Entries from April 2014 ↓

How to Create an Irresistable Offer

You know how offers work. how to write an offer

You have to hit the spot if it’s to have any effect.

But how do you make sure you find the right spot and hit it?

It all comes down to understanding your audience.

The following 7 tips will help you work out whom they are and what you need to say to make them want to buy.

7 ways to create an irresistible offer

1. Audience

If you don’t know who your audience is, your offer is dead in the water.

Let’s face it if you’re trying to sell acne cream, you’re going to have more luck with hormonal teenagers who are desperate to find a wonder product that will leave their skin blemish free, than if you were addressing senior citizens.

Understanding your audience, the problems they have and what it is they really want is essential when formulating your offer.

2. Value

The next thing to think about is the perceived value of your offer.

To make it irresistible it must be greater than the cost of the item. That’s why offers from companies like Groupon work so well. Who’s going to turn down a spa break that’s 80% off the normal price?

3. I want one!

Have you noticed that when the latest games console, iPhone, or designer outfit is launched there’s a sudden buying frenzy?

The reason behind that is twofold. Initially, you have the ‘I must be the first to own it’ crowd who rush out and queue up at an ungodly hour just to be one of the first to have it. Then, as all your friends who fall into that category use the item and tell everyone how great it is, you don’t want to be left out. After all, if all those people bought it, it must be good – right?

This is one of the strongest buying motivators – if hundreds, thousands or even millions of people have bought the product, the perception is that it must be good resulting in even more people buying it.

4. Take away their pain

Most of the time, people are looking for a solution to a problem.

But more than that, they also want to experience pleasure in its place. So not only does your offer have to take away the pain they are feeling, it also has to make their life better.

Holidays, as an example, just offer pleasure. But an offer for balding men to help them regain their lost lustrous locks and so become more attractive to women not only solves their problem (hair loss), it also comes with added benefits (extra female attention).

5. Keep in simple

The one thing you don’t want to do is make your offer so complicated it puts people off.

Stick with the good old ‘2 for 1’ or ‘become an expert at the Waltz in a week’ – something that is easy to understand.

6. Guarantee

Your offer is nothing without a great guarantee.

Money is tight, so people will be more inclined to buy your product if they know they are covered should it turn out not to be what they wanted. Plus, it will help build trust. After all, if you’re happy to give a no quibble money back guarantee you must have confidence in your product.

7. Incentives

The buying public are a canny bunch and might need a bit more persuasion to part with their hard earned cash.

That’s where incentives come in. There are 2 main types:

  • Exclusivity – only a certain class can afford it
  • Scarcity – stock is limited in number, or the offer is only available for a certain time period

Both of these have the effect of dangling a carrot in front of your audience, giving them the final nudge they need to buy.

Coming up with a winning offer takes a lot of thought and research and key is how well you understand your audience.


Author – Sally Ormond, copywriter, mum, cyclist, chief dog walker and cook.

What is Customer Engagement and How Do You Get It?

You hear it all the time: if you want to sell you have to engage with your customers; your content must engage your customers; or your blogs must be engaging. engaging content

OK, I get it. My writing must be engaging, but what exactly does that mean?

Well there are 2 types of content: that which asks the reader to take an action (sign up, buy now, click on a link); and the type that encourages interaction, comments and social sharing.

That second type of content is the engaging one because it starts a conversation.

How to write engaging content

Before you can learn how to write engaging content for your blog, you must first take some time out to understand what it is your audience wants.

After all, if you don’t give them stuff they’re interested in they’re not going to spend time reading it. And if they’re not reading it they won’t comment on it, share it, like it or anything else.

So, if you’ve set up your blog as a thinly veiled cover for lead and sales generation, you’re in trouble because your readers aren’t stupid and they won’t keep coming back to read your content.

Your writing has to give them what they want – that means ideas, great information, tips and hints, in fact anything that will start a conversation and give them something for nothing.

Types of engaging content

Although you can generate a lot of traffic by writing top tens of this and top tips for that, they don’t tend to be the posts that generate the engagement you want.

