Making Good Sales Copy

July 6, 2021

It’s important to remember the sales cycle when designing web pages.

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

When it comes to large, complex or risky purchases, about 80% of people are in the "awareness" phase. About 15% are in the consideration phase. Only 5% of prospects are ready to convert to make a decision and buy. But nearly all websites are setup up only for the decision phase and offer little or no education for the 95% of people who need it. If you want to great conversion rate optimization, you need to be aware of the sales cycle and adjust your approach accordingly.

First, Second or Third

when you write sales copy, do you write in the first, second, or third person?

There are three main points of view you can use to write (or speak):

First person is where the writer refers to themselves as “I”. If it’s a company, this could also be “we”.

Second person uses “you”, “your” and “yours”.

Third person uses “he”, “she” or “it” – or the person or company’s own name.

Taking It From Rational to Emotional

Sometimes making your sales copy more emotional is as simple as changing your wording.

When writing website or sales copy, be sure to make it conversational. For some reason, when most people write website or sales copy, they lose touch with humanity. They enter "marketing hype" mode and their writing becomes bizarre.

The main job of a website, or any other sales copy, is to engage the reader in a conversation. Read your website or sales copy and ask yourself "would I speak to somebody like this in person?" If not, go back to the drawing board and rewrite your copy to make it more like an in-person conversation

The crazy thing about emotions and purchase decisions is that people are driven by different and distinct types of mind maps. I remember when I was an IT professional and dealt with dozens of different types of people on a weekly basis. I quickly learned to tailor the way I presented information based on they way they seemed to think.
For example, I frequently ran across the "superlative" mind map. These people want "The fastest, the latest, the greatest, the most expensive, the coolest" etc. This helped me to sell them expensive custom-built super computers very easily. If I had been a regular computer geek, I would have been in my own world of technical jargon and missed many opportunities.
Another example: because I frequently helped businesses owners with their IT infrastructure, I quickly learned the "managerial" mind map traits. These people are busy and often have quite a bit of responsibility. They want to hear things like "consider it done, I'm on it, I'll take care of it, your wish is my command" etc. Managerial mind maps don't want to be bothered with details. They're too busy for that. They just want to things to get done and the details summarized.
Keep your target mind map in mind when creating your web pages, sales copy, paid ads, value propositions, emails, etc. Below is a cheat sheet on the different types of mind maps/purchase behavior. There's a ton more information on mind maps that you can find by searching.

The 5 Second Rule

Your website (or any sales copy) should answer these three questions in less than 5 seconds:

1. Where am I? (is it clear where they are? Is your logo and company name visible and easy to read? Nobody wants to end up at a mystery website)
2. What can I do here? (does your website have a clear offer and call to action?)
3. Why should I do it? (why should they click on your CTA? How have you compelled them with your amazing, singularly unique offer?)

Fail to answer these 3 questions in less than 5 seconds and your bounce rate may suffer dearly. People surf the web with their finger on that back button. They have an attention span of less than a goldfish and its shrinking every day.

Use Contractions

Conversational tone is an important tenant for great conversions. For some reason, when people write copy for their websites, they often choose wording that sounds a bit robotic.
The goal of a web page is to engage the viewer in a virtual conversation. You want your web pages, and other sales copy, to read more like an in-person conversation. An easy way to to accomplish this is to use contractions for common words.
I know this flies in the face of what many of you

learned in school as proper "writing". But bear in mind that your website is not a thesis. Its sales copy. And sales copy converts better when it reads more conversational.

For those of you who use a brainstorming process for your web pages, landing pages, ad copy and sales copy, what is your process?

Robert , founder of Nimbus Marketing, with his family on the porch of their Westchester home
Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

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