Brian Cassingena here with the latest eBay Superseller's Newsletter.
Copywriting is the way you write words on a page, to get someone to buy your product. It doesn't matter if it's on paper or your monitor, if you can convince someone to buy from you just by the way you describe it, then you have a skill most people don't.
Do a search for people like Mal Emery, Dan Kennedy, Pete Godfrey to see what a good copywriter can do for you.
Here's a basic formula for copywriting that I follow:
Call To Action
Problem. Go into the problem that the reader has, what they are suffering from, how it makes them feel, what will happen if nothing changes. Make them aware that they need to do something.
Aggravate the problem. Go a step further here, delving into the mind of the reader. You must enter the conversation in their mind, so that you can get in sync with their problem and the ideal solution.
Solve the problem. Announce your solution, talking about it's benefits, not features. People buy relaxation, not a massage. They buy the ability to make money, not an ebook about marketing. The most important thing here is to talk about benefits, not features. When you do mention a feature, make sure it is surrounded by the benefits the prospect gets when they buy.
Prove what you say is true. I see this as the most under-used tool on eBay. If a listing even has a hint of a testimonial, they are usually recycled as part of a resale package, or they are vague and non-specific. Other ways you can use proof are before and after photos, scientific evidence, bank or paypal statements, the sky's the limit.
Call to action. Ebay has a call to action on all regular listings, that's the end date. But you don't have to go by this. How about: "If you Buy It Now by the 15th then you'll get a free bonus set of steak knives", or "If the bidding goes above $30, then I'll chuck in the reprint rights to this fantastic product for nothing!"
The second one gets people bidding earlier. Ebay says that 30% of all bids happen in the last hour of an acution. As a seller you don't want this. The reason people don't bid earlier is because they don't want other people to outbid them before the end of the auction, so that they have to bid more to win it. "Anyone bidding before the 22nd will receive a free report on selling on eBay".
Remember, these principle apply on eBay, in a sales letter, anywhere you are trying to sell something. Look at those infomercials that are on late at night in Australia, or on shopping channels. They will usually go through the formula once, twice or three times, depending on the length. Many infomercials are worked on by people like Dan Kennedy, Jeff Paul, and other great direct response marketers, so you can learn heaps by watching them.
One last point: You must use emotion in your copy. People always buy on emotion, then justify with logic. They buy what they 'must have', for the benefits it offers, then they check out the features once they get it.
Don't say that 'your market isn't like that', 'they're engineers, or they're accountants', just get inside their heads and find out what they must have.
Coming from an engineering background, it's been the hardest part of learning to write copy. I see things in a very logical way, as far as I know. But I always buy things I 'must have', well, because I must have them! Have you ever bid on something, and then seen that you have won the auction, and thought "Why did I bid that much?". I have. I bought a $600 guitar amplifier, even though I could barely turn it up past 3 in my spare room.
Until next week,
Million Dollar Value
Ebay Superseller's Newsletter #6: Copywriting
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3 December 2005
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