15 Sure Steps To Copywriting Success

27 replies
Since we have a new forum now and since no one has posted in the copywriting section...and since I'm a copywriter, I just wanted to kick everything off with the first post:

In marketing, copywriting is a valuable skill that everyone needs. Whether you're a graphics designer, php script developer, or whatever the case maybe, having or at least becoming familiar with the principles of copywriting can work to your advantage.

And just to get you started, here are 15 steps to copywriting success:

1. Research first - Identify the problem, agitate, solve

2. Openings - open with stories- Stories are relationship building, lowers resistance, engages readers and connects with them

3.Copy should be scanable, use subheadings and lists

4. List the facts with bullets, features and benefits - State a feature, then say "so that..." and give the benefit of that feature to customers

5. FAQs - who, what, when, where, who, how

6. Objections - why would someone not want what you're selling?

7. Testimonials - use your best ones up high in the copy and spread the others throughout the copy

8. Order link inserted about 1/3 to ½ way down in the copy, not sooner because you need to make the case based on values and emotions other than the price

9. The product - picture them with it, how much better their lives are with it, benefits, paint the picture, and offer another chance to click and order

10. List the specifics of what they get

11. A guarantee-everyone wants some sort of guarantee, don't you?

12. A call to action-many people spend all of their time giving the details of their product and fail to ask the reader to take action. You MUST ask the reader to take action and buy, because if you don't, they won't buy.

13. Bonuses-Stockpile your offer with free bonuses. This adds value to your offer and it gives the appearance that the customer is getting over on you, the merchant.

14. Final arguments, repeated in a P.S. and PPS.

15. Make sure that your headline is catchy and appeals to readers. We also advise you testing different headlines. A great headline could increase your sales by 377% overnight
#copywriting #steps #success
  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Hey Nicholas,

    Once again we all need reminders.

    I'm not one for all the extra bonuses but if it works why fix it right.

    A big amen to the great headline. Once they get me with that a good chance they are going to make a sale.

    Ken leatherman
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    • Profile picture of the author bwjstreet
      Hi Nicholas,

      Great post, rep given. Would you be willing to give a glance over my sales page in my signature and respond with any suggestions?

      I think I have everything listed. I'd love the view of a professional copywriter.

      Many thanks if you can.

      Regards, Benjamin
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Originally Posted by ndcole78 View Post

    8. Order link inserted about 1/3 to ½ way down in the copy, not sooner because you need to make the case based on values and emotions other than the price
    Why would you put the order link in the middle of the page? Wouldn't it be better to place it at the end (after your complete sales pitch has been made)?

    If the reader is ready to order after reading only half your copy, then maybe you didn't need the rest of it.

    Johnny

    P.S., Thanks for the list (I love lists). There are some very good thoughts in there.
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    • Profile picture of the author ndcole78
      Good question Johnny 12345----You will also have an order button at the end of the letter, but you want to give the prospect more than one chance to order. A lot of times, people are convinced before they even read the entire letter----A call to action at the end is without question, but having several opportunities to buy will greatly increase your conversions. You can even place an order link in the testimonial boxes right under the person's name.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan_Taylor
      Great post, Nicholas - rep given.

      This reminds me that I need to make more use of painting pictures with stories. It is a powerful strategy.

      Johnny, I don't have any data myself, but I've heard people having big results with adding an additional "buy now" button or two. For one, I think it subconciously it helps to ask them to buy multiple times, and I like to add it after strong benefit lists.

      In sales, one of the hardest things to do is to stop talking when you have them already sold. I think it serves the same purpose - getting them to take action when they do not need any more information. While others may need to keep reading before purchasing.
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      • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
        Originally Posted by Ryan_Taylor View Post

        ...I've heard people having big results with adding an additional "buy now" button or two. For one, I think it subconciously it helps to ask them to buy multiple times, and I like to add it after strong benefit lists.

        In sales, one of the hardest things to do is to stop talking when you have them already sold. I think it serves the same purpose - getting them to take action when they do not need any more information. While others may need to keep reading before purchasing.
        Ryan,

        Those are both excellent points. It also illustrates that copywriting really is personal selling in print, because that is exactly what you try to do in face-to-face selling.

        Johnny
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      • Profile picture of the author zapseo
        Originally Posted by Ryan_Taylor View Post

        Great post, Nicholas - rep given.

