they can doom you to failure.

      Bargains are really in the eye of the beholder -- the bottom line is making sure you establish the value of your offering. If you've targeted the right benefits, and proven that what you're selling will really make a difference in their lives, you can literally find a market for any price point.

      It's all about making your case!

    • jaymz profile image

      jaymz 9 years ago from USA

      Graphics definately help make the sale! Plus having "bargain" deals, or at least deals we think are bargains, help make sales.