by Kevin Nunley
A lot of people shy away from writing their own ads and sales letters when it’s really not necessary. If you have even a basic grasp of writing skills, you can easily write your own stuff that really sells. You probably just need a few pointers about format and language.
When formatting an ad or a sales letter, put the most important benefits right up front. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask yourself what the customer will really go for. Focus on that point.
Keep your sentences short and simple. Sales copy needs to be crisp and clean or people lose interest. With simple sentences you can steer clear of confusion and get right to the point of the ad. Take it a step further in your classified ads and alternate complete sentences with catchy two and three-word phrases.
Break your copy into short sections. Professional writers often keep their paragraphs to two or three sentences. This makes your copy much easier to follow.
Use visual tricks to grab attention. Use headings and sub- headings to emphasize your most important features, and use bulleted lists when describing product features.
Include a P.S. in sales letters. Most people read the P.S. first. Use it to restate your main offer, and then add a special bonus. Include a time limit to get the good deal. This encourages people to buy more quickly.
And finally, once you’ve got your sales letter or ad set up in this clean and simple format, make sure you’re using clean and simple language to match, and not gobbledygook.
We all know what gobbledygook is, it’s that overcomplicated, cliched and unnecessarily formal language that can either totally confuse us or just put us to sleep. Either way it loses the customer, and loses you the sale.
In an effort to seem smart or serious or professional, bad business writers often end up using gobbledygook. I see sales letters and emails all the time with business-speak phrases like “in our considered opinion” and “enclosed please find.” This makes the seller sound stuffy and unapproachable. Simplify these into everyday language. Write how you would speak: “we think” and “here is,” are much better choices. Customers relate to conversational language.
If you follow these pointers you should be able to come up with some pretty good copy. Keep plugging away at it, and you’ll find you get pretty good. Who knows? People might even start coming to you for writing advice.
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotional packages.