Some of my strategies for copywriting
Here are many acronyms and strategies I use when developing sales copy for my clients.
Six Principles of Persuasion as mentioned in Robert Cialdini’s book Influence.
This book has been a huge influence on sales copywriters everywhere. I won’t discuss the details of the book here, but I use these six principles whether I’m writing a sales letter, a landing page or a PPC Ad:
- Reciprocity: Obligation to give back when you receive.
- Commitment and Consistency: People have a strong desire to be consistent with what they have already said or done.
- Consensus / Social Proof: People will follow the lead of other people.
- Liking: People prefer to say “Yes” to those they like.
- Authority: People are more likely to follow the lead of authority.
- Scarcity: People want more of those things that there are less of.
The Four U’s of Headline Writing:
- Urgent: Create a sense of urgency to the prospect. People won’t act unless it’s urgent.
- Unique: You must have a unique product or unique reason why your product is better
- Useful: You convey how your product is useful to the prospect.
- Ultra-Specific: This outlines the details of the offer if one is given in the headline.
While I don’t use all of these concepts in every copywriting headline, I’m able to fit two or three of them most of the time.
- Attention: A headline that takes them out of the ordinary.
- Interest: Tell an interesting story of someone’s problem was solved.
- Desire: Provide lots of benefits with proof of claims.
- Action: Overcome rejections and present the offer.
AIDA helps me key in on what my copy is all about. This list is the most common usage, although Alec Baldwin of Glengarry Glen Ross fame uses “decision” instead of “desire.” And of course, he’s speaking to salesmen, not copywriters.
Everything that Claude C. Hopkins espouses in his book, Scientific Advertising.
Read it. It’s almost one hundred years old and still holds up today. It’s a quick read. He talks about the importance of advertising based on data.
The Four Legged Stool
This is copywriting concept I have found extremely helpful when putting together a package.
- The Big Idea or concept that can be generally considered the product’s USP.
- Benefits: The promise of benefits in a compelling and friendly way
- Proof of all the claims made. This is very important to me. I want to make sure the copy is honest and trustworthy. This includes proof of past performance (case studies, testimonials, etc.)
- Credibility. This coincides with Cialdini’s principle of Liking and Authority mentioned above. The company must have and present loads of credibility—or track record.
Parts That Make Up a Sales Letter
I reference this every time I work on a new sales package. This was first introduced to me through AWAI.
- Opening—Promise or Negative Optimism
- Choice of one
- Take Away
Another system I picked up from somewhere. My apologies to the original author for not giving credit. I don’t remember where I got this, but it’s been very useful to me on my projects.
- Symptoms: Here’s what you may have recognized.
- Problem: Here what’s causing the symptoms.
- Cure: Here’s what you need to do.
- Results: Here’s what’s possible.
This page is by no means exhaustive. I will be adding to it in the future.
If you have any questions about any of these strategies, please feel free to contact me and ask. I’m open to all questions.