When I first started running my own business I realized very quickly that being able to write effective copy in a persuasive way that takes people that have no idea who I am or what I offer and turns them into paying customers was going to be one of the most important skillsets I would need.
But I had no idea how difficult and long the learning curve would be.
I studied more guru’s than you could shake a stick at. I’m talking Gary Halbert, David Ogilvy, Eugene Schwartz, Dan Kennedy and many more.
The stress that came with all this learning and testing was overwhelming. It was hard because most of what I was doing wasn’t working.
And I didn’t know why.
Until one day I was listening to a podcast – sorry don’t remember which one it was – and they were talking about overwhelm and the dude being interviewed said, “you just need to get out of your head and simplify.”
That’s when it clicked! I was trying to take everything I was learning and make the ultimate copywriting method ever.
But when I dialed it back – meaning, I only took the best of what I learned and made it simple to understand – my results immediately changed for the better.
And in this post, I’m going to share it ALL with you. Everything that I discovered – simplified.
What’s really cool is that once I discovered this I noticed the people that I was following online that were selling millions of dollars of products and services each year were following the same formula.
What that means to you is you can take the information I’m going to share with you and be confident it can work for you. (Of course, all results discussed in this article are not typical.)
After you learn this three-step formula you can use it to sell anything online like info-products or software to offline stuff like physical products or professional services. Anything!
A Word of Warning
This formula works no matter what you’re selling. Even with this formula, however, copywriting can be hard and time consuming. Because you have to dig deep and use your brain. If you’re like me, sometimes that really hurts! The good news is I’ve got a solution for that too that I discovered rather recently.
Once I walk you through the 3-step formula I’m going to help you save a ton of time by showing you how I am able to write and create all my copywriting in a matter of minutes using a fun tool.
Sound fair? Great. Let’s keep rolling…
The 3-Step Copywriting Formula That All Smart Marketers Use
The formula is also called, “PoWA” for short.
All great copywriting covers three critical parts. The Why, the How and the What. Each part of the PoWA formula hits these in a very precise, calculated manner. Some will argue that you need the Who, the Where and the When. Nonsense! You don’t need all that extra stuff. The Who will be covered naturally with the Why. The other two can be and should be ignored to keep things simple and streamlined.
Part 1: POW’em
The Pow’em part focuses on the ‘Why’. Why should the reader care? This part also focuses on the Who.
In short, this is the HEADLINE of your ad, email subject line, sales page, direct mail piece, etc.
We use ‘POW’ as the title for this first part because we want to really POW’EM with that headline! Meaning, we want that headline to hit them right between the eyes and make it so they know exactly what benefits they’ll get by reading the rest of the copy.
Here are a few helpful tips and some rules when it comes to headlines:
- Make them short and sweet. The more precise you can make it the better. But don’t make it short just for short’s sake. It needs to be long enough to mean something to the reader.
- Use interesting adjectives like effortless, unique, essential, strange, incredible.
- Use negative words when it makes sense. For example, no, without and stop are proven to lead to more social shares.
- Use numbers! Numbers are proven to get higher readership because people are intrigued and it fulfills the need to be efficient. Use digits rather than words.
- Personalize it when possible. Call out your target market or use specifications for a certain industry.
How to (desired result) in (amount of time) without (pain they want to avoid)!
Number or Trigger Word + Adjective + Desired Result
(Number) Ways to (Desired Result)
How to get all the clients you can handle in 30-days or less without cold calling or spending a dime on marketing.
The Top 7 Unique Traffic Sources You Can Use to Get More Sales Fast
10 Things You Should Do To Sell Your Home Fast
Here’s a bonus tip for the POW’em part. You can always add what’s called a “Pre-Head”. This is a short, introductory statement located at the very top of your sales page that is used to engage the reader’s attention, quickly introduce a key idea or qualification and set the stage for the rest of the sales message. A good example of a pre-head is something like, “Attention: Your Target Market”. You can see how that helps address the “Who” side of things because a pre-head can call out the extact market you’re targeting.
Part 2: WOW’em
The Wow’em part focuses on the ‘How’. How will this improve the reader’s life?
