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The Write Formula

By Linda Offenheiser
Posted Sunday, January 2, 2005

What's the difference between effective sales copy and copy that will fall flat on its face? There are a lot of ingredients that go into good sales copy. Here are just a few of them:

Put Yourself into It!

You should know who your ideal customer is - write to that person. Write your copy as though you're speaking to a friend. Write in a conversational tone - don't be too formal. Forget all of the multi-syllable words! They aren't going to impress your reader; in fact, they may have just the opposite effect. Let your personality show in the words you write. If you do, your reader will place a lot more credibility on what you have to say.

Describe Benefits NOT Features

The goal of your ad copy is to tell the reader how he will benefit from what you have to offer. Consider your ads to be pre-sales letters. All you want to do is tell the reader what your product, service, business opportunity, etc. will do for him. How will it make his life easier? How will it help his business? In other words, what's in it for him?

The object of the sales letter is to create interest and make readers want to look into your offer. It puts them in the right frame of mind to purchase once they know all of the features. Your web page should do the selling. Your sales letters or ads are just setting the stage for the final act.

Give it Some Punch!

No one wants to read long technical sales copy. Less is more when it comes to good copy. Especially on the Internet people want to read something quickly and then go on to the next task at hand. Keep your sentences short and punchy. Don't use 10 words if 5 will do. Also keep your paragraphs short - just a couple of sentences will do. If the reader glances at your copy and sees line after line of text he probably won't bother to read it. Use sub-headings to get his attention and draw him to important points. Make good use of white space to break up your text and make it look less daunting.

That All-Important Headline

Develop a headline that catches your reader's eye and interest. Make it unique and catchy but make it honest! Don't try to lure a reader by making outlandish promises or by using a headline that has nothing at all to do with your text. Your headline should introduce your text, not disguise it. As with text, short headlines work better than long ones. If your headline doesn't get the reader's attention the rest of your copy will never be read. So work on that headline until it reaches out and grabs the reader's eye!

And finally . . .

Sales Copy is Never Finished!

You may write your copy many, many times. There are always little ways to tweak it to make it better and you should! Don't let it become stagnant. The best sales copy changes and adapts . . . it evolves!

About the Author
Linda Offenheiser is the owner of Stress-Free Copy where sales copy comes alive! She also publishes a weekly marketing ezine, All the Write Stuff!, that’s informative, friendly and fun! You can visit her at
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