How to Write Copy that Sells – Every Time

The basic objective of sales copy is to convert readers into buyers – web visitors into customers – prospects into clients.

The copywriter appeals to readers’ needs, desires and emotions – and compels them to act – buy, subscribe or inquire.

In effect, a copywriter turns words into money.

That last sentence tells you all you need to know. But there’s one more thing.

A good copywriter will outsell a bad copywriter many times over.

So it’s critical that your business copy is as good as it could be – in fact – that it’s far better than your competitors. So here are some tips.

Every day we’re exposed to advertisements in newspapers and magazines, on billboards, in direct mail and on the Internet. Some we ignore, others we read, and a few make us act. Why is it that some advertisements appeal and others do not?

Quite simply because:

  • The headline attracts us very much
  • The content applies to us or our interests
  • We’re convinced by what is being said
  • We literally feel how it could apply to us
  • We are shown how to take action easily
  • Also – and this is a big point – the advertisement is written with emotion.


    To start off with, you’ve got to be keen on what you sell. Ideally you should love it – if that’s not asking too much. But at the very least you’ve got to believe in it.

    What are you selling?

    A solution, a dream an experience perhaps. Whatever it is, it won’t be the features of the product or service that you’ll be selling – but the benefits.

    Take a car for instance. Rarely do people think of a car as a vehicle to get them from A to B. It may be a status symbol. It may demonstrate your good taste, or it may show how much you care about the environment. Whatever it is – and it may be many things – it is not merely a car.

    Take the marketing of hotels. Rather than a soft bed for the night and a fine breakfast in the morning, hotels at the top end of the market promote themselves as an experience – a place to be seen – for both businessman and tourist. At the bottom end, they may promote themselves on practicality and price.

    To whom are you selling?

    It’s crucial to envisage a person who represents the market and to give them a name. Not any old Tom Dick or Harry – but Caroline (perhaps?) – and make her real in your mind. Empathise with her and think about her life.

    Who is she and where does she live? How old is she? Where does she work? What’s her family like? How much does she earn? What does she want out of life? Ask all the questions – Why, When and How – so that you can build up a complete picture.

    Why should anyone buy from you?

    List the reasons why – price, quality, flexibility, choice, speed of service and locality perhaps.

    And then start that list again. And again. Until you are absolutely sure why your product stands out and what it stands for.

    List all the features of your product and service and then convert those features into benefits. And you will only be able to identify those benefits which mean the most if you have your audience – your market – Caroline uppermost in your mind.

    Keep testing

    What’s appealing about your product or service?

    Why would “Caroline” buy from you?

    Does it meet her needs?


    Now ….what would really attract Caroline?

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