How can you write persuasive sales documents like these that make working customers want is no different from what you want when you're looking to buy. “ Nobody cares about your products and services (except you).
Here’s a handy little checklist for any copy you write that tries to get someone to do something …
The best part is, it’s so simple you won’t have to look it up, or write it down 500 times to make it second-nature.
Whether you want to get an opt-in for your email list, a new blog subscriber, to make a sale, or just inspire readers to support your favorite cause, start with the 1-2-3-4 method. You can add all of your favorite copywriting tricks to make it work even better, but with the 1-2-3-4 elements in place, you’ll have the most important bases covered.
If you want to persuade, you’ve got to let folks know what they’re in for.
What’s your product? What does it do? Who is it for?
Start with a simple overview, a birds-eye look at what you’ve got to offer. Here’s an example:
A step-by-step home study course that teaches struggling entrepreneurs how to bring in more customers.
Before you elaborate on that too much, go immediately into #2.
Here’s where we talk about the great benefits of taking the action you want your reader to take.
Now Featuring Benefits!
For some reason, the distinction between benefits and features is hard to remember. But “what it’s going to do for you” is much easier to keep in mind – and it’s the same thing.
What’s better about life with your product?
Describe the end result, the “after” picture once your customer has bought your product and used it as you recommend. Let the reader know how your product helps her reach the goals that matter most to her.
You’ll have more confidence, less stress, and you’ll have a simple, proven plan for smoothing out those awful cash flow gaps in your business.
Now we unpack the rest of #1: what’s in the product.
What’s in the box?
These are the “features” of your product or service. They’re important, although they’re not as important as the benefits. But if you gloss over the details of what your product or service actually contains, people will be nervous about putting their money down. And as we know, nervous people don’t buy.
The best way to list features is usually a series of fascinating bullet points. Include enough specifics to make the product feel valuable:
- More than 30 hours of action-oriented MP3 lessons, with complete optimized transcripts.
Also include compelling teasers that are vague enough to create a curiosity “itch.”
- The three most damaging and expensive mistakes new businesses make, and the easy way to fix them.
When you can, attach a benefit to each feature.
- Next-action worksheets come with every module.
- Next-action worksheets come with every module, so you can take what you’re learning and immediately put it into action.
Bullet points are a “secret weapon” for copywriters because they let you make your point in a powerful, skimmable way, and they pull the eye in. For lots more ideas about how to write great bullet points, take a look at Brian’s article on Little-Known Ways to Write Fascinating Bullet Points
Whether or not you need this step depends on where you are with this particular reader. If she’s been reading your blog for a year, she knows you very well, so you may be able to skip it.
But most of the time, you need to establish that you’re a trustworthy and worthwhile person, and that you know what you’re talking about.
This is why good sales letters often include a photo near the top of the page. The photo can include some element that helps the reader like and trust the author. Babies and dogs are always winners here.
If your topic is gardening, a photo of you in front of your own great garden is a credibility-builder. And you’ve probably noticed that in weight loss, we always seem get a good look at the fitness guru’s terrific abs.
In the last lesson, we talked about the relationship-building power of the statement “I’m a lot like you.”
That’s what this element is pointing to — not just who you are, but how you’re like your customer, and what you offer that will benefit her. So it’s not actually about you after all — it’s about how you help her.
This is our old friend the call to action.
The reader needs to know specifically what to do next. Don’t just put a link in; tell her to click here.
Tell (don’t ask) the reader what to do right this minute to move forward with the sale. Be specific and painstakingly clear.
And of course, if you have a good scarcity element (like your terrific offer is going away in 6 days), you make that very clear here.
Every step of your persuasion sequence, whether it’s a short opt-in page or a months-long “sideways sales letter,” needs a clear and specific call to action.
Once upon a time, you could offer any old junk for free and people would take it. The very word “free” seemed like it had magic powers.
But now, especially online, “free” takes some selling.
You’re competing for attention and time rather than money — and those are in very short supply.
So if you have a free special report to build your email list, or you’re offering a valuable free e-class or video, you still need to sell it.
1-2-3-4 isn’t just about exchanging dollars. It’s about motivating a specific, well-defined behavior.
The next time you see a really masterful sales pitch, try to identify the 1-2-3-4 elements. Look for it in infomercials, catalog copy, sales letters, and good product reviews.
