We’ve all been on the receiving end of the ‘second-hand car salesman’ pitch. Chances are you weren’t even buying a car. That wild-eyed faux enthusiasm can rear its desperate head anywhere there’s money to be made or clients to convert – and that includes the online arena.
The problem is, we can all smell it a mile off. Ironically, it makes us less inclined to purchase the very thing we’re being aggressively pitched. So how can you avoid this (and other rookie mistakes) in your own copy?
Here are five tips on sales copywriting that you can put to use, whatever you’re selling.
1. Personalise, Personalise, Personalise
Rule number one for how to write sales copy: develop a personal relationship with the reader. They’ll be far more likely to buy something from you if they feel that they know you and, ideally, trust you.
This is no small task over the internet. Copy is inherently depersonalised because it’s just text on a screen. Counteract this handicap by being honest, sincere and direct. No BS, people! Your potential customers will often have a keen instinct for lies, even through the screen.
2. Don’t Promise Something You Can’t Deliver
Snake oil is a substance with no real medical value, advertised as being a magic cure for any and all disease. Don’t be a snake oil salesman.
If you’re slick enough, you might fool people once; but they will not take kindly to you and your product in the aftermath. Make sure you know the limits of your product as well as the benefits.
3. Ditch The Jargon…
How do you write good sales copy? By making it not appear as sales copy. There is a tendency among copywriters to lean into industry jargon, as it’s a safe space where they can demonstrate knowledge.
However, it’ll leave you dying on your feet when you hit the stage. You should be aiming for simple, impactful words that can appeal to anyone who happens across your copy. You’re not writing Hamlet here. Peter out that purple prose.
4. …And The Intimidating Language
While you’re at it, it should go without saying that intimidating language is a big red flag. Imagine that car salesman striding across the lot, stopping way too close to you and muttering through clenched teeth, “Buy this car or I’ll kill you.” The only thing being taken for a test drive would be your fight or flight response.
Same goes for online copy. Just because you’re talking to your customers through a screen, doesn’t mean you get to intimidate them. (This tactic is more common than you might think out there. It doesn’t convert to sales, but it may just convert to jail time.)
5. Make Sure Your Sales Are Streamlined
When it comes to sales copywriting tips, this is the one you should be considering from day one. If you’ve successfully sold something to someone, make sure you can actually sell it. In other words, make sure the physical act of buying the product is a mere button-click away.
You have a very short window to convert your readers to paying customers. You’ve done the hard work; they’re interested in purchasing. Imagine the heartache of losing that customer because they couldn’t find the click-through, or were assaulted by pop-ups when they did. Never mind Hamlet; letting a customer slip through your fingers at the final hurdle is the real tragedy.