Updated October 14, 2020
Two little words that carry a whole lot of weight.
Whether you’re writing emails to share that new eCourse you just launched or are flinging yourself straight into the deep end with a sales page, writing sales copy is not for the faint-hearted.
And here’s the thing… chances are you’re already deeply familiar with sales copy mistakes.
So that’s a start.
But how do you know WHAT to add to your copy so it leaps off the page and takes your prospect by the hand and pulls them in so they can’t help but read every word, every line, and then…
… flip out their credit card and sign up for your program.
Well, let’s get straight to it.
The Five Sales Copywriting Ingredients to Season Your Copy for Conversions
Your sales copy has ONE job – to sell.
But not in an obnoxious, bait-and-switch, smarmy style.
Instead, think of your sales page or email as a friendly, helpful, and genuine interested-in-your-well-being BFF to your reader.
Now, how do you turn a friendly BFF into a bold and confident closer?
THAT is what these five copywriting ingredients will help you do.
Having written sales pages for everyone from Pat Flynn to Vanessa Lau and in niches as diverse as real estate education, interior design, succulent care and early childhood education, I can vouch for the power infused in these sales copy ingredients.
1. Start strong with a Sales-Seasoned Hook
Your headlines and subject lines are the key to getting your prospect intrigued and engaged.
They do the job of hooking fragmented attention and exhausted brain cells.
I write at least 30 different headlines before narrowing down my top 3 or 5. Yep!
Sometimes, I even write 40-50 headlines before picking two to test out.
Because I know if your headline grabs your prospect, they will want to check the rest of your page.
If it doesn’t, you’ve lost them right off the bat!
How do you write those conversion-tickling headlines?
You need to spend time on headlines and subject lines and not slop them together at the last minute.
Also, you should test them out so you can let data guide your optimization efforts.
Split testing headlines and subject lines is the easiest split test for ROI-hungry entrepreneurs.
Speaking of ROI, if you want your evergreen launches to give you a higher return on your investment, drop those details below to swipe my evergreen launch framework AND be the first to know when Ready-to-Sell opens.
2. Follow it up with Empathy-Laced Lead Copy
Next up is the lead copy. Lead copy is the copy that sets the tone for your sales copy.
This is what your prospect reads right after they’ve read your headline.
The job of your lead copy is, yep, to encourage your prospect to keep reading.
Because ALL the sales copy I write is based on my proprietary Connection-Conversion Framework, I lean heavily on connecting with and educating our prospects.
Here are 3 easy ways for you to write your lead copy section:
- Ask a question that relates to your headline.
This is one of my favorite ways of opening a sales page! Questions spark curiosity, fire up those connection neurons, and create instant responses in the brain.
Here’s an example from a client’s sales page.
Each question highlights the pain the prospect may be experiencing but also does it in a way that’s relatable and not uncomfortable and guilt-inducing.
Fear-based marketing isn’t a flavor we use here at Content Bistro and I’d much rather use my innate empathy (Enneagram 9 here!) to connect and convert.
- State a fact or statistic. Another hot favorite for grabbing those eyeballs and holding their attention. Here’s an example from a client’s sales page.
Make sure you back up your facts. I like to include the “source” in mice-type.
- “I’ll be there for you…”
Yep, you can channel F.R.I.E.N.D.S when writing copy. 😂
Your lead copy needs to let your prospects know that you not only understand their pain and struggle, but you’ve got their best interests at heart, and you’ll be there for them.
Continuing with the BFF metaphor, this is where you share that you empathize with their situation, and you do understand where they’re coming from.
And no, you don’t ever fake it. You lean on your story, your experiences, your past, and you share with Brene Brown-level vulnerability.
3. Stir up emotions and desire with a Persuasion Potion
Sales copywriting is all about blending and brewing psychology, persuasion, and personality. The resulting cocktail is heady and is a priceless potion.
But the truth is that blending all of this together can feel like sticking a toothpick in your ear. OUCH!!
Here’s how to make persuading prospects spectacularly easy and happily painless:
- Give prospects a solid reason to buy. Yes, I’m talking about the much-touted benefit statement here.
But here’s the thing… Benefits, by themselves, don’t always cut it. You need to go deeper into the “real” desires of your prospects.
Example: “Discover the secrets to sales copy so you can write powerful emails” sounds like a good benefit statement.
Want to know what’s better? “Discover the secrets to sales copy so you can write powerful emails, stand out in crowded inboxes and see “You made a sale” notifications pop up!”
- Address objections, head-on. That’s right.
Your prospects will always have objections and while it is tempting to hide from them… you need to face them and more importantly, address them.
One of the easiest (and MOST effective) ways to do this is to call out the differences between their available options and your offer.
- Use the power of LF8.
I swiped this sales copywriting ingredient from Drew Eric Whitman’s Cashvertising. The Life Force 8 or LF8.
According to Drew, “These eight powerful desires are responsible for more sales than all other human wants combined.” These are:
- Enjoyment of food and beverages
- Freedom from fear, pain, and danger
- Sexual companionship
- Comfortable living conditions
- To be superior
- Care and protection of loved ones
- Social approval
4. Melt resistance with Specificity, Simplicity and Solid Social Proof
Specific details work better than vague adjectives or superlatives. Specificity also comes into play when talking about who is perfect for your program.
Be realllllly specific and you’ll demolish refund requests in one swoop.
Here’s an example from a sales page I wrote for a client in the home gardening niche.
Similarly, simplicity works way better than fancy-sounding words and formats.
Eugene Schwartz said it best when he said, “Write to the chimpanzee brain. Simply. Directly.”
You can employ simplicity in your sales copywriting by using shorter, easier-to-understand sentences, simple and quick-to-grasp words as well as my personal favorite – short paragraphs!
Social proof is the 3rd ingredient in this trifecta, and when used right, can give your sales a boost like nothing else.
Here are THREE key ways of establishing social proof and you can choose to use just one or all three.
- Endorsements by established authorities in your niche
- Places your work has been featured on, such as podcasts, websites, news channels, etc.
- Testimonials and case studies
Now the last one is a given.
However, ensure that the testimonials actually help you sell more.
While candy-coated testimonials may give you the warm fuzzies, what you need is social proof that makes your prospect trust you.
5. Seal the deal with a Picture-Perfect Close
It’s time for action. You’ve helped your prospects see exactly why they need you, what they get from you, and of course, how you’re the best person to help them…
…but a key ingredient that can help them leap across the line and get to the other side is a conversion mechanism known as future pacing.
Quite simply, you want them to see how their before can change for the better once they’ve implemented your offer.
As always, there is no room for puffery in this ingredient.
Every word you put on the page and in this section must be backed by results and reality.
This is usually the “Imagine This” email or section on a sales page where you help your prospect feel into what the future can look like.
Here’s an example from a client sales page. You can see not only did I use real student success examples for the pictures, but I also continued to back up the “imagine this” section with more social proof. There are more testimonial screenshots below the first one.
These are not the only ingredients that go into writing high-converting, human-friendly sales copy but they are definitely five of the most important.
Go ahead, layer them into your sales page or emails to move the needle from Nowheresville straight to Buyer City!
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