Start spotting these persuasion elements “in the wild” and you’ll be on your way to becoming a more effective copywriter — a copywriter who sells.
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How to write persuasive sales copy Writing Persuasive Sales Copy. 1. Start with a Nobody wants to spend money to buy goods or services.
Persuading people to do business with you is tricky isn’t it? It’s harder still when you’re not in the room, and you’re relying on a written proposal or bid to secure a piece of work. How can you write persuasive sales documents like these that make working with you feel the best way forward? What do you need to say to make potential clients say ‘YES’?
Over the years (originally as a sales person and now as a business owner) I’ve discovered that the proposals, bids and formal tenders that get a resounding YES share the same attributes, and they’re very different from the ‘hard sell’ approach that you might think you need to take.
If you really want to inspire, motivate and persuade with your sales proposals then follow the 10 valuable principles below. They’ll up your win rate, and definitely make proposal writing less of a drag. Mastering the art of writing valuable, customer-focused sales proposals gives you an approach and process to follow which will cut the time you spend wondering whether you’re on track.
One temptation is to dive in and just start to write. The interest they’ve shown in your business is the green light to tell them how marvellous you are. Wow them with your USPs. The louder you shout the more likely you’ll win. Right?
The other temptation is to cut and paste everything you wrote for the last similar proposal, with a quick change of name to top and tail the document. No point spending too long before you know you’re getting paid. Right?
Neither over-effusive selling or sausage factory production line proposals are the best approach to take. As ever, the best place to start is to put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes. What do they really want to get from your proposal?
What potential customers want is no different from what you want when you’re looking to buy. When someone pitches to you, what do you want to know? And how do you want to feel?
Here’s my list of requirements. Anything I’ve missed?
Questions I want answered when evaluating any sales proposal:
These big customer questions frame the valuable proposal principles. They’re designed to ensure you answer the questions your potential client really wants to know, and make your offer feel like one they can’t possibly refuse.
Do the research, understand what matters to your customer, and tailor your proposal to his or her needs. Empathise and put their needs front and centre when writing the proposal (more ‘you’ than ‘we’). Think and approach it from the prospective client’s perspective. Sounds counter intuitive, but even when it comes to bids and proposals, valuable principles apply. Remember:
“Nobody cares about your products and services (except you). What people care about are themselves and solving their problems.” David Meerman Scott
If you think of a proposal of an opportunity to show how you can help and not as how you can sell you’ll be in the right frame of mind to write words that strike the right note.
Begin with the ‘why?’ before explaining the’ how?’ and the ‘what?’ Set the scene up front by playing back the customer’s challenge and opportunity first, and relating all subsequent messages and details in the proposal to their particular situation.
Be clear on the big, differentiating message and story you want to tell through the proposal. These take into account your customer’s real needs (which you’ve uncovered in prior conversations), your company’s brand story and USPs over the competition. Know what you want your proposal to be remembered for and get this message across clearly. Reframe your selling points and explain how they make a difference to that customer – why each point matters to them.
Paint the picture of the desired future state, focusing on the difference you’ll make. Set out the after effects of working together, not just a brain dump of the features of your service. A throwing mud against wall approach can be tempting ‘we do this, and this, and this, and this’ but that’s not what a potential customer wants to know. They want to know what will be different and better in their business if they choose to get you on board. Apply the ‘So what?’ test to the points you’re making – why should the customer care?
Show the detail of how you will get from murky #1 to beautiful #2. Include a simple timeline, showing key deliverables, who’s doing what, and when. Setting out the process of how you will work together will make it easier for the client to visualise you getting the job done. A visual representation of your process – a map, or a timeline – is a good way to reassure potential clients that you’re capable of leading them to the desired place.
To guide your tone voice operate by the help don’t sell, show don’t tell, talk don’t yell mantra:
Prove your expertise by freely sharing your ideas as part of the proposal.
Raid your resource library and serve up links to the best and most relevant content (articles, research, blog posts, guides, models) to back up your proposed approach and help your prospects think differently. Be generous with your knowledge, and give the reader a new way of looking at the problem they want to solve. (Just to be clear, we’re not talking about doing the work here before you’ve landed the contract. Don’t spend time solving all the detailed specifics of their problem, rather demonstrate your approach and the aspects of your thinking that would be genuinely helpful.)
Designers rejoice! How your proposal looks is as important as the content.
Really great proposals need good design and high quality production to connect with the audience and make an impact. Style it to attract and focus the attention of the time-pressed reader. Pay attention to formatting. Make your words easy to read and a pleasure to look at.
Eye-catching visuals that get the message across quickly in a memorable way will really help too.
People don’t buy on logic alone. In fact, they usually buy on emotion and then use logic to justify their decision.
The language and tone of your proposal appeals to their hearts as well as their heads. In explaining what you do you tell the bigger story of your business and its purpose, explain what your company stands for as well as what it does. Don’t be afraid to show your personality as a business in the design and wording of your proposal. Get some warmth into the proposal and you will stand out.
Don’t leave them hanging. End your proposal by confirming what the next steps are and who will be in contact when. A very important principle (for all communications) and often missed.
Use these 10 principles as a checklist for your next sales proposal:
Is it customer-focused and relevant enough? Have we set out the context clearly at the start? Is the big story evident throughout? Backed up by valuable content? Clear next step?
Apply this customer-focused approach to help you create kick-arse sales proposals that inspire, win hearts, minds and more of the right work.
The very best of luck. Do let me know how you get on.
The principles behind great sales proposals reflect the principles that underlie all great communication:
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Product descriptions can make or break a sale. While they can be easy to overlook, choosing the right set of words, lingo, or images to include on your product page can compel even the most skeptical of customers to make a purchase.
Here’s a look at some great product description examples (and why we love them).
Why we love it: Not only does Oransi lay out the product’s key information in easy-to-read bullet point format, they also provide a very helpful Q&A section that answers basic questions about the product directly from the Oransi store owners.
Product Description:Cheer on your favorite red and white team in eye-popping style with these red & white striped game bib overalls! Each pair is made of 100 percent cotton for a comfortable, breathable fit regardless of the weather and includes easily adjustable shoulder straps for fans with long torsos. Whether you’re on rickety bleachers on a Friday night or trying to get on television at the Sunday morning tailgate, our red & white striped game bibs will make you stand out in the crowd and leave an impression. These particular bib overalls are also great as casual Clauswear for any Saint Nicks who might be taking in a game during the holiday offseason!
Why we love it:Gamebibs doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on the fabric composition of their colorful merch; however, they do show real, actual people using it in their product photos and present helpful use cases in their product descriptions. It’s not a strategy that every ecommerce store can use in product descriptions. UGC — user generated content — is hard to develop organically, but if you’ve got a strong brand and appeal to folks who utilize social media — like college football fans — then it can be a great asset to your product pages.
Product Description:AMT brings back BATMAN’S sleek super-plane, the BATWING, from Tim Burton’s blockbuster 1989 BATMAN film. This secret weapon against crime is fully equipped with plenty of the expected gadgets like its dual Gatling guns and front shears. It’s opening canopy reveals more detail like BATMAN’S sighting scope and the Caped Crusader himself in the pilot seat. This release features an updated metal support rod to hold the finish model above its bat-symbol base. All new eye-catching packaging along with updated decals and pictorial assembly guide round out the kit. Joker beware!
Why we love it: This product description is a great example of a niche product description that does a really, really good job of talking the talk to their customers, who are most likely Batman enthusiasts to the nth degree. By including specific details and demonstrating their deep understanding of the Batman canon, they’re developing trust and building rapport with new and returning customers.
Product Description:At Hillbilly Stills we carry some of the best moonshine stills for sale you will find anywhere and our Turn Key Distillery is certainly no exception. This is the perfect whiskey, rum, and moonshine still kit for the serious distiller. Build time as of right now is 4-6 weeks! The boiler included in this still kit comes with a ball valve drain on the bottom and the top opens to a 3'' inch neck. The 3'' pot still easily attaches to the boiler with an included tri-clamp. With the proper permits this moonshine still can make the product of your choice. Whether you’re doing a single run whiskey and rum or a double run for moonshine this still will do the job. Why attempt to build a still yourself when you can purchase your very own professional grade still from Hillbilly Stills that functions as well as it looks? We welcome micro distiller businesses or the most demanding craft distillers to try our moonshine still. You will love this setup, we guarantee.
