How To Close Deals With Your Sales Copy
How to close the deal with your sales copy is an important question because you can end up writing excellent copy that gets your customers attention, draws them in, and then pulls them down a slippery slope to the end of your copy, but if you don’t know how to close the deal, all of your hard work will be to no avail.
Asking For The Sale
Every salesman worth his salt knows that at some point you have to ask the customer to buy what you’re selling. If you talk too much, you can talk yourself out of a sale, and if you don’t ask customers whether or not they’re ready to buy, they may never decide to make a purchase.
An important step in any sales transaction is getting to the point where you ask for the sale. It can be as simple as saying something like, “Which option would you like to go with for your first purchase?” or “How many would you like to order today?”
This takes place in a regular, face-to-face sales transaction and is known as asking for the sale. When it comes to copy, there’s something similar — a call to action.
Call To Action
On a sales letter, you may have read a line like, “Order your copies today!” On a website, you may have read, “Start Your Free Trial Now!”
Both of these are examples of calls to action. So what are they?
A call to action is a simple command that directs customers to take some sort of action, whether it be to buy, sign up, or start a free trial. At this point, however, you may be asking another question: “Why are they needed?”
The reason they’re needed is that they’ve been proven as the best way to compel prospects to take action. Even though they may seem direct or potentially smarmy, simple, direct, and clear calls to action are proven to be the most effective way to get your customers to act.
Another option would be to ask customers to take action. You can say something like, “Would you like to sign up now?” or “Are you ready to sign up for our service?” Both are valid ways to ask for a sale, but neither are as effective as a direct command when it comes to copy.
Whatever the reason, it’s been proven that calls to action are the most effective way to get customers to take the next step in print and online copy.
Creating a Sense of Urgency
In addition to using a clear call to action, you also want to create a sense of urgency with your copy.
Often, customers are close to making a purchase, but they’re not quite ready to hand over their money. They’re nearly convinced, but they’re not quite ready to buy.
One technique used by marketers the world over is to create a sense of urgency which compels prospects to take action. Some simple ways to do this are by using copy like “buy now” or “order today.”
Both of these short phrases use either “now” or “today” to create a sense of urgency. They’re both subtle, but they help to compel customers to take action.
Another strategy is to find a way to provide a real reason why customers shouldn’t wait to take action. These reasons include limited quantities and limited time offers.
Have you noticed how clothing stores always have sales during holidays?
They advertise with copy like this:
Macy’s Labour Day Sale: Get up to 50% off this weekend only!
Providing limited time offers is one way to create a feeling of urgency.
Another way is by selling limited quantities, either because the quantities are in fact limited or because you restrict quantities on purpose (although you should never lie about limited quantities to increase demand because that would be unethical).
Copy examples include:
- Get 50% off while supplies last!
- Limited quantities available! Buy now!
- Limited edition dinnerware. Only 1000 sets ever made!
- Free popcorn for the first 100 customers!
- Limited-time offer! Buy now!
All of these examples reveal ways to communicate limited quantities or availability in order to compel customers to take action, and if your product or service is in fact limited in some way, it’s an excellent way to push some customers over the fence who may already be sold but may need a little extra prodding to immediately take action.
Make A Compelling Offer
Another important part of the copywriting process is making a compelling offer. Not only do you need to write persuasive copy that effectively presents your product and clearly communicates the benefits of using it, but you also need to create the most compelling offer possible.
For example, if you’re selling alarm systems for homes, you can advertise your service with copy like this:
This copy is pretty good, but it could be even better. Can you tell how? Yes, it’s by sweetening the deal and making an offer your customers can’t refuse. Here’s some add-on copy that does the trick:
Do you notice a difference? Free installation was added to make the offer more compelling.
It’s a tactic companies use frequently with copy such as:
- Order today and get free
- Free shipping on orders over $50.
- Free installation included with all premium
- Purchase a TV + internet bundle today and receive a $300 gift
- Order now and get a free carrot peeler valued at $19.95.
All of these copy examples provide something to make the offer more compelling. Potential deal sweeteners include bonus materials, free shipping, free installation, and much, much more.
The question when it comes to your copy is this: How can you make the offer more compelling? What can you do to make what you’re selling more attractive to your customers? Can you include bonus features or free shipping? What about a risk-free 30 or 60 day trial? Is there anything you can do to make your offer more compelling?
Don’t Forget A Guarantee
Another copywriting staple is the tried and true guarantee. Thousands of companies provide guarantees for their products.
But they’re kind of interesting when you stop and think about it.
Nearly every product has a guarantee or warranty. You commonly see copy like this:
- Try risk-free for 30
- If you’re not completely satisfied, we’ll give your money back. No questions asked.
- 1 year limited
- Return within 90 days for a full
All of these options make the purchase seem less risky. They also instil more confidence in the product. If a company’s willing to guarantee it for 5 or 10 years, it must be pretty good. And if they’re willing to give your money back in 90 days if you’re not completely satisfied, then there’s no risk to making the purchase.
But how often do customers take advantage of these warranties or guarantees?
Not very often.
A 30-day money back guarantee increased sales by 21% and only 12% of people asked for their money back. With a hypothetical number of 100 traffic systems sold per month, the monthly revenue would be $19,700 per month without the guarantee and $23,837 per month with the guarantee but before refunds. After needing to give money back to the 12% of customers who asked for it, revenues would go down to $20,976. This lead to a final revenue increase of 24%.
Some copywriters try to add to their value in the marketplace by taking on a second skill. There are copywriter-photographers, copywriter–art directors, copywriter- narrators, and copywriter–television producers. The logic makes sense. By hiring the dual-function copywriter, the client gets two services for the price of one.
In reality, the best copywriters are those who write copy exclusively.
People who do two jobs are usually not very good at either one. I know of only one or two exceptions, if that. For example, all the copywriter-photographers I know are mediocre writers and mediocre photographers.
The reason may be that a skilled writer is so in demand that he has no time for picture taking, just as a skilled photographer commands such high fees that there is no need to develop a secondary talent.
Successful copywriters—at least, the ones I know—are good at visualizing their ideas, but their visual concepts and layouts are always simple in design. The reason may be that copywriters don’t have the drawing skills needed to express complex visual concepts on paper. So they stick to layouts they can illustrate with stick figures and squiggly lines.
Words, not pictures, are the most important way of communicating great ideas.