Having said that it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them, just don’t use them exclusively. You must mix them up with other types of content.

Try writing opinion pieces, but be genuine. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Yes, you might offend some people, but others will be inspired by your honesty and respond to you with their own thoughts. If they do – bingo – a conversation has started.

Believe it or not, people do actually want to know about what you think, especially if you’re seen as an expert in your field. They’ll keep coming back for your opinions and, because you’re being open and honest, they’ll feel your blog is a safe place to air their views too.

The conversations will grow, the sharing will increase and before you know it you’ve got a shed load of engaging content.

So, if you want traffic and just traffic go for top lists and tips. If you want engaging copy that is shared, commented on and keeps bringing people back, write questioning posts and opinion pieces.

Author: Sally Ormond, copywriter at Briar Copywriting, blogger, tweeter and wine lover.


Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos/Graeme Weatherston

9 Ways to Keep Your Website Up to Date

Sprucing up your website doesn’t have to mean a full redesign every few years. There are some less evasive things that can be done to freshen it up and make sure it is performing well. website spring clean

Just like spring cleaning your house, an annual dusting of your website will make sure it remains responsive, SEO friendly and continues to give your customers what they want.

Here are 9 things you can do to keep your website in tiptop condition.

1. Code

If, like me, you have no idea what all those strange letters, numbers and symbols mean behind the scenes, you may want to get someone in to help you with this one.

Cleaner and more organised code means a faster website that loads in a flash and is easier for the search engines to crawl.

2. Title tags and META descriptions

If you have an SEO strategy, you’re probably already tweaking these on a regular basis.

Your title tag lets the search engines know what your web page is about, so make sure you review this regularly. Likewise with your META description, although not a factor in SEO, it must be relevant and appealing to your customers. If you’re not sure what it is, the META description is the short piece of blurb that comes under your URL in the search results. It’s important that it speaks to the reader, highlights the benefits you offer and contains a call to action. The only issue is you have just 160 characters to play with, so you’ll have to get creative.

3. Alt tags

Yes, more tags. The Alt tags are the ones you find behind the images you use on your website. During your review, make sure every image has a tag, but that doesn’t mean you should be stuffing them with keywords. Every tag should be relevant to the image.

Plus, where you have your logo on your website, make sure it’s Alt tag contains your company name or website.

4. Images

Once you’ve reviewed the coding behind your images it’s time to look at the image itself. Are your photos and graphics still relevant? Are they looking a bit dated? What about the size of them? The file size will have a huge impact on the loading time of your website, so if at all possible compress them to give your users a better, faster experience.

5. Call to action

Take a look at your calls to action.

Are they working?

Are your website visitors being converted into customers? If the answer is no, or you’re looking for a high conversion rate, your call to action is a great place to start.

Did you know that Dell increased sales by $25million just by changing their “Learn more” call to action to “Help me choose”? So if you’re not already doing so, test different calls to action to find the one that works best for you.

6. Navigation

The navigation bar on your website is the map your visitors use to find their way round. Check to make sure it is clear and easy to follow. It’s also a good opportunity to make sure it aligns with your SEO strategy.

7. Compatibility

More and more people are accessing the Internet through their mobile phones, so it’s essential your website is mobile friendly.

8. Refresh

While you’re reviewing all these aspects, why not add in something new. How about an explainer video or infographic? Adding fresh content to your website is a must whether it’s a video, graphic, article, report or series of blogs.

9. Does it work?

One of the main reasons websites fall short of the mark is because they are designed and written by people within the business.

Think about it – you’re business is your baby and you’re going to want to shout about it to everyone. But what are your customers looking for? Certainly not your euphoric ramblings about how great you are.

They want to know what you can do for them, which is why it’s a great idea to get someone from outside your company to read your content, follow your navigation and generally ‘play’ with your site to see if it tells them what they need to know.

This exercise is also a good way to check for broken links.

Creating and publishing your website isn’t a one off activity. It’s vital you revisit your site regularly to make sure it’s keeping up with technology and the needs of your customers.