Why we love it:Hillbilly Stills’ descriptions help you to imagine owning their product with statements like, “whether you’re doing a single run whiskey and rum or a double run for moonshine this still will do the job”. The company also mentions all of the bonus items included with the purchase of a product, which is always a big selling point for customers. By also noting the products various usage options, this description lets buyers see just how multi-faceted this wine barrel is. The product itself is unique and interesting, so Hillbilly Stills doesn’t need to rely on gimmicky sales pitches in their descriptions.
Product Description: *YAS GIRL! Walk in this navy velvet set and expect all eyes on you. Designed with a one shoulder unique crop top and fitted capri pants. *
Why we love it:Hot Miami Styles really knows who they’re targeting. By starting out their product description with “Yas Girl!” they’re showing that they’re part of the Insta-obsessed glitterati that shop for their brand of stylish apparel. If you know your customer base is using lingo, jargon or even memes to talk about the things they love, you would be smart to utilize it in your product description pages.
Product Description:Selected by House Beautiful Magazine as Best For The Bath. Our award-winning Natural Honey Facial Cleansing Bar is enriched with natural skin nourishing extracts, honey and royal jelly. Remove dirt and impurities from your sensitive skin with our all-natural cleansing bar. Our gentle formula is especially designed to help neutralize skin irritations. This therapeutic blend is great for all skin types, especially sensitive or problematic skin, gentle yet effective. Directions: Wet the bar, lather, massage into facial skin, avoiding the eye area and rinse thoroughly. 3.5 oz. bar
Why we love it: You know exactly what the facial cleansing bar does and are even given directions on how to use it. One thing that is particularly worth noting is B. Witching Bath Co.’s grammatical correctness. No one wants to purchase a product from a site when its descriptions are covered in sloppy grammar and spelling errors.
Product Description:Custom BioGenic Systems V5000-AB/C Isothermal Carousel Liquid Nitrogen Freezers offer liquid nitrogen storage temperatures without liquid nitrogen contact. Liquid nitrogen is stored in our patented jacketed space in the wall of the freezer. This technology offers safe dry storage for your samples. With no liquid nitrogen in the storage area the risk of cross contamination and the safety risks associated with the handling of liquid nitrogen are greatly reduced. Our built in carousel can be safely rotated with an external handle, there is no need to reach inside the freezer and our square lid opening won't restrict access to square racks. All Isothermal Carousel freezers use our time tested and reliable 2301 controller with a dual temperature display, autofill and many additional features. Custom BioGenic Isothermal Carousel Liquid Nitrogen Freezers have an industry best temperature gradient that averages -193°C inside the storage area.
Why we love it: For a company that deals in complex, hi-tech cryogenic equipment, it’s important to make sure you provide all relevant information in your product description. Custom Biogenics is a great example of a company that is going out of their way to make sure they’ve got ample information on this freezer, which has the potential to be a confounding and confusing product purchase online.
For this particular product, they provide 150 words in their product description which lays out specs and provides valuable information on the product use and maintenance. It’s basically a user manual for their product.
With the proper ingredients, success comes naturally. Here's everything you need to make a distinctive tasting sausage stick that will be sure to tingle your taste buds. Comes with complete instructions.
Kit consists of:
• Dried Sausage Sticks Seasoning
• InstaCure Powder #1
• Hickory Liquid Smoke
• Collagen Casings (19 mm)
Makes 25 Lbs.
Why we love it: Judging by the quality and variety of the Sausage Maker’s catalog, they makes no bones about being the go-to supply for home sausage maker, butchers and meat enthusiasts. However, if you scroll down to get details on one of their products, you’ll find a voice that is approachable, funny and delightfully off-beat. The Sausage Maker is a great example of a company having fun while being informative and trustworthy.
Got tips for writing the perfect product description? Share in the comments section below!
Here are some key ideas for your persuasive letter. .. Tell them all about the new product, including why they should buy it. Thanks! Yes No.
People don’t read online; unless they’re about to spend money—then they scrutinize each word.
Design, SEO, and advertising can only get you so far. If you want to accelerate sales online, you need persuasive copy. According to Harvard Business professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of our purchase decision occurs in the subconscious mind. Most marketers ignore how our brains work and fight against human psychology.
