Full disclosure – I prefer writing to tell. I tell my clients’ stories through articles, blog posts, case studies, and web content. I like leading the reader through a story about what a company is doing to help their clients, or describing the best way to achieve a certain goal.
However, it’s important to know how to write to sell – yourself, your company, your products and services, your specific solutions, etc. So, how do you sell with your writing?
Focus on benefits over features
Too many people focus on the features of a product of a service, and overlook the benefits. People buy based on how the product or service will benefit them. They don’t really care about its characteristics – they care about how it solves a problem.
What’s the difference between features and benefits?
- Features describe what a product is or has (e.g., This device has three ports).
- Benefits describe what the product does and how the user will gain as a result (e.g., This device enables users to connect three devices for greater efficiency).
When describing a product, list a benefit of every feature:
- Use the most important benefit as the main heading, and support it with the copy.
- Include the next 3-5 most important benefits in your copy.
Use a motivating sequence
When writing copy to sell, use a motivating sequence that pulls the reader in and gets them to buy or contact you to learn more.
- Get attention. Use the headline to focus on the strongest benefit. Include visuals to attract attention as well.
- Show a need. Show the reader why they need your product using the headline and supporting copy.
- Satisfy the need. Position your product as the solution to the need.
- Offer proof. Prove your product can do what you say it can do – discuss the benefits, use testimonials, compare your product to the competitors, cite evidence, show reliability of your company, etc.
- Ask for action. Tell the reader what to do next – send in a coupon, visit your website, email their order, etc. Give an incentive to respond now.
Create a unique selling proposition
To get people to buy, you must show how your product has a major benefit not offered by your competitors. This is your unique selling proposition.
How do you do that?
- Make sure your headline offers a benefit.
- Differentiate your product from similar products.
- Ensure that the differentiator matters to the reader.
Do you need help with writing to tell or sell? Let me know – email@example.com.