So what makes the difference between bad sales copy and good if it isn't grammar, spelling and literary skill?
First lets be clear about what sales copy is for. It is to sell products or services. It's purpose is not to convey the genius, humor or ability of the writer.
Being funny and charming is great if you can still sell products but not so great if your reader after having fun and being entertained still clicks away from your site without buying anything.
Here are some mistakes people make when writing sales copy:
- Trying to impress with big words and flawless grammar
- Long paragraphs and sentences
- Over capitalisation and prolific use of !!!!!!
- I, Me and not enough about YOU the reader
- Technobabble - baffling the reader with product jargon
I don't use 'proper grammar' for sales copy or any writing I do on the web. Reason being, it doesn't sell.
For copy to sell well, it should be written in a conversation style as if you are talking to your client, telling them the benefits of the product face to face.
This style works well for writing on the Internet. We already communicate with written words in email, on msn etc. so writing articles in 'chat style' creates a familiar sense of live communication.
In summary, your sales copy should reflect a human voice.
We all know how dreadful those telesales people are when they phone up using a script. The best telemarketers bin that script and adapt their words to suit the client on the other end of the phone.
This is how it should be with written sales copy. It needs to suit the intended reader. If the intended reader is a 'happening teenager' then the copy should reflect their 'style' and so on.
Keep your copy:
- Concise - don't waffle. Where one word will do, use one.
- Simply worded & jargon free - unless you're writing for the audience that uses that jargon daily.
- Short sentences and paragraphs - Internet readers scan pages, short bites of information are easier to digest than large.
- Break up the text with bullet points, images etc.