Magicians are skilled manipulators of perception. They can make people think something is moving when it isn’t or see things that aren’t there. Diverting attention this way and that, they can hide cards and rabbits or make objects appear from thing air.
Sales copy is a little like that, depending on who writes it. Diverting attention with a little smoke and mirrors often draws readers inwards towards a sale. It’s persuasive copy, written to get people believing in the buy.
Now, don’t get me wrong – sales copy isn’t evil. It isn’t there to sneak millions from people’s pockets while leaving them holding an empty bag and no rabbit. Not at all. Sales copy is just a form of marketing and selling through a text-built salesperson.
And it’s tricky. Here are seven of those tricks to help you write yours:
1. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen!
Most performers want to capture your attention as fast as they can. Makes sense – no audience, no show. So how do they do it? A flourish, a bang, a splash… they aren’t shy about stating that they’re on stage and you should be watching. Your sales copy shouldn’t be shy either, so jolt readers into paying attention from the start.
2. I know who you are
To be effective, sales copy has to address the ideal consumer for the product or service. That means you need to know who should buy and why they should buy. Get intimate with that person and make sure that you demonstrate you know every need they have, their pain and fears, right from the start. You aren’t the enemy. You’re on their side.
3. I have what you want
Once you know exactly what the reader needs and wants (and that goes beyond the immediate), your job is to clearly convey that you offer exactly that – a product or service that will fulfill those desires. Focus on the reader’s hoped-for results and explain what your product does to achieve those goals.
4. Putting on a great performance
A good performer keeps the audience entertained with plenty of chitchat, flashy moves and movement. The more people focus on what the magician does, the less they focus on maintaining their beliefs. Your sales copy needs to help change beliefs too, maintaining a patter of conversation and buzz from top of the page aaalllll the way to the bottom.
5. Shall we dance?
Much of sales copy is a back-and-forth play between the reader’s current pains, fears and concerns and that your product or service removes all those sufferings for a better life. Continually mention worries the reader has, answer their questions, and then reassure them that there’s no need to worry at all.
6. Look over here!
Did you hit a tricky spot? It happens. Sometimes you need to divert attention from a sticky point so that you can slip a ball into your pocket for the purpose of the overall show. Respond to the concerns you can and then deflect attention to another area where you can provide firm reassurance.
7. Slipping cards in your pocket
Deflection attention works, but be careful with how much of it you do when you’re working in sales. Readers aren’t stupid; they know you’re sneaking something in your pocket. They just don’t want that to be particularly obvious so that they feel used.
Most important when writing sales copy is to deliver on your promises. People don’t want to buy a ticket to the show only to realize that it wasn’t worth the price.