Copywriters, listen up…

All the glory in copywriting goes to the headline and lead.  The Big Idea.  That part of the copy that immediately captures the attention, and hooks it to make the sale.

But here’s the thing.

The Big Idea DOES NOT close the sale.

The Big Idea opens the sale.  Your headline and lead get attention and perhaps interest.

Your product presentation, as the course of action required in response to what is presented there builds desire.

But what drives a prospect to actually whip out their credit card and buy?

It’s the offer!

I’m writing today’s issue as a bit of a rant.  Because I just reviewed a piece of copy that was mostly great all the way through.

Until we got to the offer.  Until we got to that point where it was time to ask the prospect to buy.

I was reading (actually using text-to-speech, listening and reading) and got to the point in the promo where there was a natural conclusion.

As-in, if I were the prospect, that’s pretty much where I was ready to buy.

And the good news was, there was a Call-To-Action button there.

The bad news was, there were still THOUSANDS of words left in the promo!

I looked at the scroll bar, and I was only 2/3 of the way through the promo.

And the longer I read, the LESS I wanted to buy.

The copywriter, by not really knowing how to structure their offer, was actually mumbling on (in copy form), losing my desire and interest, and almost talking me out of the purchase.

This will kill sales you could be closing…

I don’t know what was going on in this copywriter’s mind.

In fact, I don’t even know who the copywriter was.

But I have a good guess that somewhere deep inside, this copywriter has some hangups about money.

They were scared to simply ask for the sale with directness and definiteness of purpose, and simply let that request hang until the prospect did something about it.

If you’ve got hangups about money — especially if you’re selling a high-cost product that you couldn’t buy yourself — you’re going to have trouble asking for the sale.

You think, on the inside, “I couldn’t/wouldn’t buy this, so I should be careful about asking someone else to buy it.”  And that comes through, in timidity and uncertainty — in the very moment where you MUST be completely certain and bold at every level.

When you get to the offer, you must come across with extreme confidence.  That you have something of massive value.  And that it is in the prospect’s best interest to buy.

If they’ve reached this point in your promotion, they are interested and they probably even desire it.  But they won’t take action unless you can completely underscore that their interest and desire is well-placed, and ask for that action with CONFIDENCE.

What’s the Zig Ziglar book?  Oh yeah — Timid Salesmen Have Skinny Kids.

(I guess at this point that book is a collectible with a collectible price tag, and it’s listed as being by Judge Ziglar, not Zig.  But the quote is attributed by Zig — Judge may have been an early nom de plume.)

The point stands: when you’re making your offer, you CANNOT be timid.

You’ve gotta fix yourself first…  And through integrity, selling something you truly consider to be valuable, and having basic confidence…  You have to make your offer with boldness and conviction.

(This was a HUGE part of what Joseph and I talked about in Transform YOU to Transform Your Business last week.  The 1-hour, 45-minute replay is at that link and FREE through the end of the month.  And alongside the replay, Joseph has generously offered $118 in total discounts to his 5 training titles that help you with, among other things, creating a life and career or business that’s in total integrity and developing self-confidence in selling and all communication.  Click the big green “YES, Take Me To The Deal” button at the bottom of that page to increase your confidence.  Here’s the link again.)

Aside from it being a confidence or head trash issue going on with the copywriter, the only other reason I can think for the offer carrying on so very long is this: a required word count.

It is completely asinine to have a required word count on any advertisement (aside from print ads, where it’s a proxy for filling enough but not too much space).

An ad should be exactly as long as it should be.  Long enough to tell the entire selling story, and not a word longer.  This is even more applicable online, where we have an infinite printing press, hooked up to an infinite post office.  Your webpage or sales video can be effectively as long or as short as the message demands.  And there’s no significant marginal increase in the cost of production or delivery.

But if your message is too short, the prospect won’t have enough information or emotional stimulation to make their buying decision.  And if it’s too long, they could make their buying decision and then change their mind before they get to the end, because you can’t stop blabbering on.

At the risk of losing you, let me conclude with a powerful outline for your offers…

This is from the original Makepeace Outline, and strongly influenced what I put into my High-Velocity Copywriting Templates (my teaching on both included as part of the High-Velocity Copywriting program).

If you use this outline, you’ll avoid the trap of what happened to the copywriter mentioned above…

Where you simply never get around to really closing the sale…

Where you struggle to get the confidence to actually make the offer…

Where you drone on and on, losing customers by the paragraph…

Here’s Clayton Makepeace’s “12 Steps to Offer Bliss — How to Seal The Deal!”

— Restate Your Product’s Benefits With Energy and Excitement

— Cite Other Products That Cost Far More

— State Your Regular Price

— Present Your Rationale for Offering the Prospect a Discount

— Present Your Discounted Price

— Dimensionalize Your Discounted Price and Savings

— Trivialize Your Price and Make It Sound Like a Bargain

— Justify Your Price

— Add Value

— Relieve Risk

— Set a Deadline

— Ask for the Sale

Alternately, when you click the download link below my video on the Clayton Makepeace copy outline you’ll get the PDF — directly from Clayton — containing Clayton’s 20-point copywriting outline that has a slightly different offer order, equally valid.

Here’s the biggest breakthrough in writing really good offers…

You can never know how big a Big Idea will be until it hits the market.

You and your team might love it — and the market might hate it.  You might barely think it’s worth releasing — and then it catches on like wildfire.

But there’s one thing you can control in a major way.

You can control how likely it is for someone to convert once they’ve bought into your big idea.

If you can get them TO the offer, a great offer will get them through, and onto the sale.

The impact of this is that you’ll be much more consistent in at least writing profitable promotions.

I have had almost ZERO duds in the last decade.  There’s one that I can think of, where we failed spectacularly in getting readership.  In part my fault, in part an issue with presentation/design that was glaringly obvious in retrospect.

For the most part, it’s not a question of whether or not my promos will be successful, selling a proven product.

It’s how successful, and whether or not they will beat the control.  In nearly every instance, even when a promo fails to beat the control, it still sells pretty well.

In my best estimation, that is a testament to my ability to write offers.

If you need to get your head straight and develop the confidence to make offers, check out Transform YOU to Transform Your Business and Joseph’s training.

And if you want practical, tactical, on-the-ground techniques for structuring your copy and especially your offers, you’ll get that in High-Velocity Copywriting.

Or, better, just get both, and start cranking out even bigger breakthroughs.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr