Copywriting Tips to Increase Sales
In a recent webinar from the Target Marketing Group (sister unit of Catalog Success), copywriting veteran Bob Bly offered his top secrets on how to use copy to increase sales for both B-to-C and B-to-B marketers alike. Here’s a recap of Bly’s presentation.
“Next to the list,” Bly said, “the offer is the most important part of a promotion.” Offers consist of the following elements:
* product — what product you’re offering, and what model or version of it;
* price — what customers have to pay;
* terms — the conditions under which they have to pay;
* premiums — what bonus gifts you get if you order; and
* guarantees — what happens when customers don’t like the product/service.
“Without an offer, direct marketing will not work,” Bly stated. To help improve your offers, he listed seven characteristics to a winning offer:
1. High perceived value. Consumers perceive what you’re offering them costs a lot, or they don’t know what it costs and therefore may think that it costs a lot.
2. Unique and different. Is it the same thing that everyone else is offering?
3. Urgent. Is there a reason to act now instead of later?
4. Relevant. Does the offer tie in with your branding message or the proposition of the mailing?
5. Desire. “None of the other [characteristics] matter if people don’t actually want the premium,” Bly said. “But if they want it, in some cases they’ll order just to get the free gift.”
6. Easy to accept. Is the offer easy to respond to? Is there a form to mail in? A button to click?
7. Risk-free. To get the offer, do prospects have to make a big commitment? Is there a chance they could lose money?
Increase the Urge
There are ways to increase the urgency of an offer, Bly said. For example, there’s the obvious, “This offer expires Nov. 21” approach. But there are less frequently used techniques that can prove effective. One is playing up the limited supply of a product. Bly cited the example of a magazine offer that stated, “Only so many copies are printed each month — no more.” Of course, this is true of any printed piece, but it gives the impression to consumers that if they don’t act now they may miss out.