Copywriting Tips For People Who Hate Writing Copy

by Justin

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This is a guest post by Rachel Rofe, co-partner of Earn 1K A Day, an internet marketing community devoted to helping people succeed online.

Copywriting Made Easy: How To STOP Being Overwhelmed By The Blank Screen Once And For All…

If the thought of writing copy overwhelms and frustrates you, the odds are you’re making it FAR too hard on yourself.

See, a lot of people try to make copywriting seem super-fancy. They make it seem like you need to know how to craft the “perfect” bullets… use the exact right NLP techniques… make the headline amazing…

But the truth is, you could probably bang out a letter in 2-3 hours and still make a ton of sales.

(I should know – I did that with one of my sites and it’s still converting at 18.6% day after day.)

Because I used to command $5,000 per sales letter and still occasionally take clients, it’s NOT to my benefit to tell you what I’m about to tell you… but it’s the truth.

Here are a few things to consider next time you want to write a sales letter:

The OFFER you have will always be a lot more important than the actual copy.

Now I’ll admit – I knew this intuitively, but it wasn’t until Jason Fladlien phrased it the way he did that I REALLY got it.

He said, “If you pit me against Gary Bencivenga (world-class copywriter) and give us both 3 weeks to finish a sales letter… I guarantee I’ll beat his conversions.”

He explained that what he would do is spend 2.5 weeks working on the OFFER – and then at the very end, he’d whip out some sales copy.

Gary, on the other hand, would spend all 3 weeks on the copy.

That makes a ton of sense to me.

Here’s the thing: I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely bought from ugly looking sales pages before. I didn’t care what sales copy said, how annoying the popups were, or anything else… I just wanted the PRODUCT.

To put this in a real-world example, I have a good friend who asks for $15,000 per sales letter plus royalties. He was hired by a man with a product in the automotive niche. The man’s sales page was already converting at well over 20%, but his entire sales letter said something like, “Want “X” Product? Click Here.”.. and then it led to the shopping cart. He figured that a proper sales letter would convert even better.

My friend was paid $15,000 to create a sales letter. For about a month, he pored over the copy. He put all his magic bullets in it, included world-class stories, took prospects down a slippery slide, used AIDA, had killer takeaways, etc…

And do you know what happened?

The old 5 word sales letter out-converted the new copy.

By a LOT.

The offer was a lot more compelling the other way. People could just point, click, and buy. They didn’t care about all the excess words… they just wanted the offer.

Now, I can’t say this will be the case for EVERYTHING… but I do think it really illustrates the point that you don’t need to craft some kind of amazing message. Offer excellent value to people and they’ll buy.

And another thing -

You Only Need To Cover A Few Specific Things In Your Copy.

Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? 80% of your results are covered by 20% of what you put in?

Copy is exactly like that.

When you’re writing, consider the most high-leverage things. Don’t worry too much about the rest.

Here are what I consider the most important elements:

  • The headline: This is what people are going to look at first. They’re going to check out your headline and immediately decide if they want to stay on your page or not.But before you get frustrated, realize that headlines do NOT need to be hard.

    In fact, my best-converting headline of all time is the classic “Who Else Wants…”. Feel free to use it all you want.

    “Who Else Wants 50+ Top-Notch PLR Ebooks?”

    “Who Else Wants A Great Merchant Provider And Fast Customer Service?”

    “Who Else Wants Comfortable And Stylish Hiking Boots?”

    …etc.

  • Your proof: Show people you can back up what you’re promising.Are you selling a weight loss product? Show pictures of people who have lost weight with your product. Are you telling people your shoes are awesome? Get testimonials from people who like them. Have you made a lot of money with a method? Show screenshots of your income.

    As Dan Kennedy says, you always want to have a “preponderance of proof” for any sales material you ever promote.

  • Your call to action: Make sure you’re very clear with people about what you’re offering and what they need to do in order to get it. Let them “feel” how they’d feel when they got your product. Take them through the process.In Joe Sugarman’s “Triggers”, he once interviewed a very successful TV salesman. This salesman would consistently out-sell all of the other salespeople in his industry, and Joe was dying to know how he did it. The salesman told him that he simply only talked to the customers who he knew would buy. He knew that he could close 50% of the people who were coming in to the store and playing with the television dials. He knew only 10% of the people who didn’t touch any of the dials would be interested.

