How to Turn Words into Cash with Direct-Response Copywriting

Allie Bjerk Blog

Ever heard (or caught yourself saying) this: “Money doesn’t grow on trees”?

While that’s technically true, you can in fact create money out of essentially thin air. Okay, there’s more involved. Let’s just say you can create money out of pixels.

Right now, we have an amazing, never-before-available opportunity to make money. There are seemingly limitless potential customers on the internet that you can reach with ads, organic traffic, connections, relationships, emails, social media, and so on.

And by you creating and selling digital info products, you are creating your own stream of money.

But the linchpin in your funnel? The all-important sale page.

A well-written sales page gives you the ability to turn words into money. But it has to be done right.

Here’s the thing…you don’t have to be a copywriter, or hire a copywriter to get a high-converting sales page. You don’t even have to be a “good writer.”

Copywriting is a teachable and learnable skill. And when I talk about copywriting, I mean direct-response style.

What is direct response?

“Direct response is a type of marketing designed to elicit an instant response by encouraging prospects to take a specific action. Direct response advertisements must trigger immediate action from prospects, since the goal is to generate leads quickly.” (Source.)

Notice the phrases: Elicit an instant response. Trigger immediate action. These are very good things when it comes to conversion, especially when you’re talking about a prospect who has a limited attention span and a quick scrolling thumb, being exposed to your ad in a social feed. 

When I was studying direct response copy a couple of years ago, I kept seeing similar things. So, I started to take notes and find formulas.

Think about a website like BuzzFeed, with headlines that are written in such a way that you’re thinking, “Oh, I don’t want to click this, but I have to.”

It’s sometimes called “clickbait” and it lures you in using your curiosity, but rarely delivers the payoff it promised.

But as digital marketers we can use these same formulas and ideas to hook our audience, without failing to deliver, of course.

Phrases like “best kept secret” or “try this weird hack” can increase the dopamine in our brains, giving us the urge to click and satisfy our curiosity. 

According to one of the greatest direct response copywriters of all time, Dan Kennedy, “Writing is just the skill of recycling and reorganizing ideas, themes, words and phrases.”

I highly recommend Dan’s book, Ultimate Sales Letter. It’s a little bit old school because it’s talking about sales letters you’d send in the mail. But you can take those exact same concepts and turn them into an online sales page.

So, we’re not writing really. If you think about it that way, we’re just assembling all these different pieces and putting them together in a way that elicits an emotional response from the potential buyer, in a way that leads them to purchase.

One of the exercises Dan recommends is to pretend this is an in-person sales call, or meeting.

You’re at the head of a boardroom, you’ve got your PowerPoint going. In person, you have the opportunity to watch people’s faces and reactions as you’re talking. And if you’re really talented, you can tweak your presentation on your feet based on their reactions.

The question is: How do we take that same experiential in-person feeling and transfer it online?

Here’s an idea…grab a stack of 3 x 5 index cards. Brainstorm and write down what you would want to tell people about your offer, and what they would really need to know and understand before purchasing your product.

But also remember that we have six seconds to get their attention, because it’s the internet. People have sensory input coming at them all times. Even if you get their attention, you then have to capitalize on it, to get them to keep scrolling every step along the way.

Next, you can take your cards and get rid of anything that might distract them, or take them away from conversion. You can put your cards in order or importance from the prospects point of view. And finally, you can use those cards as starter copy to plug into a sales page template.

Listen to the companion podcast — Episode 11. Be sure to leave a review and enter to win access to the Tiny Offer Lab Self-Study Course.

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