In Part I we discussed Maslow's theory of the hierarchy of human needs and showed how you can use this concept to understand your customer and target your sales copy to address those needs. Part II provides more guidance on how to translate your understanding of human behavior into well-tuned sales copy.
Match your words to your audience:
Your target audience will respond to your sales copy message if it is written using language that they can relate to and understand. For example:
If your target audience is the 55+ age group, you probably should not use acronyms or abbreviations such as 'FAQs', 'wifi', or '3G network'. While it is certainly true that there are plenty of very web savvy older people, you should be sure that your 55+ group shares that knowledge base before you start slinging around those terms.
If you are a UK based retailer that provides bespoke products and want to break into the U.S. market, do not use the word 'bespoke'! This is not a term in common usage in the U.S. and it simply will not be understood. You will need to use words like customized or specially designed instead.
If you are talking to moms with kids, you can be a little bit cheeky as in referring to their children as kids or little tykes or something similar, but you need to understand that mothers are all about protecting and loving their children and if you get too irreverent, you will turn them off.
Your words need to be understood, need to resonate and need to respect your audience.
Establish and maintain a style:
Branding is a huge part of product promotion. Your writing style should be a part of your branding strategy. For example, if you go to the Apple site, you will find that their computer descriptions all seem to swirl around themes of easy, creative and seamless, no matter which computer product is being described.
Think about what style you should use? Do you need to attract 20 somethings with edgy, sharp language? Are you looking for a very affluent market that needs to hear about prestige, one of a kind options, and highest quality available kinds of phrases?
Your sales copy is a great way to demonstrate who you are as a company and how you feel about your products.
Positive, not negative phrasing:
This guideline should be obvious but if you read product descriptions, you can see that it is not. Write in positive terms, not negative terms.
Try not to say, 'Only available in black or white.' Instead say, 'Available in your choice of black or white.'
Try not to say, 'We only ship domestically.' Instead say, 'We are happy to ship within the UK.'
Always try to turn negatives into positives.
One of the best ways to both help your customers and gain their trust is to write helpful hints into your product copy. For example:
After describing your smashing new jeans, you might say, 'These are made a bit roomy so if you are a size six and wish you were a size four, here is your chance!'
After describing the lustrous color your hair coloring products will provide, you might give a piece of advice, 'Although you will find that our product is completely non irritating, it still makes sense to skip a hair washing before using any hair coloring product, the natural oils in your unwashed hair will help protect your scalp.'
Promote your assembly required dollhouse and say, 'We found this house really easy to assemble, especially if you divide the four types of fasteners into individual paper cups so they are easy to find and they do not roll away when you are trying to pick one up.'
Remember to ask for the sale:
Be sure that your sales copy asks the reader to purchase and gives them the means to do so. Announce your limited offer of free shipping and provide an icon to click or ask, 'These are so handy, do you want to buy two right away?'
Writing good sales copy gets easier as you understand more and more about your customer and how they think.