    Here’s how I incorporated this in a piece of copy I wrote yesterday:

    “As soon as you place your order, I’ll have Kunaki immediately send you a white box full of DVDs. They’ll be at your front door within a week. When you open up the box, you’ll find that each DVD will be in a navy blue case. Each case is labeled by who created those videos (Robert, Jason, or the guest speakers). I organized the DVDs to make them as easy-to-go-through as possible so you can dig in and start earning with them right away.”

  • Guarantee: Give a guarantee people can really feel good about. Take away any risk on their end. This is the hands-down easiest way to get fence-sitters to come over to your side.If you can stand behind whatever you’re advertising, there’s no reason not to offer a great guarantee. Sure, you might deal with some serial refunders, but my experience has shown me the vast majority of people don’t want to make a refund. They just want to make sure they’re not wasting their money.

    As a side note, I find that the bigger the guarantees I make, the more sales (and the less refunds).

  • Your offer: This is obviously the most important. Since I went over it in the first section, I’ll drop it for now.

Another thing that you want to consider is how you come across in your sales messages.

Always Be YOU!

So many people are so consumed by making sales that they come across as over-hypey. They turn off potential customers who might have otherwise been perfect candidates.

We’re in a world right now where people are absolutely craving authenticity. So much natural human connection has been replaced by the internet, text messaging, emails, etc… and people are starving for real human contact.

Be honest with people. Let them know who you are. Let them know if there are flaws in your product. Treat them like they’re your friends.

For example, in one of my sales letters, I told prospects that prices were limited to 100 people. I explained I had no real reason to limit the prices but I figured they’d move faster if I had some kind of scarcity. I was completely upfront with them, and in less than 24 hours I had 125 people clamoring to pay me $50, $100, and $300 a MONTH. (There were a few options to choose from.)

I had to raise the prices in record time.

I tell you all of this because not only will writing from your heart increase your sales, but it will make copywriting a heck of a lot easier for you.

When you write a sales letter, write as if you’re writing to your best friend. Forget everyone else. The words will flow very easily and you’ll be able to write extremely quickly.

Another thing to remember with copy is that momentum is crucial.

Just Get It Out There!

There’s no need to wait for your copy to be “perfect”.

Schedule 3 hours, write your heart out, and put a sales page out there.

I’ll often turn on Action Enforcer, schedule a few hours to write, and then write for a few hours nonstop.

I’ll immediately publish my sales letter (I love momentum!) and let people know about it. I understand I can always edit later, correct any mistakes, and add anything I need based on feedback and questions that people ask.

And if I mess up somehow, I look at it as an opportunity.

I remember one time I wrote an email so fast that a good customer wrote in and asked if I wrote the email myself. She thought I may have outsourced it because it sounded as if the writer “didn’t speak English”.

After I had a good laugh about it, I emailed my list to clarify that the email was, in fact, from me.

(Not only did this make people on my list smile, but I got another opportunity to plug the product I had been emailing them about in the first place.)

Obviously my intention is not to come across as I don’t speak English ;) … but the point is, it wasn’t the end of the world. I got an extra opportunity to let my list know about an offer, ended up making more sales, and I looked a lot more “human”.

To Sum Everything Up…

I’m not knocking advanced copywriting. I’ve spent hours upon hours studying from a lot of copy greats. It’s been a blast — and if nothing else, the psychology behind copy is absolutely fascinating.

And sure, I totally believe there are tweaks you could do to increase conversions, etc…

But really, if you’re slow-to-move on something, remember a low converting letter will always perform better than nothing.

Even if it takes you a few days to write your copy, think about all the opportunity costs you may have missed out on. In the time it took you to craft a letter, you could be tweaking your product, getting traffic to your page, or getting customer feedback.

Make sure your offer rocks, include the core elements, be you, and you’ll be golden.

[Edit by Justin] Rachel wrote a killer article for you guys that could literally be worth thousands if you use it. As I read this I couldn’t help but feel like she was pouring her heart out to try and help others write sales copy the easy way. Show her some love by leaving a comment, will yuh! ;-) [/edit]

You can contact Rachel on Facebook here or read her personal blog right here.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn Horwood August 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Dang Rachel, this is a killer article!

