I don’t think there’s anyone who has a web store or single sales page will dispute that good copy will sell the product. Yes layout is important, yes a sprinkling of graphics helps, but when it comes down to selling the product, people need information and usually the best way of supplying that is the written word.
Meet Joe Robson. I did on the 3rd September 2006.
In case you’ve never heard of him, let me put you straight. He’s a god in the copy writing world, commanding fees of thousands of dollars for a single sales page, or he’ll give you a one-hour consultation on a page you’ve written yourself for under $500.00 – he has a lot of work.
Having the chance to hear him give a talk on copy writing and then chat to him afterwards was wonderful. He is such a down to earth guy with a wicked sense of humour.
Here’s a photo of me with him. I’m the one on the left.
What was it he said now with a big grin on his face? "This product will have you sucking cash out of people’s wallets like a rabbit on steroids."
He was trying to make a point that over-hyped copy like the above example will kill the sale instead of making it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly groaned to myself and said "come on, give me a break" more than once when reading the sales page for a new product.
(I just don’t understand why some people feel the need to hype everything they write. Sure, often you might want to liven up a bit of dull text, but it just seems to me that some writers don’t get the difference between "lying" and "enlivening".)
I sat, listened carefully and made notes while Joe gave his talk on "The 10 Steps To A Sale". Great stuff. I was so impressed I wanted more and went and bought his ebook "Make Your Words Sell". I’m part way through it now, and it’s got to be the all time bargain ever at only $29.95.
Joe wrote it in 2000 and spent 8 months doing it. He told me that if he was doing the same thing now, he’d do it as a course and charge at least $300.00 for it.
He also told me that he spent two months locked away writing the first version. Finished it, and wasn’t happy with it. He wanted to improve it but he was stuck with what he’d already written.
In the end he decided that the only thing he could do was to…
Yep, he trashed 2 months work because he wasn’t happy with it. Then he started all over again, and that’s what I’m currently reading.
And I have to say it is a joy to read. Every time I read a sentence I can hear his voice in my head, with that little touch of seriousness when he’s trying to get a point over, followed by a pause and a bit of humour to make it stick.
What he should do is put audio versions of his articles on his Ad Copy Writing website, and I might just suggest that to him.
Joe reckons that once anyone has read his ebook then they should be able to produce a better sales page within a week or so. But it takes practice of course.
When I’ve read the ebook, I’ll review it here.