So, you’ve got something to sell. Maybe it’s your new eBook. Or a new 6-week coaching program. Or an audio CD.
You know you need to create a convincing sales page, or at least a captivating product page, write a few promotional emails, maybe even an ad or two. And you’re starting to think about how to best communicate the value and positive impact of whatever it is you’re offering.
But to write a truly effective sales page, or any kind of kick-ass promotional copy, you have to ask yourself some important questions before you write a single word.
And when you ask and answer those questions, your marketing copy is sure to resonate with your ideal client or customer, which means a lot more sales for you, baby! Plus, you’ll be able to write that sales page or promotional email a lot faster and with a lot more enthusiasm and ease.
Anytime I work with clients on their sales copy or even their website copy, I ask them a long list of specific questions during a 60-90 minute interview. These questions are designed to help me and my client get exquisitely clear about what they’re selling, why it’s the best thing since bacon-wrapped scallops, who they are selling it to and why that target market would be foolish not to buy immediately.
These questions and answers give us the essential ingredients needed to whip together the kind of marketing copy that’s going to speak directly to the urgent needs and desires of the prospective client and inspire them to buy.
My list of questions during this interview is extensive, so today I’m going to start you out with 5 questions you need to answer before you write one word of copy for your sales page or promotional material.
Answer these 5 Questions now and you will be far ahead of the game when it comes time to sit down and write your sales or promotional material for your product, service or program.
- Who is this product/service/program for, AND how does it address their needs, wants and goals right now?This question shouldn’t be a surprise to you. We always start with your ideal client or customer. If you don’t know who your product is for, if you don’t know the needs, wants and goals of your ideal client, then you can’t write one word of copy. In fact, if you don’t know who this product is for, you never should have created it in the first place.So get clear on who needs and wants this offer of yours. Who is going to benefit? Who will eagerly gobble it up because it’s the answer to their prayers?Also, be sure to get clear on why this offer is perfect for that ideal client right now. How does it meet their needs right now? How does this address what their dealing with right now. Not a year from now, not 4 weeks from now, but right this very minute!
- What problem does your product/service/program solve, what answer does it provide, what issue or challenge does it address?While this question is pretty self-explanatory, you want to get down to the emotional core, the deepest inner pulse of desire your potential client has relative to the issue, question or challenge they are facing. How does your product/service/program solve that problem or fulfill that specific need, want or even fanciful desire?You have to know this!You have to be able to write about how your product/service/program as the solution, the thing that’s going to give your clients what it is they really, really want!
- What are the 5 main benefits your client will experience as a result of getting/having this product/service/program?This question is similar to the last one except now we’re getting a lot more specific. When you think about the top 5 benefits your client will experience, think in terms of both short term and long term benefits. What will they experience immediately? How will their life or business change over the next few weeks? Months? By next year? Which benefits will last a lifetime and which are more immediate and fleeting?Drill down to the deep emotional benefits. For instance, if you’re selling a weight-loss program, one of the benefits could be that your client could lose up to 5 lbs a week, but the really juicy benefits are that she can wear those skinny jeans to her high school reunion. Or feel beautiful and sexy when she climbs into bed next to her husband every night or walks across a crowded room. Or the relief and joy she will feel by knowing she’s the healthiest and happiest she’s ever been in her life.List 5 of the most delicious, irresistible benefits your client will experience as a result of buying, using or implementing your product or program.
- What makes your offer better or different from any other like it?Chances are good that if you’ve created something your client really needs and wants, there are other products out there like it. Or at least others that promise many of the same results as yours does. So, what makes your offer different than those other offers? Why should they buy yours rather than someone else’s?It could be something as obvious as price. Or the convenience in how it’s delivered. Or something about the amount of time it will take for your client to receive the full benefit of your product. Or the bonuses that come with it. Whatever makes it unique, different and better, identify those aspects and write them down!
- How do you know your product / service / program will work for your client or customer?The answer to this question usually involves your personal story in some way, how you got from where you were to where you are now. And your product or service was born out of that experience. Perhaps you had a problem, challenge or issue similar to the one your ideal client is dealing with, and you found a way to move beyond that issue, improve your situation and start living or working in a way that was better for you.For instance, in the case of the weight-loss program, perhaps you had a weight problem for years and years. But you found a way to easily lose weight, feel great and stay strong and healthy. And as a result, you now offer that same program to others who may be struggling with their own weight issues.
Or maybe the answer to this question involves your clients or others who have used your product and received great results. If that’s the case, you need to offer those case studies or testimonials in your sales copy.
There is one more “bonus” question I’d like to ask you, one that is inspired by Jeffrey Van Dyke and Susanne Falter of Spiritual Quest. That question is, how do you really feel about the product service or program you are offering? Are you really excited about it? Do you believe in its ability to be of service and help others in a significant way? Are you on fire to share this offer with others because you believe in it so strongly?
Get honest with yourself. Because if you carry any hesitation, doubt or lack of enthusiasm about your product, service or program, that’s going to leak into your process and your results when you start to write your marketing and sales copy. It will be hard for you to find the words. You’ll struggle with whatever you come up with, because it just won’t feel right. And if it doesn’t click in and feel right to you, it won’t resonate with anyone else who reads it.
Start with these 5-plus-one questions. Answer them as thoroughly as you can before you write any sales or marketing copy. Your answers will give you the ingredients, insight and even the energy you need to write some highly effective, results-rich copy.
If you have any questions about any of these questions or how to best answer them, please leave a comment below. I’d be happy to help you!