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Before we dive head first into copywriting I want to make sure that you’ve already read the Know Thy Customer and Win Big post about discovering who you perfect customer is and creating their perfect customer avatar. Everything written in that post and in the additional resources discussed at the end of it are necessary to get started copywriting sales and marketing copy that has a chance of converting well.
Remember that trying to sell to everyone who needs what you have is a losing strategy in the days of advanced ad targeting systems. Your prospects won’t buy from you just because you have what they need or want anymore. Your message needs to be personalized to them so that they feel sought after and special. Let me say that again in a different way… your message needs to speak directly to your perfect customer.
This is because in the age of modern marketing people are wise to selling tactics but they still want to buy. In short, nobody likes to be sold but everyone likes to buy. If you’re familiar with this process already then by all means read on.
One of the greatest old school copywriters of all time by the name of Gary Halbert said, “You are one sales letter away from being rich.” The reason for this is because your sales copy is what’s going to make or break you. Most people think look and feel is the most important thing but even ugly websites and funnels can convert well.
A good example of this are websites and funnels in the survival niche (emergency preparedness and survival skills). The best converting websites and funnels here are designed to be cluttered, use unappealing colors and bombard you with text. One of the most successful websites in this space is Survival Life which is owned and operated by DigitalMarketer. It generates over $1 million per month in revenue and if you go check it out then you’ll see that the look and feel isn’t the most important thing for your success in online marketing.
As the evolution of technology, online marketing and sales psychology advanced what Gary said has been modernized by Russel Brunson who said, “You are one funnel away from being rich.” If you’re unfamiliar with funnels then don’t worry, we’ll talk about those in the Marketing Funnels That Make Sales For You post.
At the end of the day It doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to a website or funnel that isn’t converting because it’s going to cost you more to acquire customers than the revenue the funnel is producing. Great copywriting and sales copy is more important today than ever simply because people are savvy and their bull**** meters are finely tuned thanks to being bombarded with hundreds and hundreds of advertisements every day.
What is sales copy?
Sales copy is everything on the sales pages, advertisements and promotions that consists of text, images or video and are part of your sales process. For your audience, it’s the actual words that communicate your message directly to them whether it is read, heard or seen by them. For you, it answers the fundamental question of, “How do I get them to spend money with me?” It seems simple, and in my experience true genius is often expressed that way, but once you try your hand at being a copywriter without having a clue what’s going on things start to get complicated and expensive very quickly.
Here is an example of what I mean when I mention sales copy:
This is the optin page for the free webclass training about how to get all your webinar slides, sales letters and scripts written in under 10 minutes –
This one is also a great example of an ugly funnel page that converts extremely well because it has solid sales copy that works.
Truthfully, becoming great at sales and marketing copywriting is something that few marketers ever achieve and for good reason. You could study only copywriting for years to learn all the nuances of why and how every single word, sound or video works or doesn’t. In the process, you would spend $15,000 + easily to run enough tests and collect enough data to understand how copywriting effects all the various parts of the sales funnel.
Most people don’t have the time and patience for that and most businesses can’t afford to go several years before creating copy that converts well. The ones that do figure it out can easily charge $20,000 per sales letter because a funnel with copy that converts well can easily produce 50 times that amount of revenue easily over its useful life.
To get around the problem of not knowing what they’re doing and not having $20,000 + to spend on a single sales letter (that might not work by the way) savvy online marketers will go through a process of modeling competitors’ successful ads, funnels and other marketing copies. This is also part of the process known as “funnel hacking” which we’ll discuss in the Sales Funnel Modeling For Success.
Part of the funnel hacking process does include hacking copy but it can be difficult to know for sure if the copy you’re looking at is worthy of being hacked. Here are some general rules and guidelines as prescribed by one of the best, Stephen Esketzis, the Head of Content Marketing at ClickFunnels. I have paraphrased them for you below.
The 3 main components to the online sales process are:
Sales Letters (part of the Funnel pages)
Each of them serves a different purpose so the rules and guidelines are different for each one.
- Deliver a clear objective
- Establish trust
- Focus on the benefits
- Address the user’s problem
- Deliver the solution to the user’s problem
- Sense of urgency
- Let the prospect know specifically that your offer will not be available forever and that they have a certain timeframe to act or they will lose the opportunity to purchase.
