Marketing copy- effective writing increases sales

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Marketing copy – words on a computer screen that create income – a dream for many of us, but a dream that so few achieve. Looking back 100 years ago at some of our ancestors’ form of marketing, I can only smile at how simple it was to create effective sales pitches back then.

So what’s changed? Competition for one thing – so many millions of products now available all screaming “buy me”! The major change in recent years is the web. Once upon a time, a successful marketing strategy took years to infiltrate the ranks of sales people – nowadays new strategies come and go every other day.

But some things remain constant, the basic psychology of humans that triggers them to pull out their credit cards for the “latest thing they just gotta have”. In this article, we’ll take a look at the basics of creating effective web marketing copy that will help increase your online sales.

Marketing Copy - quality is important

Before you set to typing your first word, you need to understand the product or service you are promoting – thoroughly. It’s not enough to just state how good it is; think of yourself as the person whom you are targeting. Not only would you want to know the features of the product or service, but just how it will benefit you. Create a list all the features of your product, then next to those features list the benefits; e.g

Feature – Fastest, Benefit – Save time. This will work as a basis for your marketing copy.

Generate sales through effective text formatting

People have a tendency to skim over printed matter, looking for what they want to read. In order to attract the attention of the prospective customer, its important to use headings, bold text to ensure important aspects of your offer stand out. Try to write short paragraphs and use dot points to assist in summarizing a feature or benefit.

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Personalize your sales message, ask questions

You’ll notice in the above sample that the term “you” and “your” is used often, to make things a little more personal. Also, a question is asked to assist prospective customers in identifying the challenges they may be facing – an answer to the question is immediately given afterwards, then the direct benefits to the customer. Asking a question is a good way to introduce a product or service before going into the details.

A call to action & risk minimization

It’s also important that after every benefit/offer statement that a call to action, such as ‘purchase’, ‘learn more’ or ‘enquire’ follows soon after. You may find that you will need to create many calls to action on one page as different triggers will work on different customers.

In many cases, the customer will not be able to see, hear or touch the product, so it’s important that wherever possible that you are able to offer a money back guarantee. Often merchants are nervous of offering 100% money back guarantees, but the research I have carried out indicates that, generally speaking, people don’t take up on the offer – they just want to know it’s there.

Many top Internet marketing gurus would testify that the refund offer is the “clincher” regarding whether a customer purchases or not. I would advise you to research your industry before offering this – I have witnessed abuse by customers of these offers in certain industries, especially in Internet based services.


Being a social animal, humans succumb to peer pressure in its many forms. A testimonial is a very subtle form of peer pressure. Think about it, if a leader in your industry recommends a certain product, does that give it more credibility in your mind?

Gathering testimonials can be a very simple task. Contact customers who have purchased from you previously and ask them a few simple questions plus permission to publish their comments. Remember that people are generally very busy, so it may mean having to respond to their WIIFM (what’s in it for me) factor. This could be offering your clients one of your products for free if they complete a survey.

If your product or business is new, then you won’t have any customers to gain testimonials from. In this case, before going into a full scale launch of your product/service, offer free or demo versions to people on the provision that they complete a survey after a trial period – and that they allow their comments to be published.

A word of warning – don’t use testimonials that make it sound as though your product/service is a cure for all the world’s ills (unless it is). Customers will soon see through the hype, or worse still, fall for the hype and be chasing you when the product doesn’t perform to the level that your marketing implies.

Concluding your sales copy…

Chances are if the customer has read all the way through the page that they aren’t an impulse buyer, but quite discerning. Your last paragraph is make or break time and your final chance on that particular occasion to secure a sale – but you won’t always make a sale the first time a customer is exposed to your product/service. It is often said in the world of marketing that a discerning customer needs to see an offer seven times before they will buy.

Turning hesitant buyers into leads

In these instances, you’ll need to be able to find a way to stay in touch with the customer – converting a lead into a sale through using slightly different strategies. The most effective way to do this is to offer a free subscription to a special report or series of reports on the product/service subject. When offering the free subscription/report, ensure that you guarantee to protect the privacy of the customer.

Further sales copy tips

  • Do respect the customers intelligence. Talking down to people will get you nowhere.
  • Remember to use positive and to-the-point language that a prospective customer will understand
  • Use simple fonts to get your message across – decorative fonts can be very hard to read.
  • Don’t be too concerned by the length of your spiel. As long as you have observed the previously mentioned points, it can be as long as you like – different customers will respond to different triggers.
  • A basic guideline of effective marketing is to try and keep sales copy focused on the one product or service rather than distracting the customer with other offers – I admit it, I’m guilty of this in my menu systems. Works for some, not for others – experiment..

(c) Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast

Marketing Copy definition

Alex Mayer
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