If your copy lacks this there will be no sale

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If you study direct-response copywriting, then eventually you piece together the basic structure of a piece of sales copy.

It is basically headline, lead, story, and close.

That's where a lot of people put their focus. They zoom in on the structure and get all amped up about the sexiest headline or the most seductive lead.

Yet there's one piece of the puzzle so many folks out there miss.

It is very easy to get sucked into the glamorous side of copywriting. Too many people do. They get wooed by the fancy headlines and the punchy bullets points that they forget essential things like selling to the right people and working on the actual core offer of the promotion.

And there's another thing people like to look over as well. That's clarity.

You see, above all else, copywriting should be clear.

Really, at its core level, copywriting is just window glass, so the customer can look through and see the offer. Then they either go inside the store and buy it over move on and forget it.

Copywriters would like to bamboozle you and get you to think that they do all the heavy lifting and that without them all businesses would surely collapse into anarchy and debt. Not so.

You can verify this by looking into what is called the 40/40/20 rule. I won't go into it here, as we are talking CLARITY.

So much copy is just needlessly confusing. The prospect is fooled around, lead down dead ends, and ultimately has to struggle to even read the sales message.

This means death for a promotion.

Let us demonstrate this shall we. What do you think would work better as a headline?

Now! Finally! Relief from those HOT Summer Days is HERE AT LAST!

Or,

Free Ice-cream

If you're offer is that fricking appealing, you can lead with it. Why beat around the bush if you are offering free ice cream? Why try and entice people with some run around story when you are offering FREE ICECREAM. maybe add where people can get the ice cream etc, but you get the idea.

Now this a case by case basis, but clarity is something that applies to all sales messages.

When people confused, they will not buy. I have seen this a lot in the computer store. A salesperson gets very excited and talks about all the wonderful features with a certain laptop, and Mr Prospect says, "I need to think about it," and goes off, never to return, likely to buy from someone else who is less confusing.

Clarity... clarity... clarity.

A lot of people's resistance to clarity is that they don't think their offer can stand on its own. They have to do a little song and dance instead of writing persuasively to sell the damn thing. If you offer sucks that much, that you need to actually confuse someone before they're stupid enough to buy from you, then no amount of copy can help you. Sorry.

Writing with clarity doesn't mean being boring. It means making sense.

I used to struggle with this. Then a book called "Obvious Adams," sort of woke me up to the truth of the situation. Again, good copy is like clean, unadorned window glass. It isn't drawing attention to itself, and it isn't making the prospect look away from what is being offered.

A lot of copywriters will try and sell you on how "wonderful" their sales writing is, yet many of them don't know a thing or two about being CLEAR.

Thought this could be a useful read. Let me know what you think!
#copy #lacks #sale
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Yes, clarity is important, so your core message here does have some value.

    And it appears you gave this some genuine thought. But before you pat yourself on the back too hard, let me just shred a couple pieces of your story apart...

    Originally Posted by Braeblayde View Post

    Really, at its core level, copywriting is just window glass, so the customer can look through and see the offer. Then they either go inside the store and buy it over move on and forget it.
    At its core level, copywriting (good copywriting) is "salesmanship". I've never heard of window glass making a sale on its own. Usually it takes a sales person.

    And good Direct Response Copywriting is salesmanship... multiplied.


    Originally Posted by Braeblayde View Post

    Copywriters would like to bamboozle you and get you to think that they do all the heavy lifting and that without them all businesses would surely collapse into anarchy and debt. Not so.
    There are carnival barkers, con artists, and snake oil salesmen in EVERY profession. And to make a generalized statement like this shows narrow perception, and a lack of understanding.

    Copywriting is "one" very important piece of the business puzzle. But no legitimate copywriters are "bamboozling" anyone into thinking they are the "only" piece of the puzzle.

    Originally Posted by Braeblayde View Post

    You can verify this by looking into what is called the 40/40/20 rule. I won't go into it here, as we are talking CLARITY.

    So much copy is just needlessly confusing. The prospect is fooled around, lead down dead ends, and ultimately has to struggle to even read the sales message.
    So bringing up the 40/40/20 rule, and then telling us you're NOT going to tell us about it, is somehow different than leading us down a dead end, and confusing us?

    For a post on "clarity" some parts of your message are not very clear.

    Originally Posted by Braeblayde View Post

    Now! Finally! Relief from those HOT Summer Days is HERE AT LAST!

    Or,

    Free Ice-cream

    If you're offer is that fricking appealing, you can lead with it. Why beat around the bush if you are offering free ice cream? Why try and entice people with some run around story when you are offering FREE ICECREAM. maybe add where people can get the ice cream etc, but you get the idea.
    Yes, between the two headline examples above, "Free Ice-cream" is the better one.

    But what if a dozen other people are also offering free ice cream? Very often a good story, or some more compelling copy makes the difference between someone choosing you, or choosing your competitor (a sale... or no sale)



    So I agree with your overall concept that clarity of message is very important. But overusing rhetoric tends to undermine the legitimacy of a message.
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  • Originally Posted by Braeblayde View Post

    Really, at its core level, copywriting is just window glass, so the customer can look through and see the offer. Then they either go inside the store and buy it over move on and forget it.
    There is no EITHER.