I actually love writing copy…I really enjoy it but I still read this post because I know your copy rocks.

I just went through Jason Fladlien’s Copy Eclass and he really emphasized the point that the offer is the key, and you should definitely spend most of your time crafting an amazing offer.

I’ve studied a lot of the advanced copywriting stuff and purchased multiple thousand dollar or more copywriting courses to try and get better at copywriting, but the truth is the best way to write copy is to follow the information that’s right here and then just go do it and learn from experience.

You really don’t need all that other stuff at all. People could take this info, practice it and be yourself.

My first sales letter EVER converted at 4% for an SEO related product…and I didn’t even know what copywriting was at the time. I just read a couple other sales letters, then followed the basic flow and then wrote about what I had.

I actually got worse by trying to use all the different copywriting tactics because it sounds fake and hypey. I’ve been trying to force myself back into just being myself and writing with some emotion.

Anyways, this comment got a lot longer than I expected…great article Rachel, and everyone else don’t take it lightly because it’s free! This is highly valuable information. Take it, apply it, and go write some spectacular copy!

Shawn

Reply

Rachel Rofe August 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Shawn, thank you so much for your awesome comment! :)

I’m really glad you liked the article.

I totally agree with you about sometimes getting worse the more you learn. That’s how I was with IM in general in the beginning. My very first week I was making $500 – $800 per day. I kept listening to everyone else after that, and my income plummeted.

I really think the offer + being YOU = best possible formula :)

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Jason Fladlien August 24, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Rachel, you’re the best! Spot on as always. Very good stuff. Thanks for the mention in your article. I loved your specific examples you talked about, especially the 5 word sales letter! :)

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TrafficColeman August 26, 2010 at 10:42 am

Look people the best thing to do is write and forget about being perfect. Put yourself in the reader shoes and write from that perspective.

“TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

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Kat August 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I have a great product and I can’t sell it because of my sales letter.
13 great videos about list building with a video proof of me building a list of 1000 people in 3 days and then selling them stuff to make over $250.
Do you know how many copy’s did I sell?
zero
why???
I have traffic,proof,guarantee, title, bullet points,$67 price for 13 videos isn’t too much…
zero sales!
I don’t understand sales process and it is not that simple as you want us to believe Rachel
Thanks for the blog post

Reply

Rachel August 26, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Hi Kat,

Thanks for your reply!

Without seeing your actual product, it would be hard for me to tell you exactly why it’s not selling, but a few questions that pop up to mind:

1. I know YOU like the offer – but if it’s not selling, maybe it isn’t irresistable enough. Have you been tweaking and testing it?

To be honest, even from just reading your post I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I see you’re showing how to build a list, but “selling them stuff for how to make $250″ was a bit vague. Maybe it’s more detailed on your letter. And what’s the pricepoint?

2. I know you’re getting traffic. What KIND of traffic? Not all traffic is created equal, so you want ultra-targeted buyers, ideally. :)

Feel free to link to your sales page and I’ll be happy to take a look!

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Melissa Galt September 1, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Thank you for the permission many of us need to just do what we think vs. the model that is touted as unchangeable. I hate long copy and regularly skip to the offer and when I have to hunt for it, it makes me crazy. I’ve shortened my pages but not enough and I am taking this to heart. BIG KUDOS!

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Justin Brooke September 6, 2010 at 7:12 pm

In the words of my mentor “a salesletter only needs to be as long as it needs to be.”

Meaning that there should be nothing “extra” and no “fancyness” just needs to prove to the customer that you know what their problem is and that you have a solution to it.

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Social Media Marketing Plus September 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Justin,

I remember back in late `09 I got your SEO Lies book since I was looking to get some insight into how to get my arms around SEO. Even though I got my hands on the ebook for a whopping $1 – it was a good read and a good mini investment.

Glad to see you offering these copyright tips for nuttin.

Saw a Tweet to this page and instantly clicked thru. How are things in Fla?

Neil

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Justin Wheeler March 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Interestingly I just paid Rachel $5 for this information as part of her sales process for her Happy Copywriting.

Should just read my fellow Justin’s blog more often!

Have to say though that this i completely the key and that the $5 was well worth the expenditure to help ram home the point. I like to think I am quite good at things online but copy causes me no end of problems!

Great post.

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