        In sales, one of the hardest things to do is to stop talking when you have them already sold. I think it serves the same purpose - getting them to take action when they do not need any more information. While others may need to keep reading before purchasing.
        This is one place where face-to-face sales differs quite a bit from copywriting.

        In a face-to-face situation, things are linear -- defined by time moving along.

        But in the salesletter, things can be linear or random. The reader can scroll around as they please.

        Further, in face to face selling -- the prospects may consider it rude to interrupt the sales person. Alternatively, you could argue that a sales person who talks would-be buyers out of a sale do so because they realize the sales person is an insensitive lout. Maybe not consciously. Through adequate calibration and anchoring (NLP skills), a person in face to face sales should not ever oversell, or at least relatively rarely.

        In copywriting it's hard to "over sell" (distinguished from over-hyped) -- since the prospect can consume as much or as little of the relevant information they need in order to make a decision.

        Live JoyFully!

        Judy Kettenhofen, Profit Strategist/Copywriter
        NextDay Copy
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        • Profile picture of the author Dean Dhuli
          13. Bonuses-Stockpile your offer with free bonuses. This adds value to your offer and it gives the appearance that the customer is getting over on you, the merchant.
          You gotta be careful with this one because it shouldn't look like
          you're giving away bonuses just to make people buy your product

          ...or like your product isn't good enough to be sold separately.

          Imagine seeing something like -"Buy my product for $27 and get
          $1227 worth of bonuses free!!!"

          It looks ridiculous, doesn't it?
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    • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
      I did some testing quite a while ago with order links scattered throughout the copy, placed at the top, or placed at the bottom.

      The page with the links scattered throughout did MUCH better.

      Some folks were already "pre-sold" based on the article they saw or the fact that they had been getting my AutoResponder letters for a while.

      Some would read (or at least scroll) all the way down to the bottom before ordering.

      In one test, there was an order button at the top of the copy, in the middle, and at the bottom. The link in the middle outperformed both the top and bottom link combined.

      I think if the offer is good and the copy is strong, you can catch both the folks that like short copy and can make a quicker decision as well as those folks that really want to review the offer and prefer the long copy.
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      Brian Rooney
      TrafficWave.net Email Marketing AutoResponders
      Email Marketing Blog

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  • Profile picture of the author trafficwave
    Originally Posted by ndcole78 View Post


    12. A call to action-many people spend all of their time giving the details of their product and fail to ask the reader to take action. You MUST ask the reader to take action and buy, because if you don't, they won't buy.
    SO true! I've had clients email me to tell me something like, "This just isn't working for me. I am running my ads and following up but I'm not getting any sales."

    I asked to see a copy of their ads and there was literally NO call to action and NO way for the prospect to order.

    The copy was poor. The offer was unclear. That was two strikes right there.

    So we started by fixing the copy and made a clear call to action telling the reader EXACTLY how and where to order.

    Amazingly ... sales started coming in.
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    Brian Rooney
    TrafficWave.net Email Marketing AutoResponders
    Email Marketing Blog

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    • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
      Great advice thanks.

      A method I use to practice my copywriting skills is with ebay.

      Selling random stuff just so I can practice and test my copywritng while making some money at the same time.

      Thats a good way for new marketers to sharpen their copywriting skills using the advice you have just given us thanks again
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Placement of order buttons is an interesting area.

        You want to think along the lines of where your prospect is coming from.

        In many cases you actually don't know how far along in the sales process your prospect is.

        In some cases they'll come from an email written by someone they trust who has told them to buy your product.

        In that case you can test adding an order button in the first fold (right after your headline, subhead etc at the top of the sales letter).

        I've done this successfully with several sales letter and achieved over 20% response rates (in fact in one sales letter I got a 35% response rate with a statistically significant number of sales).


        But not everyone arriving at your sales page is going to be ready to buy.

        Many will need a whole lot more information.

        So with order buttons or links earlier in your copy (or in the middle) you're giving people who are ready to buy a chance to do it without having to look for the order button.

        But you're also still giving the people who need more information the chance to get that too.

        Generally speaking once you've given a call to action and told your prospect to buy you want to make it very easy for them to do it so you might have an order button every screen or two through your P.S. or any information after your first call to action.

        Testing will help you determine what works for your specific sales letter.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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        • Profile picture of the author azgold
          Very thorough list, kudos!

          I think that sometimes people are so fixed on the sale that they forget to talk to their targets.

          I've read some sales pages that left me wondering what, exactly, they were selling. If they wrote for their audience, they would probably see higher conversion rates.

          Like I said, nice post.
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