It’s in the name; sales copy is designed to sell. But the question is how to write sales copy that customers actually read? How do you get their attention? And how do you describe your product or service accurately, while still keeping it interesting?
These strategies and examples can help you get started
How To Write Sales Copy For Your Customers
Decide On Long-form Or Short-form Sales Copy
Before knowing how to write sales copy, you have to decide how much of it you need. Long-form sales copy is more detailed and better for customers who are already interested. Short-form sales copy is very brief and designed to get attention and interest.
Long-form content is ideal for:
- Resolving customer objections
- Answering customer questions
- Customers who are nearly ready to buy
- Product pages, brochures, catalogs
Short-form content is ideal for:
- Getting attention
- Customers who don’t yet know about the product or service
- Billboards, display ads, magazine ads
Turn a Feature Into A Benefit
A feature is a part of your product, while a benefit is a result the customer enjoys. To know how to write sales copy using benefits, you must first know what your customers want. Make an accurate buyer persona before you start.
In short-form content, place the feature and benefit close together in a headline or subhead. You might spotlight something like “immediate cost-savings,” “start relaxing,” “live healthier,” or “stop pain.”
In long-form sales copy, describe the features or benefits in more detail, or describe more than one. This product page for Timberland boots describes multiple features and benefits. One highlighted feature is the “SensorFlex Comfort System.” The benefit is it “instantly adapts to uneven terrain to provide a smooth, stable ride.”
Source: Timerland Website
Solve A Problem
When deciding how to write sales copy, it’s important to understand what problem your product or service solves. Starting sales copy with a problem your customer recognizes will get their attention and help them relate.
In short-form content, present the problem and solution in as few words as possible, preferably in one or two brief statements. In a display ad, Weight Watchers presents a problem in three words; “No Kitchen Skills?” Then they supply the solution; “Then this is the menu for you. 7 easy-to-assemble meals.”
Long-form content allows you to describe the problem and the solution in more detail. You can paint a more dramatic picture through a longer description of the problem, or show more specifically how your product or service solves the problem.
Basecamp, which provides a platform for organizing tasks and teams, describes a problem on their homepage with some very relatable text: “hair on fire, buried under email, stuff everywhere.” Then they present the solution: Basecamp.
Source: Basecamp Website
If you struggle with how to write sales copy that is strictly literal, a comparison can help. Metaphors, analogies, and similes in sales copy put two dissimilar things together to describe an overall product, feature, or a benefit. This also makes the copy more memorable.
“Red Bull gives you wings” is a metaphor describing how a customer feels drinking Red Bull. “Like a rock” is a simile describing the durability of Chevy trucks. Short, catchy statements like these are examples of short-form content. Long-form content describes the product or service and the comparison in more detail.
When using this strategy, make sure the comparison is appealing, easily understood and in line with your brand identity. The feeling of energy in “Red Bull gives you wings” is easily understood, but change the metaphor to “Red Bull turns you into a bird” and customers would likely be confused and put off.
Describe an Experience
Your sales copy may describe your product’s or service’s benefits, a problem it solves, or it may describe an experience it provides. With this strategy, tap into who your customers are and what they think about. Are they looking for excitement and action? Peace and relaxation? Warmth and comfort?
In short-form sales copy, brief action words and descriptive terms create an experience. To make it simple, use “experience” as the verb, and one or two words describing the experience, such as “relaxation,” “extreme,” “comfort,” or “paradise.” You’ve probably seen this strategy most often in ads for athletic apparel, vacations, or outdoor gear.
In long-form sales copy, more adjectives and action verbs describe the experience. Bai’s Brasilia Blueberry drink begins their product description with a vacation-like setting. This grabs a customer’s attention with several appealing adjectives like “exotic,” “adventurous,” and “captivating,” then ties this experience back to the drink:
“Brasilia, Brazil — sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Exotic. Romantic, maybe. Definitely adventurous. It sounds like a faraway place that boasts exciting, captivating faraway things. Can you imagine (…)? You should start. Because that’s what’s inside each bottle of Brasilia Blueberry.”
To best understand how to write sales copy for customers, you first must know your brand and your ideal customer’s expectations. Try out different strategies to see which suits you best and which one customers prefer.