Entries from August 2009 ↓

How to Make It Easier For Your Customers To Buy

A Freelance copywriter understands that copywriting is all about writing for your reader. But did you know the way you structure your payment offers can also have a positive effect on the number of sales you make?

That doesn’t mean how you take payment (i.e. credit cards, cheque, PayPal etc.) but rather allowing your customers to try before they buy, pay later etc.

Listed below are 6 suggestions that will help you increase your sales:

  1. Try before you buy

Let your customers try a free sample or shortened version of your product. By offering them something with only a few benefits (rather than the full version) they will be enticed to buy the full version to get all the benefits.

  1. Let them choose their price

I haven’t gone mad. I don’t literally mean let them pay what they want. Simply list your original product and price and also offer another product for a slightly higher price. You can produce as many levels as you like and then your customer is free to choose whichever is right for them.

  1. Free trial

This is a classic. The free trial option demonstrates your own confidence in your product or service and therefore it will sell itself.

  1. Give something back

Offering a cash back rebate of, say 10% will help boost your sales. Plus, most customers will probably forget to send off for their rebate.

  1. Pay later

By allowing the choice of buying now, pay later you’ll prevent the loss of customers who can’t afford to buy your product or service at that particular time.

  1. Just a little at a time

This one goes nicely with number 5. As well as delaying payment you can also offer paying in instalments. Again this avoids losing those customers who may not be able to pay the full amount straight away.

Why don’t you give one or two of these a try?

Headlines that Work

Your headline is the hook that will get someone to read your blog post or article. Every freelance copywriter understands its importance, as should any writer out there. The problem is that when writers discover a headline that works it tends to be used to death. At the moment there are loads of ‘How to’ and list headlines (yes, they even feature on this blog) so now maybe the time has come to find a few different angles.

Brian Clark of Copyblogger has devised a useful selection of alternative headlines which will help your copywriting by injecting it with a new batch of attention-grabbing winners.

1. Who Else Wants [blank]?

Starting a headline this way is a classic strategy that suggests there is already a desire for the product or service. It may be becoming overused in internet marketing but it still works well for other subject matter:

  • Who Else Wants a Great Blog Template Design?
  • Who Else Wants a Higher Paying Job?
  • Who Else Wants More Fun and Less Stress When on Vacation?

2. The Secret of [blank]

This is also used quite a lot but mainly because it works. Why do readers like this? Because you are sharing insider knowledge and translating it into a benefit for them.

  • The Secret of Successful Podcasting
  • The Secret of Protecting Your Assets in Litigation
  • The Secret of Getting Your Home Loan Approved

3. Here is a Method That is Helping [blank] to [blank]

This one is simple. All you do is identify your target audience and the benefit you can provide them and fill in the blanks.

  • Here is a Method That is Helping Homeowners Save Hundreds on Insurance
  • Here is a Method That is Helping Children Learn to Read Sooner
  • Here is a Method That is Helping Bloggers Write Better Post Titles

4. Little Known Ways to [blank]

This is a less common way of accomplishing the same thing as ‘The Secret of…’

  • Little Known Ways to Save ib Your Heating Bill
  • Little Known Ways to Lose Weight Quickly and Safely

5. Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All

This is a classic that identifies a problem or unfulfilled desire that the reader wants to remedy.

  • Get Rid of Your Unproductive Work Habits Once and For All
  • Get Rid of That Carpet Stain Once and For All

6. Here’s a Quick Way to [solve a problem]

Everyone loves a quick and easy way to solve a nagging problem.

  • Here’s a Quick Way to Get Over a Cold
  • Here’s a Quick Way to Potty Train Your Child
  • Here’s a Quick Way to Backup Your Hard Drive

7. Now You Can Have [something desireable] [great circumstance]

This is the priceless ‘have your cake and eat’ it headline.

  • Now You Can Quit Your Job and Make Even More Money
  • Now You Can Own a Cool Mac and Still Run Windows

8. [Do something] like [world-class example]

Gatorade milked this one fully with the “Be Like Mike” campaign featuring Michael Jordan in the early 1990s.

  • Speak Spanish Like a Diplomat
  • Party Like Paris Hilton
  • Blog Like an A-Lister

9. Have a [or] Build a [blank] You Can Be Proud Of

Appeal to your reader’s vanity, dissatisfaction or shame.

  • Build a Body You Can Be Proud Of
  • Have a Smile You Can Be Proud Of
  • Build a Blog Network You Can Be Proud Of

10. What Everybody Ought to Know About [blank]

This one draws on your reader’s natural curiosity.

  • What Everybody Ought to Know About ASP
  • What Everybody Ought to Know About Adjustable Rate Mortgages
  • What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Great Headlines.

The Copywriter Reveals the Great Debate: You vs We

Website copy – brochure copy – email content – newsletters – sales letters etc.

It doesn’t matter what you are writing copy for, if it isn’t effective, interesting and commanding it won’t have the desired effect.

