Why it's a bad idea to write the way you think you should...

Keep it conversational... 

If you're sitting down to write a promotional piece, a new page for your website or simply an autoresponder email, there's only one thing you need to remember: to keep it conversational.

Because writing 'sales copy' isn't about selling in the way you might think it should be.

Selling in print (whether it's online or offline) is all about having a conversation - simply telling people about what you have to offer and why they should get it from you.

Nothing fancy, no 'special sauce' required.

And if you think that just because you're a big corporate, a law firm or even a technical company, that you need to use heavy technical jargon to look like you know what you're talking about - you're sadly wrong.

- Every publicly facing piece of copy needs to be written in a simple, easy-to-understand, conversational style or you'll risk losing engagement with your audience.

For instance:

WRONG 

"Our technical specialists will analyse your spectrometer results using algebraic computations on our cloud server infrastructure while instituting the highest degree of compilation skills".

RIGHT 

"Our experienced technical staff will analyse your spectrometer results using a combination of cloud servers and software to provide you with a high degree of accuracy and a better overall result"

- It's still technical, but a fifth grader could understand it (which is the level that sales copy should always be written for).

The other reason for conversational copy? 

Conversational copy is so much more enjoyable to read... When you're on a page where you can easily follow what's being said, it relates to you and gets your mind thinking about how this could solve your problem / fulfil you desire - then it's good copy.

If it's using lots of exclamation marks and sounds like it's either too boring (technical and not engaging) or too 'in your face' (like that used car salesman cliché), then it's not going to win.

How do you write conversationally then?

It's actually a lot easier than you think.

So many people 'struggle' to write conversational sales copy but it's simply like talking. Just like I am with you right now - it's no different.

When you overcompensate, try to be tricky and write as if you're an 'expert', that's when no one will care for what you're offering (or worse, even finish reading what you've written).

Here's a simple formula for sales copy - 

1. Uncover a problem they have like this "We understand that for some spectrometer users, getting good quality results can be tough"

2. Confirm it for them like this: "And for some researchers, even finding a provider that can compile their results using good quality software and hardware is challenging"

3. Tell them what you can do, like this: "We're here to change the way researchers get their results compiled. Our comprehensive software runs on cloud servers with huge capacity, so no matter how big or small your project is, we can help you for an affordable price"

4. Tell them how to get it (easily), like this: "Getting started is really simple - just get in touch with our analysis team (here) about the challenges you've faced with your spectrometer results and we'll contact you shortly. We look forward to getting you the quality data you're hoping for."

Maybe a little fictitious - but even for a highly technical business, the copy can be very simple yet still get the point across professionally.

My main tip - don't overthink it, just write like you're having a conversation with someone. 

Write well, 

Rob.

PS: For more info on how you can write more fluidly, check out our copywriting blog here.