by Kendra Lee
Writing copy, emails and marketing materials is one of the most avoided tasks in marketing and sales. Why? Everyone wants to write that perfect copy that inspires prospects to take that next step in the sales process. Yet, it remains elusive, as if it were magic.
Whatever action that you want your reader to take, your content must engage and convince them that it is in their best interest to do it.
It’s not “voodoo” like one of our clients said yesterday!
You just need to use language that sells.
Here are 7 writing techniques that can take your content from standard sales language to sales conversion-worthy copy.
1. Use descriptive adjectives – Your words should evoke a mood – painting a picture of the problem you solve. Excite your readers with words that evoke strong feelings. “Best, great, amazing, bad” – these adjectives are over-used and no longer evoke a passionate response. “Authentic, intimate, startling, coercive” – these are descriptive, electrifying adjectives. Choose uncommon (but still understood) adjectives. If you get stuck, use a thesaurus. While there are many, my current favorite is www.WordHippo.com.
2. Emphasize benefits over features. – Prospects want to know what the value is to them – whether you’re trying to convert them to read a blog post, or to download an ebook. Highlighting the fact that your software can track the number of pages printed per employee won’t hook them. They’ll be more interested to read ten strategies about how they can save thousands of dollars in annual printing costs.
3. Add precise details for credibility. – Which sounds more credible: “Over 1,000 contacts” or “1,029 IT managers looking to leverage the cloud more fully?” Explicit details add credibility and inspire trust. Both are essential if you want prospects to convert.
4. Ask questions. – Questions automatically cause you to pause and think – even if it’s only for a moment – and make you more receptive to new information. Use questions to prompt your prospects to form their own conclusions about their situation. Ask a question, then immediately answer it to guide prospect’s thinking. Echo a sales question prospects frequently pose, then follow up with how you can solve the problem.
5. Choose action verbs. – Sprinkle action verbs throughout your content to drive prospects to take immediate action. Instead of the marketing phrase “click here,” use “read how now” or “you’ll want to read this before you send another prospecting email.” Doesn’t that sound much more intriguing? In sales prospecting, instead of “let me know”, use “click reply to let me know.”
6. Tell contacts exactly what you want them to do. – Tell your prospects explicitly what you want them to do in your call to action. Notice how the examples in #5 aren’t just action verbs, they use directive language like this: “read how now” and “click reply to let me know;” or time sensitive language like this: “you’ll want to read this before you send another prospecting email.”
7. Limit prospects’ commitment. – Your prospects are savvy, skeptical and stressed. They don’t want a commitment – they probably don’t even want to talk on the phone. (That’s why immediate sales follow-up isn’t always successful.) Use your copy to set a commitment expectation. Is it a free downloadable technical checklist, a free 45-minute webinar, or a free 90-minute on-site assessment? Tell them in your copy. Then let them determine if they’re ready for the commitment.
Yes, writing sales and lead generation content that converts can be tough – that’s why copywriting is its own profession and why so many clients engage us to do it for them! Now you, too, can use these seven techniques of the content development trade to hook your contacts, reel them in, and convert them. You’ll soon see more people taking that next step, whether it’s for sales or marketing.
Kendra Lee is a top IT Seller, Prospect Attraction Expert, author of the popular books “The Sales Magnet” and “Selling Against the Goal,” and president of KLA Group.
KLA Group is a Sales Consulting and Training firm focused on helping clients get more customers in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment.