Copywriting is the lifeblood of any business. Copywriting simply means writing a compelling advertisement that attracts potential buyers to your product. Good copywriting can make or break your business. If you starting an internet marketing business, here are some great tips in copywriting for beginners. These tips will cover the following:
- Qualifying your reader
- Talk about the problem
- Make them take action
- Headline matters
- How to get and use testimonials
- 4 more tips which people don’t talk about
Joe Crossman, author of How I Made $1 Million in Mail Order tells us that for six months he had been trying to sell things through mail order. He had not made any money and he was on the verge of quitting. Then someone offered him earrings with bells. It was a failed mail-order product. He turned it into a historic success by simply renaming it mother-in-law’s earrings in his advertisements. He found his most eager customers among the newly-weds—and the rest, as they say, is history. This is the magic of copywriting.
Here is a sample of his copywriting which is a great example for beginners:
ATTENTION ALL HOME BASED BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY SEEKERS! CREATE WEALTH LIKE THESE VARIOUS OFFLINE GURUS. PROGRAM CRITIQUE HIGHLY RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING HOME BASED BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY. THIS IS AN ONLINE AUTOMATED SYSTEM THAT WILL MAKE YOU $1,000.00, $3,200.00, OR $9,700.00 PER SALE PAID TO YOU DAILY AND YOU SPEAK TO NO ONE. CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK NOW SO YOU CAN GET STARTED IN THE NEXT 17 MINUTES! CLICK HERE NOW TO LEARN HOW TO SET UP YOUR OWN ONLINE AUTOMATED SYSTEM!
Copywriting for Beginners: What are the ingredients for a great copy?
(a) Qualify Your Reader
First, and foremost, know your reader. It is no good advertising a mustache wax in a woman’s magazine. If you are advertising in a high brow magazine, it will be sheer wastage of money to put in advertisement with headline: How you can become a great writer in 3 days!!!
If you are selling a motorcycle, for example, it may be a bit optimistic to ask your reader to take out his credit card and order now!!
But even more than this, in the age of the web, we are now moving from the concept of eye-balls to the moot question—“what good are these eyeballs if no sale results?” So the first step is to qualify the reader. You want to optimize your site for the serious prospects and not attract those who have wandered to your web-site.
“Your ad should prequalify users by making sure they are ready for your landing page. Your ad should “weed out” non-qualified users. For example, if you are selling a DVD for a poker game “Sharks”, your ad should not be designed in a way that fisherman looking for shark tackle won’t click on it. Also, if you are selling a software product that may be available, as a free-ware somewhere else, making sure you include the word “buy” would help reduce clicks from freeloaders.”
(b) Mention the problem
Talk about the pain point of your customer. By empathizing with your customers, you have already won them over.
Give a reason as to why this problem occurs. Provide the details as to why this issue happens. This shows that you have an understanding and knowledge about this pain point.
Provide a solution to the problem. Tell them what they need to do address this matter.
Tell them the benefit of using the solution that you are recommending. How can your recommendation help them? By showing them the benefit, you are asking them to take action.
(c) Call for action
This call for action is one of the most important parts of an ad. Unless you create some urgency, the ad may not have the desired effect. For example:
(i) Limited time:
- order now,
- for five days only,
- on Christmas eve only
(ii) Limited quantity:
- Special edition—now this now only tells the reader that it is in limited quality, it is also very special,
- 20% off to first 20 customers
- A very limited stock which could not be exported due to the war in the Middle East
(iii) It is a special privilege, and only those very lucky are getting it.
- Those whose car number begins with digit 5 should ring up within the next hour
- Sale extended for one day only (c) for government servants only
- The author will autograph the first 100 copies sold.
Here is another copywriting tip for beginners. The ad also should not be too wordy. Says Steve Cone: “If pressed to pick my all-time favorite ad, it would be one placed by Sir Ernest Shackleton, the famous early-twentieth-century polar explorer. In 1913, Shackleton placed a very brief message in several London newspapers for volunteers for his upcoming South Pole expedition. He hoped to attract fifty to seventy-five inquiries. Five thousand hearty souls responded to:
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.
–Sir Ernest Shackleton
(d) Headlines Matters
First and foremost your headline, or copy for that matter, has to catch the reader’s attention. Writing compelling headlines is probably the first copywriting lesson for beginners to master. Why not something like in the sign below? Of course, if you can get a better example of a headline that will immediately catch attention, imitate it.
Yes, imitate it. There is no shame in copying a great style. Once in a decade or so comes a headline that is entirely original in concept, otherwise we have been improving upon or recycling headlines written 50 years ago. So, read lots of headlines, and keep the good ones. Of course, as you can frame only a limited number of copies, leave it for the great ones.
Some famous headlines: Make it snappy
- “Don’t leave home without it.” American Express Credit Card advertisement. It was often shown after picture/clipping of a pickpocket stealing somebody’s wallet.
- “There are a million and one excuses for not wearing a safety belt. Some are real killers.” American Safety Council.
