If you don’t currently have a sales pitch, or you’re trying to improve it, here’s a quick outline of how to put one together for your website.
The first thing I do when writing is start with an outline and I highly recommend it. Use an outline (or mind map) to just jot-down all your ideas and thoughts on the subject. It doesn’t have to make sense or flow smoothly. Not everything in your outline will make the final draft and a few things that weren’t in your outline will get added. From there, here are the steps to creating great copy.
- Define your target customer. How old are they? What do they wear? Where do the shop? What do they drive? What motivates them? What do they absolutely love? What do they absolutely hate?
- Define what would you like the customer to do once hearing/seeing/reading your pitch. What’s the goal? Enter their email… Purchase a product… Contact you…
- Utilize the 4.5 Points of Marketing. Problem, Solution, Why us?, Why now?, Risk-Free
- Consider possible responses and questions. Don’t create a FAQ… With a FAQ you can’t control the dialogue. Step the reader through the 4.5 points of marketing while addressing all of their questions as they go along.
- Offer third-party testimonials and reference third-party resources. Those testimonials can be written or video. Include them along the side of your page so they’re viewable the whole time. Also, be careful when referencing third-party web pages. Generally you’re better to site the resource without a direct-link because you don’t really want someone leaving your web page to check out the resource and then never come back. However, in some instances it does make sense to provide the link; so use common sense.
- Pretend you’re sitting next to someone talking to them. Once you have that vision, take your outline and start writing sentences in the Conversational Marketing style as if you’re talking face-to-face.
- Highlight key points for the readers who will just skim. Also use numbered and bulleted lists as well as paragraph breaks, graphics, charts, and pictures to highlight important details that you don’t want the reader to miss.
- Test and Measure to determine which copy is most effective. In other words, have multiple landing pages and track your analytics to determine which page is achieving your goal from step 2 most often per visitor.
- Sign your letter, postcard, website, or marketing piece. People don’t buy from businesses. They buy from people. If you’re a small business use that personal touch to highlight how you’re different and therefore BETTER than dealing with a large faceless corporation.
- Include your most important part in the P.S. Whether you’re creating a newspaper ad, direct-mail postcard, writing an email, or direct-mail letter, studies have shown that people read the headline first; then they read the sub-heading; next they check out the pictures; and finally they read the P.S. or whatever is at the bottom of your ad.
Don’t forget to tell the truth! Which one are you more likely to believe and therefore respond to?
“Everything must go!” OR “Our purchasing department made a mistake and ordered too much inventory so we need to clear out some stock.” Just don’t be that furniture company down the road that’s been having the “Going out of business! Must liquidate everything!” sale for the past 3 years. That’s not honest or ethical.
While we’re on the topic of ethics, your marketing should always be honest and up front. Don’t bait-and-switch… Don’t stretch the truth… Don’t tell little fibs that no one will ever notice… In the short term people will notice it and be put off… In the long run it’s toxic. It’s like a cancer lead by the marketing (or sales) department that keeps getting worse but that no one notices until it’s too late. It will eventually catch up with you and ultimately it’s never the most profitable way to run a business of any size.
To your success in writing sales copy, Bryan
P.S. My last 2 blogs were a bit long so I figured I’d shorten this one for you. My next blog on your Marketing Manual might exceed my 1,000 word limit, so consider yourself warned.