By Dr. Jeffrey Lant
You've told me over and over again that you want to succeed at marketing, because you know that folks who do reap the greatest rewards in business. You also know that one key area of marketing -- copywriting -- must be mastered, and as soon as possible.
Copywriting, after all, is the ability to select and present the words that get people to stop, pay attention to what you're saying and then buy. Master this, and you get the big bucks; fail to do so and you don't.
This article reviews the 5 top copywriting errors. Stop making these today; start doing things the right way, the customer-centered way,and I guarantee you you're going to be richer, faster. I know that's what you want... so let's get started turning you into the well-heeled marketer you want.
#1 Copywriting is about moving mammals.
Let's be clear with each other. Copywriting is always about getting the people you are contacting to TAKE ACTION. Either you want these mammals to tell you they are interested in your proposition (providing you with the complete follow up details you require)... OR you want them to buy what you're selling on the spot.
Often inexperienced copywriters add a third category: telling people what you've got, expecting that when the reader knows enough she'll buy.
AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS.
The objective is NEVER, EVER merely to tell your customer good stuff about your product. That's a waste of time and money. As stated, and herewith emphasized, copywriting means selecting and presenting the right words that turn folks either into prospects... or buyers... It's about selling, never just telling.
#2 Mastering just 4 words delivers copy that sells.
Top copywriters are well paid because they know the secret of getting people to stop what they're doing... and focus on what you want . Just 4 words can deliver this absolutely crucial result: YOU GET BENEFIT NOW. Let's look at each crucial word, the better to understand their importance.
YOU -- There's only 1 person who matters when you're writing copy; that is the person you're writing to motivate to act. You must ALWAYS know who that person is. There must be an exact fit between the copy you are writing and the person you are writing for. Yes, the fit must be snug as a glove.
GET -- People respond and people buy to improve their circumstances. Thus all of marketing is predicated on motivating people to respond to be better off, in other words to "get" the desired benefit.
BENEFIT -- To succeed in marketing and in writing copy that sells you MUST understand (and write down) every single benefit your product delivers. AND you must be specific about these benefits. The harder, sharper, clearer your benefits, the faster your customers will respond and in the greater numbers you desire.
NOW -- There's only one time period in marketing and copywriting... and that time frame is -- NOW! Yesterday is history; tomorrow doesn't exist. All there is, then, is NOW...the present, truly a gift to you!
#3 Make an offer... then make a better one.
As I write, the world is in the grip of economic doldrums which frighten customers and make them pause before taking action. Thus, uncertainties create caution; caution creates more caution... and more caution produces more uncertainties. What's a good marketer to do in such a climate? Sit down and cry?
Certainly not. Make an offer... then improve the offer as often as it takes until you've got the offer that will put money in your pocket at once... and carry your business on until better times come.
The offer, the improved offer, the enhanced offer, does this IF you do it right. Here's what you need to do...
* Keep thorough records of all your offers that worked. Update and use them again.
* Look for good offers constantly, including what your competitors are doing.
* When you find offers (and copy) that look good to you, clip and save them.
Finally, test offers, keep good records on how they worked... then improve the offer to get even better results.
ALL copywriters, all marketers, are in the testing business. That's how we learn what works (and so use again) and what doesn't (and so trash).
#4 Before you write a word, breathe deep and stretch.
You are about to start writing the best copy of your life, copy that will ring up response after response and sale after sale... because your skills, thanks to this article, have dramatically improved since the last time you were at this point.
Now, prepare yourself further for what you must do. Get up from your computer. Breathe deep.... stretch... put oxygen in your lungs and thereby assist your brain to prepare for the important work at hand.
Copywriting is an action game. It is all about energy! Motivating! Uplifting! Inspiring! And above all else helping people and improving their lives. This is a great responsibility, and you owe it to your customers to do it right. After all, you are improving their lives... as well as enhancing your own.
Makes sure your energy level is high. Remember, you are all about energy and energizing folks to MOOOOOOOVE and take action. This necessitates fuel. You cannot write high energy copy if your body and mind are hungry, unsatisfied and under fueled.
#5. Now start writing... always remembering that the most important part of writing is re-writing!
Open with your best offer. Make it clean, crisp, motivating, incredible!
Then follow with the benefits, in priority order (leading with the best one). Each benefit should be short, punchy, powerful, persuasive.
Then restate the offer... so you're sure the prospect gets it. Remember, offers get people to respond who had no intention of doing so.
Follow with product features, always stressing what it can do and how easy it is.
Reprise your offer in two more places... as a post script and also on the envelope if you're mailing.
Last point: evaluate what happened and why.
Copywriting, like life itself, is an ongoing business needing constant review, analysis, rethinking, improving. Thus, no copywriting you do is actually finished until you scrutinize what happened and why. You may not like doing this, but it is essential and no project is over until this is done. But when it is, it's time to congratulate yourself. You now know more... and, if you've followed these directions, have done better. Keep up the good work... and congratulation: you're a real copywriter, on the road to being an expert copywriter, with all the rewards. You deserve them!
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc. at www.worldprofit.com, providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses.
Republished with author's permission by Erik Badeaux