In marketing, there are many different ways to write good sales copy. How do you know which style to adopt?
When you’re beginning, it’s best to focus on elements that will serve your customers, rather than focusing on style. These elements will help buyers make informed decisions.
Below, you’ll find 5 key elements that you can include in every piece of sales copy.
Write Headlines Filled with Benefits.
The first element you should focus on is the headline. The headline is located at the top of the sales copy and is often the first element customers will see. Therefore, it must capture attention and incite interest.
To do this, you should write headlines that speak to a benefit.
What is a benefit?
A benefit is a reward or profit that customers will gain by using your product or service.
In other words, keep your customers in mind and focus on meeting their needs in your message.
If you need more information about finding your target customers first, click here.
Finding a benefit
When writing a headline focused on a benefit, ask yourself these questions:
Does your product solve a problem? If so, how?
Does it make a process easier?
Does it make a process faster?
Does it have competitive pricing?
Does it include a discount or sale?
The answers to these questions will identify a potential benefit that you can use. Many companies include the benefits easy, fast, affordable, or sale in their marketing.
Example of a benefit
You can find good examples of benefit-focused headlines by studying top brands in your industry. One example is Moz, a popular technical tool in the website industry.
Its products help by providing insights about your website’s audience and improving how you reach them through online search.
One clear benefit that these tools have is increasing how many people come to your website. Moz can easily use this benefit in their messaging to draw new customers.
Don’t focus on product features.
If your company’s product has technical aspects, such as software, you may be tempted to spotlight these in your headline. However, features may not speak to a true benefit.
Test the feature by asking how it helps the customer. You can use the questions under “Finding a Benefit” as a guide.
Then, decide whether highlighting that feature will provide a clear message. Your customer should understand the benefit of that feature at first sight.
For instance, videographers might understand how a new feature on a video camera will help them in their job.
Unless your customers have good understanding of the feature, you should stick to stating the actual benefit instead.
Summary of Headlines
Write headlines that speak to a benefit, or reward, for the customer.
Focus on customers’ needs as you write.
Ask yourself questions about the product to find potential benefits.
Don’t focus on product features.
Keep Sentences Short and Simple.
Next, as you’re writing company sales copy, keep sentences short and simple. In academic writing, you might have learned to use long, complex sentences.
However, short sentences in sales copy will help buyers skim information. They will see the point of your product and decide whether they want to know more.
What is a good sentence length?
To keep a good sentence length, you should write enough information for buyers to make an informed decision.
Look back at your headline and make sure that the copy is explaining or adding to it. If you’re trailing off into a different subject or repeating messaging, see what you can cut out.
Consider broken sentences.
As you use this short and simple structure, consider broken (or fragmented) sentences in your message.
Pick a key word or phrase that will inform your audience. Then, try adding those words into the message alone, without creating a complete sentence.
This staccato style may not fit every brand, but it adds interest for those who can adopt it. It also ensures that messaging is clear since you’re not using as many words.
Should the overall length be short?
In many cases, a short overall copy length resonates well with busy customers.
However, some products might benefit from using long-form copy. For instance, if your product has a highly technical aspect, customers might want to know more details.
In these cases, make the benefit of your product clear from the beginning but keep interest going by detailing the product later.
Either way—long or short overall copy,—you should keep your sentences short and messaging simple.
Address Buyers’ Objections.
Then, after a clear headline and simple messaging, try to include combats to buyers’ objections.
What is an objection?
An objection is any reason that a buyer gives for not buying your product or trusting your company.
How to address objections
Interested buyers may see how useful your product could be, but they want facts or proof to make sure. A few ways to address buyers’ objections:
Can you prove a result that customers will get from using your product? Your company’s product might save the average customer X amount of time or money. These hard numbers will provide reassurance.
Testimonials/ case studies
Add a quote from a previous, satisfied customer. Similarly, you can highlight a case study in which a customer achieved success with your product.
Many companies use the number of customers they have served to prove their experience. You can also list brand name customers as social proof.
If your company doesn’t have hard numbers, money-back guarantees can make new customers confident in their purchase.
Finally, unlimited customer support can ease customers’ tension about understanding your product.
Where to find objections
To get ideas flowing, try talking with customer support about frequently asked questions. You can also look at reviews of your product or find a recent survey your company has conducted.
Again, keep your customers’ needs in mind when looking for these objections.
Ensure a Clear Call to Action.
Next, one of the final elements you will add to your sales copy is the call to action. It’s best to add this element at the end so that customers don’t skip it.
What is a Call to Action?
A call to action (or CTA) is a word or phrase that instructs the customer about what to do next.
Examples of CTAs
Join our newsletter
Buy a product
Download this e-book
Watch our video
Listen to our podcast
Subscribe to a channel
Connect on social media
Fill out a survey
These phrases give you a starting point for creating a call to action. However, you can get creative in the wording or make the CTA more appropriate for your product.
Use only one call to action.
What if the call to action asked customers to buy a product and join a newsletter at the same time?
It would lead to confusion and possibly fewer customer actions. Instead, separate messaging into one clear CTA. You can address another offering later.
Pay attention to the purchase process.
Once you’ve chosen your call to action, ensure that customers have an easy purchase process. Add buttons that people can click to buy the product. Include a link to the information page.
Even after you’ve added these, test them.
Do you go directly to the product from the sales page, or do you have to search the products store? Does the information link send you to the correct PDF, e-book, or blog post?
The easier customers can access your products, the more they will come back to you.
Test Your Sales Copy.
Last, you should test your sales copy to learn and adjust. Even experienced marketers test to make sure their copy is working.
They call it A/B testing or split testing.
What is split testing?
In short, split testing means switching out one element of sales copy for another variation.
For example, you may want to see if customers are more interested in a free webinar versus a product discount.
Then, you would allow both sales pages to run, directing half of the traffic to one page and half to the other.
Which one attracts more customers? Keep that element and move on to testing another.
Test one element at a time.
It’s important that you test one element at a time to get accurate results. If you change more than one element, you won’t know which one achieved the result.
The point of split testing is that you will know what format or style works so that you can replicate it in the future.
To find more detailed information about split testing, take a look at our article here.
Summary for Elements of Sales Copy
Write headlines filled with benefits.
Keep sentences short and simple.
Address buyers’ objections.
Ensure a clear CTA.
Test your sales copy.