5 Advanced Copywriting Tips

On Thursday night I’ll be meeting superstar copywriter Robert Phillips for dinner, and while I won’t be recording our conversation, I’ll bring you some of his tips on Monday, or maybe even in Friday’s QnA email.
Fortunately I did recall a call with Robert a couple of months ago – for my Mastermind group – and recently I went through and summarized his 5 top tips for closing the sale with good copy.
According to Robert, it’s all about having a powerful call to action.
So naturally, I asked him to explain.
Here’s what he said…
1) Do NOT be a wuss
If you’ve made a great sales presentation, you’ve got the problem agitation and now you’re offering the solution.
Make sure that you explicitly ask for the order and give clear directions, because a lot of people shy away from asking for the order.  They never really say “Order Now”.
With your call to action just make it clear what you want people to do.
2) Use (legitimate) urgency and scarcity
Those are effective strategies for getting people to act now.
A couple of ways you could do urgency would be maybe “The first 200 people to respond get in at $47 plus they get some kind of super bonus. But if you’re number 201 the bonus disappears and the price rises to $97”.
It’s pretty easy to figure out who’s number 201 where the price will kind of automatically jump up to that.
That motivates people, because people tend to be motivated more by the fear of loss than the prospected gain.
So they’re sitting there thinking, “Oh my, if I wait then I might miss out on that $47 plus the bonus.”
If you are advertising a seminar with a limited number of seats available, or selling DVD’s with only a limited number produced, both are real forms of scarcity and need to be highlighted in your copy.
3) You should definitely have a PS, or a postscript
The PS is the second most read part of the sales letter, and the headline is number one (of course).
A lot of people are skimmers and they’ll just skin through the copy until they reach and read the PS.
Knowing that, use that to your advantage. In the PS you should restate the offer, guarantee, and call to action as clearly and concisely as possible. If you can work in
scarcity and urgency, all the better.
4) Challenge Close
There are times where it might be appropriate to challenge your readers, to “call them out” you could say.
For example, in a recent Ryan Deiss video sales letter, Ryan said something like:
“There are three types of people in the world.  The first type makes things happen, the second type watches things happen and the third type wonders what happened. So which type are you?”
It challenges the reader/viewer to take action…Are you going to sit around and let things happen or are you going to make things happen?
You’re challenging people into taking action.
5) Follow-up With Your Prospects Who Don’t Buy
If possible, you want to capture the email addresses of people who visited your sales page but didn’t order.
For those folks, you’ll create a follow-up email sequence.
Robert, the expert copywriter for Glazer-Kennedy, uses something like this:
“Think about the following. The most successful people are usually the quickest to take advantage of opportunities because they know that complacency is the enemy of both security and progress.
“They understand that the time will never be right to take the action that lifts you up to higher achievement.
“The cliché is true.  Time waits for no one, there are always ample reasons to wait, and the overwhelming and unsuccessful majority do just that.
“But this is a time of rapid change, difficult challenges and enormous opportunity all best confronted by acting now, not by waiting. So take action today and complete your order”.
This sales piece also includes a PS that says, “There are all sorts of decisions you can make about this that have no upside potential whatsoever. All sorts of excuses you can make for those decisions. And the harsh truth is they speak to your true intentions.
“If you’re truly serious about…,” and then you just insert your benefits.
For example:
“If you’re truly serious about getting six-pack abs then there’s only one decision offering enormous upside potential. Don’t procrastinate, don’t be the kind of person who sits on the sidelines and watches as others achieve the kind of success you deserve. Take action now.”
So that’s a real life example to spur people to get off their butt and take action now.
Thanks Robert, and I’ll see you at dinner on Thursday night.
By the way, if you’re new to InternetIndependence.com, and haven’t listened to my sales copy audio call, you can do so for free here:
(Scroll down, the link to the call is at the bottom of that page.)
Learn something new everyday,
Craig Ballantyne
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines
what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz
  • A couple questions:

    – I’m coming off of a product launch and the price has already increased so I’m curious as to how to create a similar sense of genuine urgency. Of couse, adding a time limited bonus is possible, but doesn’t this leave us creating a new bonus every week or so?

    – Technical question regarding email capture: If someone signs up for a bonus on the sales page (which leads to the follow up email sequence), but then purchases the product is there any way to automate the process of taking them from the “follow up” list to the “buyers” list? Or do you even bother with this?

    • Anonymous

      1) You don’t have to change a bonus every week. It could be every couple of months. Something has to change.

      2) I don’t understand the 2nd question.

  • Sorry about the confusion. I’ll try to clarify.

    When someone comes to my sales page and makes a purchase their email is added to a list of people who have bought the product.

    But let’s say someone comes to the sales page, does not purchase, but I am able to capture their email. They would be on a different list that I follow up with to try and make a sale.

    My problem comes when someone one the second list purchases the product and is now on the “to be followed up” list AND the “already purchased the product” list.

    Is there a way to have them automatically unsubscribed from the follow up list and placed on the other list if they purchase?

    Does this make sense? Basically, how do you segment your lists for follow up, buyers, etc and make it automated?

    • Anonymous

      You’ll have to ask your email service provider. It should be possible.


  • Craig,

    glad you’ve mentioned something like the ‘time limited offer’.
    I have read quite some sales letters that suggested the offer would be gone after a few days – but after a couple of weeks it had still been there.

    I have been wondering ever since how you can run a time-limited offer without actually fooling your readers. Or will the one who doesn’t take action on that offer never take action in the future anyway so it doesn’t matter when he/she will notice that offer still being around after a month…?

    I hope you got what I mean… 🙂


    • Anonymous

      My limited time offers end. So you just keep your word. I can’t speak for those other people.


  • Hey Craig,

    What’s the best way to capture customer emails? Thanks

    – Parth

    • Anonymous

      Put a form in between the order and download page. You’ll see that if you purchase a TT workout. Any web person can do this.