In short, this is the BODY of your ad, email subject line, sales page, direct mail piece, etc.
We use ‘WOW’ as the title for this second part because we want to really WOW’EM with the value of what we have to offer and how it helps them solve their problems.
The Wow’em part is much longer than the other two. Depending on the copy that is being written it can range from several pages – long form sales letter – to just a paragraph or two – online, pay-per-click ad.
Remember, there is NO RULE on how long or how short your copy needs to be. Every piece of copy will be different. The key to writing an effective Wow’em part is to write enough to get the point across but not too much that you bore the reader.
Unlike POW’em where there is only one or two sections, WOW’em has several.
And depending on the copy you’re writing for will depend on how long each section will be. For example, if you’re writing for a Facebook Ad that will be of course much shorter than if you were writing a long form sales letter.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to go through this section as if we are writing copy for a sales letter. Fair?
Pain or Problem
Virtually every good sales copy – in one form or another – with an introduction of a problem.
- You’re not getting enough traffic to your site.
- Your list isn’t big enough.
- You still haven’t dropped that last 10 pounds.
- Your spouse is wanting a divorce.
- You can’t seem to manage your time.
- You’re not as good at tennis as you’d like to be.
- You’d like the flexibility of working from home.
- You’re really interested in homeschooling.
- You could be happier if just one thing changed.
Serious or trivial, stated positively or negatively, real or imagined, problems are the universal driving force behind many – if not most – decisions we make. We want to avoid them, correct them, minimize them or make up for them, but make no mistake about it, they have great influence in our lives.
We’d be happier without problems, or so we think. We’d at least try to give it a try. And, if we can’t completely eliminate our problems, it sure would be nice to have something really wonderful happening in our lives that would diminish or overshadow them. We all have things that we’d like to improve upon. Things we’d like to see changed to some degree. Things we’d like to make better.
So, one of the best ways you can begin your sales letter is to establish the fact that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Generally, by telling some kind of story that allows you to identify with the reader and the problem they face.
Even though this is not a sales letter did you notice how I told my story about how I struggled with writing good copy until I discovered PoWA?
See how a problem was presented here? See how I identified, even empathized with the you as the reader who is probably in a similar place where I was? And do you see how we then hinted at the ability to make a positive change for you? It’s an easy transition from here to the next “part”.
IMPORTANT: while this is not a sale letter the story formula we just discussed in the same premise. I hope that is clear and makes sense.
Product or Service
Now that you’ve established a problem, it’s time to share the solution – namely, what YOU have to offer!
Here’s where you let loose with the “unique sales proposition”. The thing that makes your product or service completely different and unique from every other option out there.
“You know how others ___________, well here’s what I do that’s different…”
Without being arrogant or prideful, it’s time to talk about yourself: your experiences, your knowledge, your secret weapon, your special way of doing things.
- Explain what you have to offer that will help the reader solve the problem they are facing.
- Empathize with the reader – you’ve been where they were and look at how things have changed since you made your discovery of “what works”.
- Point out what makes you different than the rest of those out there who might be offering similar products.
- Refer to tips, strategies, practices, etc. that you reveal in your offer (Think: telling them what to do but not how to do it.)
- Mention specific results you’ve achieved or got for your customers or clients by using the information included in your offer.
Now that you’ve introduced your product or service it’s time to get specific about what’s included in your offer…
Using a “bulleted list” of benefit points is one of the most effective ways to really drive home the “reason why” the reader would want to purchase your offer. It also allows you the opportunity to address several different “angles” of the information you include – one of which might be that special “hot button” with the reader that seals the deal.
You’ve seen them on just about every sales letter. Here’s a quick screenshot of one of a good bullet list from my product, Content Creation Made Easy…
Three quick things I want to mention about these “points”…
- Stress benefits, not features. The classic statement about benefits vs. features is this: “no one cares about your lawn mower, they only care about their lawn”. Your offer might very well have 10 ready-made lesson plans included … but what does it mean to the reader? It means they don’t have to spend time developing the lesson plans themselves; it means they don’t have to be in a rush; it means they can use their saved time doing something more enjoyable. A benefit is simply WHY the reader should care about your feature.
