Profit Boosters Copywriting Checklist

Profit Boosters Copywriting Checklist

You can use this copywriting checklist when you are copywriting – or to evaluate copywriting. It is based on what works best from over 1,200 copywriting projects we have done since 1978. It will lead to significantly more response from your copywriting.

Before writing:

1. Study the company and the product/service being sold thoroughly so you have all the information you will need.

2. Research the prospects and the market to determine what benefits the prospect wants most, secondary benefits wanted, objections, and what would get him to buy now. Key: Don’t guess; research.

3. Develop the main emotions you can touch with your copywriting for this project, and how you will do it. The strongest emotions are love, fear, greed, acceptance, survival, anger, and health.

4. Think like your prospect; and not like the marketer.

5. Develop the best offer(s) you can make to the prospect. Your offer includes pricing, terms, bonuses and guarantee.

At this point, you know the company and product, what the target prospect wants most, his objections, the main emotions you can touch, and you have developed a terrific offer.

Headline and start of copy:

6. Write at least 20 different headlines before choosing the best one.

Headline winners include a big, bold promise of the benefits the prospect wants most, specific figures, a guarantee, credibility enhancers, a special offer.

Legendary marketers John Caples and Claude Hopkins proved that one headline can pull 10 times the response as another headline … with no other changes in the copywriting.

7. Start of copy should re-enforce the main benefit(s) of the headline, elaborate, and incorporate the secondary benefits the prospect wants most.

Body of copy:

8. Develop the prospect problem and pain points. Reinforce how these problems will remain or even get worse unless he takes action, and how your product/service is the best solution.

9. Copywriting should be first person, one-to-one, conversational.

10. List the prospects likely objections to buying, and overcome those objections.

11. Sincerely flatter the prospect if you can.

12. Get the prospect to mentally “picture and enjoy” the end-result benefits of buying.

13. Use testimonials, specifics, tests, clients, studies, success stories and memberships to add credibility and believability.

14. Be sure it is easy to read and “scan”. Use sub headlines with prospect benefits, short sentences, short paragraphs.

15. If any copy is dull or boring, cut it or revise it.

16. If the flow gets slowed or stopped at any point in the copy, fix it.

17. Copywriting must be passionate, enthusiastic.

18. Create urgency to get a response now.

19. Tell the prospect what he will lose if he does not respond now.

20. Tell the prospect exactly what to do.

21. Close, Close, Close. Get action now.

Simple Steps to a Killer Headline

The headline is undoubtly the most crucial factor of the sales copy. You could have the best sales copy ever written but a poorly written and not thought out headline will almost single handly ruin your business.The following points should insure your headline is quality and will force to read on.

1. Ultra Specific

You need to be as specific as possible. For example. Instead of “how an ebook author make thousands every month”,change it too “how an ebook autor makes $2,678.85 every month”.Its more specific and alot more believable.

2. Keep it unique and original

You really need to come up with your own original headine.For example im sick of seeing this headline. “Finally,the simple way to get free to your site. Its this word “finally”,its been totally overused.

3. Keep the urgency

This really forces the reader to view the sales page further.Give the headline a sense of urgency. For example, giving a special offer for reading on,deadline dates or total amounts available.

This techniques have personally been proven by myself, they work some better than other, the key is to keep tweaking and testing with the above points always in mind.

I use these tips in the headlines I create. I ALWAYS MAKE SURE MY HEADLINES GRAB THE ATTENTION. My website currently has a conversion rate of 3.3% and 76% of my vistors read past the headline.

The Bible – The Source Of All Copywriting Secrets

I’ve been a student of the Bible for practically all my life. There is a lot of reason why this book remains the number one best-seller year after year. I think that it is the source of ALL wisdom, yes, including successful copywriting!

What do I mean by this?

Simply put, every copywriting strategy can be found FIRST in the Bible. This may appear to be a strong statement but I challenge the reader to prove otherwise. As I did the research for my latest ebook “77 Ways to Skyrocket Your Website’s Conversion”, I kept saying to myself “but that’s in the Bible … that’s in the Bible.”

I would like to take a look at FIVE copywriting principles and show you that they are as old as the Scriptures. This article is not meant to ‘convert’ you so read with an open mind … ready? Let’s go!

1. Stress benefits not features.

It’s the Garden of Eden. The serpent approaches the woman Eve to get her to take of the forbidden fruit. Does he rave about the color, taste and texture of the fruit? No, he sells Eve on benefits. “Your eyes will be opened, you will be like God …” (Genesis 3:4). Now that’s a benefit, not a feature at all. And did Eve fall for it? She surely did.

That may seem like a ‘negative’ example – a plain deception. But look at what the book of Revelation promises the “overcomer”. Eternal life, health, recognition, wealth and mansions without mortgages.

2. Use lots of testimonials.

If you have just a cursory knowledge of the Bible you know that the gospels of Matthew, Mark Luke and John make up the first four books of the New Testament. They all cover the same ground and share many common stories. So why would we need four different people saying practically the same thing?