Bookmark this article and diarise regularly to review your website and keep it in tiptop condition.

Author: Sally Ormond, copywriter at Briar Copywriting Ltd, cyclist and Big Bang Theory fan.

How an Explainer Video Will Help Your Business

What’s an explainer video?

It’s a great tool that quickly gets across the message about the benefits of your product or service to your audience.

Hmm…that sums up this whole post really. But as it’s a bit short, let’s have a think about how to make your explainer video as powerful as possible.

You already know how much Google loves video marketing, so the addition of an explainer video on your website, YouTube channel and social media platforms has to be a good thing.

A couple of examples

Here’s one I produced for my copywriting services business:

In about 90 seconds it shows the viewer the benefits of using a freelance copywriter.

This is one I scripted for a client:

Again, in 90 seconds the viewer knows what the service is what it can do for them.

How long should an explainer video be?

People have short attention spans, so you’re looking at anything between 90 – 120 seconds.

How should the video be shot?

It depends on your business and the product or service you’re talking about.

Both of the above examples have gone down the animated route because it’s a simple and effective way to get the message across.

You can also use a real person presenting, add music or even use slides.

The main thing is to think about your customers and would what appeal to them.

What about the script?

The scripting of your video is one of the most important elements of the whole process.

One mistake many companies make when writing their own, is they go into too much detail creating something that’s way too long and detailed.

The trick it to keep your script short, to the point and simple. Using only a few words, you have to get across the main benefits of your product or service in a fun and memorable way.

It’s important to remember that the images will probably come after the script, so it’s important to keep the visuals in mind when writing your content.

If you landed on a website would you rather see an entertaining and well thought out explainer video, or a screen full of text?

Of course, you can also use explainer videos as ‘how to’ guides to extend your customer service.

They are a valuable addition to your marketing strategy so why not give them a go? They don’t have to cost the earth and can produce some impressive results.


How to Create and Run a Successful Website

successful website

You might think I’m about to launch into a thinly veiled sales pitch for professional copywriting services well I’m not. In fact this post has nothing to do with copywriting at all.

There’s more to a successful website that it’s content (although that is a very big piece of the puzzle).

In fact, there’s one mistake companies make over and over again.

You see it on a huge scale.

Want to know what it is?

They try too hard to be pretty.

Function over form

Most business websites are designed for beauty rather than achieving the business’s goals.

The business aims always seem to settle at the bottom of the pile of priorities just because it is perceived that a pretty website will win over a functional one.


When was the last time you chose a company because of its beautiful website?

Think about the big players like Google and Amazon. Are their websites stunningly, jaw-droppingly beautiful?

No. They are functional and give the user exactly what they want.

Oh, look at that, I used the word ‘user’.


Because that is who your website should be aimed at.

Sure, you want to be proud of your company’s website, but isn’t it better to be proud of a website that offers its customers exactly what they want quickly and easily rather than one that looks nice?

The only reason you should put looks before functionality is if that’s truly what your customers want (somehow I doubt it).

Constant testing

How will you know if your website is working its hardest for you if you’re not testing it?

The content, images, graphics, sign-up and order forms all need testing. Only once your website is up and running will you find out what works for your customers and what doesn’t.

The big boys are constantly testing their site’s calls to action, headings, colours, images and content to hone it to perfection.

Even the smallest details can have a huge impact on your conversion, after all Dell increased their sales by a massive $25 million simply by swapping their ‘Learn more’ call to action for ‘Help me choose.’

Step by step

Through testing you’ll identify what needs changing, but that doesn’t mean taking your website off line while you make major changes.

Small changes can be made while your website is live. Monitoring your analytics will help you see what’s working and what’s not so you can keep tweaking until you get the results you want.

That way, your website will evolve into a strong site that gives your customers exactly what they want without experiencing any downtime.

So how can you create and run a successful website?


  • Design it to fulfil your primary purpose and not to make it look pretty
  • Test everything
  • Make small changes to keep your website live at all times

Author: Sally Ormond of Briar Copywriting Ltd – the world’s fastest pedal-powered copywriter (probably).