Three Direct Response Copywriting Strategies For Entrepreneurs
For entreperneur who wants to make significant sales on their website, these three direct response copywriting tips will come in handy. Check the out!
I was dusting off some old file folders on my computer and found three unfinished blog posts for copywriters.
I decided to combine them all into this one post. I will try my hardest to connect them all, but if I don’t, I apologize in advance.
1. Marketing & Selling Your Product Online Comes Down to Two Things…
- Declaring how your product will make someone’s life better (usually monetarily)
- Proving point one
Think about this for a moment.
What else do you need?
You may say “price,” or that the customer needs to know how you deliver your products or services, etc.
Everything else becomes immaterial if you can prove that your product or service will make someone else’s life much better.
Here’s an example:
If I had a device that could save you three hours of work each day, and your hourly wage was $150 an hour, how much would you pay for this device?
Price doesn’t matter.
I declared that my device would save you three hours a day.
Your hourly rate is $150/hour.
That’s a total of $450 per day.
On a yearly basis (260 workdays a year excluding vacations, etc.), that’s $112,500 of extra money in your pocket.
Now, ALL I have to do is PROVE my promise to you.
I should be able to sell you this product for anything less than $112,500, right?
It’s all profit!
Now, let’s make a real world illustration:
Suppose you were an entrepreneur or owned a small business.
You paid someone to promote your business—possibly a direct response copywriter. It’s possible.
It costs you about $150 an hour, and this person billed you three hours per day.
Their job would entail using their direct response writing skills to write some sales pages and some articles.
You will post these articles on your website or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on.
Suddenly, you were introduced to a piece of software or online application where it would scour your computer for all the articles, memos, pitches, and all the other marketing messages you have ever written. (I wish I had that. This article is a result of doing the same thing except by hand.)
From there, this software would rewrite those written pieces and automatically post them to Facebook, Twitter, and so on.*
Now, you’re somewhat intrigued. Right?
If this software could do the exact same thing that your hired hand could do, you would pay just about anything for it. Am I right?
This is where good professional direct response copywriting comes in.
Good copywriting is about declaring that you will improve someone’s life, and then PROVING it beyond a doubt.
That is what sales copy is: PROVING what has been declared or claimed.
You do this by overcoming objections in the prospect’s mind.
Even when you prove your initial claim, many people will often say, “That’s great but MY situation is different.” Or they may say, “but that’s a pain,” etc., etc.
How do you prove your claim?
You do this by providing the following in your copy:
- Case Studies
- Numerical Data
- Stories (about you or others)
As you can see, it’s not so easy to convince someone of your product’s real benefits. In other words, you have to have really good sale copy to prove your claim. You really have to get into the head of your prospect.
How do you do this?
Good direct response copywriters do this through research.
The problem with my above equation is that too many companies make these big sweeping claims but don’t do enough to back them up.
Consumers have been burned before, so they remember these claims with nothing to back them up.
If no one had ever been burned before, then it would be easy to sell your product to the them.
Therefore, you need to overcome these objections.
You do this through good sales copywriting, also known as direct response copywriting.
Good sales copywriting is all about overcoming objections. I won’t go into here about these objections on this post because I go into in more depth about overcoming objections on this post.
*I am aware that there is software that rewrites your articles, but they are generally awful.
2. The “Power of One” and “The Big Idea” How Copywriters Stay Focused
Another area where a good copywriter could produce good copywriting can be effective is to use the “power of one” or “the big idea” rule. Basically, this means sticking to one idea when writing your copy.
Many great marketers and copywriters have talked about the power one or the big idea. One such person is David Ogilvy.
This means having a focus on one idea or one concept.
In other words, don’t try to be all things to all people.
Here is a great example:
A pizza restaurant and bar in my hometown only serves pizza and booze. Nothing else. No pasta dishes, no hoagies, subs, grinders, desserts etc.
You want a sandwich? Go somewhere else.
You want a salad?* Go somewhere else.
You want French fries? Go somewhere else.
You want a hoagie, a sub, a wedge, a grinder? Go somewhere else.
You want a dessert? Go somewhere else.
You want a pizza? Stay here.
*Incidentally, to please the people who want salads, they do have a salad—that’s on a pizza! It’s called the Salad Pizza.
This pizza restaurant only focuses on pizza and nothing else.
They do this phenomenally well.
If you have an Italian eatery and you serve all the things that people expect, you won’t do well.
But can you imagine how efficient a business is that only serves pizza with only 11 toppings?
Good direct response copywriters know to stick to one idea.
3. Did Coca-Cola Take a Page Out of Gary Halbert’s Copywriter Playbook?
A good direct response copywriter knows to look at trends and to have a vast knowledge base and see trends repeating.
When I first learned of Coca-Cola’s campaign to print people’s names on soda bottles and cans, I immediately thought of Gary Halbert. He is known for personalizing his direct marketing campaigns.
Gary Halbert, world-renowned direct marketer and copywriter, wrote the famous coat-of-arms letter.
Dan Kennedy* once said that this campaigned “cracked the code” on trying to find your perfect target market.
*Sadly, as I finished publishing this, I was just informed that Dan Kennedy, the direct response god, has passed away.
What Kennedy was referring to was that Halbert was able to appeal to every person in the phonebook—basically, every person in the United States who had a last name.
Halbert’s letter (as can be seen here) asked the recipient if they wanted a coat-of-arms drawing for their family’s name.
You can watch a brief overview of here, so I won’t go into here.
The point of this is that the same tactic that Coca-Cola is using with their bottles and cans is the same tactic that Gary Halbert used in his letter many years ago.
A letter that generated millions of dollars for his company.
“A person’s name is to him or her is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
A good direct response copywriter knows that getting personal with their audience is the best way to make a sale.
This is why you often see sales letters signed by a person—whether it’s a publisher for a series of self-books, a doctor for some supplements, or the owner of an ant farm business.
When you get someone to write a sales letter, you are better able to solidify what you are selling.
Even if you don’t intend to use it, you should have a sales copywriter write a sales letter for you. You will have a better idea of where your target market is and what you’re selling and so on.
A good direct response copywriter is trained to come up with all the objections your clients, customers or patients may have. It will save you a lot of money in the end.
Lately, I’ve been binge watching Shark Tank on Amazon Prime. I can tell you that if most of those people had a sales page written by a direct response copywriter before making their pitch on Shark Tank, they either would gotten the money they needed. Or they would have realized early on that their product or services wasn’t sound and needed improvement.
Ash Waechter is a direct response copywriter who helps small businesses sell more products and services online. He also writes SEO copy for attracting readers from around the web.