Running an online business requires many skills. One of the most important skills to master is communicating with our target market, something online business owners do through words.
Whether it’s a sales page, social media posts, or sales emails, new entrepreneurs spend very little time crafting their words compared to experienced business owners.
Let’s do a simple test.
The last time you wrote a sales page, how much time did it take?
The last time you wrote a sales email, how long did you spend crafting it?
The last time you wrote a social media post, how long did you ponder the exact wording?
Writing is so important to online business owners that most experienced entrepreneurs will spend more than 40 hours on a single sales page—40 hours!
Mastering writing is essential because it allows you to effectively share your amazing work with the world and sell your services and products to more customers. Often, writing is overlooked as the critical skill it is.
I personally have spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to get my voice and brand translated into words on a page. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a list of exactly what words to include in your web copy, emails, and marketing materials that had been proven to sell your products and services?
Words That Sell
Thom Norman and Yale University researched this topic and created a list of 29 words that sell. Why do you want words that sell in your copy? The definition of selling is the exchange of money for a product or service; words that sell make you money and allow you to connect with your customer.
Here are the 29 words that sell:
1. Your customer’s name
Words That Deter Customers
If you want to improve your copy so that it attracts customers and makes you money, inserting words that sell is only the first step. After you replace normal words with words that sell, you can look for and remove words that hinder the selling process.
Here are the words that deter customers:
How to Use the 29 Words
There’s more to effective sales copywriting that just using a few key words. In addition to using words that sell, you also want to make sure you include specific sales copywriting strategies.
Understand Your Reader
Although most people understand the importance of identifying your target audience, many business owners do not put enough focus here. The more you know about your intended audience, the better your copy will sell.
There are questions you can ask about your target audience to better understand them. The more specific and detailed your answers are, the more effective your communication will be.
Consider these questions (and answers) when you write your copy:
What is your target audience’s pain point? In other words, what issue are they paying you to solve?
What is your target audience’s desired outcome? In other words, what do they hope to accomplish as a result of paying you for your services? This is the area of your customers’ lives that will change as a result of your product or service.
When you know the answers to these questions (in the exact language your target audience uses), you are far more likely to write copy that sells.
Know Why the Reader Should Take Action
You must tell the reader why giving you their time and money will benefit them. This is sometimes obvious and sometimes not.
To get clear, examine your answer to the question above about what will be different for your customer as a result of your services. This is where you should talk about what is possible and how you can improve your customers’ circumstances. It’s why you do what you do. That why is important to communicate in your copy.
In your writing, encourage your readers to dream big and imagine what’s possible for them as a result of working with you or buying your product.
State What Do You Want the Reader to Do
Most people think the point of a communication is for the reader to make a purchase, but that’s not always true. For example, if you offer free sessions or consults, then perhaps the goal of the communication is to schedule a free session. Other times, the call to action is sometimes simply clicking on a link to learn more about a product or service.
All of these steps may ultimately lead to the desired action of eventually making a purchase. However, if you’re unclear about each individual step and the call to action for each piece of copy, then you are likely confusing your audience and pushing them away from the sale rather than toward it.
Think about the “About” page on your website. Statistics show it is the most frequently visited page on websites. However, customers can rarely make an actual purchase from the “About” page. Instead, you must have a clear call to action telling them to visit another page to learn more or schedule a consult.
Your job is to know exactly what action you are “selling” to the reader before you create each piece of copy.
Make It Clear How You Want Your Reader to Take Action
This is the easiest part of copywriting, but it can be overlooked if you’re not careful. After you identify what you want your reader to do as a result of reading your communication, the next step is to make sure you tell the reader exactly what you want them to do and how it benefits them to do so.
As you write these words, check them against the KISS filter: keep it super simple. This makes sure your communication is clear and straightforward and means your reader is more likely to take action.
Sales Copy Quick-Start Guide
Now you have the basics of good sales writing, but I know it can be overwhelming to apply and implement. Here’s a quick-start guide to get you going.
Step 1. Pick one piece of copy to work on first. Consider editing the sales copy for your product or service or your about page.
Step 2. Start with a simple find and replace strategy using the words that sell. Review what you’ve written and find opportunities to replace your words with the words that have been proven to sell.
Step 3. Repeat the above exercise with the words that deter customers. Review your existing copy and find the words that push customers away. Replace them with more effective words.
Step 4. Work through the copy and make sure you’re using the language your audience uses (from the “Understand Your Reader” section above). Edit where needed.
Step 5. Make sure your call to action is very clear, so the reader knows exactly what you want them to do and how to do it..
The next time you write copy, whether an email, blog post, social media post, or sales page, consider using tips, questions, and words listed above. It’s hard work, it takes time, and it will pay you tenfold to practice and master sales copywriting.
How effective do you think your sales copywriting is?
What part of the writing process do you find most challenging?
What action do you plan to take this week to improve the writing in your business?
Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below. I’d love to help you sort through your challenges to find solutions!
Found this useful? Tweet about it!
Kendrick Shope is a Sales Coach and the Creator of Authentic Selling, a process designed to take the ick out of selling so that you can do more of what you love, make money, and make a difference. In her previous life, Kendrick worked for three Fortune 500 companies and was a top performing sales representative. You can learn more about Authentic Selling at kendrickshope.com, K TV, or on NBC Chicago, where Kendrick is a regular contributor.