With a few persuasive writing techniques, you’ll be able to write compelling copy and sell more products.
“The principles of psychology are fixed and enduring. You will never need to unlearn what you learn about them.” Claude C. Hopkins
How to Write a Persuasive Product Description that Sells from Darren DeMatas, MBA
This is a mammoth post, so I added links to sections for you TL;DRs out there.
Repetition is one of the easiest persuasive writing techniques. The more someone hears your message, the more believable it is. This psychological concept is known as the ‘illusion of truth‘.
This technique is most effective when people are least attentive. Since the average online attention span is 8 seconds – you better be repeating your benefits throughout your product page.
Step 1: Determine The Biggest Benefit Of Your Product
Hopefully, you’ll take me up on Tip 3 and create a feature/benefit list for your product. If not, don’t overthink it. Go for the most obvious benefit.
The most obvious benefit for a jacket is weather resistance.
Step 2: Repeat The Biggest Benefit 3-5 Times
Most people will scan first before reading. So make sure you include your #1 benefit throughout your page layout. Include it in your headline, intro, subheads, bullet points and conclusion.
Take a look at this Calvin Klein jacket. Macy’s wants you to believe this jacket is weather-resistant. The product page gets the point across, without mind-numbing repetition.
Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs from college? Maybe you forgot because you didnt get enough good sleep. Every time your prospect uses Google search it’s out of a deep psychological desire.
Your job as a marketer is to understand that need. Your copy will be much more persuasive, and it will rank significantly better in a Google search.
Step 1: Determine The Psychological Need Of Your Product
Your job here is to address the primary psychological need behind a search for your product. Some products can meet two. But we want to keep it simple and actionable, so pick one.
Step 2: Use Words Suited For That Mental State
Tone matters a lot in writing. Once you are through with step 1, add some words from this article to your product page.
Step 3: Anticipate Questions About Your Product
Use the keyword research to find questions about your products. This will help you match search intent from a potential customer.
Your goal with step three is to find concerns related to your product that you can address on your product page. If you still can’t find real product questions try this Twitter research trick from Ann Smarty.
Step 4: Connect Questions to Product Features
Some shoppers might be concerned about cleaning a leather jacket before buying. Your sales page should briefly address that concern. The solution is easy. Add a simple bullet that turns the question into a benefit.
Ex: “Top-grain leather that cleans easily with a microfiber cloth.”
Your updated page meets psychological, emotional needs and overcomes objections a buyer might have. Sounds like a slam dunk to me. 🙂
No matter what product you are selling, the benefit to your customer is a better version of themselves. This is why it is so important to understand who your ideal customer is, what questions they have, and how you can help them. You’ll be wasting your time if you jam persuasive tricks into your copy. Even worse, you might come off like a manipulative idiot.
Here is a 3-step process to write benefits-focused, persuasive copy.
Henneke Duistermaat has an entire ebook that goes into more depth about writing benefits-focused sales copy. You can grab a copy .
Would you be able to sell more products if you knew someone’s thoughts before they buy something? Of course you would!
You don’t have to do exhaustive primary research to find the right words to use, but you do you need to find out why people buy your product and use that language on your product or category page. Here’s how:
Step 1: Find Conversations about Buying Your Product
There is an online forum for just about any topic. A lot of times you, can find people who just bought a similar product, and you can see who they are and what they are chatting about. Type the following searches into Google. Just replace “keyword” with your product and “niche” with your industry.
The search term, “racing tires” “should I buy” inurl:forum surfaced 455 car enthusiasts talking about buying racing tires. This is like eavesdropping on a conversation between friends. No focus group needed. How’s that for marketing research?!
Step 2: Read The Threads and Create a Quick and Dirty Persona
In this step, your goal is to create one (yes, only one) buyer persona.
If you can’t find info about their age, location, hobbies and profession take an educated guess. Your persona should also have a name.
Step 3: Collect Answers To The 5 Questions Below:
As you research the forum threads copy and paste answers to these questions.
Step 4: Update Your Pages
It’s easy to forget that you are writing for a person when writing on the web. Understanding the mental state of potential buyers is the most powerful market research you’ll ever do. As you update your product pages, keep James Holley in mind. He is probably anxious to burn some rubber after a long week selling insurance.