- Stress particulars, not generalities. It’s not “Helpful ways to…”, it’s “11 helpful ways to…”. It’s not “lose weight”, it’s “lose 7 pounds in 2 weeks”. The more specific you can be, the better. And, let me mention something that really adds credibility to your bullet points is to list a specific PAGE in which the information is found in your offer. What I recommend is writing something like (Page 7) or (Video 3) – separated by parenthesis – after the bullet point so the reader can know exactly where to find what you’ve mentioned in that point. Very effective.
- Stress majors, not minors. You should only use about 5 to 7 bullet points for your copy – so make them count. You want to stress the most desirable benefits to the reader … the “major” helps included in your offer. It’s important that you fire your biggest guns. And try to focus on different aspects of the information you’re sharing in the offer. For example: one bullet point might focus on the “quickness” of forthcoming results, while another bullet point might focus on the “ease” of forthcoming results, while another bullet point might focus on the “responses of others” in relation to the forthcoming results, etc.
Now it’s time to PROVE to the reader that your product or service actually works…
Proof it Works
Anyone can make claims about what they’ve done and what they know, but how many can prove it? And, when they prove it, how much more effective is their claim?
People, in general, are naturally skeptical. Especially those who’ve been around the block and have fallen for hype before. If you want to bridge the gap between their wallet and your order button, you’ve got to establish trust.
And the surest way to establish trust is to prove what you’re saying is true.
There are three simple things you can do to validate your claims by providing a form of evidence that I want to quickly point out…
- PROVIDE a testimonial. It’s one thing when YOU say the information included in your product or service works…it’s another thing entirely for someone else to proclaim that they’ve duplicated or exceeded your results by trying the information themselves. A testimonial from someone who’s read, used and seen results from your offer represents a voice of credibility speaking on your behalf. One or two testimonials should be sufficient for your offer sales letter.
- POINT to visual evidence. What diet program appears more legit than the one with a “before and after” photo of someone who’s lost weight? When you can provide screenshots, photographs or other “visual” evidence to substantiate your claims, it can go a long way to tear down the wall of reluctance that rests between you and your potential customer.
- POSE a challenge. If possible, get the reader of your sales letter to do something themselves to test your validity. When one Internet Marketer was selling a course on “viral ebooks”, he would have folks go to Google.com and do a search for his name to PROVE he knew how to get free ebooks distributed to tens of thousands of websites. It’s not always possible, but if it is, posing a challenge for the reader to do something to test you is a nice option.
Risk reversal is the ultimate way to remove any remaining barriers between you and your potential customer. Make it clear that THEY have “nothing to risk”. If they are dissatisfied for any reason, you’ll refund their money with no hassles.
Note: It’s important that you include any “terms” relevant to your guarantee. For example: how long does the customer have in order to obtain a refund should they choose to do so? Depending upon whom you choose to process your orders, there may be requirements from those companies that you’ll need to comply with.
The important thing is that you communicate to your reader that you are committed to their absolute satisfaction.
Here’s a quick screenshot of the guarantee from my product, Content Creation Made Easy…
You can add more parts to the WOW’em section of your sales copy. However, the goal should be simple and effective. What we’ve outlined here accomplishes that to a tee.
Now it’s time to finish this baby off…
Part 3: ALLOW’em
The Allow’em part focuses on the ‘What’. What must the reader do next?
In short, this is the CALL-TO-ACTION of your ad, email subject line, sales page, direct mail piece, etc.
IMPORTANT: EVERY PIECE OF COPY YOU WRITE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD MUST ALWAYS HAVE A CALL-TO-ACTION!
We use ‘ALLOW’ as the title for this final part because we want to allow them to contact us so they can solve their problem(s). This part gives them permission to take the next step to make their life better.
The Allow’em part is short. And it should be. You’ve already educated them, built the emotions of having their problem solved and proved that your product or service is the best option for them.
There’s no need to “oversell” at this point.
Simply tell them what to do next. But you want to also create urgency so they take action now.
In other words, you don’t want them to delay in making the decision to buy … they might not ever be back again. You’ve got their attention RIGHT NOW, so you want them to make their decision RIGHT NOW.
