Believe it or not, without great copywriting your business is screwed from top to bottom.
No sales funnel that you’ll create works without a great copy that will persuade the traffic (visitors) you drive there from social media to do whatever you want.
And if they don’t do what they want, you won’t make any sales.
The problem is, how in the world can you write a great sales copy?
Well, that’s a good question.
But the answer is something that I can’t explain in just 2 words.
And that’s why today, I want to show you the exact system best copywriters use to write a sales copy that generates a ton of conversions…
So, let’s hop into it!
Set Your Goals
I don’t care about what kind of a sales copy are you trying to write, you always need to have a clear goal for what you want to accomplish.
If you don’t have the one target that you are going to chase with your sales copy, the thing that is going to happen is that the copy will be a mess.
No matter what you are going to do, you won’t know what to write about.
That’s why you need to set your goals before you even start doing anything.
And I really fell in love with the SMART goal-setting framework.
According to the SMART acronym, your goals should be:
- S = specific
- M = measurable
- A = achievable
- R = relevant to your long-term strategy
- T = time-based
Let’s imagine that you own a fitness company and you are writing a sales copy for your new diet plan.
Of course, the objective is to sell as many of those freakin’ diet plans as possible.
However, the SMART goal might be: Sell 500 full-year diet plans for $100,000 by the 12th of September to get financing for a new expansion.
This way, we would meet all of the criteria of a smart goal:
S – Sell 500 full-year diet plans
M – for $100,000
A – which is 20% higher than last year
R – get financing for a new expansion
T – by the 12th of September
Do you see how powerful the SMART framework is?
With the right goal in place, you are going to be super motivated to accomplish the goal and put everything you can into writing the sales copy…
…which instantly results in better results.
But we mainly set our goals to know what the sales copy is going to be structured around.
It’s an essential part of copywriting and you shouldn’t just “skip” this step.
Think about your SMART goal for a minute and then write it down on a sheet of paper, into your notebook, or anywhere else – but do it!
All right, do you have your SMART copywriting goal set?
If so, let’s move on to the next step.
Study Your Target Audience
Now, this is incredibly important.
In fact, it is the most important step of everything that I am going to show you. And even though you might think that you already know them – you are wrong!
The thing is that I don’t care about what you think that you know about your audience.
Whatever you might think is just a THOUGHT.
And that is inaccurate in every way that you can imagine.
What you need to do is to get real DATA.
If you’re not writing a sales copy based on data, you are going to fail.
You might think that, for example, your audience of boy scouts likes cookies.
But when you ask them and do a real survey, you will discover that they like sandwiches.
And that is a killer.
If you would have written a sales copy based on how cookies are amazing, and they hate them – you are trying to win an uphill battle trying to convince them on something you can’t.
And just a slight mistake like this can ruin your chances of making the sale.
So, that is the reason why you have to study your target audience before you even start putting something on the paper (in this age, website.)
However, now you might ask, “How can I study my target audience?”
Well, that is a good question. And the answer is – you need to answer the 14 questions below…
- What do they dream about?
- What do they desire?
- What do they love?
- What do they fear?
- What frustrates them?
- What angers them?
- What do they hate?
- What arouses their skepticism?
- What embarrasses them?
- What are they most thankful for?
- What are their sources of shame and guilt?
- What are their secret self-doubts?
- What are they proudest of?
- What makes them happy?
Before you answer those questions, as I already said, you need to do it based on real DATA from your research…not your opinion.
The ways you can gather the data are not that hard.
First of all, you can use your social media, and ask your audience a question. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the story, video, or a post.
Just do it and you will get answers from people.
They will tell you exactly what you need and you can directly leverage it when writing the sales copy.
Second, you can go to FAQ platforms like Quora and you can search for answers there.
You won’t believe your eyes when you’ll see how much stuff you can find there.
And last, which is something that I highly recommend, is creating a survey on your own website, or taking one of your customers and interviewing them about what they want, hate, frustrates them, etc.
You will be surprised by all of the insightful answers that you are going to get.
However, studying your audience is not enough. You also need to study the product or service that you are going to sell…
Study The Product or Service You Sell
Well, if you’re the one who has created the product or service, it is going to be way easier for you.
However, if you’re a copywriter writing a sales copy for a client, you will have to crawl through the product or service again and again.
You literally want to know everything about it. When it was made, what is it made of, what is the purpose, how it works, etc.
There must not be a single thing left.
The longer the list of the features is going to be, the more likely you’ll be able to write a sales copy that generates piles of cash.
After you crawl through the stuff that you sell, (even if you are the creator of the product), and you take notes about everything that I found out…
You should do three things that will help you prepare as much as you can for writing the sales copy and making it as persuasive as possible.
