Copywriting Salesmanship in Print

by Pete Godfrey · 1 comment

Copywriting Salesmanship in Print


Salesmanship in print (and sorry to all of my valued female readers, I just couldn’t write salespersonship in print…just wouldn’t sound right okay?)

That’s what we’re doing when we write an ad or sales letter. We’re taking basic salesmanship and transcribing it on to the page. And that’s what millionaire marketers know that most people don’t.

When they take their message to the market, it’s complete, vibrant, and really connects with their prospects. It’s pure salesmanship. No matter what the media … print ads, direct mail pieces, websites, it doesn’t matter. The message remains the same.

And a lot of people don’t get this.

They get all “holier than thou” when they start writing … like they are speakin’ some kind of different language. There is no connection there, no empathy or under-standing or pure, unadulterated raw emotion. It’s like they forget they are there to sell!

So get this straight…

When you’re writing sales copy (you know, a sales piece that’s supposed to sell your product), write the way your target audience speaks. Sure, you’ll have to adapt your language to the different markets you’re selling to. But… And here’s the but.

Even highly educated people would rather read simple language than wade through page after page of long-winded nonsense.

So don’t use a ten-dollar word when a simple one will do. And remember, even if you are doing business-to-business writing, you’re still writing to a person.

So you’ve got to think of your ideal reader when you write. Picture this person in your mind … feel what she is feeling, experience what it’s like to be inside her head. Then and only then will you have a chance of connecting with her and ultimately selling her on your product.

Because it’s all about connecting.

How do you do this? Well one way to connect with your reader is by using “you copy.”

That is, you address the reader as ‘you’ in your copy.

For example, have you ever received a letter that starts off like this? (TIP: Here’s one way NOT to do it!)

We Are Proud To Release The XYZ Software Program.

Dear Business Owner,

We at XYZ technologies are proud to introduce to the market our latest state-of-the-art software. XYZ software is a user-friendly, sophisticated financial software for small business accounts receivable, accounts payable and general ledger application.

We are…


This type of crap crosses my desk each week! And do you know what? It’s complete nonsense, a complete waste of money for the company producing such drivel. Wow, they’re so far up themselves, so removed in their ivory tower, that it makes me wonder how they can stay in business. It’s just plain dumb.

I mean, what did they actually say? What the hell does it mean? Take this one…

“We are proud to release”… who gives a damn about what they’re proud of?

Show me what’s in it for me!

Show me that you know me; that you know what I want, what I need, and give me a compelling reason to keep reading.

So let’s see what happens when you write this from the “you” perspective. What happens when you connect with your reader and fully understand their present mindset?

Here’s how I would write it…

Attention Business Owners Who Are Sick & Tired Of Being Robbed Blind By Non-Paying Customers…

“How To Stop Non-Paying Thieves Ruining Your Business!”

(Body Copy)
Dear Frustrated Business Owner,

If you’re sick and tired of being used as a doormat by clients who pay late or not at all … if your business is hurting and cash flow is tight due to unpaid bills … and you need an easy solution to tracking down all those outstanding invoices, then this will be the most important letter you have ever read.

Here’s why…

XYZ is a new software programme that helps you balance your books quickly, easily, and without any fuss.
Not only that, it shows you who owes what, how much they owe, and provides a series of proven letters that scare the hell out of late payees, effectively getting them to cough up the cash NOW and not later.

Plus, it also…

Manages your cash flow so you can see at a glance just how well your business is doing (no nasty surprises).

Gives you an up-to-the minute report on outstanding invoices so you can quickly notify non-payers.

And etc. and so on…

See how emotional this is?

See how I tap into what is already on the prospect’s mind?

See how different the copy reads when you take the “you” approach?

So the lesson here is this:

Write to one person at a time with emotionally charged language and write as simply as you can.

Forget the big words and don’t worry what your English teacher told you about grammar. Heck, she’s still teaching and tied to a job. You however, if you get good at writing copy, if you can master this craft, you can write your own pay cheque.

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About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark Andrews IMCopywriting September 14, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Darn good advice above.

Excellent in fact.

The key here is rigorous editing. You, the reader of this timely information, reading the advice above….you need to keep these points firmly in mind. Stop waffling and concentrate purely on making a strong connection with your potential prospects.

Remember, the primary purpose of the pre-header is to to get the reader to read the main headline.

The primary purpose of the main headline, (as well as grabbing attention) is to get the reader to read the first ‘short’ sentence.

The primary purpose of the first short sentence is to get the reader, your potential prospect to read the second sentence and so on and so forth, all the way to the bottom of the page, where the direct call to action is.

In effect you are writing ‘gravity pulling sales copy’, in other words, creating a Slippery Sales Funnel.

Each set of words used is nudging the potential prospect further and further down the page using the simplest selling language possible.

Short, punchy, concise sentences are the order of the day.

Forget long winded crap that boosts up your own ego. Remember, the prospect will be asking themselves constantly as they read your sales copy, ‘What’s in this for me?’

Answer that and deliver to the prospect exactly what they want by putting yourself in their shoes.

Think about the concerns or questions of your potential prospects, your new customers. Ask those questions in your sales copy. Answer those objections in advance and you will be halfway there to securing the order that you want or getting the prospect to take the action that you desire.

Aid your own credibility and never hinder it.

Keep your language simple and direct at all times.

Give your prospects sound and very good reason/s to buy from you over your competitors. Every time you waffle, with longwinded crap and nonsense, you might just as well be sending your potential new clients, to your competitors within your market niche or industry sector.

Writing simply, means not leaving money on the table that could by rights be yours, simply for the asking, if you ‘think’ like your potential prospects.

I hope these further copywriting tips are of use to a few individuals, just like yourself, reading this.

Good luck with your salesmanship in print!

Best regards.

Mark Andrews


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