Nine Insights for Writing Effective Email & Sales Copy

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What’s the single most important thing about writing copy?

I get asked this question from time to time.

And it’s funny…

Most people expect there’s some super-secret, sneaky psychology at work in highly compelling, “must read” copy.

But the truth is simple.

The #1 determining factor of whether your copy will convert or not comes down to this question…

Do you understand your audience?

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Now, this applies to all copy…

Emails, sales letters, opt-in pages, etc.

Getting into the head of your prospects and customers is priority #1, always.

At face value…

Copywriting is just words.

But there’s no “magic phrase” that sells your stuff.

It’s all about understanding what your prospects WANT.

This takes some research and a little bit of digging, but is actually so simple…

The process can be summarized in just 3 words…

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Word #1 is Pain.

Do you understand your prospects’ pains?

Because you need to if you want to sell to them.

Word #2 is Desire.

This means “getting” what people want (or, at least, what they think they want).

Word #3 is Fear.

Fear is the inverse of desire, i.e. what do people not want?

If you understand what your audience’s pains are, what their desires are, and what their fears are, you’ll always have the right questions, things to say, and angles to play—on tap—when you need them.

Today I’m going to share 9 insights for writing effective email and sales copy.

These are based on the most commonly asked questions I’ve received in our community.

Let’s dive in!

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This is a big one.

It’s tempting to think there are trends with email subject lines, blog post titles, Facebook ad headlines, etc.

In fact, that’s what a lot of ‘gurus’ will tell you!

But the fact is, people don’t like advertising.

Once they notice a “trend,” then it starts becoming increasingly obvious and ineffective.

In that sense, the whole idea a headline is to stay ahead of the trends.

You want to fly under the radar.

Now, it’s true, of course, that there are scores of proven headline templates.

In fact, we’ve even put together a free special report on writing killer headlines

These templates aren’t trends—they’re “molds,” which have worked for the past century, and will continue to work for the next century.

Okay, so you want to know the only goal of your headline?

To get a reader’s attention!

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That’s it!

But you know what really matters?

It’s all about what happens next.

Because if you can’t follow up with value…

And if you don’t have an interesting or engaging opening, something that’s going to continue the conversation started by the headline…

You lose.

This is what really matters—transitioning from your headline to exciting, relevant content.

Now, I will say that if you see a lot of people use the exact same headline in your niche, over and over and over again…

I wouldn’t do that.

The classic “who else wants…” or “do you make these mistakes in…” are a bit played out.

Always look for ways to get your message across in a fresh way

One great way to do this is…

Go thesaurus.com and type in the words you see other people use, and look for striking synonyms.

You’ll be getting the same idea across, using different words, which makes a huge difference!

The other thing you can do is ask yourself “what do I want to do?” anytime you write a headline.

If you want to get your prospects’ attention, then ask—

“How can I do that best?”

“What can I say that’s different, and exciting, and gets people to read my emails?”

That’s the best way to get the headline process going.

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Well, here’s the general rule…

Always stay “on target” with content that’s of interest to your prospects, of course.

If they came into your list by opting-in for a free report on how to generate leads for their network marketing business, then that’s what you email them about.

Alternatively, if they opted-in for a traffic report, then they signed up because they specifically wanted traffic tips—so give them more!

Whatever they opted in for is what you keep delivering.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to only write about one thing.

You can shift away from that and talk about other topics.

But generally, you want all your content to lead to your core offer, which got your prospects interested in the first place.

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Let’s talk Facebook ads for a moment…

Anatomically, there are 4 elements to your ad:

  1. Post text
  2. Image
  3. Headline
  4. Link description

Okay, so how do you optimize these?

Well, first off, the very first thing people notice is the image.

That’s a key fact.

If the image is engaging, your audience will notice the ad

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If the image doesn’t catch the eye, then the rest of the content doesn’t even matter…nobody’s going to notice it, anyway.

So that’s the most important aspect of your ad: the image.

Next are the post text and the headline, which sandwich the image on the top and bottom, respectively.

The link description is kind of buried and isn’t quite as important.

Let’s talk about the “feel” of the copy for a moment.

You don’t want to come off formal.

You want the post text to sound like an email opening, very conversational.

One of the best ways to do this it is to start with a question.

It’s not the only way to do it, but it’s one of the best.

The headline should be benefit driven, e.g.:

  • “How to x,” or
  • “5 tips to achieve y.”

