Written by: Chris McNeeney, Guest Author
In my years as a super affiliate, I have seen some of the best and worst that copywriting has to offer and almost everything in between. ClickBank is awash with sales letters and copy for vendor products and it’s not always obvious which ones will convert to sales at first glance.
Even the ugliest site will convert browsers into paying customers if the copy is well written and does its job as it should – and if the copywriter understands how to sell to the niche in question.
In this post, I am going to teach you the copywriting elements that are vital to the success of any sales page (no matter how good or bad the design and graphics). The end result should be that your customers feel they simply have to buy the product you’re offering, without delay.
The Key Element of Converting Browsers into Buyers
One of the most important elements to concentrate on when promoting your own or someone else’s product is your sales copy. The better your copy converts, the more products you will sell and the more you will attract affiliates to sell your product for you. It’s all a virtuous cycle – and arguably your sales copy is the most important factor in the entire mix; perhaps even more important than the product or the affiliates you recruit.
If you can write a great sales letter, one that converts into sales, then you will have other marketers ‘eating out of your hand’ in a bid to promote your ClickBank products. Get it wrong and you won’t get any traction in the ClickBank Marketplace, and your product will stagnate and die.
The starting point of writing killer sales copy is to understand your market. By that, I don’t mean reading a few articles and assuming you know the market. You really have to do a bit of leg-work to understand who you are talking to, establish what they want, and research what’s already out there and what isn’t.
Find a gap in the market and fill it. Visit forums and find out what people are talking about, what their frustrations are, and how likely they are to spend money to get a solution to their problem or need. Read your competitors’ sales letters and sign up to their e-mail newsletters. Listen to the problems they talk about that the average customer has (e.g., “Aren’t you sick of diet pills that don’t work?”), along with which benefits they push hardest (”Lose weight without hunger pangs”). This will highlight important clues as to what is on the mind of your target audience.
So do your research and work out what is going through their heads. In other words, you really need to resonate with your potential buyer. If you can do this you can establish empathy with your potential buyer. If you do this, you are well on your way to a winning formula for your sales copy.
Now, before you exclaim, ‘But I can’t write copy,’ know that it is actually easier than you think. In fact, the transition from never having written a word of copy to being a ‘monster’ copywriter is perfectly achievable in just days – but only if you follow and implement some simple but extremely powerful copywriting rules.
The Short Cut To Copywriting Success
One of the fastest ways to get yourself from 0 to 60 writing great sales copy is to leverage the years of experience of some of the great copywriters who have already tried, tested, and proven the elements of copywriting. In short, we are going to cheat a little by building up a big pile of other marketers’ copy and swiping it (a.k.a. “the cheat sheet”).
Note: before I proceed, I want to be very clear on something. I am not suggesting you break copyright rules by copying other people’s work – you simply cannot do that – it would be copyright infringement. But the good news is, we don’t need to. Instead, we can examine and discover the successful elements, phrases, hooks, and buzzwords that are being used, and spin them to work into our own copywriting. In other words, we are going to extract the most important elements and rework them into our own sales letters. This is not only lawful – but its common practice in successful copywriting circles. The trick is to go to other niches and take elements from the most successful sales letters there for your own inspiration.
For example, let’s say you want to write copy for a bodybuilding product. You might come across a Forex sales letter with a headline that reads:
“Just In: Renegade, Grass Roots Trader Exposes Forex Loophole and Siphons Off $3,000 In 30 Days.”
You have a lot of words you can work with and use here, such as renegade, grass roots, exposes, loophole, siphons, etc. So if your niche was bodybuilding, you could work those words into your own headline:
“ Renegade Bodybuilder exposes muscle-building loophole and packs on 8 lbs of muscle in 3 weeks.”
The idea is to take the words and adapt and fit them to your own copy, whilst keeping the same elements of newness (renegade), something uncovered (loophole, exposed) and, very importantly, how quickly something can be achieved (6 days / 3 weeks). This method should not only be used for your headline, but also for your sub headers and the body copy of your sales letter.
Benefits Are Vital
Why? Because it’s a proven fact that people will buy something based on its benefits. Benefits are simply what the customer gets out of buying a product – in short, they’re the reason that people decide to buy a certain product. For example, if you have a product on making money, people will buy because of the perceived benefits that making money will bring, such as being able to pay off debts, improve their lifestyle, and by doing so appear more attractive to people around them. If it’s a more advanced guide, benefits might be very specific – for example, if it’s a blogging guide, one benefit might be “generating a flood of backlinks to your blog.”
Also, there’s a deeper psychological aspect here. Whilst people think they just want to make more money, in truth the benefits they will gain from doing so are much deeper than it at first appears. So it’s not enough to just sell the ‘idea’ of making money – this is far too general and unfocused. Instead, you should sell the benefits that will have a knock-on effect as a result of making money. So the more you understand the deep reasons behind why people want something, the more likely you are going to be able to tap into a person’s psyche when writing sales copy.
Check Out What’s Working
The best place to start when researching what is and isn’t working in a given niche is to check out the top performing products in that niche. This is easily achieved by heading over to the ClickBank Marketplace and doing a keyword search in a given niche. Alternatively, you can check out affiliate niches or the top ClickBank products on my site, Affiliate X.
For example, let’s look at dating. We know that Internet dating is a huge market that continues to grow repidly, but what about digging deeper into the dating niche?
Doing a search in ClickBank on any aspect of dating will bring up the top performing products, which are easily identified by their high gravity score. Take a look at the headlines of the top performers. The headline is the most important part of the sales copy. If you don’t grab the reader’s attention at this point, you will have lost them forever. A headline should be compelling, intriguing, and raise curiosity so the reader wants to read on. In the same way, the sub header should pull the reader in with a taste of what’s to come.
Generally, a good formula for a headline is: “How [someone like the customer] [got the kind of benefit the customer wants] in [x days].” For example, “How a 27 year old renegade Forex trader made $1,000 with a breakthrough new robot in 10 days,” or “How a 21 year old scrawny kid stacked on 13 lbs of chest muscle in 31 days.”
Remember that empathy is a powerful copywriting tool. If you can identify with the reader and show that you understand their problem or need because you have been “in their shoes” yourself, that helps build trust. Explain your situation and how you worked to discover a solution, and now you want to share it so that others don’t have to go through the same hurdles and problems that you did.
Empathy in any situation is beneficial, but in copywriting it’s essential. For this very reason, your story (i.e., how you arrived at this point) should make up a major part of your copy. It’s important not to underestimate the value of empathy within your copy – get it right and your copy will result in insane conversions.
Don’t Ignore The Competition
When writing your copy, you may be tempted to ignore the competition and hope that potential buyers will see your product for what it is and just buy it. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, explain in your copy why your product is better because it covers an angle that isn’t covered in competing products.
Try to think of a unique selling point that makes your product different from the others out there. Maybe it’s a better value, easier to understand, quicker to implement, or has better proof. Whatever the unique selling point is, elaborate on it and make it stand out. Just put yourself in a reader’s shoes – if you wanted to buy a product on dating women or learning to play the guitar – would you just check out one product? No, of course not; you would check out what’s available from a selection and then choose the best one.
Which brings us nicely to…
The Power of Proof
The number one reason why people don’t buy a product is because they don’t believe its claims. How many times have you thought to yourself, “that sounds too easy” or “that sounds too good to be true?” This is why it’s so important to demonstrate empathy within your copy.
However, the second element that cannot be overlooked is proof that your products does what it says it does. If you can provide screenshots of profits you’ve attained using the product, or a live working example, or even testimonials from existing customers, then you are on to a winner. Once you have the proof, it will be easier for potential customers to identify themselves with the benefits your product will deliver and they will want it for themselves.
It’s important to understand that in order to write great copy that will convert into sales, you DON’T need to be an experienced copywriter. It’s as simple as breaking down the sales copy of highly converting web pages out there, and carefully working out why they are selling. That’s just something that comes with a little digging and a bit of experience.
It doesn’t matter what niche the sales copy is in. You can swipe the buzz words and curiosity elements within the headlines, sub headers and sales letter body and rework those to your suit your own niche. Well thought-out copy and strong proof will almost guarantee your sales pitch will convert into sales. Once you have mastered these essential elements, you’ll be able to create copy that converts in any niche you choose.
About the Author
Chris McNeeney is the owner of Affiliate X – a resource for ClickBank affiliates with affiliate tools, affiliate videos, and training information.