There are many important elements and guidelines for effective copywriting. And among those who write copy for the business world, there are different viewpoints on which would be the most important.
In my testing experience, “the offer” is the most vital — at least in terms of generating actual revenue. The offer is how you are presenting what it is you are selling (product or service).
Although some argue that the headline is the most important element of copywriting because it is the first point of contact with potential visitors, in my experience, no matter how many individuals you drive to your offer through an effective headline, you will not capitalize on that traffic without an effective offer.
Conversely, if you have a weak headline for an email or direct mail piece or print ad, you can still convert the visitors that do arrive to your offer -– as long as you have an effective offer!
Of course, the headline is very important, and it would not make sense to craft a weak headline and a strong offer.
Split-Testing different headlines to determine which is the best headline to attract visitors, should be done in conjunction with testing which offer is the most appealing to your visitors for generating sales. In fact, a heavier emphasis should be given towards testing the offer.
Here are a few traditional components for crafting an offer:
Presenting Something New
- Rightly or wrongly, consumers are more interested in “new” stuff as opposed to old stuff, even if old stuff might be better. What can you present as “new”?
- Positioning any product or service for a reduced cost is the surest way to boost sales.
Premium or Bonus
- Including bonuses for “buying now” are an effective way to sweeten any offer.
Limited Time Offer
- Making any offer available for a limited time will inspire some potential customers who are sitting on the fence to “Buy Now,” which is always a good thing, since so many transactions that don’t occur “now” will simply never occur.
- If you can introduce people to your products or service for free, so they can experience the real value you are presenting, you will eliminate the major obstacle that potential customers have when considering a purchase: “Am I going to get ripped off?” Of course, a percentage of those users who take advantage of your free trial will never become clients or customers anyway, but the percentage of those that DO give you money for your offer will be higher overall than if you didn’t offer a free trial.
Buy Now, Pay Later
- “Multiple payment” options, and “buy now, pay later” also lower the barrier of uncertainty among potential customers. This tends to work best for large ticket items: the perceived cost is reduced by breaking up an expensive purchase into multiple smaller payments.
The best offer includes many of these ingredients. In fact, whenever I write a sales letter, landing page or email copy for a client, I will attempt to include as many of the above elements as possible to craft a number of powerful offers, and then test them to see which is the best!
Avid hiker, bicyclist, motorcyclist and long-time advertising pro. Founder of Skyworks Marketing, Nonprofit Fire and Our Ventura TV (cable TV). One career highlight was working on a small team that built a business from nothing to over $100 Million in 3 years. Skyworks Marketing provides lead generation and video advertising services. We create custom marketing funnels that provide the highest-quality leads and sales.