I’m not talking about fluffing your copy up with phony adjectives. Meaningless words like “high quality” or “state of the art” send your reader’s brain into glazed state. Sensory words describe and create a feeling.
Our subconscious collects sensory data (taste, smell, sight, hearing, touch). When information is registered, sensory areas of the brain are activated.
Step 1: Observe Your Product And Create A List Of Concrete Words
Create a table in Excel with sound, sight, touch, smell and taste as headers. Observe the sensory details of your product. Don’t overthink this. If you can’t imagine it, it is not concrete. You don’t need to appeal to all five senses, and you don’t need a mega list.
After two minutes of examining the Crocs on my feet, I came up with these sensory words. Not brilliant, but it’s a start.
Step 2: Read Customer Reviews To Find Sensory Words
In this step, you are looking for words that describe your product and the environment of how it’s used. While reading reviews, I noticed people use Crocs at the beach and inside their house.
You don’t have to make this a grind. To combat information overload, sort the reviews by most helpful. Spend a few minutes on this step, no more. After reading the first two pages of product reviews, you’ll be able to add some words that you hadn’t thought of.
Step 3: Add Sensory Words To Your Product Description
When you tackle this step, give context to the words you use. For example, “blisters” is a very concrete, sensory word, but it is also negative. So your copy could say “A flexible sole helps avoid foot pain and blisters from walking on hard tile floors.”
Compare our quickly crafted sentence with Kohl’s product description: “Crocs shoes are great for outdoor adventures.” (Yawn). No one buying shoes is looking for an “outdoor adventure.”
Cialdini’s principle of scarcity states that desire to obtain something increases when there is a perception of limited availability. Research shows that scarcity increases impulse buying.
Don’t burn bridges like CoffeForLess with fake scarcity. Use this technique when you actually have a limited time offer or limited quantity.
Step 1: Create A Time Sensitive Sale
Select high margin or popular products. Install a countdown timer plugin, email your list and run a sale. There are a lot of plugins that can do this. Here are a few of them:
Step 2: Add A Limited Quantity Alert On Product Pages
Use a plugin to show visitors a message when your inventory is low. Phrases like “Hurry! Only 1 left!” can help move customers to action. People get a thrill when they snag the last one. I know I do 🙂
Never pressure people to PUSH them into purchasing. Instead, use pressure to PREVENT them from procrastinating. There is a fundamental difference between the two. – Michel Fortin
Thinking about using scarcity tactics on your product page? Check out this in-depth article and be sure to take a non-scuzzy approach.
A high dollar sale on the first visit can be a big ask. Instead, use theprinciple of commitment and consistency. People want to be consistent. Once someone commits to something small, they are more inclined to continue the process.
How can you use this to increase sales?
Step 1: Ask New Customers if They Are Likely to Buy from You Again
Customers love getting an order confirmation emailed to them. Turn it into a marketing opportunity. Use automated email software like Klaviyo to add this question to the bottom of the order confirmation email:
“Are you likely to buy from us again? Yes No.”
Make the responses “Yes” or “No” hyperlinks so you can track if they are clicked. You don’t want to set up a complicated survey, work it into your regular workflow and make it as easy as possible.
Step 2: Send a Coupon/Promo Code
Customers who responded positively to your first email are likely to follow through with their original commitment. Incentivize them to be consistent by sending them a coupon to save $10 when they spend $150. The actual numbers will depend on your store. The goal is to turn them into a big spender.
You can even word the email like this:
A few weeks ago you said you would like to buy again from mystore.com. We wanted to send you a quick thanks for your recent order with a promo code to save on your next purchase. You can save $10 when you spend $150. Here are some of our most popular items (show images of products over $150). Promo code is good for 30 days.
When someone publicly declares they will do something, they are likely to carry through with that statement. This is also called the “mere-measurement effect.”
Tip: Send the same email to people who also said no. Just remove the first sentence.
Trying to hide the negative features of your product? Researchers from Stanford suggests you shouldn’t.
Customers can tell when you write a product description that’s 100% positive fluff. Adding in a small dose of negativity can make your product more attractive.
We find that as long as the negative information about a product is minor, your pitch [to a consumer] might be more persuasive when it calls attention to that negative, especially if consumers have already learned some positive things,” –Baba Shiv
A lot has been written about the psychology behind persuasive words. Here are “must have” words for your ecommerce site.
