Small business marketing is not really about sitting around in
board rooms discussing branding strategies…it’s really about
selling. When it comes right down to it if you can’t write an
ad or letter that makes people want to buy what you have to
sell (even if that’s just an appointment) then you are sunk.
Between reading most everything on the subject
, viewing well written sales letters, and tracking my own results I have
developed my top 10 power copywriting tricks.
1. A great sales letter should make a promise, draw a picture,
prove its claims, and push the prospect into a buying decision.
(Think 4 P’s – Promise, Picture, Prove, Push)
2. Use Powerful Headlines – Some of you might think I’ve beaten
this one to death…but fewer than 2 out of 10 people will read
your letter if you don’t have a good headline…you can’t sell
anything if they don’t read the offer.
3. Write Like You Speak – English scholars will find this advice
abhorrent, (sorry!) but a sales letter or ad is simply selling in
print, so sell like you sell. Many writers lose their way when
they attempt to use feckless language. (huh?)
4. Pepper your reader with benefits. Tell them what’s in it for
them. It doesn’t really matter that you have a 100% on time
policy unless you make them realize that means they won’t have
to waste their time waiting on you.
5. Use testimonials – Getting testimonials to use in your
marketing materials can be some work but it’s well worth it.
People love to read that someone just like them thinks your
company is great or that your service provided them with a
very specific benefit.
6. Have a specific call to action – Many small business ads and
sales materials don’t really tell you what they want you to do.
They stop just short of leading you. Take your reader by the
hand and tell them exactly what you want them to do next. Call
for more information, download a fr~ee report, attend a seminar?
7. Make it easy to respond – In this day and age that means:
800 #, fax, email, website, mobile, voice mail, credit cards,
check by fax. Don’t give your readers and clients a reason to
say no…sometimes it doesn’t take much.
8. Repetition – Don’t assume that every reader will read your
entire marketing pitch. Some will scan. Repeat your benefits,
say them in different ways, use examples to illustrate them.
9. Longer is better – It doesn’t mean you need to ramble but,
in order for someone to get the real picture you are trying
to draw for them, including testimonials, examples, benefits,
and buying options, you must provide them with enough content
to do the job. Don’t make the mistake of believing no one will
read a letter that is more than one page. If your headline is
compelling and your copy sings, they will follow to the end
and then you will have them.
10. End with the beginning again – Restate what you have to
offer, wrap up what you want them to do, and retell them how
they are going to benefit by doing it now.