How to Write Sales Copy that is Short, Compelling, and Revenue-Generating

Yusuf Kapoor
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Knowing how to write sales copy is a must-have skill for any business in today’s world. It’s how your customers learn about you, what you sell, and ultimately, how your company generates revenue.

But unfortunately, there are few and far between who know how to write sales copy that elicits immediate action. With so many differing opinions online on copywriting, it can get quite overwhelming - especially if you’re a one-person team.

Questions that keep you up at night may include:

  • Long copy or short copy?

  • Benefit-driven headline or promise-focused headline?

  • Multiple calls-to-action or just one?

It just goes on like a never-ending tunnel into the abyss. I mean, all you want is for your copy to convert. Is that too much to ask?

Too many businesses and beginner copywriters get fancy with their copy in an attempt to stand out. In reality, this leads to nothing but frustration, exhaustion, a lot of facepalms - and low conversions.

So, when it comes to long copy or short copy, which one is better? Well, consider this: users will read - at most - 28% of the words on any one of your pages. What’s more, users will often leave web pages in just 10-20 seconds. That’s it!

So, with that in mind, what can you do to keep your readers’ eyes on your copy for longer than just 10 seconds?

I’m here to help you learn how to write sales copy that’s short, compelling, and revenue-generating. Let’s go.

How to Write Sales Copy 101: Short or Long?

Let me ask you a question: Is it easier for you to gain weight or to lose weight?

I think it’s safe to say that losing weight is notoriously harder than gaining weight for everyone. Wouldn’t you agree?

In that case, I have another question: When crafting a sales page, what do you struggle with more: running out of things to say, or cutting out the crap?

If I were to guess, I’d say the cutting part is harder. Heck, sometimes it’s even harder than losing weight, if you ask me. 

You see, that’s the part most digital marketing agencies and other businesses struggle with as well. Most people have trouble cutting out the fat - no pun intended - than they do with piling it on. And that’s why their copy dies.

Apple founder Steve Jobs once said, 

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Your audience cannot and will not buy from you if they don’t understand you. And oftentimes, long copy is nothing more than undisciplined, unfocused copywriting at work.

In order to drive more traffic and increase your conversions, you have to know how to write sales copy that converts. And that starts with keeping it short.

Think about all the time and effort that you invest in creating your sales pages. You can’t afford to continue doing the same thing, with no substantial results to show for it.

So, when learning how to write sales copy, the first thing to know is your audience.

Know Exactly Who You’re Speaking To

The best copywriters know creating high-converting sales copy starts way before you start writing a single word.

“The amount of money you make is in direct proportion to how well you understand your customers.” - Dan Lok, business influencer

The clearer you are about your specific, ideal customer, the more effective your short copy will be.

Most sales copy you see online is long and drawn-out because proper market research wasn’t done. When you know your market inside out, you know what words, triggers, and targets to hit. That means your copy will be short and concise, without the need for fluff and filler words.

So research things like:

  • Demographics: age, gender, financial status, education, etc.

  • Psychographics: What does your audience read? Where do they consume their media? Who do they look up to? What are their beliefs?

  • Secret desires: self-esteem, ego, exclusivity, being desirable, etc.

  • Pain points: What keeps your audience up at night? What are they scared of? What are they suffering from?

Dan Lok says, “See what they see. Think what they think. Say what they say. Feel what they feel.”

That's right. You need to go deep. It’s the very first step on your path to dynamite sales copy.

Pick the "One" Over the "Many"

Have you ever started writing a piece of sales copy and found yourself overwhelmed with a waterfall of ideas? You think to yourself, "How can I fit all these ideas into my copy and make it come together smoothly?"

Well, the thing is, you don’t. When it comes to knowing how to write sales copy, this is one mistake that I see business owners make too often.

They’re just all over the place. Instead, in order for your copy to "stick", you need to choose

  • One idea.

  • One dominant emotion.

  • One streamlined thought.

Unfortunately, as much as we hate to admit it, we’re getting more and more distracted. It’s not a myth. You’ve heard it before: the human attention span falling below the attention span of a goldfish.