The copy you are writing is designed to be read by your potential clients. Therefore it should always address them and their needs.

What is the simplest and most effective way of doing that?

By using the words you, yours, you’re and your.

I want to ‘we’

Well if you do you’ll become very lonely. The one thing that I see again and again are websites (and brochures etc.) that constantly bang on about the company.

“We were established in 1989….”

“We utilise the full range of skills offered by our diverse workforce….”


Remember what I said earlier? You are writing for your potential clients. They are reading your copy therefore it should address them.

Tell them how you will help them.

“The comprehensive financial review will save you time….”

Your life will become so much easier when you buy….”

“An effective website will make your company standout and get you noticed….”

See how much better that sounds? You are talking directly to your reader. You are showing them exactly what you can do for them. They will be able to see at a glance that yours is a company that puts their needs first – a company that cares.

So, when you’re next writing some marketing material remember, ditch the we and go for you.

7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Writing

This is the first guest blog written by Jamie Hudson a freelance copywriter based in the Midlands. In this post he writes about the simple steps you can take to improve your writing. Hopefully this will be the first of many guest blogs to be featured on FreelanceCopywritersBlog.

Do you have something to say about copywriting or marketing? If so get in touch with your ideas and perhaps you too can appear here on a guest bloggers slot.

But now, without further ado here are Jamie’s 7 easy ways to improve your writing.


Everyone needs to be able to write well.

It will help in every area of your life, professionally and personally. It will help you to recognise good writing in your own advertising and marketing communications. And spot bad writing which is harming your brand, proposition and offer.

It will help you to communicate more effectively with your colleagues, business partners and outside suppliers. Use these guidelines and you’ll be able to write better creative briefs, internal documents, proposals, complaint letters, even love letters to your partner.

The ability to write well is vitally important for all of us. After all, if you can’t say what you mean, how can you mean what you say?

These seven tips can be applied to any kind of writing. They will give you a set of guidelines you can refer to.

1. Never, ever try to be clever

    Communicate your thoughts and feelings, your views and opinions as simply and clearly as possible. You are not trying to show everyone how clever you are. If you come up with a word or phrase that you are particularly proud of, cut it out immediately.  Any piece of writing should make the reader think, ‘Great, I want that product now,’ or ‘That strategy is spot on – let’s do it’, or ‘That’s a cracking brief’

    Not, ‘Wow, that’s really clever.’

    2. Read it out loud

      By reading aloud you’ll see if it flows nicely and leads smoothly from one point to the next. You’ll also quickly discover any passages which hold up the flow and need cutting or rewriting. And remember, a piece of advertising copy shouldn’t sound like advertising copy. If it does, rewrite it. 

      3. Give us a KISS

        It’s a much-used acronym, but one of my favourites: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

        Use short, simple words, not long, complicated ones. Use short sentences. Did you know that the easiest to read sentence is eight words long? While sentences of more than 32 words are very difficult for most people to take in.

        Use short paragraphs with only one thought per paragraph. In particular, try to ensure that the first paragraph is no longer than one sentence.

        While we’re talking about simplicity, lots of writers think that if they’re writing about complicated subjects, they have to use complicated language. Not so. The Wall Street Journal is written in a language that’s understandable to a 17-year old. But not the front cover. That’s meant to be understood by a 15-year old.

        4. Mind your language

          In almost every type of writing, you should use words that ordinary people use every day. Sit on the bus or tube and listen to people talking. Hear the kind of words that they use. For example people don’t undertake things. They carry them out. Or better still, do them. Get the idea?

          Oh, and forget jargon too.

          5. Don’t use that tone of voice with me.

            Tone of voice – when it’s right, you don’t notice it and you take in the message. When it’s wrong, it’s irritating and you feel either talked down to, or up to which is just as bad. Above all, always try to write in the language of the person you’re writing to. The language they themselves will use every day.

            6. Your most powerful word.

              So what’s the most powerful word in any kind of writing? Suppose you’re inspiring your colleagues, selling a product online, writing a DM pack or wooing a lover – what’s the one word they want to hear more than any other?

              Free is good.

              So are Save and Save money.

              Even New will attract attention.

              But the best word you can use is You. Along with Yours and Your.

              7. Get a freelance copywriter to write your copy for you.

                Power to the Blogger

                OK, how many of you realise the potential a blog could have for your business?

                Out of those who put your hand up, how many of you actually blog to help generate traffic to your main website and raise your profile?

                I thought as much. Blogging is one of those things that most of us know we should be doing. Most of us realise that it is one of the best ways to generate traffic and links to your business site. But few of us actually take time out to create one and make it work.

                I guess the biggest barriers to blogging regularly and well are time and energy. When you throw into the mix the fact that results are slow and only become apparent over time, people give up before they’ve even got started.

                Blogging well takes time and patience, but it is well worth it.

                If you have a blog but don’t think it’s working for you take a look at this recent post on Copyblogger and make sure you’re not committing any of the 7 deadly sins to blogging.