When you’re selling stuff to people, you need to know how to sell. If you sell on a personal basis, or “offline”, you need to know how to set up a presentation, you need to read the other person’s body language, his/her tone of voice and you need to pay close attention to what they’re saying in combination with all this. Now, this is hard to do in an online environment, which is why you have to learn the trick of the trade for that…. Introducing copywriting.
A good copywriter is hard to find, a great copywriter is almost impossible to find, and usually extremely expensive too. I know copywriters who charge a minimum of $10,000 plus commission to write a sales page or a direct mail letter, and they’re not even the top ones in the country. I think copywriting is the language every marketer should learn, preferably master, but at least learn the very basics of.
I mean, haven’t you visited that sales page online that just, for some reason, sucks you in, and either you bought the product or service, or you had to actually make an effort to come to your senses to not pull out your credit card? Hell, I’m what most people would call a very experienced marketer, and I still fall for some of the stuff out there. It’s just how we work as humans. If I’m interested in something, and the text speaks to me in the right way, I’ll pull out my credit card faster than you can say “give me the money.”
A good headline and some convincing bullet points can increase conversion rates with several hundred percent. Sometimes when I split test different headlines and bullet points, it can differ from 10-20%. Learn how to make those modifications yourself, and you’ll both save money and make lots more.
Since this is pointed towards people who are new at this, or even if you’ve been around for a while, there are some great resources out there if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars learning how to write copy. Here are a few:
1. Know you business/niche! Check magazines, yes, the PRINTED ones. Why? Ok, let me tell you this… Every marketer I know who sells something to women, has a subscription to Vogue, Vanity Fair and all those other magazines. Why? Because they’ve been around FOREVER…. And why is that? Because they know how to sell! Learn from the headlines of the things that sell! This goes for other niches as well, if you’re selling golf stuff, get some golf magazines, car stuff, get car magazines, etc.
2. Start looking at things from a copywriter’s/marketer’s point of view. When you get direct mail in your snail mail box, don’t throw it away immediately! Study it, look at the headlines, the graphics, what they are doing. Trust me, they wouldn’t be sending out that same crap month after month if it wasn’t making a profit!
3. Google some really competitive keywords and read the Adwords ads. Don’t be mean and click them, because they’re probably paying tons per click, but check out how the ads speak to people and what they’re saying. Copy and paste the URL and see how the landing page is designed. Why the competitive one’s? Because they pay lots per click, and they wouldn’t be doing that unless they were making money.
Also, create an alternate email address and sign up for all kinds of newsletters. See how other marketers are doing.
4. Start creating what’s called a “swipe file,” meaning a file/folder with all the great headlines and sections that you can find or that you have written yourself. When you are working on a new project, get inspiration or “borrow” from that swipe file and make it even better!
5. Read some of the blogs on copywriting. There are several ones, but look up CopyBlogger (http://www.copyblogger.com), or John Carlton – a living legend (http://www.john-carlton.com).
6. Get some great books on copywriting! This is a must if you really want to learn more. I can definitely recommend:
The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy
No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-direct Marketing Businesses by Dan Kennedy
Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
Advertising Secrets of the Written Word by Joseph Sugarman
There are of course many, many more… And remember, study them, and then take what you feel is great and use it to create your own style.
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