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Product Messaging: How to write effective copy to drive sales

Do you feel like your website could use some love in terms of its sales copy? Are you frustrated by how confusing or inconsistent the text and descriptions in your product pages are?

Then you are one of thousands of business owners and marketers who feel the pain.

You recognize the importance of a snappy website that will tell the story of your brand. How having product descriptions that deliver the one-two-punch in five seconds or less is critical for driving sales. 

You’re thinking – strong differentiation, value proposition and messages that speak to your audience are everything.

But this kind of copywriting coming to you naturally feels as unnatural as getting out of bed at 3 am to run.

How can you craft relevant messages and high-converting value propositions into one perfect, fool-proof sales page copy?

Believe it or not, even if you have never considered yourself a writer, this is possible. 

Thanks to certain systems and frameworks, you can come up with messaging that reflects your audience’s pain, needs and motivation – one that will prompt them to hit that “Buy now” button. These systems and frameworks are what elite copywriters use to weave their target audience’s narrative into the sales page.

The Copy Teardown

Copy is the language and text you use on your website.

As the name suggests, a “Copy Teardown” refers to re-assessing your existing copy. Is it clear and consistent? Does it speak to your audience?

A teardown doesn’t mean aiming to get as many red marks and strike-throughs on a page as possible. Instead of aiming to “rewrite”, think of it as a gap analysis – find out where your copy may not be working.

How? You ask.

Elite copywriters use these frameworks below:

Credits: Momoko Price 

As MEClab’s Conversion Sequence Heuristic formula looks complicated and mathematical (it’s not), I’ll hold off on sharing it until I tell you what it’s all about. 

MEClab defines the Conversion Sequence Heuristic formula as “a framework of five factors on which to focus your optimization energy.” 

The biggest factor for influencing conversion into your copy is motivation – why, when, what your target audience is expecting when they land on your webpage. 

Motivation reflects their desired outcomes, pain points and problems, purchase prompts (or events that urged them to look for a product). While motivation is completely within the audience’s circle of control (and you cannot do much to change it), you can influence other elements within the formula, like Value.

Value proposition reflects your product’s unique benefits and advantages, delightful product features, and deal-breaker needs and requirements (or that lightbulb in your audience’s head that makes them say – I want this!) When doing your teardown, ask yourself: am I clear about my value proposition, highlighting it in a way that tells the audience that they need to buy my product? This is where your quick win lies.

Other factors that can influence conversion, aka your audience’s decision to buy your product, are the following:

Incentive – what can the audience get from buying your products? Are there discounts, exclusivity, dedicated customer support?

Friction – is there anything that hinders your website visitor from purchasing your product? This can be anything from filling up a long form, to navigating your sales page and looking for the right buttons, or a long shopping cart process.

Anxiety – refers to any concern your audience may have about purchasing a product in your website. Do they feel secure leaving their credit card details in your website? Do they think delivery may take longer than other products, or that your price may be higher than your competitors?

Now that you know these five elements, here’s the formula:

You will see that the higher the number next to the letter is, the bigger the influence they have on the probability of conversion. And that the more you reduce the friction and anxiety among your target audience, the more likely they are to buy your product.

A bit mathematical, but not that complicated right?

If you’d like to know more about the formula, you may read it through MEClab’s page.

Message Mining and Swiping

Message mining is the process of collecting opinions, statements and ideas about your product or competitor products from your target customer. 

It’s all about writing your copy straight from the horses’ mouth. What are your users and target audience saying about your product? 

Dig through your product reviews, given that you already have customers or visitors. Read them one-by-one and make an outline of common themes, keywords, and narratives. They may have had experiences or pain points that you would never have imagined.

“Swipe” memorable copy. It’s all about using customers’ exact words and narrative with impunity! Look for any keywords, phrases, or sentences that describe your product from their eyes. Weave them into your sales page’s copy and product descriptions. Find out multiple benefits and their key reasons to buy. 

Conduct surveys, polls, interviews and even user tests to get a bigger grasp on your customers’ perspective – what they feel and why they need your product.

Create an outline of common themes and keywords. Find out which element of the aforementioned conversion formula they pertain to (motivation, anxiety, value?). Score them according to your customers’ motivation and how they will match your unique value proposition – or the main reasons to buy.

Know where your unique value proposition lies so you can highlight it throughout your messages.

Message Hierarchy

Much like telling a story, crafting your copy has to reflect the classic story framework (narrative arc). Remember lessons from your school days?

Writing a copy is pretty much the same thing. But instead of these classic elements, we can think of them in marketing terms:

This is the best way to think of how to prioritize and order your messaging:

  1. Clarify their motivation
  2. Build up with value and demonstrating how your product addresses their motivation
  3. Address any anxiety
  4. Peak with the call-to-action with incentives
  5. Follow-through with supporting messages post-transaction

It is also important to adjust your messaging according to the awareness level of your audience.

If they have low product awareness or haven’t heard much about your brand, then you need to have a longer build-up that addresses motivation and value.

You need a longer-form copy to establish who you are, why they need you, how you can offer value, and how you can reassure them that buying you is one of the best decisions they’ll make in life.

What’s Next

This article is scratching the surface of product messaging and conversion copywriting. Massive credits to Momoko Price for the screenshots from her CXL Product Messaging Course. There are templates available that will help you map out your messaging mining and hierarchies, as well as more tips on how to draft your first copy. I’m more than happy to share with you so if you’d like a copy or have any questions, email me@tinasendin.com or connect with me on LinkedIn


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