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5 Secrets to Sell More with your Sales Copy

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been beavering away, writing for clients who simply “can’t write” themselves. Now, I think everyone can write. It just comes easier to some folks than others. Just like juggling, cycling, running and singing. Some have a flair for it; others not so much. But everyone can do it.

So when it comes to writing and in particular, writing to wow clients and leads, there are a few tricks of the trade that us, copywriters, use without even thinking of them.

1. Use ‘You’

Use ‘You‘ a lot. I’d bet you’re more interested in your morning than mine. You’re more interested in where you’re going for lunch, than where I am going. That’s totally fine. Us human beings are naturally self-interested. We want to know where we can get the latest and greatest, how our problems can be solved and how lives can be made better.

So if you use ‘you‘ in your copy, people will automatically see themselves. So key rule – use ‘you’ a lot in your copy.

2. Spell-Check EVERYTHING

A very simple but often under-used tip. Many people rely on word processing software to spell check and that’s fine. But in 99% of documents that I see, there is a word incorrectly spelt. If you’re unsure about how a word is spelt, check it out. Verify it.

When I was at school and I didn’t know how to spell a word, the teacher used to say “check the dictionary”. I always found that a bit bizarre because if you can’t spell a word, how can you look it up the dictionary? But as I got older (and wiser), I realised that once you verified a word yourself, you’d never misspell it again. So don’t rely on the word processing software. Spell-check manually as well.

3. Read Aloud

I’m often found reading aloud very s l o w l y. But this helps you notice if you’re missing a word or included a word that affects the flow or meaning of a sentence.

Taking tip 2 and tip 3 together, just look at the words ‘than‘ and ‘that‘. They are two words that the word processing spell-check doesn’t pick up. And why would it? Both words are spelled correctly. I see a lot of copy that has ‘than‘ instead of ‘that‘. And vice versa. The word is spelt correctly but the sentence loses its meaning. Reading aloud – whether slowly or at normal reading speed – will help you notice little things that can be corrected with ease.

4. Notice your foibles

Keep a little note of what you always write in your copy. I regularly use ‘that’ instead of ‘which‘. No great reason other than it’s what I do. I keep a note of it so when I read back over my copy, I’m aware of it and can change the copy around. The more you practice writing, the more you’ll notice your own little writing idiosyncrasies. You can then change the words if you want when editing.

5. Go for a walk

Don’t hit the publish button or the send button without letting the copy settle. If you’re familiar with a pint of Guinness, then you know the pint must be allowed to settle somewhat before it’s finished off and handed over at the bar.

Copy is just like that. Write it. Edit it. Be comfortable with it. Leave it. You’ll come back to it with fresh eyes and you’ll be amazed how many errors you’ll pick up.

Now, go and use these 5 little secrets to write better sales copy. I’m waiting to hear your thoughts 🙂

Denise Fay is an international marketing specialist who is passionate about marketing & helping small businesses get & keep customers. She set up the marketing consultancy Achieve Marketing after her redundancy from a Fortune 500 company in 2005. She brings big company knowledge and international marketing to every project or plan she works on. Working Words by Denise Fay is a sister company of Achieve Marketing which was set up in 2010. This is the copy-writing side of the business which has Denise at the helm. She is a trusted and proven copy-writer creating content strategies and writing everything that can be written in terms of sales copy, e.g, newsletters, ezines, websites, blogs, case-studies, articles and brochures. She believes that copy-writing is the secret to successful marketing and good sales copy should be start of a long-term relationship with its reader.

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  • Hi Denise, this is a great post for me. While my English wasnpretty good at school, my spelling andu00a0grammaru00a0used to let me downnunfortunately! I think your advice on noticing and then taking note of yournfoibles is a really good one. That is one tip I will be using. Thanks fornsharing.u00a0

  • Hi Denise. Good reminders. For me the “you” is the most important. When I’ve written a post, I go back and review it with the question “so what’s in it for me?” to help with the review. If I can’t answer that question, it gets re-written or binned!nnThanks for sharing

  • Great tips Denise.u00a0 I read, write and talk quite fast so I often miss the mistakes I make, even reading it back after a break.u00a0 Derbhile Dromey from Write Words Editorial suggests you read it backwards which I have found shows up errors really quickly.

  • Hi Denise,nnGreat tips, I do tend tou00a0think of what I’m writing much faster than myu00a0fingers are able to type at times, resulting inu00a0many errors, I re-read and ‘leave to settle’ before reading again.u00a0 I loveu00a0the tip on foibles, I’ll be watching outu00a0for that one.nnCatherineu00a0

  • A great little list of pointers to keep an eye out for, thanks for sharing with us Denise.nI often use “We” at the beginning of a post, so it does not seem like I am pointing out issues for my readers (particularly in my line of work) I don’t want my readers to feel I am telling them they are experiencing a certain situation or feeling a certain way. Generally when providing tips or pointers, then I use “you”.nnBut in terms of copy, I agree that people are reading your website etc subjectively, always thinking “WIIFM”

  • Paula Ronan

    u00a0thanks for a useful article Denise 🙂

  • Kbackus

    u00a0Good tips Denise. I’m happy to see I follow many of your suggested tips already. Hadn’t put a lot of thought into using YOU, but will now think more deliberately about it. And as for my “foibles” – I have them in my head, but jotting them down in my idea journal is good idea. Couple that come to mind for me in my writing include … “tap into” as I often write about how to “tap into” resources, etc.u00a0nThx for post.u00a0nKathy Backusn

  • Denise

    Hi Kathy, sorry for the delay in replying back to you. I was very much offline over the past couple of days. You is a great word – it really helps your reader think of themselves. nAnd as for the foibles…I have a whole page of mine! :-)nnKeep writing and let me know of any more ‘foibles’ that you have. I’ll probably need to add them to my list too!nnTake care,nDenise

  • Denise

    Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read my article. I’m glad that you found it useful.u00a0

  • That’s exactly what Elaine said above. What’s in it for me? – is so important. There are so many messages out there that while we may think ours is the most important, it’s really all about what our customers or readers think. nThanks for that. nD.u00a0

  • Oh I do like that idea. Thanks Derbhile! I’m like that myself, I talk so fast that sometimes my fingers can’t keep up. I’ll be using Derbhile’s tip from now on!nD.u00a0

  • You will be amazed. You might not have any. I always say ‘hey’ to people – when I’m mailing them, when I pick up the phone and meet them in the street. It’s just one of those things…but when you’re aware of them, you’ll choose whether to use them or not. nD.u00a0

  • Well absolutely, you want your readers to feel good when reading your article. I use ‘we’ too – sometimes ‘we’ helps engender a certain ‘we are all the same’ kind of feeling. Good point. I’ll include that in my next lot of tips. Thanks for that Elaine!

  • Great tips here, just about tou00a0write a press release now and will def let it settle for a while before I send it :)u00a0

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