From the desk of Razvan Rogoz
There are a lot of posts & courses online on how to make your promotion work. There are countless book on how to write good copy and how to improve your conversion through the process of split-testing.
What I have almost never found are posts about why a sales letter may fail. You see, copywriting is both an science and an art, exactly in this order. It is based on fixed principles but it is hard to pinpoint them with mathematical precision. There is an amount of guessing inherent in every promotion you write or is written for you.
Below are the ten reasons why I consider a copywriting promotion usually fails.
Too many assumptions regarding the customer.
When you are researching, your main focus should be on the person you are actually selling. This may as a given but you would be surprised how many people ignore this step. They focus on the product, on the market, which are good advice, but they forget that people buy for emotional reasons and justify with logic.
One good method I’ve been using lately in order to create customer avatars is to pay potential clients to talk with me. I will look for clients who bought a similar product and spend 60 – 120 minutes discussing their buying motivations for $10 – $20 per hour.
This is a lot more useful than a focus group since there you will hear generally what you want to hear. When you are talking one on one with a customer, he’ll bust almost all your assumptions wide open and explain to you the real reasons why he bought something.
You will discover that these reasons are far from sophisticated and generally relate to our fundamental human nature – vanity, fear, love.
The copy is difficult to read.
I am not saying here about English vs. non-English copywriters. For all intents and purposes, a read-proffer and editor is cheap enough to invest in. Instead, I am suggesting that you format your copy in such a manner that it is as easy to read as possible.
Use short sentences instead of long ones. Break paragraphs after one or two sentences. Make the design easy to follow with as little distracting elements as possible. Use sub-heads to break up the copy and make it easier to read. Use a font that works for them, Ariel or Tahoma. Use a blueish background image since it’s proven to increase trust.
All these element taken individually do not account for much but together will increase the readership of your sales copy dramatically.
The headline does not pull the prospect in.
The job of the headline is to get the prospect to read the first sentence. The job of the first sentence is to get him to read the second sentence. This process goes on and on until you’ve pulled him into the copy and you’ve started the “desire” process. Until the moment you can present him the benefits that may make him want to buy, you want to build your copy as a slippery slope where the only purpose of every word mentioned there is to get him to read forward.
The true purpose of any sales letter is to get read, not to sell. The sell should come as a consequence of building enough desire, but if it doesn’t get read, then it’s all for nothing.
The offer is not attractive enough.
One of the first thoughts that we have when we want to buy something is “can I get this somewhere else cheaper?” It doesn’t matter if it’s a $200.000 sports car or a $19 eBook, we are always looking for a better deal.
Most online entrepreneurs act like there is no competition, like their product is the only one on the market and the only solution for any given purpose. The truth is that maybe a small percentage will buy instantly, because this is the first choice they’ve seen but the bulk of your market researched several products before voting with their wallets.
Acknowledge the competition. Explain how you are superior to them. This may be in terms of price, bonuses, insight, experience, customer support. Don’t simply act as there is no competition as the prospect is far from stupid.
The objections are not answered.
Regardless what some people may think, copywriters are not editors. They are sales people in print. This means that we need to think like a sales people and the primary objective in sales is to get over objections.
In a interaction, there will always be a sale. You can either sale the other person on why your choice is the best one or the other person can sell you why it’s not. A sale is always made.
When it comes to copywriting, the prospect will bring a lot of objections. These may include but are not limited to:
- I am special, this will not work for me.
- I have tried something similar and it failed.
- It is too expensive.
- I do not have the time required.
- I am afraid what my family will think after I purchase this.
- I do not know if I can handle the challenge of applying everything.
- I’m not ready to buy now.
… and so on. There are tens of objections found in every product and market and your job is to answer them, as persuasive as possible. Do not ignore an objection. If you ignore it, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there and every objection ignored is like a huge “STOP” sign your prospect can’t wait to find, stop, and return to his cozy, homeostatic state.
These are the main obstacles to a sale. There are more, of course, including a bad product (it’s hard to sell a inferior product) but for all intents and purposes, please try to avoid everything I’ve wrote above.
For more sales,