The anatomy of a sales copy
The copy doesn’t need to be flashy to sell. Doesn’t even have to do too difficult to write.
People sometimes spend days, or even weeks on a sales copy. But if you have a good and proven template, what successful marketers and business owners use, you can be done within a few hours.
The sales copy built up from 7 simple key elements. We will go through sentence by sentence what to write to each.
- A move from the “hell” to “heaven” stage
- The story
- A compelling offer
- Call to action
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First ingredient: The Headline
Let’s see the headline first.
“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.”
If your headline is weak, nobody will read the rest of the copy, no matter how brilliant you structured.
Instead of putting your companies name, or flash sales, or % discount, include keywords and something interesting that catches people’s attention.
It’s the core of your sales copy because it pushes the reader to keep reading more. Because of this, I probably talk about the headline the most. How to craft a great headline, what headline formulas you can use, and how to structure your headline.
The headline is just one sentence, but that one sentence has to be powerful.
If your message is too long, you can break it with a sub-headline, that reinforces the promise you stated in the main headline.
To write irresistible headlines, you have to know who your audience is. To whom do you write the sales copy. Find out what’s their biggest fear. They pain. Ask them what they’re struggling with.
An effective headline combines a powerful benefit with the promise of useful information how they will solve the customer’s number one problem.
Let’s see what kind of headlines you can write:
- The case study
- The big promise
- You can write a headline about Mistakes
- The secret
Second ingredient: The present and the future
Paint the horrible present and the bright future. Where your customers are at the moment, what they are struggling with
Listing the benefits of your product: that was a good tactic in the 90s when nobody did it, but everybody does it now. Now you need more to build the desire in your target audience.
You have to show them the horrible “Hell” first. How bad their life now, without your product. People will buy your product if you can move them from a “Hell” state to a desired “Heaven” state with the results they want to achieve.
You have to show them that you can take them from the horrible present, where they are frustrated, bored, or struggling with something.
In the “Hell” state, the customer is discontent in some way. They might be in pain, bored, frightened, or frustrated.
In the “Heaven” state their life is better. They are free of pain, entertained, or unafraid of what previously bothered them.
Good marketing copywriting simply articulates the move from the “Hell” stage to the “Heaven” stage.
People don’t buy products or services. They buy outcomes. They buy access to the desired stage.
A great offer will show customers where they are now without your product. How frustrated they are, how unhappy their life is.
This will be your first sentence. You can make it as a question: “Do you hate your yard because it looks like a jungle?”
In the second sentence, write about their pain point, where it hurts the most. That they have that problem. In this example a messy yard. Something like this: “Are you embarrassed with your dirty hands after you try to take care of it?”
And move them to a desired “Heaven” stage. Now there is a solution for your pain. It will be gone. It will be solved. Staying at the previous example: “You can have a beautiful yard in the neighborhood and you don’t even have to go outside for it.”
Talk about how will they FEEL, how their AVERAGE DAY will change and how their STATUS will elevate.
Most businesses that fail, because either:
- They fail to offer a desired “After” state (they are afraid that they offer will be “too good to be true”)
- They fail to articulate the movement from “Before” to “After” (the marketing communication is not good)
Third ingredient: The story
People love to read stories. When they read a story, their mind visualize what they read and put them in the story.
There are a lot of people who can understand a benefit or a reason through a story. Through an example.
Tell them how did you find the solution to that problem.
Or how did you become an expert to help to solve that problem.
The story doesn’t have to be long, just a short paragraph, a few sentences.
Fourth ingredient: Evidences
After you grabbed their attention with a catchy headline, wrote about their pain point and showed them the future, and told your short story, people will ask: “Ok, but why you?” Are there other people used this product successfully? How many? What are they saying about the product?
People like to buy things what other people use. The more they use it and the better results they get, the easier will other people buy. If you have success stories or testimonials, start to use them!
Ask your current customers to give you a testimonial. Ask every new customer to tell you what was their experience. Send out an automatized email after a purchase to rate the product or the overall user experience.
Use a photo, or a video of your customer. A video testimonial works better, because it builds more trust in the audience.
Fifth ingredient: The offer
Do you see? We wrote a few paragraphs, and haven’t asked for a purchase yet.
Now it’s time to give them your compelling offer.
But be short: it’s just a short part of this sales copy.
Sixth ingredient: The call to action
Finally, make sure you include a call-to-action to take that desire and turn it into action. What do you want users to do once they get to your website? Buy your product? Call a number? Fill out an application? Visit your store?
Don’t just tell your potential customers about what your company has to offer. If they don’t know what to do, they won’t do anything. Encourage them to take action. Clearly tell them what you want them to do.
If you have to choose from different calls to action, try to use only one. The more options you give them to contact you, the less likely they will choose one. It can also create confusion which to select.
7th ingredient: The PS.
For some reason people almost always read the PS. Put it this way: more people read the PS than read the body copy.
It should be something like a conclusion.
Repeat important information from the sales copy: The benefit, the offer, the Call to action.
You can’t imagine how many extra order you will receive with a simple PS.
If the information in the PS catches they eyes, they will scroll up and read the actual copy.
Get out a pad of paper and some pens and write your own sales copy.
Put your phone on silent, go to a nice place where you can relax, and let your creativity work. I am sure you will start coming up with brilliant ideas!
Give yourself enough time to work on your copy, even if you are inpatient and want to see the results.
If you can’t put every element in it, then use the ones you can, but if you follow this template, and put every element in your sales copy, you will have better results. Better conversion, better click through rate.