I am not a copywriter. I make my fair share of sales online, but I have to assume that most people buy from me because they know me and like me. Either that or they really want what I am offering, and just roll their eyes and hunt for the order button. Because my copy skills stink — and they stink bad.
Over the years I have read everything that I can get my hands on about copywriting, and I’ve even made some substantial improvements. But just recently I found a much better (read: easier!) way to write sales copy.
It’s a backwards fill-in-the-blanks strategy, but it works.
Here’s my strategy: I sell the “product” first. THEN write the copy. I use the word product very loosely by the way — that could mean services, physical products, ebooks, software, you name it.
Let me explain.
I don’t have a problem getting excited about my product. I can write up a quick note to my subscribers or my blog readers and explain the details, and fortunately that excitement and/or sincerity shows through well enough to get conversions on a blank web page with a single order button.
My most recent project was handled that way, with very little explanatory text, and the order page showed a 47% conversion rate. That’s the power of a pre-sell at work, of course.
Translating my excitement from a personable note to professional sales copy is where I start to have problems. And I can only imagine I am not alone.
Writing good sales copy is incredibly important, though. While the pre-sell method may work beautifully, you risk a high refund rate if you don’t properly explain your product upfront.
If you struggle with writing your own sales copy, try this simple 5-step, fill-in-the-blanks system that I am currently using myself:
Step One — Put your product out there and do a true market test. If you already have a mailing list, offer it to your subscribers first.
But if you don’t, you can: conduct a fire sale, do a joint venture, put your product on eBay, post a special offer (WSO) on the Warrior Forum, place an ad on Craigslist.org, or any other method of selling online outside of your own website.
I will generally give a copy of my product to close friends and family members as well, which is particularly effective as they are my worst critics.
Step Two — Compile the feedback, the questions and the testimonials into one file for easy reference. Trust me — there will be plenty. With zero sales copy you will get a lot of questions and some very constructive feedback.
Step Three — Dig through your “swipe files” and find a sales letter that you particularly like. Perhaps a similar product that you purchased online yourself recently. It helps if the product, the target market, and the price point are all similar.
Use this example to create a basic outline of page elements. This includes the introductory text, the headline, the basic flow of the page, the placement of order buttons, the signature and the P.S.
Step Four — Flesh out your outline with product details. You can perfect it later — for now you just want to jot down the basics.
Step Five — Open your feedback file and add the testimonials to your sales letter. Next, go over each question and each response and create one paragraph of sales copy to address each point.
For example, the question “Does this come with ___?” will prompt a paragraph about what your product includes.
If you are staring at a blank page and attempting to write your own kick-butt sales copy, I encourage you to try these five steps for yourself.
You’ll have a high-converting sales letter written in no time that addresses all of the points you may have never thought of on your own!