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Have you missed these obvious secrets the gurus reveal to writing outstanding copy?

By September 8, 2014Values

Let’s think back to our last encounter.

When we (virtually) met a week ago, we talked emotion and sales. We played around with the idea that empathy is the secret to writing emotionally engaging words. I also asked you to pick a sales page to review and figure out why the copy made you feel the way you did when reading it.

Didja do it?

The assignment? ( <– You can call me Miss Wahid any time you like ).

Yes? No? Took an honest stab?

It’s at this point in my life that I seriously wish we were face-to-face (if only digitally) so we could discuss.

(That (points arrow upwards) will be a serious possibility soon – watch this space for more deets).

It may not be so simple, to read through copy someone else has written and figure out why they wrote things in a certain order, or used certain words.

Since writing copy starts with knowing the audience intimately, you’d have to know the audience the copy was intended for, to really understand the why.

So let’s have an example of that, shall we? We’ll take this sales page and break it down.

The person this page is appealing to is someone like this:

– A 30-something guy in corporate job, pretty happy in life, but wants more. He just doesn’t know what.

– Doesn’t want to quit his job and start a business immediately

– Isn’t a big risk taker but would love to have more income so he can do more of the things he loves without feeling guilty about spending money

– Reads things like The Four Hour Work Week and believes it’s possible, but hasn’t taken the steps to change his life based on what he’s read. He spends more time dreaming than doing

– Tells himself he’ll start his own business when he has the right idea

– Has friends who are happy in their corporate career, and he doesn’t understand why. He also feels like he doesn’t know anyone else who wants the same things in life as him

– Wants someone to give him a step-by-step approach to achieving the life of his dreams

– Hates it when something promises to give him ‘the secret to [insert audacious goal here]’ (i.e he can see through bullshit)

– Science and data are important when it comes to making decisions

Therefore, the copy needs to:

– Speak to him as a pal and yet be authoritative

– Provide data and testimonials as proof it works

– Give him confidence to want to know more

– Appeal to the non-risk-taking side of him

– Reflect what he’s thinking without being patronising

If you want to learn more about getting down to this level of intimacy of matching your audience to your copy, get the deets here.

So now we know the kind of person the copy should appeal to, and how it should be presented. Does the page achieve it?

(rhetorical question –> Ramit Sethi is a copy-genius)

To demonstrate that it does, here’s a visual breakdown. On the left, you’ll find the principles of copy being applied, and on the right, an outline of what the reader is thinking when they read the page:

 

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(Click the above to Pin it on Pinterest)

 

What principles of writing sales copy did you pick up here that you’ll apply to your website? Let me know in the comments, yo.

6 Comments

  • Liz says:

    Raz the graphic is a *super* useful visual guide. I love it!

  • Rohi says:

    Hi Razwana,
    This is super.
    I’ll use all these elements when I create my landing page. (I’ve bookmarked this page.)
    For me, the element that appealed the most is the headline – specific benefit + free tool = irresistible attraction.
    Thanks for this class act.

  • Steve says:

    That’s such a great breakdown of a sales page. The one thing I always have to remind myself when I’m writing stuff like this is that i have to take an informal tone. Sometimes my writing gets pretty formal so I have to go through it to break it up a little. But oh well.

    For me, social proof is very important. For some reason people don’t want to be the first to something. It’s like the whole idea of standing between two restaurants. If you see one is really busy while the other is empty, you assume that the busy one is good – that’s social proof at work.

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