- Sense of exclusivity
- Make the prospect feel special and like not everyone will get to take advantage of your offer.
- Appeal to emotions
- Fear, humor or anything that is provocative without being offensive.
Email Subject Lines:
Most people decide whether to open an email based on the subject line so better make it count!
- Optimize for mobile
- The modern online world is largely viewed by people using mobile device such as phones and tablets to check emails. Make sure it’s easy for prospects to read your subject line on their mobile device while they are scanning their inbox.
- Humanize the email by adding in specific information about them such as their name, location or information they are interested about specifically. This will help build rapport.
- Make it action-oriented
- Compel the prospect to take the action of opening the email by crafting actionable subject lines. This is the same concept as a CTA or call to action.
- Be concise
- The subject line should elude to the content of the email while leaving them curious enough to open it and explore further. Don’t give it all away in the subject line.
- Add a sense of urgency
- Make them feel like they need to read your email now instead of waiting.
Sales letters are written to address the fear and reluctance prospects experience before they take the action you’re directing them to take (subscribe, purchase, download etc.). This is usually because they have had bad experiences before, can’t afford it or doubt the credibility of your product or service.
- Start with an attention-grabbing headline
- State the benefits of your offer or use descriptive words that evoke an emotion related to their problem to draw the prospects attention.
- Identify the prospect’s problem
- Present the problem they are having and use descriptive words to agitate the feelings associated with it. Also let them know that they shouldn’t have to suffer anymore because there is a solution.
- Present the solution to that problem (your offer)
- Now entice your prospect by telling them that your product or service is the solution.
- List down the benefits
- Concisely state the benefits of them buying your product or service. Bullet points tend to work well for this just make sure they know what’s in it for them.
- Show social proof like testimonies, feedbacks, etc.
- Give testimonials from clients or customers that are thrilled with your product or service.
- Establish your credibility
- Provide other sources and examples of proof that you, your company or your product/service gets results. This could be the number of years you’ve been in business, notable companies/people you’ve worked with, awards won, etc.
- Deliver your offer
- Let the prospect know the price of your product/service and justify the pricing structure if you offer different levels of service or product bundles.
- Offer a guarantee
- Show them that you’re ready to “put your money where your mouth is”. Make then a guarantee that removes the risk from them purchasing your product. This is most commonly done in the form of a “full money back guarantee”.
With online sales letters, there is a subsection of the sales letter itself that also deserves to be discussed here because it’s what all the copy before it is leading up to.
High-Converting CTA (Call to Action) Copy:
CTA Copy supports the look and feel of the actual CTA button(s) in the funnel that the prospect actually clicks on to take whatever action it is that you’ve been leading them to take, subscribe, purchase, download and so on.
Here are the bullet points for creating high-converting CTA copy:
- Include the key benefits of your product or service in your copy
- Add numbers and data into your copy
- Appeal to emotions to influence the users into clicking the button
- Tell them what happens next when they click the button
- Add testimonials
- Assure them that their information will be safe
To read Stephen’s article in its entirety and discover what he says about the general guidelines for writing other marketing copies as well click here.
Now you have a good idea about what great sales copy is and how to use it in the 3 main components of the online sales process but knowing is only half the battle!
More than any other one single thing, sales copy will make or break your marketing efforts. The only other part that comes close is the actual offer you’re making to your audience. If that sucks then even great sales copy will fall short.
There’s a reason why great copywriters like Dan Kennedy can demand $20,000 to 50,000 plus for a single sales letter and average copywriters run $200 plus per hour and even they paid the price with their time, money and energy to reach those levels of expertise.
It’s the same price you’ll end up paying, one way or another, if you attempt to do this on your own (the hard way). Maybe you’ll have a few good wins so you don’t blow all your money on the trial and error method but it’s still a bit of a gamble, even with what you know now.
So what do you do? Just bite the bullet and hire the best copywriter you can afford for hundreds of dollars an hour with no guarantee of success?
Nope! There is another far more cost effective and far less mysterious way to have your sales letters, webinar slides, scripts, VSL (video sales letters), email subject lines and basically anything else you need written in just 10 minutes!