- Create a feature/benefit list
- Identify the “hidden benefit” of the product/service
- Find the flaws of the product or service
Let’s take a look at each of those elements separately to clearly understand what you should do…
Create A Feature/Benefit List
This is something that the finest copywriters always do before they write a single word of the sales copy. Whether you like it or not, people never buy features, they always buy benefits.
In case you don’t know what feature and benefit is, it’s simpler than you think:
Feature = what it is (a drill)
Benefit = what it does (it drills a hole)
And the way you discover every single benefit of your product or service is by creating the feature/benefit list.
The list consists of two columns.
On the left side of the list, write all of the features that you have discovered e.g. it has 150 pages, it is made of iron, it has a 240-volt cable, etc.
Next, you have to ask yourself ”So, what?”
That means you read a feature, ask the question, and answer “So, that means you will read the book quickly.”
When you translate features into benefits, write all of the benefits into the right column.
Remember, you want the list as long as possible. Later you are going to use it more than you ever thought before.
All right, but that is not everything we are going to do. We also need to identify the hidden benefit of your offer.
The concept of a hidden benefit was invented by Ted Nicholas and it has changed the copywriting industry forever.
A hidden benefit is a benefit that is not obvious at first, but it happens as a result of using your product or service.
You will discover it by taking the main benefit of your offer and then asking a bunch of “So, what?” questions until you discover it.
Let’s imagine that I will write a sales copy for a course teaching you how to grow your Twitter following.
Well, the main benefit of the offer is that you will get more followers, right?
But the hidden benefit might be way better and you can structure your copy around that. Let’s see how it looks like:
The course will teach you how to get more Twitter followers → so you will be able to get more Twitter followers –> So, you will be able to drive more traffic to your sales funnel –> So, you will make more sales –> So, you will be able to scale your business –> So that means, you will be able to travel around the world and have the freedom that you’ve always dreamt about.
By unveiling the hidden benefit, we will no longer position the message just around getting more Twitter followers. But we can also position it around traveling the world and having the freedom that they’ve always dreamt about.
Isn’t that amazing?
Remember, that you always want to unveil the hidden benefit, or you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Hidden benefits when presented the right way can even act as a unique selling proposition and that is a game-changer for sales.
So, never ever forget about this step.
However, we also have to find out the flaws of the offer.
Find The Flaws Of The Product Or Service And Address Them
Now, you might be asking, “Why the heck would I do that?”, am I right,
Well, it is simple. When something has no flaws and it is perfect…it looks unreal. And when people think that it is too good to be true, they won’t buy because they don’t trust you.
And that’s why you have to address the flaws of your product or service.
For example, your massage service might not be in a luxury 5-star hotel. Or anything else.
However, you also have to handle it lightly. For example…
“Our massage service is not done in a 5-star apartment with beautiful ocean views and the sun shining through the window on the gorgeous masseur. However, if you want to fix your back pain and feel like Superman the next time you work out…we will be more than glad to give you a bottle of fresh juice and help you out.”
Do you see how powerful it is?
This is what makes the offer realistic and it also makes it credible because you say that you’re not the best in the world, but you’re more than amazing!
So, try to model the example above and add the flaw to your offer to become credible.
If there’s nothing to keep people from buying…they won’t buy. Remember that.
But now, let’s choose the right copywriting formula.
Choosing The Right Copywriting Formula
If you want to be successful when writing your sales copy that generates revenue, you need to choose the right copywriting formula.
Without it, you’re just blowing smoke as there is no way that you are going to structure the copy in a way that is persuasive and that is going to make them buy.
Over time, there were many copywriting formulas developed, and one of them that you might be aware of is AIDA which stands for Attention – Interest – Desire – Action.
However, this is not the formula that I am going to be talking about. First, it is not my favorite formula, and second, you are already aware of it…and my goal is to show you something new.
And that is the reason why I am going to show you the PAS formula for writing killer sales copy.
The PAS formula gives your writing a simple chronology:
P = Accurately identify the problem.
A = Agitate the problem.
S = Solve the problem with your product or service.
Whether you’re writing a landing page, a flyer, or a sales letter, the Problem Agitate Solve formula will help lead your readers to your desired response.
PAS works because we as humans are highly motivated to avoid pain. Physical pain, emotional pain, financial pain… we want it gone.
But we won’t go out of our way to take one every day.
Wake up in pain though and we’re calling the doctor, looking for the heating pad, popping the Advil, and generally halting life until the pain subsides.