Now that you know the words to use, it is time to put them to work for you.
Step 1: Use Google Analytics to Find Your Top Landing Pages
Don’t try to update all your pages at once. It is too tall of a task. Use Google Analytics to find your top 3-5 product landing pages.
Step 2: Update the Copy To Include Those Power Words
Chances are your home page is a top landing page. Be sure to include power words, like “Free Shipping” in global elements like headers.
Use power words at the beginning and end of your product page. Include them in bulleted lists too.
When you’re writing persuasive copy, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. If you don’t analyze competitor ad copy, you’re missing out on insights from tested copy.
Step 1: Find Out Who The Big Advertisers Are In Your Niche
Type a keyword from your niche into SEMRush along with (adwords_historical). In the example below, I used “work boots” (adwords_historical) to see all the companies advertising for that keyword. Look at their ads traffic price to get an idea of how much they are spending each month.
Stick with companies spending more than $10K per month. These companies are smart enough to test their ads and use the best performing ads the most. Avoid megastores like Amazon or Overstock.com. You’ll get too much data to analyze. You want to write persuasive copy, not analyze data.
Step 2: Review Their Ad Copy
In SEMRush type in the big spenders domain with (by uniq_ads) to see all of their ads. In the example below, I typed in workboots.com (by uniq_ads). SEMRush will show you the ads that have the most keywords. For a company spending $10K + on PPC, you can bet that their best ads get the most keywords. Look for common themes within the ads. Pay extra attention to any benefit-focused ads.
Step 3: Update Your Copy
Your competitors spend a boatload of cash figuring out which ads sell the most products. People who shop for work boots care about new styles and slip resistance. Focus on those points when updating your copy.
If you want a fast and effective method for influencing people, DTR is it.
Most of us go into auto-pilot mode when surfing the web. By disrupting your readers’ understanding on a typical phrase, you can knock them out of auto-pilot and reframe their thought process to give new meaning to the confusing phrase.
Apple’s entire marketing strategy is based on DTR.
Here is how you can do it:
Have you ever bought a product because your friend told you it was “high performance” or “innovative”? No.
This is why you need to eliminate marketing speak and write for your ideal buyer.
Professional copywriters know that the most persuasive language comes directly from the customer (see Tip #28). But why?
According to the Kellogg Marketing Faculty at Northwestern University, consumers seek comfort and self-expression in the brands they choose. By using your customers’ own words you can shortcut the persuasive writing process and help readers self-identify. Joanna Wiebe explains how to do this in her post, but here is the gist:
Don’t copy entire paragraphs. You’re looking for emotionally charged phrases to leverage into your copy. Here are some examples from racing tires:
You want to sound like a customer, not a marketing company.
You’ve worked super hard to get a customer, use the endowed progress effect to keep them buying from you.
Reward programs give your customers a sense that they are working towards a goal. By giving them a few extra free points, they will be more likely to buy from you again. Check out this study from USC.
To create an effective program you need:
Please don’t just use the boilerplate copy from the plugin. Be sure to cater it to your audience.
Research suggests that rhyming phrases are more believable. I am not suggesting that your product pages sound like nursery rhymes, but the “rhyme as reason” effect can help persuade people who are on the fence.
Johnny Cochran, O.J. Simpson’s lawyer, knew about this cognitive bias.
If the glove does not fit, you must acquit.
Rhyming makes copy easier to remember and ideas easier to digest. This concept is also known as the fluency effect. Rand Fishkin has an excellent white board on this topic.
Here is how you can incorporate rhyming today:
This exercise can be a lot of fun, and it will make your benefits more persuasive. Don’t overdo it, Mother Goose.
Copy has to be credible to be persuasive. We are all bombarded with generic marketing claims all day long. Precise details turn your ho-hum headlines, taglines and slogans into believable messages.
When it comes to selling products, details about problems or benefits make your copy trustworthy. Notice how the details describe the benefits of the raincoat material.
Constructed with durable, water-resistant, urethane-coated nylon taffeta and rustproof snaps; watertight bound seam construction. – REI
Ask yourself these questions to help you pull out the relevant details for your product page:
When you start adding irrelevant details like the number of grooves on a pen grip, you’ve gone way too far.