You see they all wanted to tell THEIR story about the Rabbi Jesus Christ. So the writers (all satisfied customers) relate the life-changing encounter they each had – the more testimonies the better.

The entire Bible relates stories of peoples encounter with the supernatural and how it affected their lives. In fact, Jesus related to the disciples after His miraculous resurrection that all the Old Testament was really about Him.

3. “Create a damaging admission and address flaws openly”

That’s the title to chapter 3 of the master copywriter Dan Kennedy’s book “The Ultimate Sales Letter”. He goes on to explain that if you openly admit the drawbacks of your offer then your credibility goes up instantly with the customer. For example, your price may be higher than your competitors so you may say: “If you are looking to save a few bucks then you can find many other companies who will be willing to give you some ‘quick fixes’. But we provide a very thorough and expert service, hence the higher price”

You are admitting that you are expensive but showing why – the customer gets a superior service.

In the gospels we see many potential disciples who wanted to follow Jesus and he told them openly that it was a sacrificial walk. He told them in no uncertain terms that it involved a “cross”, leaving father and mother behind, even possible death – but you will gain eternal life in the process. Talk about a “damaging admission.

4. Place a limit on your offer to motivate procrastinators.

This is a very important element of the “call to action” section of any sales letter. Humans are naturally procrastinators. We always put off what should be done now for a ‘later’ that never arrives. That is why the copywriter must show that supplies are limited or the special offer is for a ‘limited time only’.

In many ‘call to action’ sections of the Bible we see the same warning to procrastinators. “Today if you hear my voice do not harden your heart ..” (Hebrews 3:7). In the story of the great flood procrastinators were found outside the ark. Jesus told the story of the covetous farmer who built bigger barns to store his grains not knowing that death would come knocking on his door that very night.

Jesus never sent one of his listeners to go away and think about it. Today … now, was the only time that anyone had. His message was “ACT NOW!”

5. Research your potential customers to know their problems and needs.

Dan Kennedy refers to this as “getting into the customer”. Getting into the head and experiences of the customer -walk in his moccasins.

The whole Christmas story is about Jesus getting into the skin – literally – of the customer. The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is touched by our feelings and infirmities. He became like one of us so that He may understand “the customer” better. That is why he could speak to the needs of the human heart with such authority because he knows what is in man.

I’ve just briefly looked at 5 copywriting principles but this applies across the board. Whether you accept the Bible as just another book or as inspired writings, there is no denying that the principles are there.

I would love to hear from the reader if he or she would like to challenge me on finding a useful copywriting principle that’s not in the Bible.

Value Added Copywriting

I know a preacher that can burn any pulpit down within an hour. His sermons cause the greatest stirs and responses in his audience and he really can keep his congregation awake. But there is one tiny problem. Ask many of his listeners what they think about his sermons and they’ll quickly respond with only words of acclamation. Follow that questions with a request for what the sermon was about and you’re met with only blank stares.

They knew that the sermon was “great” but cannot recall what they learned.

This reminds me of the popular selling tenant referred to as ‘selling the sizzle and not the stake’. In other words, build enthusiasm and curiosity about your product without giving away too much. Let them hear it, smell it, imagine it but never taste it until they buy.

I find however that when you’re selling high ticket items, because you are asking for a higher level of commitment from the prospect, you have to give something in order to get something back. So you have to give some ‘steak’ along with the ‘sizzle’. This is what is commonly referred to as ‘value added copywriting’.

I use some of this myself at my website to sell my copywriting services. Right there in the sales letter itself are some tips and ideas on how to sell to prospects online. So the reader gains some value from reading the letter even before he or she uses my services.

But this “free information” also serves a few other purposes:

1. It helps to establish goodwill with the potential client. My willingness to share this information shows that I’m not stingy and helps to develop a relationship with the reader. So even if the prospect doesn’t use my service he walks away with something.

2. It helps to establish my credibility. This is an opportunity for me to show that I know what I’m about and have the qualifications to help the reader’s business.

3. It serves as a teaser. It’s obvious that I’m not saying everything that I know and that there is a ‘lot more where that came from’. In other words, if I’m willing to give away this information I must have a lot more ‘secrets’ up my sleeve.

4. It lowers the sales resistance of the reader because I’m in the giving rather than the taking mode. There is really no argument against someone who is giving you something for free.

5. It provides a natural incentive for the prospect to read your entire sales letter. Any device that encourages readership will also improve sales especially with longer sales copy.

It will be therefore helpful if you can provide your prospects with useful information in your sales literature. This may be in the form of a free report, an email course or case studies. Once this information is useful and not seen as an overt sales piece, then this should lead to an easy conversion of a new customer.

This technique of value added copywriting works very well in service-type industries. There are many services where the professional can ‘reveal’ a lot without fear of losing his value to the customer. This often occurs because even though someone may know how to perform a task, the job may be sufficiently difficult or unpleasant that it may be better left to the professionals.