Without a tool like this it could take days (or weeks for webinars) to write all the copy required and you wouldn’t even know if it would work. All the copy that’s created for you with this tool is copy that has been proven to work and is created using the guidelines and principles that are responsible for generating millions and millions in revenue for the most successful marketers in the world!
What is this magical tool? It’s called Funnel Scripts and yes, it’s designed to write all your copy for you in under 10 minutes! It’s also ridiculously cost effective compared to figuring it out yourself or hiring an expensive copywriter.
The best news of all is that Funnel Scripts is offering a free trial right now so you can try it for yourself without worrying about losing anything. Just click the link below to secure yours before they stop doing it.
Without a viable solution to inexperience, lack of time or money to invest in creating great sales copy, not taking advantage of Funnel Scripts is like gambling with the success of your marketing, business and by extension your life.
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Marketing is about changing what excites you in life from excitement into capital. This way you can do more of it and keep moving forward with it. That’s why it’s so important to really know and care about who your perfect customer and perfect prospect are because you’re not going to be excited about all of them and don’t necessarily want to do business with everyone who needs what you have to offer.
Once you have identified your perfect customer you will also know who your perfect prospect is. You’ll also be in a position to determine where to find qualified prospects, what to offer them, how to deliver on the value you’ve promised and what your value ladder should look like (more on this later).
Finding the qualified prospects that fit your product/service the most will keep your costs down, prevent headaches and provide more opportunity for profitability ($$$$) because they will want you to upsell them and provide them with more value. In fact, I would build into your perfect customer avatar (will cover shortly) that this person either have or be in the process of acquiring the financial means to take advantage of even a $100,000 offer for a product or service of yours.
This way, you’re not only going to be able to greatly simplify your marketing by appealing to a specific person but you’ll be building a community of people where a certain percentage of them actually could and will spend that kind of money with you…
For those of you unfamiliar with marketing funnels, I’m happy to introduce you to one of the best friends you’ll ever have and if you already have experience with them then you know why I would be doing you a disservice to not to write a blog post about them.
Marketing funnels are designed for the express purpose of turning prospects into customers by using sales psychology and online marketing methods. They take your prospects through an actual sales process that is designed to market directly to them in order to increase the likelihood they will take the desired action you want them to like subscribe, download, purchase and so on. How is this different from just buying something on Amazon.com?
Funnels focus on solving a specific problem for a specific prospect. For example, if I’m wanting to start being and feeling healthier then I’ll go to Amazon.com and search “multivitamin” then see this…
Before we jump into sales funnel modeling, the 4th step in eliminating up to 95% of the “trial and error” in the digital marketing process, lets quickly recap on what you should have working for you so far:
1) You should know who your perfect customer is and have created their customer avatar by answering the questions in the Know Thy Prospect And Win Big blog post as best you can, given them a name and have written their story. Now every decision you make will be based on if it’s something this one type of person would like or respond to how you want them to. The DotCom Secrets book I told you about earlier will help tremendously with this as well.
2) The sales and marketing copy you create for your ads and funnels should be based on the principles discussed in the Copywriting That Converts To Sales blog post to give them the maximum effectiveness possible for engaging your perfect customer. Sales and marketing copy play one of the biggest roles in your ad and funnels being successful. If you want save yourself a lot of time and frustration by having it all written for you in under 10 minutes then check out the Funnel Scripts software mentioned at the end of the previously mentioned post.
3) Now that you know who you’re marketing to and what to say to them creating funnels will bring it all together so you can present your offers and lead your prospects down the scent trail all the way to purchasing your product or service. As a huge bonus, you don’t have to learn how to design webpages, program anything or pay a $1,000/mo. for all sorts of testing software, integrations or someone else to manage it for you. I’d recommend using the ClickFunnels software mentioned in the Marketing Funnels That Make Sales For You blog post. You’ll thank me later.
Once you have all that working for you, the next step is to ethically take advantage of all the blood sweat, tears and money that your competitors have shed to figure out what already works in your industry or niche… so you don’t have to. This process is often referred to as “funnel hacking” which is a term popularized by Russel Brunsson who also happens to be the founder of ClickFunnels mentioned throughout my various blog posts. He says that, “When you learn about each funnel type and understand how it works you can funnel hack that and model it, you can dramatically speed up your success. That’s the power of this whole funnel hacking process.”
