Copywriting is just words, right? If that’s what you think, you’re oversimplifying the very thing that could create easy cash flow for your business. Copywriting is the juice that can intoxicate your audience into taking swift action on your offer, but you first have to know the secret ingredients.

Here are the five critical elements to sales copywriting that most people overlook:

#1 – Get to Know Your Customer Better Than They Know Themselves

Your job is not only to know your audience, but also to become so familiar with them that you could identify them on the street. You need to know their dreams, their thoughts and what keeps them awake at night. What motivates them, drives them and captivates their minds? It’s imperative that you tap into the psyche of your customer and then integrate those elements into your writing. 

To be able to “read” the subconscious mind of my prospect, some of the preparation I do as a copywriter is to:

  1. READ what the customer reads. As a copywriter, I have an entire room in my home devoted to books and magazines for audience research.
  2. WATCH the TV shows and documentaries they watch. Listen to the podcasts they listen to. Follow the influencers they follow on social media.
  3. STUDY people — Review the customers/followers comments on competitor pages — including their social media pages, Amazon listings and blogs.

Not to sound severe, but copy is NOT about you, your education and your achievements. Don’t preach to your customers about how wonderful you are. The number one focus is and will always be the customer and uncovering WHAT they need from you. 

#2 – Your Copy Needs to Ignite the Right Emotions 

Face it, humans are emotional beings. And if you can tap into the right feelings in your copywriting, your audience will connect and respond. If you are writing your copy like you would a technical, impersonal user guide, then you’re working way too hard and repelling your customer in the process. The art of writing persuasive copy has to align with your client’s current emotional state. Are they fed up, embarrassed and frustrated by their acne? Do they feel anxious and overwhelmed by the process of selling their home? Speak to those emotions and then show how your solution alleviates them.

#3 – Your Copy is a Conversation

Humans are reading your copy — not robots, pod people or The Walking Dead zombies. And, they don’t appreciate being talked at or preached to. At a party, you wouldn’t start a conversation by overwhelming your listener with the features and benefits of your product. You wouldn’t begin your web copy that way either. Think about some of the best conversations you’ve ever had. There was probably a lot of give and take, which includes thought-provoking questions, heartfelt answers and an expression of understanding and support. To get readers to “buy in” from the start and encourage them to keep reading your copy, you can implement those same conversation elements in your copy.

  • [Brain supplement] Have you ever been sitting at your desk, trying to work, and felt like your brain was STUCK?
  • [Time management solution] What would you do with your time, if you were able to free up four hours every day?
  • [Martial arts for kids] I know the feeling. The feeling of being COMPLETELY burned out with the back-to- school grind and figuring out how to keep your child ​engaged ​after hours. Yeah, ​that​ feeling. Now here comes the ​enormous exhale​…

#4 – If Something is Broke, Your Copy MUST Prove How Your Product/Service Fixes It

Your product or service solves a specific problem, and it’s the job of your copy to demonstrate HOW it fixes it. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a solution for pain, low self-esteem or time management…your copy must clearly show the results that your product delivers. If you can accomplish that in your copy, there’s no need for sleazy sales tactics, persuasion or heavy selling. Simply make your audience a bold promise and then help them.

#5 – Your Copy is a Relationship

In your copy, you want your relationship with the customer to be one-on-one. To that end, be fanatical about incorporating a personal “you” focus and writing like you are engaging with a single individual. Don’t be afraid to speak from the first person (“I”). This immediately puts you on a more personal level with your reader. 

To become more confident at writing copy with selling power, a good exercise is to picture the customer in your mind and then write a journal entry or letter to her/him. It’s okay if personal stuff from your own life bubbles to the surface. In fact, a personal story is one of the best ways to forge an instant connection with the customer. Look at the most popular posts of the people you follow on social media and you’ll see that most of them show vulnerability.

Copy is About More Than Words 

If your business is going to succeed, you must understand that your customers want more than your words: they want a solution to their problem, they want to be understood and they want your heart. In your copy, remember to focus on being:

  • Friendly, comfortable and familiar — turn your writing into a beautiful, relatable conversation that the reader never wants to end
  • Helpful, but not preachy — demonstrate your results, but do NOT over-educate
  • Personal — get your reader to feel like they already know you