We want to escape pain more than we want a mere improvement in our circumstances. Some would say we want to avoid pain even more than we want to pursue delight.
With this as our premise, we focus our copy first on the pain.
That said, let’s take a look at how this copywriting formula works.
1. Problem – emphasize the problem that your prospects are facing. Dig some here, as the answer isn’t always obvious.
2. Agitate – agitate the problem that they might be facing. Use emotive language to paint a clear picture of the disappointments, hassles, and regrets this problem brings.
Describe how life isn’t what it should be. And what life will be like if this problem isn’t resolved.
3. Solution –present the solution to the problem that they are facing.
Create An Outline Of The Copy
This is not a necessary step but it is so helpful that you should definitely have it in place. The last step before you start writing a copy is creating a killer outline that will ensure that everything you create is in place.
Basically, it looks like this:
With an outline like the example above in place, you are going to know exactly where every part of the copy is going to be.
Of course, it is going to fit the formula that you’ve chosen so that it works.
It will save you a ton of time and your copy is more likely going to have more conversions as it is going to be more organized.
Write A Killer Headline
Most copywriters say that headline is the most important element of the whole copy. And I say the same thing.
There is no way that your sales copy is going to convert a single person into a customer if you don’t write a great headline.
But even though it looks easy peasy at first it is not as easy as you might think.
There are three major types of headlines:
- How-to headlines
- “Newsy” headlines
- Question headlines
All of those types are really powerful and which one you are going to use depends on the circumstances that you are in.
Let’s check those headline types more in-depth:
Top copywriters like Bob Bly said that if you put the words ‘how to’ before the headline, you can’t fail.
Well, I believe that there is some truth to that!
As you can see, the words ‘how to’ introduce an immediate promise of a benefit that the sales copy is going to give them.
And because of the WIIFM effect (What’s In It For Me?), it compels them to read the rest of the sales copy.
Here is an example of a How-To headline from Gary Halbert:
Personally, if I saw this headline, I’d read the sales copy right away!
So, if you are a total newbie in copywriting or you are just out of ideas, start with the words ‘how to’ and later you will modify it.
Newsy headlines are really powerful for one simple reason. People just love new things! When was the last time you saw a headline like “NEW DISCOVERY?”
Did you read the stuff that was under the headline? I believe so.
If you want to use them, here are some of the words that you want to include in them: introducing, discover, announcing, new, at last, finally here.
Here is an example of an awesome newsy headline from David Ogilvy:
Let’s move on to the last type of headlines that are the question headlines…
Question headlines are really powerful because they engage the reader’s mind and often arouse a ton of curiosity which easily causes your prospects to read the whole message.
Here is an awesome example of a question headline from Dan S. Kennedy:
All right, now when you know how to write a headline that is going to hook them in, we are ready to write the first draft of the copy…
Write The First Draft
When writing the first draft, don’t stop writing until you’re done, and don’t try to be super-careful when writing the sales copy.
Just put everything that is in your head into the document and complete it. Editing is going to come later.
All right, did you get it? If so, start writing your first draft…
Ready. Set. GO!
Dig Deep Into The Emotion Of The Sales Copy
People buy based on emotions and they justify the purchase with logic.
Throughout the whole sales copy, you want to make them resonate with what you say.
You can tell them an interesting story about the same problems that they are experiencing now, or you can just make them imagine the pain and feel it once again to make them desire your solution.
In fact, that is the whole purpose of the PAS copywriting formula.
So, have empathy and emphasize how your target customer feels in the copy.
Don’t Forget To Justify The Purchase With Logic
Yes, people buy based on emotions, but they justify the purchase with logic.
And if you are not going to provide them with some strong logical arguments about why the sales copy is good, you are going to struggle.
Include solid bullet points in the sales copy, add some statistics, show them step-by-step how what you sell works and they will be able to justify the purchase.
But without logic, there is no sale.
Establish Credibility In The Copy
People don’t buy from those they don’t trust. If you are not able to show them that you are believable and that they can trust what you’re saying, you are not going to make any sales.
There are three major things that you can do:
- Show them your authority
- Show some logical arguments
- Show them social proof
However, there is more to each of those steps than you think, so let’s take a look at them in detail.
Show Them Your Authority
No, bragging in the sales copy is not good. You should make every single word that you write about them. However, there is a time where you have to show them that they can trust you…
Don’t be afraid to show them what you have accomplished in a part of your sales copy.
It is essential for building trust that you need to sell them your products or services.
Show Them Some Logical Arguments
Showing people some logical arguments is a great way to establish credibility between you and your target audience.
Because when the stuff that you share makes sense it is instantly more credible. And if you share some statistics in your sales copy, it is going to be more than helpful as well.
