Use this checklist to make sure your sales copy can produce the sales you want.
A few small changes in your sales copy can produce a big increase the number of sales you get from your web pages and sales letters. Here are 12 simple things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your sales copy — and increase your sales.
1. Make sure every part of your message focuses on the customer. Convert anything about you or your company into a customer benefit. For example, replace “14 years of experience” with “pleasing customers just like you for over 14 years”.
2. Write your message the way you would write to one person. Many people will read your sales copy. But each person will read it individually. Effective sales copy makes each reader feel like you are writing personally to him or her.
3. Communicate in simple and informal language. Replace words like “originate” with “start” and “receive” with “get”. Use active words in the present tense to grab your prospective customer’s attention and hold their interest. People stop reading if they begin to feel bored.
4. Convert technical words and phrases into common words. Use words every prospective customer will clearly understand without stopping to think.
5. Replace general words and phrases with specific descriptions. For example, replace a phrase like “get fast results” with “our new clients average 9 percent more profit in the first 60 days”.
6. Divide long paragraphs into 2 or more short paragraphs. People read short paragraphs because they look easy to read. But they skim (or skip) long paragraphs because they look like a challenge.
7. Include some bulleted or numbered lists to make your message:
- Visually attractive
- Easier to read
- More clearly understood
8. Don’t overdo the attention getters. Too much bold type, underlining or all upper case letters makes your message harder to read. Use them sparingly to highlight important benefits or features.
9. Eliminate anything cute, clever or humorous. It diverts the reader’s attention away from your message.
10. Keep your message positive and upbeat. Positive copy usually produces better results than negative copy… except in politics.
11. Make sure your message flows smoothly. Readers should be able to visualize what you’re saying without noticing the words you’re using to say it. Keep them engrossed in your message.
12. Avoid sensation and hype. They lower your believability and cause you to lose sales. Tone down any claims that sound exaggerated — even if they are true.
Compare the sales copy you are using on your web pages and sales letters with the 12 strategies on this list. Revise your copy to implement those you overlooked. You’ll enjoy an immediate increase in the number of sales they produce for you. Then save this list and use it as a guideline the next time you create (or pay someone else to create) new sales copy.
© 2002 Bob Leduc