Perhaps the best way to get them to do this is to impose some kind of deadline or limit which makes it necessary to order soon in order to take advantage of a special price, extra incentive or availability.
- Special Price. By offering a discount to all who purchase within a specific period of time (or to a selected number of people who order … Ex., The first 100), you can create a sense of urgency. This strategy isn’t as effective on low ticket products as they are on higher ticket ones.
- Extra Incentive. You may want to consider offering an additional bonus to those who order within a specified time or specific number. For example, “The first 100 people who order will receive a free copy of a legal disclaimer you can use on your website to protect you from FTC lawsuits and seizures…”
- Availability. Another option is to remove the offer from circulation after a specified date or a specified number of units is sold. I don’t like this one for obvious reasons: I’d like to sell as many copies as I can sell! However, one strategy that I do see merit in using is taking an offer “off the market” for an unspecified period of time. In other words, you “retire” the offer for several months and then bring it back later – or even add more information to it and convert it into a larger product. Or, another idea is to no longer make it available from your website and only offer it as a backend to an offer you create later.
Here are three age-old, still-effective ways to “encourage” people to order in your call to action that have “built-in” urgency:
- The Rule of RESULTS. Stated simply, “the longer you wait to get started, the longer it will be before you see results”. The flipside is also true: “the quicker you get started, the quicker you’ll see results”.
- The Rule of RESPONSE. There is much information that isn’t as effective as more people begin using it. This is especially true of “marketing” or “business” information. For example: As more and more people begin competing for high-traffic keywords, it’s more difficult to get quality words at inexpensive prices. A delay in taking action could diminish the reader’s effectiveness as others beat them to the punch.
- The Rule of RESTRICTION. There are many times when a delay in buying and applying information restricts the reader in what they can accomplish. For example: If someone wants to lose 10 pounds before spring break, they are restricted by the amount of time remaining between now and spring break.
By using these three triggers to create urgency, you can reasonably convince your reader to a buying decision without resorting to high-pressure sales tactics.
The final piece of Allow’em is to have the actual call-to-action.
On a sales page, it would be a “Buy Now” button. On a sales letter, it could be something as simple as, “Call us today to get started now!” Or anything in between.
Before I tell you about how to take everything you learned here and save about 95% of your time with about 5% effort I want to give you a quick recap of the different sections that’s included with the PoWA Copywriting Formula.
- Pre-head (optional)
- Pain or Problem
- Product or Service
- Bullet Points
- Proof it Works
- Call-to-Action (with urgency)
Hopefully, you found this information useful and apply it to your copywriting.
But I want to introduce you to a couple things that will make your life SOOOO EASY when it comes to writing copy.
Make Your Copywriting Easier Than Ever!
Now we get to discuss the most exciting part about all of this. Don’t get me wrong. You can take everything you’ve learned here and it will get you to a point that dramatically improves your sales copy and conversions.
The challenge is you’ll still need to do all the work yourself. Which takes a lot of time.
Or you will end up hiring someone to write the sales copy for you. Which isn’t bad because now at least you know what you’re looking for and can see good copy versus bad copy. But the issue is it will be very expensive.
That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to two solutions that will dramatically save you time and money. And both are very easy-to-use.
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Instead of rehashing the entire sales letter here you can check out all the details by clicking the link below:
Funnel Scripts (software)
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Funnel Scripts takes all the hard work and guesswork out of writing great sales copy. All you do is answer a few questions, hit a button and BOOM Funnel Scripts spits out all your copy and in most cases several different options of it for you to choose from.
5 Easy Steps
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Funnel Scripts is literally something I use every day and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it for anyone who needs to write sales copy. Which is everyone in business!
If you want to save time and money and get world-class copy in a matter of minutes then I want to invite you to a free webclass demo where the creators of this product go over all the details and you can see for yourself how powerful it is and decide whether or not it’s a good fit for your business.
To reserve your spot in the next webclass please click the link below:
I really hope you enjoyed this blog post, use it and consider our recommendations.
I also would love to hear your feedback and answer any questions you may have. Simply post your comments and questions below and I’ll answer every one.