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How to write seductive sales copy part 1

Most good copywriters know the basics, like using short scannable sentences, easy to understand words and including a call-to-action. But writing truly seductive sales copy, the kind that boosts your brand as well as garnering sales takes a little more finesse. Crafting that kind of copy takes a little of the poet in you. Here’s the first of two blogs giving you Oxygen’s top tips on how to write seductive sales copy that will have your target audience drooling over your product.

Seductive sales copy tip#1 – use sound bites

A sound bite is a memorable phrase and/or easy to repeat nugget of information – a bit like a proverb. Good ones commonly use the rule of three, which the ear finds pleasing. They often use:

  • a play on words, e.g. ‘Go to work on an egg’
  • repetition e.g. ‘Location, location, location’
  • the element of surprise or paradox e.g. ‘It was the best of times. It was the worst of times’.

We all know a soundbite when we hear one. Key to writing a good sales sound bite is having a feel for the sound of words, and focusing on a single idea.

Seductive sales copy tip #2 – use the power of stories

Human beings cannot resist a good story. For copywriters however, the appeal of the story is even stronger than its irresistible allure. It gets your reader to imagine the details. This is invaluable for getting them to ‘see’ the product, the results of using it or your service, or even to imagine technical details. And a person who has ‘seen’ themselves benefiting from your product or even just pictured themselves with it is statistically more likely to purchase. That’s because they feel they already have a relationship with it. Product descriptions can be really boring. But if you sell your customer an experience as opposed a product you’ll have them searching for the ‘buy now’ button.

Another advantage to telling stories is that you can use them to convey the technical details about your product or service which build concrete credibility – but without making them seem uninteresting. For instance the Jack Daniels print ads used charming details to build atmosphere − such as telling how the Maple loggers would arrive every November to build charcoal ricks to make the charcoal used in their distilling. The reader feels that they’re there and involved in the meticulous process which underlines the quality of the product. The tone of voice is slow, like that of a bygone age, emphasising the relaxed state in which most consumers will sip Jack Daniels while watching the world go by. This is storytelling that works on many levels.

“Using analogies can help you sell what the reader secretly wants, taking your copy to a whole new level.”

Seductive sales copy tip #3 – use analogies

Canny copywriters know that when you’re selling an expensive car, you’re not really in competition with other brands of car. No, you’re in competition with every other status symbol the reader might prefer to purchase with his or her money. That’s why using analogies which compare your product with the experience which your user wants e.g. ‘Our speakers are so good, it’s like having the London Philharmonic in your living room’. Or Apple’s ‘iPhone 5 is made with a level of precision you’d expect from a finely crafted watch – not a smartphone.’ Here Apple are aware both that nowadays most people use their phone to tell the time and no longer wear a watch, but also that doing so leaves room for marketing a smartphone that acts as a status symbol in the same way that a Rolex used to. Using analogies can help you sell what the reader secretly wants, taking your copy to a whole new level.

 

Next time we’ll outline our final three tips for selling the sizzle and not the steak. But if you’re having problems coming up with seductive sales copy why not give Oxygen a call on 0845 2606 255. We’ll make your copy sing.

 

 

Steve Lodge: Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.