In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel. Find a successful competitor and ethically model what they’re doing because chances are they’ve spent way more time figuring out what works than you ever could let alone would want to.
There are legal and ethical ways to do this so be sure to pay attention to the guidelines given below otherwise you risk losing your credibility and getting sued. Copying anything that is copyrightable is considered stealing. Focus on modeling the process because that’s at least 50% of the funnel’s success. The other half belongs to copy, you can model that as well but it needs to be your own version of it…
I’ve been privileged to play a key role in building communities for several businesses now. One of them was for a software startup whose team grew from 3 to 15 people over a 4 year period. We never had any investment capital and were totally self-funded so everyone working there knew we we’re walking a tightrope without a safety net. In terms of size, we were ants compared to our competitors down the road (literally) who were 50 and 100 plus people strong and we also couldn’t compete with them in terms of starting salaries or benefits. When we would hire new people they would immediately start receiving emails and LinkedIn messages from recruiters offering them positions with our competitors. Normally an employer might freak out about this but it was actually a joke around the office that this happened all the time. Sometimes I would get copied on emails (cc’d) from someone in the office turning down the recruiters offer… Those were proud moments for me and those days were more fulfilling than the highest revenue days or years we ever had.
It’s easy to look at that and think, “Who were these crazy ass people that chose to work for us when there wasn’t really any logical reason for them to do so?” It wasn’t necessarily in their best interest but they did it anyway. The simple answer is that they weren’t doing it for us, they were doing it for themselves.
The right people were immediately attracted to working for us the minute they walked into our office for an interview because we effectively communicated what we believed and it resonated with them. The creative learning environment where we taught our junior developers and interns how to express themselves through sound software development design and methodologies would then be used in the real world to change the lives of our clients and bring their own ideas to life as well. The politics and blame free environment we created allowed everyone to become their best by growing from making mistakes and trying new things then contributing what they learned by sharing with the rest of us. It was such a fun environment that developers from our competitors would hang out with us at the office on Friday or Saturday nights to drink and play games. The sumo wrestler logo was a point of pride to wear in and out of the office. We had to constantly have more shirts made because our clients and their family members wanted to wear them. One client told our CEO that our shirts were all over their office which was really cool.
I would speak at events and introduce myself by telling people a story about how a project we did for a client saved a local business with 50 plus employees who would have otherwise lost their jobs but that didn’t happen. In fact the product was such a success that not only did no one get laid off, it added an additional $4 million per year in revenue to their bottom line. When everyone showed up at the office we knew that we weren’t software developers, we were a tribe of magicians creating magic and sending it out to transform the world. What we did mattered because we did it for ourselves, our clients just happened to be a catalyst to make it happen. We bought into what we did for ourselves, not for them and they benefited greatly because of it. If you say and do what you believe you will attract people who believe what you believe. This is how leaders inspire people to do what they’re doing.
What is a culture? What is a group? What is a company? It’s a community of people with a common set of values and beliefs. When we have these things in common with each other it causes trust to emerge and we are more likely to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do…
Are you an author, coach, speaker or teacher that is aspiring to the next stage of your development by expanding your reach into the world, so that you can build a massive community, around your business or message?
There’s something magical that happens to those of us that are able to reach such heights by effectively penetrating the noise of the world with our divine messages…
…we transcend the way we think of ourselves and graduate from coaches, speakers, authors and teachers to healers, architects of lives and worlds, as well as philosophers and influences… of which the former parts are just a small but necessary piece.
The funny thing is that we often struggle with our own versions of the same things that our readers/viewers, students and audiences are struggling with.
Sometimes it’s about what our purpose is, what our message is, how to go about delivering this message and building success on top of the mounting frustrations that present themselves as challenges or obstacles to making a difference in first our own lives and then the world at large.
There is some good news though…all our previous failures are not unjustified wastes of time but rather opportunities that are on the way to the goals and dreams that we so desire. It just takes a new perspective and some creative thinking to fill in the gaps where we see holes in our lives, businesses and contributions to the world.
Here’s how we want to help each other succeed by focusing on new opportunities and thought processes to implement in ourselves and our marketing efforts. This is the foundation for building massive and profitable communities around our businesses and messages…