Whether you are going to create all the copywriting for your business yourself, or are going to employ a copywriter, the only way that the sales copy which is written can be effective, is if three very important questions are answered beforehand.

The first is one which copywriters going back to the earliest days of advertising have wanted the answer to, and that is what is the product’s unique selling proposition, or USP as it is more commonly referred to. The simple truth is that a business owner wanting to sell a product or service, you must be able to identify what the USP is.  In other words, what differentiates your ‘widget’ from all the other widgets.

A simple way to identify it, is by the using the statement “This is the only ‘widget’ that ……”. What you write in the space after the word ‘that’ is the USP of your product. If you cannot think of anything to write in the space, then you must ask yourself why would anyone want to buy my product if it has nothing different to offer them from all the other products that exist already? This is where so many businesses fall at the first hurdle because they are not offering customers anything different from that which they can purchase elsewhere already.

The second question that needs to be answered is who is your market, or who are your potential customers? If you simply say ‘everyone’, then there is no way for any of the sales copy which is used in your marketing to speak directly to those customers. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific group such as a gender or social class. Instead, it could be ‘dog owners who are fed up with dog hair the rug’, or ‘over 50s who haven’t made a will’, for example.

The point is, that in order to write sales copy which actually sells, it needs to be written in such a way that it speaks directly to the intended recipient. By knowing who this target market is, words and phrases can be used which will trigger thoughts and emotions in those people, which can’t be achieved if it is written to the entire population.

The third important question to answer is, what other products is your product competing against? This is not so you or your copywriter can write half a dozen paragraphs slagging them off and telling everyone how bad they are, but rather, so you can identify where your competitors’ products lack something or what their failings might be.

What then happens with the sales copy written for your product, is it effectively positions it as the one which overcomes the problems your competitors’ products cannot. You can also highlight any special features that your product has that the others lack.