I was in shock. Honestly, I shook my head when I read his email. I meant no disrespect; I just couldn’t believe he really felt that way.
“Karon, I want you to write the sales letter for my site. How much will it cost me?” read his note. After looking at his home page and evaluating his target audience, I didn’t feel a sales letter would be the best type of copy for his site. When I sent him my suggestion he replied with something along the lines of, “No sales letter? What other kind of copy is there?”
Was he a fan of sales letters? No, not especially. Did his question come with a sarcastic tone? No, it was a genuine question. A lot of what he had been exposed to online was sales letters. So much so that he thought this was the *only* type of copy to have on a website. That’s what all the “gurus” were telling him, so it must be true. Even though he had been to countless sites that did not have sales letters, he never realized the differences.
I pointed him to several sites that had a wide range of copy to show him some of the other styles.
Catalog Copy - (one of my favorite types to write!) http://www.gortonsfreshseafood.com
Long Sales Copy - http://www.copywritingcourse.com
Short Sales Copy - http://www.landmarkcreations.com
Brochure Copy - http://www.toyota.com
Shopping Cart Copy - http://www.amazon.com (works especially well for books)
Of course, these are just a few. What was his response? “Now I feel stupid! Of course, there are several types of copy. I don’t know why I thought I had to have one particular kind for my site.”
From there we worked together to better understand his audience and create copy that would appeal to them.
Copywriting is not one-size-fits-all. I’m not saying sales letters don’t work. Like every other type of copy, they do, given the right environment and the right product/service. What I am saying is you shouldn’t box yourself in by assuming you *have* to have a particular type of copy. Just because one style of writing works well with someone else’s site doesn’t mean it is right for yours. Just because another person is selling a similar product or service doesn’t mean you have the same audience… therefore it doesn’t mean you should use the same type of copy.
In fact, there may be several different types of copy that work equally well for your site/customer. After all, diversity is part of advertising. Take the time to investigate your product, service, and customer then research copywriting styles. When you do, you’ll likely discover that you have several options. Test those options in order to find the one that pulls the best response. *That’s* the type of copy that works best for your site.
© 2004 Karon Thackston http://www.copywritingcourse.com