Sales emails, letters, brochures and pitch documents require a different approach to other types of writing. There's a process to discovering the most compelling message, but it also requires intuition, empathy and judgement from the sales writer. Web copy, corporate brochures and other more informative and brand writing is different. So if that's what you need, head over to our Copywriting or brand section.
What's different about sales communications?
Any communication that is customer facing affects how a brand is perceived. Sales communications, though they also brand, are dedicated to selling. They are a form of persuasion that has been honed over the last century, especially through the medium of direct mail. With digital communications now largely replacing print, enormous data sets have revealed what methods really get results.
Overcoming inertia and indifference
Sales communications face two huge obstacles: indifference and then inertia. People have other things to do and think about so you need to grab their attention. And even when you have developed their interest you need to then motivate them to act.
The process of sales copywriting begins with thinking. Research should reveal the audience's current attitude to the brand and how their life might be improved by purchase. In the absence of research insights, the copywriter must exercise empathy.
Once you have a handle on what the audience currently thinks, you have to decide what you WANT them to think. And then - and this is the big decision - what message would most likely move them from A to B. Usually this is the main benefit. But you may feel this benefit isn't enough to shake the inertia/indifference. So you might choose to present the consequences of not buying the product - a fear rather than opportunity sell. There are many options and detachment from what you want to say is essential. Clients, sitting so close to their product day in day out, can struggle to see from the consumer's perspective. They tend to welcome the perspective on an external copywriting team.
Having brought alive the benefit to the consumer's life you need to close with a call to action.
The science of persuasion work of Robert B Cialdini has revealed how people are persuaded to do things. These insights into human nature need to be studied and understood by anyone hoping to persuade others.
The Barnaby Benson approach to sales communications
Medium-sensitive - each medium has certain constraints and finds audiences with different expectations. Take the subject line of an email: it needs to be brief , reference the subject of the email, yet have something to encourage the reader to open it.
Applied learning - there is a huge amount of accumulated knowledge about what works with sales copywriting because you always measure results. We apply what is known so you don’t end up making unnecessary mistakes.
Stay on-brand - as we work in in brand development as well as sales, we ensure sales communications are sensitive to a brand’s tone of voice while also being persuasive.
How do clients benefit from our approach?
Improve sales – we typically achieve a 50% increase in conversion rates when we write sales communications, such as approach emails and bid documents, that were being prepared by non-specialist in-house writers.
Consistent best practice - by applying best practice to every piece of sales communication, we improve response rates. By training your sales team in sales copywriting techniques, this empowers them to improve their effectiveness every day, producing prolonged improvements in sales conversion rates.
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