How To Write Sales Copy – Research

To write copy that will generate the maximum volume of sales for your product, you need to know as much as possible about your product and about your customers.

How To Research Your Sales Copy

The first step in writing good sales copy is research.

You have to fully understand the product you’re going to be writing about.

And you have to know who your target customers are.

In fact, there are four essentials you MUST be clear about before you even begin writing your sales copy.

These are:

  • Your product’s features
  • The benefits your product can give your customers
  • Who your customers are, and
  • Why they will want to buy your product

What Are The Features of Your Product?

Everything starts with your product. Or more to be more precise, with the features of your product.

You won’t actually be selling your product via the features themselves.  What you will be doing is to sell the BENEFITS of those features to the customers.

This is because people always care more about benefits than they do about features. Benefits are the real reasons people buy products.

So to get to the benefits of what you are selling we first need to list all the features of the product.

If you’re the manufacturer or creator of the product or service, chances are you already know your product’s features inside and out.

In this case it should be an easy matter to list the features, explain how the product works, and what it does.  And you’ll most likely be familiar with the benefits your product provides to your customers.

If it’s a third-party product then you may need to spend more time on this task. Perhaps see the product demonstrated and get hold of a sample copy. Also make sure you read all the product literature.

You must also decide which of those features are the most important or unique to your product versus the products of the competition.

This will enable you to identify a USP or unique selling proposition for the product. A USP is something unique about your product which your competitor products don’t have.

What Are The Benefits of Your Product?

The next step: work out the benefits to the customer that derive from the features of the product.

Some of the features may have more than one benefit for the customer.

Some benefits may only be of use to some customers, and less to others, depending upon their specific needs.

You might also find that some features you thought offered benefits to customers are actually of little or no real benefit to your customers in practice.

Just note them all down.

It’s sometimes hard to work out all the benefits for all the features.

A technique I find useful is to ask questions. For example: what is the problem the product can solve, and how does the feature help the customer?

Features are the technical aspects of the product, whilst the benefits are what these features can actually achieve for the customer. They tell you where the value is.

Who Are Your Customers?

Next identify exactly for whom the product is intended. Who are the customers?

You need to know this because how you write your sales copy depends whom you are selling to. Who your customers are determine how you need to talk to them, what aspects will need emphasizing and how you can best encourage them to buy.

Different groups of consumers have different priorities, expectations and requirements.  You need to take these differences into account in how you write your sales copy.

You need to know the answers to these questions:

Who is currently buying your product?

What are the characteristics of your customers? This means things like age, sex, income, location, and so on.

Who do you want to sell the product to? And do you want to increase sales to this same group, or do you want to sell to a new different group of customers?

What Do Customers Like Most About Your Product?

What do your current customers like most about your product?

What are the rational reasons customers give for buying the product?

And what are the irrational, more hidden, subconscious reasons why they buy?

Why did they buy in the first place, and why do they keep coming back?

There can be many reasons. For example, status associated with owning or using the product, competitive price, having a respected, authoritative brand, image, brand snobbery, a particular product feature that delivers a strong benefit, and so on.

It’s important to get this information because it’s one of the keys to writing sales copy that will convert well.

So, once you’ve done all the above research you will have a good idea of

  • The features and benefits of the product
  • The single most important benefit for the majority of your customers
  • Who your customers are
  • Why your customers buy the product, and,
  • The biggest single reason your customers buy