A quick example comes to my mind. I know how to do simple maintenance work on my vehicle but I’ll prefer to pay to have this done. I’ll happily read all the available literature from my mechanic about how a mechanical repair should be done. The fact that my mechanic made this literature available to me gives me confidence in his performance of a great job.

So, in the same way, a lawyer may want to provide information on how to fill easy legal forms, while a plumber may provide information on performing simple repairs around the home. When a prospect read this helpful information and they need further ‘expert’ attention they would easily think of that lawyer or plumber.

Because the public today is bombarded with so many advertisers’ messages the usual sales talk is having less impact. With the advent of online advertising where it is easier and cheaper to get your message before thousands of eyes your sales message must have a lot more bite than its bark; a lot more steak where only sizzle use to be.

After listening to your sizzling message, your market congregation will need to recall more than the enthusiasm of your delivery. They must be able to recall enough value to want the whole shebang from you.

Watch Out! Copy Mistakes Are Sinking Your Site

No matter how well you write, or even if you have a professional writer create your web site copy, you’re going to have errors. Misspelled words, awkward sentences, phrases that don’t make sense, and words that are used incorrectly run rampant through many sites. And it’s no wonder. Writing well is hard work. Even a good writer will be too close to the copy and won’t see ALL their mistakes, even when re-reading the copy carefully.

Mistakes in your copy can sink your web site. The online audience who accounts for most of your customers are a rather literate group of people. Studies show a large percentage have a good knowledge of spelling and punctuation. If they find your copy has several errors in it, prospects will figure you do sloppy work.

The solution is simple. Get a proof reader to carefully check your copy. You can enlist the help of a friend who has a sharp eye for spelling and punctuation. Better yet, get a professional proof reader to read your copy. Proof reading is almost always affordable and the investment will pay off big time in avoided embarrassment and missed sales.

Don’t get too comfortable with spell checkers. Many have limited numbers of words they recognize, and will skip past some misspelled words. One of the most common problems is that a spell checker can’t help you if you use the WRONG word.

Don’t feel like I’m picking on you. I worked in the TV and movie industries for many years. I can tell you from personal experience that even Hollywood’s writers struggle with typos and other errors in their copy. None would dream of turning in a script without first having a capable proof reader go through their drafts and revisions.

Your FAQ Page – A Sales Tool? You Bet!

The FAQ page… a standard addition to almost any site. It usually lists questions customers ask on a regular basis, and the answers to those questions. But what befuddles me is that hardly any sites I’ve visited use this page as a sales tool.

Did you think of that? If not, you’re losing out on the use of some valuable real estate! FAQ pages are generally well-trafficked areas of your site. With just a few adjustments, your FAQ page could become one of your leading sources for sales conversions.

Let me give you a before and after version of one site I visited. I’ve changed some of the information so as not to promote (or embarrass) the site owner.


What is the source of the minerals used in your supplements?

We use all-natural minerals from sources such as limestone and dolomite. Nothing artificial.

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What is the source of Vitamin C?

Ascorbic acid, which was originally gained by isolation from fruits and plants, is produced today by an industrial process. The basis for the industrial ascorbic acid synthesis is D-Glucose (grape sugar or corn sugar), one of the most common organic compounds in nature.

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Informative? Yes. Does it answer the question? Yes. Does it contribute to making the sale? Not really.

Now, let’s change these two answers just a bit, add a link or two, and see how much more powerful they can become.


What is the source of the minerals used in your supplements?

We use all-natural minerals from sources such as limestone and dolomite. These 100% natural minerals are then carefully processed under low heat to remove impurities and preserve quality. Many minerals are processed under high heat, which literally kills the beneficial elements of the mineral. Because of our devotion to producing quality vitamins and minerals, we take additional precautions that other manufacturers skip. To ensure you receive the most potent supplements possible, choose XYZ Vitamins.

[shop for minerals]
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What is the source of Vitamin C?

Ascorbic acid, which was originally gained by isolation from fruits and plants, is produced today by an industrial process. The basis for the industrial ascorbic acid synthesis is D-Glucose (grape sugar or corn sugar), one of the most common organic compounds in nature.

XYZ Vitamins uses only organically-grown grapes and corn, and we extract our own D-Glucose to ensure the process remains 100% natural. No other manufacturer in the world has developed its own facility specifically to produce the highest quality of Vitamin C. We go the extra mile to ensure the vitamins and minerals you buy from XYZ Vitamins are the most beneficial for you and your family.

[shop for vitamins]
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See the difference? The “before” versions JUST answer the questions. The “after” versions boost consumer confidence, promote unique qualities of the products, and offer easy-to-follow links to buy the products in question.

By using some imagination and salesmanship, you can turn your FAQ page into a highly productive tool that not only gives visitors the information they need, but also encourages more sales!