How to Write Winning Sales Copy

By Ken Nickless Icon

I asked a very reputable marketer recently "Which is more important in a campaign, traffic or sales copy?" His answer was emphatic, "Sales Copy."

So we can get traffic, either paid or free, we can write press releases or articles to try and drive visitors to our site, but without compelling sales copy we will never convert those hungry buyers into sales for our products.

How can we learn to write the sort of sales letter or web page that will convert into sales?

A sales letter is completely different to writing a report or an e-book. These tend to be written from the heart, written because we thoroughly understand the subject about which we are writing, but when it comes to writing sales copy it's a completely different kettle of fish.

In writing sales copy we've basically only got one chance of keeping our reader interested or amused enough to keep reading until the reader fells compelled to either sign up for more information or press the "Buy Now" button to conclude the sale. I don't know whether you agree but the top selling affiliate marketing sites seem to go on and on forever, yet we find it extremely hard to stop reading and even harder to not sign up to see just how great their offer really is. (And if you're like me you buy it anyway in the knowledge that it must be worth the investment.) Hey, just look at the amount of people who have written glowing testimonials as to its worth and how much it has changed their lives!

Why, and how do these copy-writers make it so easy for us to make the decision to buy?

It's all based on a formula and every good copy-writer uses it for predictable results.

The first absolute MUST in any ad campaign is to persuade the reader to believe 'WIFM?'. "What's In It For ME?" There must be a clear message that convinces the reader that in fact there is something in it for them, whether the product is so unique, whether there are significant reasons for the reader to purchase, whether the perceived dollar value of the bonuses let's the reader think that they cannot miss such a great offer, and so on.

Good copy has to be personal, it has to be relevant and it has to be specific.

When someone reads your ad or opens your web page you have between three and five seconds for them to make a decision whether to continue or not. It's not much time is it? So if your headline fails to grab the attention of your reader then you've lost a potential sale.

There are two main things that motivate people to action:

  1. Fear of Loss.
  2. Promise of Gain.

Either or both of these should form the bulk of your headline. And if you can create an air of curiosity at the same time your on your way to a great headline. A great way to start is by reading newspaper ads, classified ads and competition web sites. Look at their headlines, copy them down and save them in a file. The more you get the better. Now see if you can slightly modify any of them to suit your particular product, whether it be for a web page headline,a pay per click headline or an article headline. I certainly don't recommend copying them word for word but if you can change a few words and still get a 'killer' headline then go for it!

The body of your copy should first tell the reader of the benefits of your product. To outsell your competition you must have a USP.

A Unique Selling Proposition

  • Keep asking yourself "How is my product better than the rest?" "What does my product have that no-one else has?" "Why should the reader buy MY product and not from my competition?"
  • When you have the answer then you have a unique selling proposition and that's what you need to convey to your reader.
  • Put your major benefits at the top of your body copy using bullet points and then follow up with four or five other outstanding benefits even if they aren't unique.
  • Add testimonials if you can. How can you get them? If you belong to any affiliate programs send a copy to the owner and kindly ask for a testimonial. Let you friends and relatives read it and supply you with testimonials. Just a few can add credibility to your product. Also in your sales letter if you have any other creditable things you can use, (Reports or articles you may have written, special mentions anywhere) let the reader know and give them links where they can check your credibility.

Your copy MUST contain a "Call to Action." The best way of doing this is to restate your USP using your main benefit to spur the reader to the next step.

For example let's say you were selling a golf tuition e-book and your USP was that you gave a money back guarantee if the reader didn't lose two strokes from his handicap within one month of reading your book, then your call to action might be: "To Knock Two Strokes Off your Handicap.......Or Your Money Back, enter your full name and email address and I'll send you the details immediately!

ALWAYS make your copy as personal as possible. Use the words "YOU" and "YOUR" and write in simple language without long, boring words.

Make sure that you thoroughly check your advert or web copy, use a spell checker and read through your ad a few times to make sure your punctuation is correct.

This article is an extract from my ebook "How To Create a Product, Market It and Make A Profit."

To get a free copy visit: there's a link on the front page.

Ken Nickless is a 64 years retired businessman and entrepreneur now living in Brisbane Australia. Having spent over forty years in the manufacturing arena specializing in MIS systems introduction, Quality Control implementation and Operations Management Ken now spends his time with website development and internet marketing. In his spare time Ken enjoys golf and spending more time with family and friends.

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