If you want to become a successful B2B copywriter, I’ve got some great advice for you. Get up early on a Sunday morning and study TV infomercials. Yes, those always cheesy, sometimes sleazy infomercials incorporate techniques that should be applied to website product pages — techniques that get people excited about the product and motivate them to act now.
Patterning product page copy after infomercials may not land you a Pulitzer Prize, but will generate sales leads for your company and make you a top earner. Here, then, are the most important infomercial techniques to study.
Infomercial pitchmen and pitchwomen ooze enthusiasm from every pore. They don’t think their detergent will “improve washing performance,” they guarantee it will change your life! They don’t sell “residential fabric cleaning solutions,” they blast grit and grime into the stratosphere!
Now, you can tone down the rhetoric to suit your business without losing sight of the key points. Don’t use trite business jargon; it is devoid of meaning and passion. If excitement about your product or service doesn’t shine through in your copy, how can you expect website visitors to care?
2. Connect Features to Benefits
Infomercials don’t state facts in isolation. Rather than saying their detergent contains 45% more tetrawhizbangoxide, they flash that information in front of a before/after image of a shirt that was once drenched in motor oil and is now sparkling white. Why do they do this? — Because facts in isolation are boring. Prospects don’t want facts; they want to understand how your product will help them. Facts are valuable when they help prospects understand, so copywriters must connect the dots.
So, as a specific application of this idea, can you do better than a list of feature/benefit bullet points on your product page? Can you insert images, like the before-and-after shirt, that dramatically show the feature in action? If you can, the conversion power of your product pages will soar. Product pages with strong imagery sell. Strong means images that highlight product benefits and/or features, and are connected to copy (bullet points or captions) that reinforce the value of those benefits.
3. Emphatically Ask for the Business
Subtlety doesn’t work well in sales. This is why infomercials ask for the order early and often — and emphatically. Order now! Get it while supplies last! Operators are standing by! Quantities limited: customers whose last names start with A to O can phone in now!
Again, you can modify the tone without losing the point. The less your visitors have to think about what to do next on your website, the better. Give them a path to conversion! Tell them what they need to do next, and exactly how to do it. Repeat the information so visitors don’t have to scroll up or down to find it. And don’t just insert your calls to action anywhere; put them after a particularly strong selling point.
4. Talk Conversationally
You’ll notice infomercial pitchmen and pitchwomen are people just like you, perhaps with a bit more caffeine in their systems. You don’t need a dictionary to follow along with what they are saying. Many infomercials employ co-hosts to make their pitches literally conversational. This is an effective technique in business copywriting as well. People are people, but copywriters often write as if they were talking to students.
Avoiding jargon, which I mentioned earlier, is a great start, but only the start of conversational style. Other persuasive, conversational content elements include customer testimonials, customer interviews, customer reviews, and interviews with your company’s product specialists or top executives. If product pages feel like a high school textbook, your website visitors will fall asleep. However, if they feel like they’re listening in on a conversation, their ears will perk up. They will be in a mood to engage and take action.
5. Use Testimonials
Customer-generated and customer-driven content does more than provide a conversational tone. Customer endorsements are supremely persuasive. Customers are not idiots. They know you, as a company copywriter, are going to put a company spin on whatever you write. They know the company has a vested interest in selling the product. In short, customers are skeptical of company sales copy.
This is why infomercials are packed with interviews of happy users of the product. Seeing one or two is impressive; seeing 10 or 20 is downright irresistible. So the challenge to you is this: can you do better than mechanically inserting one or two testimonials in your product page? Can you find a way to insert five or six really powerful ones? Doing so could make the difference between a handful of conversions and a bucketful.
But I’ve been talking too much. Learn from the master: here is the late, great Billy Mays in action, in this 2-minute video.
Pretty effective, eh? What other product page copywriting techniques did you pick up watching this video?