What To Do Before You Write Sales Copy

Before you ever put pen to paper or type a single word, you MUST…

  • Have a clear objective. What are you trying to accomplish with this piece of copy? Are you trying to get a sale, a sign-up for your list or do you want someone to request a special report or a free gift? This will shape the way you speak to the reader, the tone you take and/or the angle you choose.
  • Know your recipient or Target Audience. It is easiest to write to people who you can relate to…your niche…because you already understand them. However, even if you don’t know squat about the market or niche you can easily “bone up” and become an expert with RESEARCH. Proper research will give you the info and answers you need to fully understand that market’s wants and needs.
  • Answer these questions BEFORE you write a single word:
    • What keeps them up at night?
    • What ticks them off?
    • Who ticks them off?
    • What are their fears?
    • Do they have their own vocabulary? (learn it and understand it)
    • What challenges do they face on a daily basis?
    • What’s hot in this particular market right now?
    • Who else is doing well in this market?
    • Who is doing poorly?

Pull the Alexa rankings on those who are doing really well in that market and look at their sales copy. Note the emotional triggers, hot topics, USP, offer, bonuses, pay structure. Think about these people. What keeps them up at night? What is their biggest problem or need, what are they suffering from? How are you going to fill that need, more so than the “other” guys?

When I was preparing to market my Weight Loss product I knew how my overweight audience thought. I knew this NOT because I was overweight myself, not at all, but I had done my homework by speaking with former clients and people that I know that were “prime pickins” for my product. I asked them questions…got into their heads to develop copy that really hit their hot buttons.

[message type=”warning”]NOTE: Don’t just assume you fully understand your market’s hot buttons. We have written copy for several clients whose market’s needs changed over the years, yet their marketing didn’t…you must stay current, change and grow with them![/message]

  • Choose the right message for your market. You can’t use one cookie cutter letter for to go out to everyone. You need to think about each group individually. For instance, if you have a membership service then you will have separate campaigns for leads, members, each level of membership and lost or past members. If you sell a travel product or service you may have one campaign for retirees, another for newlyweds and another for families. You would also need different letters or copy for purchased lists or joint ventures. NOT one letter for all…it won’t work.
  • Know your product or service. Research…research…research! Find studies, articles, scour the web, look up your competitors…do whatever you need to in order to become an expert in your service or product.
  • Position Your Product or Service. How is your product or service superior or different than all the other guys out there? How you position yourself is critical if you want to big a “real player” and develop a successful marketing strategy amongst your competition.
  • Plan your attack. Do you need a 4 page letter or 24 page letter in order to sell your product or service? Usually the higher the price point, the longer your copy. So if your selling a $10,000.00 high-end coaching program you’re gonna need more than 4 pages. You are really going to have to work hard to prove to them why they need you. Versus selling a $14.95 widget, which will not need as much copy behind it.

Once you gather all the info, have a clear idea of objective, know exactly WHO your audience is and thoroughly know your product or service…ONLY then are you ready to write.