- “If it took six days to create the world, why should it take four weeks to get a loan?” Bank Leumi Trust Company of NY
- “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
When there’s no tomorrow.” Ad of Fed Ex
What emerges is a sure-shot formula—follow it and you can’t make a mistake. Here are some well-tested ways of attention-grabbing headlines:
HOW ____ MADE ME___. The headline tells a story, for example, “how an idea changed my life”. People love stories—they love the underdog even more. Remember this ad by John Caples– “They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano – But When I Started To Play …”? They love it, even more, when the underdog triumphs.
ARE YOU _____? Questioning your reader is always a bright idea because it immediately focuses his attention. For example, “do you spend your vacations worrying about your valuables?” The ad could be about a new security system or insurance coverage, but it is bound to hit the target. You may not have sleepless nights during the vacations, but the thought does often cross your mind.
WHO ELSE ____? For example, who else dreams of that elusive Harvard scholarship? Well, who doesn’t? So, this formula is effective in a variety of situations for example, who doesn’t want quicker promotions, white teeth, girls swooning over him, a nice figure(this one for the ladies)?
HOW I_____? This one is again an autobiographical story. For example, how mastered my nervousness about meeting people and joined the $one million select group.
SECRETS OF ____. For example, “Secret Formulas for Writing Headlines That Sell.” Now, this trick is based on common psychology (in fact all tricks are)—all of us feel that if only we can get hold of that secret mantra which the star/writer/CEO has, we will also be at the top of the rat race.
If you come across a good headline, use it. There is no need to come up with a new headline every time. What you can do is use the original headline but tweak it a little by adding or changing the words.
There are many cheating (scam) issues these days and people are just getting tired of it. Trust level has gone down and if you are not a big brand, chances are your sales will be viewed with some level of skepticism. In this case, testimonials play a very factor to establish the credibility of your sales page. Testimonials cannot be underestimated. It is one of the most important lessons in copywriting for beginners. People tend to buy when they see others have bought as well.
How to collect testimonials?
The easiest approach would be to ask your customers directly. You can use a software called Funnel Base to automate the request for testimonials or just ask your customers to leave a comment. To encourage them to leave a comment, you can request a short two-sentence testimonial instead of a long one. Tell your customers that these testimonials will be published and get their consent on do that.
How to use the testimonial?
Use the testimonial to tell the user the benefit of the product that you are selling. A potential customer is ultimately interested in the end benefit of the product. The product may have many features, which may be interesting but those may not be the deciding factor to purchase a product. The end benefit is what a potential customer is after.
When you write a sales page, make it as though the sales page is communicating to just one person. It needs to appear personalized. To do that, you must have a good understanding of who your target audience is. Once you decide and determine your target audience, you will be able to write accordingly to address that particular audience.
All of us have a story to tell that someone is willing to listen. We are all storytellers. If you can tell your story and put a copy in a compelling way, people will buy into it. The trust factor is established. People who trust you tend to buy from you.
When you write a sales copy, the whole objective is to make your message easy to understand to the reader. Make the readability of your page good by using short paragraphs, simple sentences and avoid complicated jargon.
Here are 4 more tips in copywriting for beginners that you should focus:
(f) Facts and specifics impress people more. Therefore, why not write “I have sold 2,153,718 copies of this book”, rather than saying “more than two million copies sold”.
(g) One of the best ways to take the last-minute uncertainty out of the prospect’s mind, you can say something like—“I have staked my reputation on this book. If you do not see concrete benefits from it within 15 days, return the book to me. You will get a full refund within the week, no questions asked.”
(h) This guarantee is used in another way. Free is written in big enough letters to attract the buyer and then he is told that what he is getting is a free trial, with a promise of a refund.
It is better that you use the word Free only when you are actually giving away the product free. Trust is priceless…establish it and the customer will come back. These days the canny customer is not likely to fall easy prey to cheap tricks, only you will lose your reputation.
(i) How do you present your product? Is there a discount? Are you giving away bonuses with the purchase? Does a buy 1 free 1 statement attract the most buyers? Knowing which type of product presentation converts the most will help you design a sales copy that sells to its maximum potential.
How can you actually test your sales page?
Testing is an important task in copywriting that beginners need to carry out. There are 2 different types of tests you can perform to measure the effectiveness of your sales page.
1. A/B Split Testing
A/B split testing is a comparison test where you compare two sales pages and decide which is better. This comparison makes you decide which format, headline, color, the font works well for conversion. If you have different sales copy, check which one collects the most list. Sales copy that converts the most list probably has the best headlines and formatting. Once you have a sales copy that converts the best, you can duplicate the copy for your other sales pages.
2. Multiple Variable Testing
This is a type of testing that allows you to assess different elements in your sales page. While the A/B split test compares one whole page vs another, multiple variable testing checks whether change certain elements in your sales page might yield better results. Changes could involve color, product description, images, fonts, etc. In this testing, you can tweak changes in one sales page to make it as optimal as possible.
Writing a sales copy is not as hard as you think it is. These copywriting tips for beginners provide the fundamental guide in creating a professional-looking sales page that can potentially convert visitors to buyers. You can use a tool called ScriptDoll to help you write a good sales copy. However, you can also write your own by just looking at some other awesome looking sales copy, imitate the designs and tweak the critical elements mentioned in this post to suit your needs.
If you have written a sales copy before or have used a tool to help you with that, do leave a comment below and share your feedback.