Online shoppers are skeptical. Adding details helps people understand you are telling the truth.
As we saw in Maslow’s pyramid, belonging is a basic psychological need. This is why peer pressure works. Our ideas are validated when similar people share them: this is especially true for shopping online.
71% of online shoppers read reviews before buying.
Here are two surefire ways you can use social influence on your ecommerce site:
1. Add Product Reviews
Reviews help validate your claims. It is one thing for you to say “This backpack is durable.” It’s more impactful when a customer says the same thing. By simply adding a reviews widget, Express Watches increased conversions by 58%.
It is not enough to add a widget; you have to be proactive about getting them. Once you add the widget:
2. Add a Recommended Products Widget
When people get stuck on a decision, they look to see what other people do. This is why a recommended products widgetcan help lift conversions. When people don’t find what they want, they leave. Providing additional suggestions to them might persuade them to check out other products.
Stories that relate to your audience strengthen your brand position. If your story doesn’t, your copy will come off cheesy.
Do you remember James Holley from Tip #4? He will probably appreciate a mini story about peeling out in the office parking lot on a Friday night. This story works because it’s:
This mini-story would be a huge turnoff to Donna, 57, in New York City. She values safety and style when buying luxury tires. Burning rubber would run her off your site. You’re job is to tell an unexpected story that will entertain your ideal customer. Something they won’t read on an Amazon product description.
Retailer J. Peterman is known for their unique product descriptions. Check out this one.
People remember what they saw first (primacy effect) or last (recency effect). Use this to your advantage. Put your best copy where it matters most.
Step 1: Begin with an Ultra Short, Benefit-Rich Product Summary
When you write copy for product pages, you have to consider the design. Once you see how the information is layered on the page, make sure to put your most persuasive copy right at the beginning. Keep it short and uncluttered.
Bonus SEO tip: Use your, ultra-short persuasive intro as the meta description to improve your click-through rate from searches.
Step 2: Rearrange Your Bullets
Readers love bullet points. Don’t rattle off a bunch of product features. Make sure that your bullets are a list of benefits. Give extra love to the first and last two bullets.
Step 3: End Your Product Description with a Persuasive Message
If someone reads your entire product description, chances are they are almost ready to buy. Don’t fizzle out at the end. Give them one simple, memorable reason why they should buy this product.
Priming is similar to the principle of commitment and consistency Both are used to influence subsequent behavior. The main difference is that priming is the process of tapping into the subconscious mind.
Numerous studies show the priming effect in action. For example, three groups were primed with different words (rude, polite, and neutral). The group shown rude words were most likely to interrupt the interviewer. In another study, people who were shown sad faces 🙁 preferred mood-enhancing content.
Because people are influenced subconsciously, primes are perceived to be their own ideas. Remember the movie Inception? Same thing. When people think they are being “marketed to”, all bets are off.
Here are two ways you can use priming for your ecommerce site:
Using Homonyms To Influence Purchase Behavior
A study from the University of Miami revealed that adding the words “bye-bye” in the web copy increased sales. This is because the word sounds like “buy.” You can use this on your product pages easily by using a sentence formula: “Say bye-bye to [problem] with [feature] that [benefit].”
Fuel can example: Say bye-bye to spilled gas with the locking nozzle that won’t leak.
As HubSpot points out, you can also say “Good-Bye” on your order confirmation page to subconsciously influence that a “good buy” was made.
Don’t go overboard. If you use this on every page, it will lose its effect.
Using Price Priming To Sell More of Your Popular Products
This is not really a “copy writing” technique, but it can improve your sales. You can influence customers’ value perception by placing your top products next to super expensive products.
A $600 watch seems less expensive when placed next to a $2500 watch. This subconsciously influences your visitor to think the $600 watch isn’t that expensive. This is the reason why the default price setting on many ecommerce sites is “high to low.”
Another strategy is to implement a “featured” area on your category page.
You can also use colors, images, and metaphors for priming.
Persuasive writing means marketing to the subconscious. This is where purchase decisions are made. We’ve gone through a long list of persuasive writing techniques. You don’t have to tackle them all at once. Pick one technique, and you’ll be on your way to improving product sales. Remember, moderation is key.
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If the goal of your sales letter is to convince people to take action (such as buy your product or sign up for your service), don't forget to tell them.