A is for… Adjectives
If you want to engage readers and get them to take a closer look at your business try to limit the amount of adjectives (describing words) you use in your copy, because they weaken the impact of your words.
Adjectives can stylishly enhance your copy (see what I did just now?), but when you overuse adjectives your copy gets weakened.
B is for… Benefits
Focus on the reader’s benefit. When someone reads your copy they always ask themselves,“What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM.)
Use words to describe the benefits, paint the outcome, tell stories and make it about them, not you.
Benefit driven copy helps build trust, takes the focus off your ego, and lets the reader “feel” your solution.
Buying decisions are never made with the ego; they are DRIVEN BY EMOTIONS (feelings).
Memorise this before you write any sales copy:
- BENEFITS appeal to EMOTIONS
- FEATURES appeal to LOGIC
- LOGIC justifies EMOTION
- EMOTIONS drive SALES!
C is for… Creativity
Creativity is the art if using a unique twist in your copy to entertain readers. Don’t be afraid to add a creative twist to the way you write, because it helps you stand out from the masses.
D is for… Don’t Assume
Assumption is a sales killer! When you assume, you miss an opportunity to get the click, or the sale.
“Always be closing,” said Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, the movie. You should keep that in mind, because a close can be as small as asking your reader to comment on your blog, or as large as asking for credit card details, at the end of a sales call.
E is for… Energy
Energetic copy has dynamic flow. So much so you can easily get engaged with the words on the page, and “feel” the impact they have on your soul.
F is for… Future Pacing
Future pacing is a term used by copywriters to describe the outcome your product or service creates for the buyer. It’s the art of describing the benefits to them, and showing them how their life could look like if they commit to your solution.
G is for… Guarantee
Capture more sales with a no-brainer guarantee. So what constitutes a great guarantee?
For starters, it must be solid. A good guarantee gives the reader peace of mind. Your guarantee should be big enough to scare you, but not big enough to send you broke.
So in a real life scenario you could simply offer a 100% Money-Back Guarantee at the end of a 30-day program – provided you haven’t invested any personal time, or given away your expert intellectual property (IP).
If you have a service driven business you may simply offer a satisfaction guarantee instead, and then make sure the client is satisfied in the end, no matter what.
H is for… Headlines
Ted Nicholas, the grandfather of copywriting, and a man I respect as one of the greatest copywriters of all times once said that, “73% of buying decisions are made at the headline!”
So for every 100 visitors who visit your sales page, 73 decide whether to keep reading (and buy), or click away from the page there and then.
If you want to capture more readers, leads and sales, you need to practice the art of writing compelling headlines.
If you’d like more help in writing great headlines. Subscribe to my list at the top right of this page.
I is for… Ideal Client
No amount of copy is going to sell for you, unless you’re writing to your ideal client.
Why? Because when you intimately understand the frustrations, needs, and wants of your market you’ll be in a better position to build the engagement with your words.
Unless your reader engages with your copy they won’t be inclined to buy from you, because there’s no connection.
J is for… Jargon
Jargon can work (to an extent) if you’re targeting a micro niche with its own language; if only to show readers that you get them.
But if you take it to the extreme, jargon-laced copy can be a sales killer. So I suggest you limit jargon in your copy.
Jargon is described as shorthand between groups of people who share an interest.
Expressions like: FAQ, due diligence, 9-5, bang for the buck, and AWOL all fall under the jargon label.
K is for… Killer Bullets
No, not the bullets spewing from a gun.
I’m referring to your bulleted copy, of course.
There’s a way to write compelling, engaging, and irresistible bullets. And then there’s a way not to write them.
- The first rule of combat is to keep them short.
- The second rule of combat is to pace them.
- The third rule of combat is to write irresistible bullets.
- And the fourth rule of combat is to turn bullets into your own weapon of mass seduction.
If you’d like personalised tactical field training in shooting bullets that convert to sales, shoot me an email.
L is for… Love
If you want to positively impact your tribe while marketing your business, use words to say it with love.
When you make love to your prospects you court, flirt, dance, seduce, and eventually propose (e.g. invite them to buy from you).
There’s just one problem with this whole “love marketing” concept. If the message is incongruent it can come back to bite you in the arse.
But if you genuinely care for the wellbeing of your tribe it shows in your copy. And that’s the best attraction-marketing concept in the world.
