So many of the up-and-coming copywriters I’ve worked with have admitted to me that one of the most critical components of any sales piece is almost an afterthought.
In some cases, they hastily put it together after they’ve spent most of their time tinkering with the headline and lead…
While in other cases they’re more than happy to just pick up the same copy from a previous promotion and re-use it word-for-word.
I’m speaking, of course, of the offer copy.
You’ll excuse me for being a bit protective when it comes to the offer copy.
After all, the offer is the very reason the copy is being written in the first place. Without it – quite literally – no promotion could ever be successful.
It’s the entire transaction – boiled down so that everyone can understand it…and it should not only be as strong as possible but also simple to understand.
So why is it just an afterthought for so many copywriters and marketers?
I think it’s likely because we spend so much time searching for the “Big Idea” that will make our promotion a success.
Every brainstorming session…every meeting with a product manager or publisher…even the way we label the promotions we create are all focused on that “Big Idea” that hooks the reader in.
And I’m not saying the Big Idea isn’t important. Just the opposite – grabbing the reader’s attention is the most important point of the piece.
But even if you’ve captured the reader’s attention…you’re only likely to have it for a little while.
So it’s critical that you present your offer as soon as possible in order to let the reader know precisely what’s in it for them to keep reading and/or buy.
With that in mind, here are four tips for creating irresistible offer copy:
1. Make it clear and concise – By the time your prospect has reached the offer, there is no longer any need for “warm up” copy or any sort of introduction. Get right to the point – as simply as possible.
For example, in the case of a subscription, state it explicitly: “Sign up now for one year at just $99.” Or in the case of a supplement product, “Try a 30-day supply for just $79.”
Once you’ve stated the initial offer – clearly and concisely – you can then mention any potential upsells or variations. But hitting the reader with the clearest, most direct offer right away is the strongest way to go.
2. Line it up – If your offer isn’t aligned with the core needs and desires of your prospects, then there is a disconnect between your big idea and what you’re actually selling. A simple “alignment check” is a good way to make sure that the idea you’ve used to grab your prospect’s attention is consistent with what you’re actually offering. If it’s not…you’ve got some work to do in the form of re-working your idea or convincing the product manager to change the product offering.
3. Reconnect with the big idea – While it’s true that your offer does not need “warm up” copy to maintain the reader’s interest, it is important that you not lose sight of the promotion’s Big Idea at this critical juncture. Be sure to remind the prospect – in clear, simple terms – how your product or service will solve the problems described or fulfill the needs that were described. This doesn’t need to be a long, detailed explanation but instead a simple callback to the most powerful ideas to remind the reader why making this purchase is so critically important.
4. Sum it up – Your offer must clearly summarize the key benefits and advantages of the product or service that you’re promoting. This can usually best be accomplished with the use of hard-hitting, fast-paced bullet point copy. This copy needs to overwhelm the reader with the enormity of everything they’re about to receive…and it needs to do so in a way that makes the reader want to move quickly through the rest of the copy to get to the sign-up button or reply device as quickly as possible.