    I appreciate yr smart analogy with the glass -- though we gotta watch out always for slottin' in extra panes to maximise the clarity -- but surely the ONE JOB copy has is to make darned sure nowan walks away.

    So mebbe let's ditch the glass an' drop the store.

    Hug me closer.

    Gotta figure all successful copy belched to the masses feels always like a one-on-one -- like you heart-to-heartin' with yr bestie.

    I would want always for copy to feel that way ... like when I need sumthin', FFS least these guys figured both my plight an' my desire to make October.

    Kinda ... if'n I'd wrote out my hopes an' wants, here is the EXTERNAL EDITOR.

    Like most evrywan, I got plenty potential sales offers shut the F down.

    I do NOT need a noo dragon kimono, so pitch Moi not.

    Ditto Yoga gear.

    So ... howevah maxo yr allure on a sales ticket for these products, I am way blinder to the shimmer than the eponymous blind frickin' bat -- whoevah that critter actschwlly was.

    Flipside ... I got plenty stuff I need an' want.

    An' as a copy person I figure most stuff I write haloes lassos to anywan feels similar.

    Why should I wish for EITHER here?

    Aw, let me LOWER MY SIGHTS!

    Why should I even SETTLE?

    For EITHER?

    Gotta figure you mixin' up MANDATORY with MEANDERTORY.

    https://youtu.be/AO073fekFfA

    (I tried over an' over to bring this CLASSIC up fronta yr eyeballs -- but WF ain't loadin' up the grooves rn so I guess we all one step removed from the action ...)
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  • Profile picture of the author HowToWritePro
    I agree, the clearer your SIGNAL, the better you cut through the noise!
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  • Profile picture of the author poweredspeaker
    I too agree with the answers. Each and every signal varies from all the signals.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    What I see missing the most from poor copy is thinking through who's reading the copy...really getting inside their prospect's head, working out what's important to them...and writing the copy from that perspective.

    It's really hard to write a clear, compelling message if you haven't accurately worked out who your prospect is.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

      What I see missing the most from poor copy is thinking through who's reading the copy...really getting inside their prospect's head, working out what's important to them...and writing the copy from that perspective.

      It's really hard to write a clear, compelling message if you haven't accurately worked out who your prospect is.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh

      Agreed. I call it "target market 101" as many internet markers do and when I do any type of marketing online I always "pinpoint" the target market "before" I market anything in any shape and form.


      Once I know my target market I can inform my copywriters and they will create copy based on the target market.


      It always surprises me when a new copywriter contacts me and the first thing they do not convey to me is they write copy based on my target market. Understandably, not all copywriters are marketers.
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      • Profile picture of the author Odahh
        Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

        Agreed. I call it "target market 101" as many internet markers do and when I do any type of marketing online I always "pinpoint" the target market "before" I market anything in any shape and form.


        Once I know my target market I can inform my copywriters and they will create copy based on the target market.


        It always surprises me when a new copywriter contacts me and the first thing they do not convey to me is they write copy based on my target market. Understandably, not all copywriters are marketers.
        I am just adding this and not disagreeing with anyone. The other part of writing to a target market or target audience . The part that may bring out the clarity . Would be knowing exactly what you want the person who reads the copy you write to do at any point in the reading that either sells them or gets them in the sales process or at least open to receiving or reading more of what you send.

        I am writing to this group to get them to do this action .

        I am not a copywriter so those of you who are could probably explain it clearer .
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
          Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

          Agreed. I call it "target market 101" as many internet markers do and when I do any type of marketing online I always "pinpoint" the target market "before" I market anything in any shape and form.


          Once I know my target market I can inform my copywriters and they will create copy based on the target market.


          It always surprises me when a new copywriter contacts me and the first thing they do not convey to me is they write copy based on my target market. Understandably, not all copywriters are marketers.

          Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

          I am just adding this and not disagreeing with anyone. The other part of writing to a target market or target audience . The part that may bring out the clarity . Would be knowing exactly what you want the person who reads the copy you write to do at any point in the reading that either sells them or gets them in the sales process or at least open to receiving or reading more of what you send.

          I am writing to this group to get them to do this action .

          I am not a copywriter so those of you who are could probably explain it clearer .

          You did well explaining it.



          Its called Call to Action or in copy lingo CTA. The copy simply compels the action the reader (target market) must take to solve a problem or improve a circumstance, etc.


          Its like a funnel wherein from the top of the page working down to the pay button. BTW, the pay button message is also an important trigger to get the buyer to click through. Instead of Pay Now we can use something like YES PLEASE. Albeit, different CTA pay buttons for different Target Markets.
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  • Profile picture of the author GrantDSC
    Hi,

    Yep some sound tips here. However one thing that wasn't mentioned is The Big Marketing Idea of a piece of sales copy.

    The marketing hook or big idea of a piece of copy is the most important next to the actual offer. It is your own unique angle on your subject or topic that no one else is talking about and hence gets mass attention in your marketplace and gets people to engage with your message.

    The best in the business at creating compelling big ideas are Agora and Agora Financial.

    If you want to get awesome at writing sales copy, definitely study every sales letter for their offers.

    Grant
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