I’ve never written sales copy. I’m not good at writing my own ads. My audience doesn’t even respond to the sales pitches I post on my WhatsApp status. Every time I try to write some copy, I get writer’s block. I end up pleading with my audience to buy from me, and it feels pathetic. Does all the above sound like you? Well, maybe you don’t feel pathetic, but welp, as an entrepreneur, hiring a copywriter or a content marketer is the best thing to do because they are professionals, right?
While that may be true, understanding the art and psychology behind effective copywriting gives you, the boss, the amazing ability to aim your marketing strategy, campaign, product, or service at your audience and prospects in a way that they won’t say no to you.
Once you know why and how people buy, you can make magic happen. Well, sales magic. Just don’t lose focus on the buyer. I’m sure you’ve read sales pitches with overly promising and outrageous headlines for long and boring reads that make you feel disappointed in the end. That is not the kind of content you want to write. When someone feels like they are being lied to, they tend to disapprove of the brand, and they can hardly change that perception. I believe everyone can avoid writing copies like that if we all focus on the consumer and their needs to satisfy them. This way, fewer goods and services, labour forces, and other resources will be wasted.
For a copy to work, you have to make sure you write in a way that matches up with the worldview of your prospective customer about the product or service you want to sell. You have to understand their desires and what motivates them, match and exceed their expectations. Sell to them by speaking their mind and satisfying their curiosities.
But hey! This is not copywriting 101; I will show you four clever ways to avoid writing a weak copy while making sure your copy is attractive enough to make your prospective customers spend that cash.
LEAD WITH AN APPEAL TO THEIR PRIMAL DESIRES
Frankly, people don’t care about what you’re trying to sell. They care about what they want to buy and, more so, about having their deepest wishes come true. And most of the time, your prospective customers are not consciously aware of these deep wishes. For instance, you might be selling cooking pots, but your market just really wants the jollof rice not to burn or stick to the pot, or wants the kind of cooking pot that would make their visitors envious. Again, you might be selling a book on how to make money, but what people really want deep down is to make money while sleeping all day to be able to show off to their neighbours. There is always an emotional desire attached to every want, and you have to understand what that is in the case of your market. What you want to do is to paint a picture for them, to show them how easily and quickly they would become heroes by making them your promise.
To do this, you have to understand that primal desires are totally irrational. People buy things based on their emotions and then justify them afterwards with logic. To avoid the frustration you’ll get from people not clicking the “buy” button, sell them what they want, and give them the good stuff you have to offer later.
So, next time you’re trying to pitch a sale, appeal to your audience’s deep pleasures and also attach a mechanism to your “premise” to make it seem like they are going to get what they want with just the push of a button while making the message meaningful in the end.
Instead of something like “make-up kit available at an affordable price,” try something like “is she on make-up or that’s just her natural beauty? People who choose to admire you now have no option but to. Our new makeup line makes you look like you “(not having to try to gain attention is that mechanism)
Instead of something like “buy an iPhone 7 at an affordable price,” try something like “Make waves instead. It’s easy to get laughed at if your iPhone 7 turns out to be a fake. But if you hold the right one, people will be jealous. Make people beg to use your phone. The one you’ll get from us. ” (The mechanism: the buyer just has to hold the phone).
USE NUMBERS AND BIG PROMISES IN YOUR HEADLINES
If you’re writing a blog post, an e-mail, or anything that has to have a topic, you need to get the headline right! The headline has to be the most important piece of copy because it’s what first gains attention. If the headline doesn’t work, nothing else will. The headline has a single job. And that is to get the first line of the copy read. So the headline has to be very attractive while also being meaningful and clear.
Big promises are more effective when written in 3 to 4 words, such as “quit smoking now” or “start making money now”. This is simply because people love instant gratification. So use words that suggest that the individual will get quick results. If your service or product is the kind that the customer cannot receive or use immediately, use numbers by using time in hours to suggest a quick outcome or delivery. For example, 48 hours, or better still, 48 hours and 20 minutes. The more precise you are, the better the results you will get.
The specificity in the use of numbers in headlines makes people curious and also lends you their trust, so instead of using a number like 60%, use something like 60.2%. A good example could be “reduce 79.9% of your acne within the first two days of using this cream”.
If you make a big promise, make sure you can back it up. When writing the copy or content, if you feel that it doesn’t match the expectation raised by the headline, change the big promise in the headline to a quieter one. Use quieter promises too if you think your audience always gets overwhelmed by big promises in your business niche. Also, remember to make your headlines very clear and easy to understand. You don’t want to sound clever, you want to sell.
GIVE THEIR FEARS A VOICE
It is always a smart move to agree with your audience about the concerns that they may already have about your kind of business and rewrite that perspective in favour of your own brand. This is done by stepping into the customer’s shoes, viewing the situation the way they do, and using their own words to describe it, to show that you understand them. In doing this, you will make it very easy for them to trust your brand because you are speaking their mind and telling their stories. They can resonate with you. Also, you would be erasing the occurrence of doubt by already addressing any concerns and questions they may have from the point of first contact to purchase.
For instance, if you are selling an online course or a book that promises the reader great knowledge of wealth, after stating some awesome benefit, which may be that a second copy of the book goes for free, you could then address your prospect’s fears. You could say something like: “Before I tell you about it, let me make something plainly clear. This is not a “get rich quick” book… I don’t know how much anyone that reads this book is going to make”. You could then assert the unique authority of the book by using customer testimonials following that statement.
TRIGGER EMMOTIONAL HOT BUTTONS
The main aim of creating that content or copy is for your prospective clients to take the desired action, right? Whether it is to opt in for an email list, make a purchase, or apply for a membership, Before your audience can make the choice to take that action, they would have to be motivated in some way. Emotions are great motivators, especially emotions that seek instant gratification, pleasure, or easy results. Since people take spontaneous actions due to emotions like pride, envy, fear, show off, greed, guilt, sympathy, laziness (e.g., get rich by just using this app! ), they will always want to purchase anything that promises to give them personal satisfaction or avoid some stress or harm.
One could buy a random t-shirt to get that envious look on their neighbor’s face, not because it is a popular shirt, but because the ad implies that others crave the design. Appealing to your audience’s fear, for instance, would be to present a specific threat or scary thing (inflation, public speaking, missing out, going bald) and present how you can help avoid it, stating that if they act now and take your offer, they will have no worries.
This works because humans are known to spend more effort trying to avoid something they fear than trying to achieve something they love.
I hope you get to use and master these copywriting life hacks. And of course, c’mon, this won’t be the last post on this topic I write. Keep in touch. If you’d like me to write the copy for you, send me an email here. Ciao.