Whether you write your own sales promotions or outsource to a freelancer it’s fundamental that you know what makes a sales message strong. Here’s a checklist you can run by any sales copy to make sure it hits the mark when writing or reviewing.
1. Does it have an attention grabbing headline?
Debatably, this is the hardest part of the promotion to master. If your headline doesn’t grab attention immediately and hold it long enough to engage the reader, the effort gone into the rest of the promotion is wasted. Identify the most interesting part of the promotion and boil it down into a single, simple idea. If it can be worded to be a little intriguing, humorous or trigger some other relevant emotion, all the better.
2. Keeping the interest growing
You’ve grabbed the reader’s attention with a great headline but how do you encourage them to read further? Many copywriters falter at this hurdle by thinking that simply listing the features will be exciting news for the reader. These details are important, especially if it’s appealing to technical markets where prospects want to know about all the bells and whistles, but mostly people want to hear about how your product or service will help them – the benefits.
3. What’s the big deal?
Be clear about what you’re offering - and that’s not just referring to the product or service. The prospect could get the same or similar from a competitor. What’s YOUR DEAL? Is it half price, buy one get one free, only available through this promotion? Make the offer plain and repeat it throughout the promotion so it sticks in the reader’s mind.
4. Qualify the price
Refer to the price in comparison to the potential profit it could generate or the savings it could make the prospect. Could there be a further saving for a prompt response? Is there a time limit on this amazing offer? When can the purchaser expect to see a return on their investment – realistically? Where’s the added value? What are the payment terms? Be clear about what the reader will receive for their money or you could end up with disappointed customers and a batch of returns.
5. Proofs and guarantees
If you’re selling something that’s been proven to work via clinical or industry standard trials you should mention the appropriate accreditations. Official statistics, bank statements and checkable testimonials will strengthen your offer too. If it’s a sound idea but there’s no documented proof of success, you must work harder to give genuine reasons why someone should invest in it. You may also want to give a guarantee of some kind.
6. Call to action
Be very clear what the prospect must do to activate the deal and receive the offer - save 5 coupons to send in, visit a website or store, text or call a freephone number - and so on. It sounds obvious but so many promotions fail at this.
7. Know where it’s coming from
Place some kind of code or reference within the promotion. Something that has to be keyed in online or presented over the phone or in store allows you to monitor which form of promotion is working best for a certain product or service in a given media. This allows you to improve and build on this information for increased results.