So, we’re competing with goldfish now.

Truth is, our brains are not equipped to handle multiple stimuli and ideas all at once. There needs to be some sort of harmony. It’s too mentally taxing to try to decipher numerous ideas in a single piece of copy. Instead, our brains stop trying.

The more thoughts, ideas or messages, the cloudier it gets.

Arguably, the world’s single most successful sales letter - with over $2 billion in sales - uses this exact technique in their copy. And, man, it is smooth like a knife through butter.

K.I.S.S. - Keep It Short, Silly

I’m willing to make a bet.

Take any credible copywriting or marketing resources you can find. I’ll guarantee that almost every single one - if not all - recommends using shorter sentences in your copy.

Why is that? It’s not a coincidence. It all goes back to our friend, the goldfish.

People are becoming less focused and more distracted. Your customers don’t want to put any extra effort into reading your copy. In other words, do the heavy lifting for them.

Marija Zivanovic-Smith, SVP of Corporate Marketing at NCR Corporation says, 

“I have said it before and will say it again: Use small words and short sentences. Everyday language helps to avoid confusion. Formulating brief, catchy, memorable copy that speaks to customers will capture their attention nearly every time. That is why Nike’s slogan, for example, stands the test of time.”

Short sentences and smaller paragraphs are easier to read and keep the reader moving fast through your message. Longer, chunkier paragraphs turn the reader off instantly. In your readers’ minds, they’re thinking, “This is a mountain too high to climb, so why bother?”

Short sentences also mean more whitespace. And more whitespace causes less strain on the eyes, which makes your copy a pleasure to read. For best readability, make sentences on your sales pages about 12 words or less.

Apple is a great example of effective, short, compelling sales copy. They’re masters of short sentences, without compromising substance.

For example, “The new iPad. Like a computer. Unlike any computer.”

Short and sweet.

And I have a hunch that Apple’s copy converts quite well.

Talk Like a Friend, Not a University Professor

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, Ltd., once said, 

“Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.”

Most people think using big words and making complicated connections make you appear smarter and more professional to others. In fact, it's just the opposite. Using big words and complicated language gives readers an impression of less transparency and arouses a feeling of distrust.

They simply can’t connect with you.

Ironically, using simple, everyday language makes you appear smarter to others. Why? Because you come across as trustworthy, relatable and transparent.

Using language and words that are hard to understand also decreases the readability of your copy.

With so much noise online and bombardment of marketing messages today, your customers are already overstimulated with information.

As a business owner, the lifeline of your business hangs on by the thread of market attention. Simple, conversational language is your only chance at getting through to your customers today.

Tools like Hemingway Editor are great because it’s almost like having your own personal copy editor by your side. It shortens and simplifies your copy to deliver the most impact, without all the fluff.

Sure, it doesn’t compare to having a professional copywriter or editor, but it does help, especially if you’re a one-person team.

You’ll thank me later.

Summary

Although learning how to write sales copy can sometimes seem intimidating, try to embrace it. It’s okay to make mistakes. That’s the beauty of copywriting; you learn as you earn.

But now you understand that in order to write masterful sales copy, you must:

  • Know exactly who you’re speaking to

  • Pick the "one" over the "many"

  • Keep your sentences and paragraphs short

  • Talk like a friend, not a university professor

Implementing these tips right away is sure to turn your long-winded copy into a short, compelling, revenue-generating machine!

If you’re looking to boost your conversions and revenue, a professional sales copywriter is the best investment you can make. They tick all the boxes above. They specialize in short, compelling copy, to make sure your message is heard loud and clear. Now you can focus on other revenue-generating activities for your company.

Book a call with us to see how a professional copywriter can help skyrocket your growth today.

Yusuf Kapoor

Yusuf Kapoor is a certified copywriter / content writer from Toronto, Ontario. He uses his writing to artfully transition cold traffic into loyal action-taking customers for his clients.His passion for writing engaging copy and connecting with his audience is what fuels him. Yusuf uses his skills in email marketing, funnels and profitable Facebook ad copy to help businesses scale.

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