M is for… Magnetic
Is your copy magnetic? Do you use words to seduce the reader into a sale? Good copywriting takes readers on a magical journey, and engages them from the headline all the way to the checkout. And it’s irresistibly sexy!
If you can write copy that magnetises your ideal client, you can literally print money on demand.
N is for… Niche
The money is in your (micro) niche aka your market. Not everyone will be able to niche down his or her business to an ideal client, but if you can, do it, because you’ll be the large fish in the smaller pond – opposed to being a small fish in the big pond.
O is for… Offer
Make your offer irresistible enough and they’ll buy from you. The key of an irresistible offer is clarity. A confused reader never buys.
So keep your offers clear, concise and easy to comprehend so a 12-year old can grasp your offer.
P is for… Postscript
A postscript is an additional remark at the end of a letter, email, or sales page. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, postscripts can be a powerful copy element to get more clicks.
Find out if postscripts work for you by doing a split test the next time you send an email to your list.
Simply split your email into 50/50 (good autoresponder services let you do that) and add a “P.S.” to one portion of your campaign – and analyse the statistics once the numbers are available.
Q is for… Questions & Answers
Answer any possible objections with a questions and answer (Q&A) section on your sales page. Or add an FAQ page to your website.
It’s a great way to give the reader clarity about making an informed decision, before they’re wasting their time and yours.
R is for… Refunds
Some readers are uncomfortable about buying stuff online. This is especially true for older generations such as baby boomers, who may not be familiar with buying stuff online.
Help put their mind at ease by offering a clear refund policy. And if you feel comfortable doing so, publish your contact details on your website to offer readers peace of mind.
S is for… Storytelling
If you can tell stories, you can sell with words. Storytelling is the most powerful copywriting element around (in my eyes anyway).
Stories are powerful because they allow you to naturally explain about a problem you were facing, what happened, what you did to fix the problem, and what happened as a result.
You can easily incorporate storytelling in your marketing by emphasising your personality when writing copy. Sprinkle your stories into your copy to help entertain, elevate and engage your readers.
T is for… Trust
One of the best ways to build trust is with the help of testimonials. Trust needs to be established, before a sale takes place. Build trust by showcasing client success stories, and use specifictestimonials in your marketing. E.g. use testimonials that support the claims you make in your copy!
Ask clients for feedback about your work as soon as you wrap up a project, and sprinkle these notes of praise throughout your marketing.
U is for… Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
What makes you uniquely you + better suited for the client, really?
Your UVP is so much more than a simple statement of how awesome you are – it’s a PROMISE!
A good value proposition positions you as the undisputed industry leader, and gives your business an edge.
But the real purpose of a good value proposition is to help the reader to make an informed decision about working with you.
It’s about highlighting the things that make you stand out from competitors, without pointing fingers.
V is for… Value
The best value is not found in your offer, it’s in the way you service your clients. You definitely need a good offer and a value-add bonus (if you offer a bonus). But the real magic happens after the sale.
The value your clients really want is found in the after-sale environment. It’s in the way you follow up, the way you deliver on your promises, and the respect you extend to your tribe.
W is for… Why
Whenever you invite readers to exchange something with you (time, effort or money) you should give them a strong reason why.
Why? Because we’re all busy.
Unless you tell me why I should hang out with you, and interact with your business, I may not make the connection (even if it’s obvious to you). Tell readers why they should buy from you – and not the business next door. Tell them why your product will change their lives. Tell them why you’d love to get their insights for the email you sent to your list.
Tell them why you care for their wellbeing and success, really.
Reason’s why marketing is powerful. And personal. Build the relationship with your tribe by showing your vulnerable side too.
X is for… eXcellence
Focus on providing eXcellence to your clients and they’ll build your business for you by referring you to their business contacts.
eXcellence can be as simple as sticking to the delivery deadlines you advertise, and as complex as sending clients a handwritten thank you note for referring you their friends.
eXcellence is about being outstanding! And standing out – like a shining STAR!
Y is for… You
The most important word in your copy is “you.” It’s not about you though (have I confused you yet?); it’s about the reader. Use the word “you” a lot, and always remember that the reader doesn’t care for you, they care for themselves the most.
Z is for… Zzzzz
Whatever you do, the best tip I can give you about writing engaging copy is to make it personal. The last thing you want is to send people to sleep. If you struggle with writing try this tip: picture yourself writing to your best client. Pretend you’re sitting across from her and write as if you speak.
And that’s concludes the A to Z of copywriting. Done. Finito. Fertig. Donsky!