A Beginners Guide to Copywriting: Part 2 "How to Keep Your Readers Mind Fully Engaged..."

by Mark Andrews Banned
6 replies
Your preheader, that is the line of text in the top left hand corner serves one purpose only...

To get the reader to read the Main Headline.

That's it. Nothing else. Likewise...

Your Main Headline serves one dominant purpose only. To get the reader to read the 1st sentence.

And your 1st sentence? It too serves one purpose only...

To get the reader to read the 2nd sentence down. And the 2nd sentence? It too serves one purpose only...

To get the reader to read the next line down. In effect creating a slippery sales funnel. What we call in the trade 'gravity pulling sales copy'.

Obviously, there's a technique to this. Fortunately for you, it need not be as difficult as you might think to put this into action.

So let me ask you a question...

What's easier to read? What's easier to digest mentally? A very long preheader or a short concise one?

Your preheader should be kept as short and concise as possible. Remember... the preheader serves one purpose only...

To get the reader to read the Main Headline. If you are inexperienced constructing or writing sales copy... just use a few words, typically 6-8 words is more than enough for the pre-header.

For example...

This knowledge will take your business...

Hanging on to every word of the following...

Would you like to know how to...

Dead short, simple and to the point. The preheader is simply a nudging device.

Imagine a funnel. The type you use to put gasoline in your gas tank when you're close to running empty. Hold it upright in front of your eyeballs. Visualize it.

Got the visual? Good. Hold the visual. Now...

You want to entice your readers to tip over the edge to start the slippery slide down your sales copy. And at the end, at the bottom of the page they plop out and land excitedly on your buy it now button. This is the purpose of your written sales pitch.

But before we get there, let's revert our attention back to the Main Headline.

Your Main Headline in actual fact serves a 3-fold purpose. The main purpose of course is to get the reader to read the 1st sentence down but in order to do this you need to sock your single biggest benefit straight between the eyeballs of your target audience.

So ask yourself, what is my single biggest benefit?

What is the one core emotion I want to stir up the most?

What is the single biggest problem I'm trying to solve for my potential customers?

In your Main Headline you want to give your readers (in typically 16-18 words or less) every reason possible to want to continue reading below, to find out more about what's in it for them, from the content of your offer.

You can frame your single biggest benefit, your irresistible offer focusing on one core emotion perhaps with a question or indeed a forthright irrefutable statement.

Stick it inside "Inverted Commas" - make it personal, as though you're talking across the table to a good friend. You want to try wording your Main Headline as an invitation, a friendly push in a direction which not only is good for your prospects but ultimately is good for you too. A direction which ultimately results in you bagging the sale.

So now you've written down a rough draft of your preheader. And your Main Headline. Next comes your first sentence...

Now, some copywriters, depending on the subject niche, will launch instantly into writing the first sentence whilst others...

...they'll first create approximately 5 sub headings centered in the middle of the page under the Main Headline worded as questions. Questions which it's only possible in the subconscious mind to reply Yes! to. This is important...

...vitally important in fact. To get your readers subconsciously nodding Yes! in their mind from the outset.

Salesmen do this too. They'll ask you questions which only have one answer, in the affirmative.

"It's a beautiful day today isn't it?" With a slight uplift in the tone of their voice as they reach the end of their question. Of course, it's a loaded question. What they're really trying to do and it comes across very innocently, is to get you the potential customer into a Yes! frame of mind from the start and agreeing with them, agreeing with what they have to say next.

It's about building a bridge of understanding. A mutual relationship where the prospect feels good about what you have to say.

I digress. I'm good at that.

So... we'll assume you've launched straight into your 1st sentence. Keep it very short and follow on with an ellipse, like this...

Use no more than 6-8 words, for example...

In the near future you can expect...

Have you ever felt?...

Would you like to have?...

Do you believe?...

Why a maximum of 6-8 words only? Because you don't want to overwhelm your readers with too much information at the start of your sales letter. If you write a massively long 1st sentence, chances are it will be too much for your readers minds to take in.

A very long 1st sentence or paragraph can act as an emotional brake. And you certainly don't want any brakes on your sales copy at the start.

What you do want is for your readers to keep reading whatever it is below the previous sentence. The longer you can keep your readers on the page, engaged and interested (in gear) with whatever you have to say, you all the time increase your chances of netting the sale at the end.

Remember, every word you write is going to have an emotional impact in the mind of your readers. Every sentence you write is going to make your readers either more interested in what you have to say, less interested in what you have to say or worse case scenario...

...you accidentally switch on an altogether different emotion to the one you're trying to play on and this sets off a warning signal in their mind and out they click in an instant.

Try to keep your tone conversational. Write conversationally. A good sales letter should be just like enjoying a good conversation with a friend.

But ha... what you'll also find if you do this... and then it hit me, you see...

Just like that. Simple.

Next installment coming soon. Keep some of these pointers in mind and you'll be well on your way to writing a superb piece of copywriting.

Any questions?

Simply ask them below and I'll do my best to help you...

I hope this is helpful to one or two of you.

Kindest regards,

Mark Andrews
#beginners #copywriting #copywriting 101 #copywriting advice #copywriting tips #guide #newbies copywriting #part
  • Profile picture of the author Michelle500
    It seems copy writing is the first thing a newbee who wants to sale own products online must learn, how can i start learning , what are the best approaches to copy writing. am working on a product i plan launching come march and i believe a good copy write will make it sale.

    I need lots of advice pls
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffLee

    ... most excellent advice and professorship.
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  • Profile picture of the author RHert
    TiffLee, Love it. You're right. Mark nailed it right on the head. Michelle, I'd suggest taking a course and studying up on some of the professionals. Some of the courses can teach you the basics for relatively cheap. You can also look around this site for information or on the web. There are quite a few blogs and articles that deal with copywriting, mine being one of them. But one of the most important things is to practice.
    Copywriting at it's Best! - Tips and tricks to connect with your reader.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Ausin
      Great post, love the slippery slide analogy
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
        Originally Posted by Matt Ausin View Post

        Great post, love the slippery slide analogy
        Just think of the board game Snakes and Ladders Matt.

        Ladders (the wording you use in your sales pitch) take you where you want to go. They lift up your emotion.

        And Snakes... they help you to slip down to the next sentence. In copywriting terms exactly what you want to do.

        Further example... it's like playing emotional chess with your 'opponents', those doubters who are looking for any reason not to get involved with your word play but feel themselves being drawn ever deeper into your web of words.

        Similarly, you're the spider in the middle of the web. You the copywriter, you're task is to spin your words to generate exactly the emotional responses you want to inspire in your target market.

        Tantalize them, titillate their senses, have them hanging on to your every word. Good copywriting reads very easily, deceptively so. It almost looks like just about anybody can do it until you give it a go yourself. This is the beauty of copywriting...

        ...making it look incredibly easy whilst all the while playing a much deeper game of pschology with your audience using certain trigger phrases and words to tip your readers in a certain direction.

        Think sheep herding. The shepherd whistling to his dog. On the fetch, the cast off, the hook, funneling those sheep to precisely where you want them to be so you can 'push' them in any direction you choose.

        Takes a bit of practice but the more practice you put in the easier it gets.

        Warmest regards,

        Mark Andrews
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        • Profile picture of the author Matt Ausin
          Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

          Just think of the board game Snakes and Ladders Matt.

          Great post. I just couldn't help but read it a couple of times and then save it to my inspiration folder.

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