People trust what makes sense to them and that is why you want to include some real logic in a part of your sales copy.
Show Them Social Proof
Showing a ton of social proof in your sales copy is one of the most crucial things that you have to do in your sales copy.
People don’t want to see that the thing has worked for you. They need to see that it has worked for others as well.
Because they might believe that it works, but they don’t believe it is going to work for them. And showing testimonials destroys that feeling.
You always need to include at LEAST THREE of them in your sales copy, or you are most likely not going to sell anything.
Ok, with our credibility built we can move on to the next step of writing a persuasive sales copy, and that is creating an irresistible offer.
Creating An Irresistible Offer
Now, the question is, what is an irresistible offer?
Well, that’s an offer that is going to make them jump out of their couch, take a sprint across the whole city just to get to your store…and buy whatever you’re selling.
In other words, it is an offer you just can’t refuse.
Let’s take a look at ways how you can create your irresistible offer…
Offer Them Free Bonuses
Offering free bonuses is one of the most basic ways to make your offer irresistible.
In fact, you want to offer them so many bonuses that the value of them is going to be much higher than the value of the product or service that you are selling itself.
You can list them below the bullet points and then you will make such an irresistible “combo” that they won’t be able to help themselves but buy.
Add A Discount
Do you know why Black Friday sales generate billions of dollars in revenue?
Because when you give people 70% off, it is just too good an offer to refuse.
Adding a discount is an old technique to get more customers and give them a reason to buy from you.
However, you want to be careful about this one.
When you give discounts too often, you can start depreciating the value of your product or service and that is deadly for sales.
People will learn to wait for the discount to come to buy, and that is something that you want to avoid.
I would suggest giving discounts a maximum of 2 times per year.
Create A Bundle
This is not a common way to create an irresistible offer but it works.
Another thing that you can do is to take two or more of your products and services and bundle them into one single thing that will have a lower price than both or all of those things purchased separately.
For example, if one shampoo costs $15 and hair oil costs $25 you can bundle them together and create a “special” offer that costs together just “$29.90.”
That way they save $10 and it automatically looks like a bargain that they just NEED to have.
So, what they do is they say “YES!” and they buy.
Isn’t that amazing? All right, with the irresistible offer in place let’s move on to creating an iron-clad guarantee…
Creating An Iron-Clad Guarantee
How did you feel when you were buying something and it had no guarantee? Well, did it felt like, “What if I’m wrong?” or “This is too risky, I can’t buy that.”
We all felt like that, right?
And what’s funny is that you can eliminate all of that with a simple 30-day money-back guarantee.
A simple guarantee can DOUBLE your sales.
And the stronger you make it the better.
You can add a premium for the inconvenience, or do a double money-back guarantee which translates into a unique safety proposition and differentiates you from your competitors.
Your creativity is your only limit here.
And don’t be afraid about losing money.
Does it matter if 5 people refund when you double the sales? I don’t think so.
You should do this or you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
Create A Fired-Up Call To Action
Without a call to action, the whole copy that you have written up to know is not worth anything.
If you don’t ASK for the sale, nobody is going to buy. However, there are some guidelines that you need to follow to make as many people act as possible.
But don’t worry, I got your back. Here they are:
- Keep The Call To Action Clear And Concise
- Trash Generic Wording In Your Call To Action
- Cumbersome Active Verbs Vs. Passive Verbs
- Include Multiple Call To Actions Throughout The Sales Copy
- Use Urgency-Provoking Words
And now with your call to action in place, we finally move on to the last step which is giving your audience the Mañana antidote.
The Mañana Antidote
If you’re now yelling on the screen “What the heck is that?”, stay calm. The Mañana antidote is the antidote against procrastination…
…in other words, you need to create a sense of urgency.
People love to procrastinate on everything. Humans put things off until tomorrow. And as you already know, procrastination kills sales.
For that reason, you want to give them the antidote to it. And do you know how it looks like?
- Limited-availability offers
- Time-limited bonuses
- Time-limited discounts
- And so on.
No matter what you do, you need to make your offer so urgent that the only option remaining is going to be BUYING NOW!
Nothing else works.
If they say, “I will buy that tomorrow.” or “Let me think about it.” you’re screwed.
So make sure that you add a sense of urgency to your sales copy, or your sales will be on a serious decline.
I know. If your head is now overwhelmed that is fine. Copywriting is not easy, and everybody who tells you something different is wrong.
But you need to write a good sales copy that will persuade them to do whatever you want.
Unless you do that, no sales funnel that you will ever create is going to make you any revenue.
It is the key.