As a launch copywriter, I consistently help clients and students with sales copywriting as they launch a service, a product, or an entire new website—with that comes great insights that I’m excited to share with you.
Today, I’m walking you through 4 ways to take your sales copywriting from pretty good to GREAT for your next launch.
Content writing and sales copywriting are two VERY different things, as I explained recently, but you need BOTH for your next launch to be successful. Your messaging is a huge piece of the conversion optimization of your marketing funnel.
(By the way, “funnel”—kind of a sexy word right now in marketing—is essentially the sales journey of your potential clients or customers, allllll the way through the buyer’s journey to purchasing and working with you. From raising awareness of what you’re putting out there, to growing your audience, to driving conversions, and getting buyers. Then, getting them to spread the word about how great it is to work with you. )
Let’s do this! BTW, I have a free checklist if you’ve got a launch comin’ down the pipeline—click here or below to grab it.
Tip No. 1 | Hold on bringing up the deadline too soon in your sales copy
Picture your favorite store to go into—you know the one—they have great music playing or a record on, it smells good, they’ve got candles lit, and the customer service is an absolute delight.
You’re ~totally~ jiving with the ambiance and starting to put yourself in the position of what would it be like to walk out with something … even if it’s just a pack of pencils.
I know that I’ve always thought Anthropologie has this super dialed in— and there are a lot of business articles that have agreed with me on this.
Ann Mashburn here in ATL? I could window shop there once a week and be happy as a clam.
Now, how different would that experience be if the very first thing you were met with was a blinking, neon sign like “24 HOURS LEFT OMG BUY THIS NOW.”
Instead, wouldn’t you be more likely to find those offers from the middle to the back of the store? For sure.
We need a little bit of opportunity to just experience & soak up the brand before we get hit with those things.
That’s kind of what it feels like when you start talking about a deadline a lil’ bit prematurely. You need to let your people understand your offer and how it’s working for other people. They need to know what’s included in it, imagine themselves owning it, using it, and benefiting from it … then get reminded about the deadline.
(Psst—note that this is different if you’re talking about a tripwire offer, self-liquidating offer, order bump page, etc. … I’m talking about sales copywriting for more of a traditional week-long launch.)
My typical rule is to introduce urgency and scarcity 48-72 hours before cart close or the offer expires. For example: if cart open or the promo period was one week, 48 hours before it ends I start talking about the offer expiring.
First, coach your reader through making the decision of whether they want it or not without the urgency of it expiring—THEN, bring the urgency in at the END to add on the pressure.
(Again, yes, this will flex a little bit depending on your offer! If you’ve got questions on that, leave them in the comments below!!)
Tip No. 2 | Quit using carousels to showcase sales copywriting
These can be helpful in *certain* times, but you need to know the drop-off rate for actually looking at these puppies is CRAZY.
Word of advice: if you ARE going to use these (I actually think they’re a good way to showcase a few slides of a portfolio), don’t pack them TOO full of important content to slide through—and don’t use them for displaying sales copywriting.
“Some people think [carousels are] cool. But cool doesn’t make you money, at least not in this way.” -Peep Laja, conversion specialist
Notre Dame University tested this (source), and what they saw was interesting—only the first slide got about 1% of clicks and the other slides hardly got clicks at all.
And I get it. Carousels are automatic, they flip, it’s a little easier to get info in front of your reader without lengthening the page.
p.s. This is a carousel, below—
BUT, when you pack your carousel with the content of an offer or the curriculum of an offer, here’s the problem: they’re just not clicking through.
I did some heat maps and data testing of my own on one of our launch client’s sales page. I found that only about 10% of the traffic was even clicking through to the next slide in the module, and only 10% of that 10% was clicking through all of the 7.
Only use ’em if you must in your sales copywriting. 🙂
Tip No. 3 | Use a framework to organize your sales copywriting
People tell me all the time: “I don’t want to put LONG or too much content out there … it’s noisy enough in marketing!”—I get that.
BUT, I want you to organize your message so people can digest it.
So, make it very clear what they’re going to get out of reading certain parts of your copy by using great sub-headlines and headlines.
The amount of copy on your page typically depends on the complexity of the offer and the price point of the offer. The more complicated or expensive the offer, the more you’re going to have to show, explain, and bolster up your argument. Whether you have a 5,000-word sales page or a 100-word product description, make sure that you’re using and leveraging different frameworks for your writing.
This is totally unscientific and analyzed with data (maybe I should) but after 4 years of studying sales pages, I’ve realized I want my cursor to be about 1/3 of the way down the page before the offer is actually presented to me. You need to have a good chunk of copy—again, lean on those frameworks!!—where you’re actually helping educate and convince me that I’m interested. More on that in the video. 🙂
Before you hit publish on your sales page or long-form services page, go ahead and give that a little “1/3 test”—see if you’re about 1/3 down the page before that offer is really introduced.
Psst—Need some more help here? I have a blog post where I talk extensively about frameworks AND I have a video (watch below!) where I talk about my P.A.R.I.S. framework, in case it helps!
Tip No. 4 | Make sure that you give people an option to hop off the funnel or sequence
There are so.many.email automations and segmentations that you can do as a creative small-business owner, but buyers are also a lil’ mo’ sophisticated than they were a few years back … plenty of us know when we’re in a sales funnel.
Some of us out there (c’est moi) don’t mind those kinds of funnels—I’m all, “if I signed up for this, go ahead and sell me, this may be a perfect fit for something that I actually need.”
But, you DO want to give people the opportunity to hop off if it’s something they’re not interested in.
One thing we do with most of our sales copywriting launch clients is this: toward the end, again about 48-ish hours before the offer expires, we give a p.s. or some kind of link at the bottom or top of the email allowing people to remove themselves from that funnel and be put on your regular email campaigns. Just courtesy, in my opinion.
Here’s an example of that we did for a recent B-School campaign:
Add in that opt-out for your readers—I sometimes do these every 3rd email in a big campaign. I also ALWAYS veer on the side that your unsubscribers were gonna unsubscribe anyway … if they really like you they’ll either stick the launch out, or look for a p.s. like this.
I’m all for unsubscribes. If you weren’t gonna pick up what I’m putting down or WANT to be on my list, I’d rather not pay for you to take up a seat on the bus. 🙂
Wrapping up with a quick sidebar, I’ve worked as a launch copywriter for a long time now, I’ve also hired sales and launch copywriters in my own business—and I stand by what I’ve said on tons of podcasts that you need to be at leastt 3 years into your business before you hire someone to help you with sales copywriting.
You can outsource a lot of things, but it’s really hard to outsource salesmanship, which is something you have to do as the creative small-business CEO.
The whole “if you’re bad at it, outsource it” rule doesn’t apply to being able to formulate a basic sales message. That’s like … just part of being an entrepreneur.
IMHO, anyone worth hiring should feel expensive. Cheap writing is usually cheap for a reason.
I promise you can do it–I’ve seen HUNDREDS of my students learn how to DIY their message and their copy even for an upcoming launch.
As you get everything in place and ready for your next promo campaign, make sure to grab my free checklist for your launch copy and content. Thousands of creatives have gotten their hands on this, and it’s helped them so much— I’m pumped to get to ship it your way as well!
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