Another way is to use personal anecdotes, like:

  • “I struggled to generate leads until I discovered this…”

Show people the “big benefit” and they’ll get sucked right into your story!

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For subject lines…

Take a look at your inbox.

Notice the subject lines that you’re opening.

And pay attention to why you are opening them—that’ll give you some solid insights.

Ask yourself…

What about this subject line made you want to keep reading?

Now, as a general rule when writing subject lines…

Always be curiosity provoking and benefit driven

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For example, yesterday I wrote an email titled, “I smell a rat”…

That’s a curiosity angle, and it got a lot of opens.

It makes you want to read the full story.

A great place to look for headlines is in tabloid magazines like The Enquirer, World News Daily, and so forth.

Their headlines are short, extremely curiosity provoking, and often shocking and bizarre.

These publications have punchy, short headlines you can use as inspiration.

As far as where to learn more about great copy, you can always check out our free special report on writing killer headlines

It’s a step-by-step template that walks you through writing your own killer sales copy.

That’s where I would start.

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Okay, this tip is simple, but extremely powerful.

What I do, and what every copywriter does, is read our copy out loud.

And let’s be clear…

I’m not saying read it silently to yourself…

But out loud, so you can actually hear it.

If something sounds “off” when you do this, you need to go back and rewrite that part.

It might be worth recording yourself, so you can read your copy in one sitting and then go back and edit all the areas that don’t sound right.

If you do that, once you play back the recording, ask yourself…

Would you buy from you?

That’s how you know if your copy’s good.

That’s how you test yourself.

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Okay, this is going to be short and to-the-point…

Copywriters are not cheap.

The best thing to do is learn how to write copy yourself.

But if you want to hire somebody, you are going to spend quite a bit of money.

Because good copywriters will charge $200, $300, or more, per individual email.

That ain’t cheap.

And if you are looking at a sequence of five to 10 emails?

Well, you do the math.

Luckily, there are shortcuts…

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Few people know this, but 6- and 7-figure copywriters use templates all the time.

Look, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

There are “tried and true” ways to sell.

And they don’t often get beat, especially by novices and intermediate-level writers.

I’m a big fan of our 30-Million-Dollar Video Sales Letter Formula.

It’s a 25-point, step-by-step template, that helps you write a great sales letter from start to finish.

From the pre-headline, the headline, the sub-headline, to the opening and bullets—the product covers everything.

It’s an excellent resource for helping you craft your sales copy step-by-step with lots of examples and fill-in-the-blank worksheets.

That’s exactly what I would use if I were starting out.

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You might have heard the advice…

Write in your own voice.

Sometimes people get confused as to how to define “my own voice.”

Here’s the thing…

You already have a voice, right?

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Well, that’s your “voice.”

So just write like you talk.

That’s probably the best tip I can give anybody!
People get hung up on writing, thinking that you’ve got to write a certain way.

No!

You’ve got to write exactly how you talk!

Say something, record it, then transcribe it…

And you’ve got your copy.

It may need a bit of polishing, it may need some cleaning up…

But that’s your voice.

That’s it.

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Engagement is huge for conversions.

And it’s really easy too.

So let’s say you’re reaching out, right after a new prospect opted-in.

If that’s the case, in your first email…

Thank them for opting-in, introduce yourself, quickly tell them a little bit of your story, and then ask a question.

For example, you could say…

“What is your biggest problem about traffic generation/lead generation/xyz?”

Use the question to expand on whatever people opted-in for.

Just ask, and people will do what you’re asking them to!

This is a lot easier than you might think.

Now, if you already have a list you want to engage, just write them an email and say…

“I’ve got a question for you…”

I’ve done this many times, it works well, and you can use the same questions from above.

Just address issues relevant to people who opted-in to your list.

That’s it!

Okay, those my 9 insights for writing effective email and sales copy.

And, if you’d like…

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Until next time,

Vitaly Grinblat
Chief Wordsmith
Elite Marketing Pro

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Vitaly Grinblat

Vitaly Grinblat is a serial entrepreneur, a husband and a father of 3 girls. Before joining Elite Marketing PRO as a lead copywriter, he spent over 10 years in direct sales as Top Producer selling Millions of Dollars in financial services products face-to-face, as well as recruiting agents into his business. In 2005 he decided to jump ship and go online.

Since then, he’s created a number of info-products, generated tens of thousands of leads personally and has written sales copy that has produced near 8-figures in sales for himself and a select few clients.

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