Copywriting – Tell or Sell?August 19th 2010 Sally Ormond copywriter, copywriting tips, freelance copywriter, marketing tips
Should a copywriter tell?
Let’s think about that for a second. A copywriter’s job is to sell products for their clients through the written word.
Instructions for a project will probably include phrases like ‘tell everyone about our product’, ‘tell them how amazing it is’. But telling is for journalists and teachers.
Copywriting is about giving so much more than that.
Sell, sell, sell
It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an advert, website copy, brochure or email, your writing should persuade your reader to do something. Generally that ‘something’ is to BUY.
Therefore your writing has to sell the product rather than just tell your reader all about it. To do this, your writing must cover three crucial elements:
1. Be benefits driven
‘What’s in it for me?’ – that’s the only thing your reader is going to want to know. It is the benefits that provide the motivation for your reader to buy.
The offer is important because if that isn’t attractive to your reader, they won’t buy. It could be anything from a ‘buy one get one free’ offer, to a limited price reduction, limited edition or bonus gift. Whatever it is, a well thought out offer will add weight to your sales message.
3. Be your customer
A mistake many companies make when writing their own copy is that they write what they think the customer wants to hear – invariably they are wrong. If you can identify the problem your customers are looking to solve, you can sell to them because you are offering them the perfect solution.
These three elements boil down the basics of sales writing. Understanding what your customer wants, identifying the benefits in your product that will give them what they are looking for and coming up with a killer offer will help you create copy that really sells.
So next time you sit down to write some sales copy, remember – benefits – offer – be your customer – make sure you sell to them rather than just tell them about your product.
Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter