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Pre-Copywriting Checklist: 10 Things You Must Do BEFORE Writing Sales Copy

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Want to know the 10 things you must have BEFORE you start writing? In today’s article, I’m giving you the insider scoop on my Pre-Copywriting Checklist to help you write a relevant, complete, and effective sales page… that boosts conversions every time.

Hey guys… what’s up, it’s Alex!

If you’re new to the crew… welcome, it’s great to have you here! Make sure to hit that subscribe button over on my YouTube Channel, so you never miss another video and ring that bell to be notified when my next one goes live. Every single week I release a new tutorial on the branding, marketing and copywriting strategies you need to stay relevant today.

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Alright – tell me if this has ever happened to you…

You’re on a call with a client and they ask you to write a sales page. And you’re like “YESSSSSS I got this”

But then what?!?! What do you need to ask them? What do you need to know before you start?

Or if you’re writing your own sales page for your business or product launch…

How do you prepare a bomb sales page brief?

Well in today’s post I’m going to talk you through each point of my Pre-Copywriting Checklist. This checklist includes the 10 things you MUST have before you even think about writing your first word…

So you can write relevant, complete, and effective copy that WORKS.

And you’ll find out how you can get your hands on this checklist along with my proven sales page formula at the end of the article. 

Now, so many people think that copywriting STARTS with writing… which… makes sense right? 

But nope. There are actually quite a few things that need to be done, and key information you need to know BEFORE you ever write a single word. 

That’s right, before you can blow your client or customers away with your amaze-balls copywriting skills… you first have to do some detective work.

Now, you might be thinking “but I’m a copywriter, my job is to be creative and write”…

And while that’s true, a good copywriter takes the time to go over EVERY SINGLE DETAIL in advance.

In fact, most of my initial client calls take a least an hour, that’s how long you’ll need to cover the basics, ask the right questions, and get all the juicy details you need. 

So roll up your sleeves, put on your best copywriter detective hat, and get ready to do some investigative work with this Pre-Copywriting Checklist, the 10 very important things that you MUST have before you write a high-converting sales page…

#1 Campaign Context 

It’s not enough to just know the product or business you’re writing for. As a copywriter, you need to get a bird’s-eye view of the entire scope of the sales campaign. 

Unless you’re in charge of every single piece of copy for the project, you need to make sure that the asset you’re writing flows cohesively with the other elements of the campaign. 

For example, if you’re hired to do the sales page, it’s important that you request a look at the ads, the landing pages, and the emails that come before it, during it, and even after it!

That way, you understand what your customer sees, experiences and is already aware of before they land on your sales page… and can make sure you’re actually on the same page. Pun intended.

The last thing you want is for your prospect to follow an ad or a content video to your page and notice a complete disconnect in your messaging… or worse, feel totally misled. That’s a sure way to ruin your first impression and drive them away — possibly never to return!

And if it’s an existing customer that’s coming to your page, you risk disrupting the relationship they already have with your brand.

So be sure to request to see those other assets so you can understand the campaign context and flow. If they’re not readily available, it would still help to do a little digging and ask your client what’s been conceptualized or strategized in terms of a promotion plan. 

#2 Customer Avatar Profile

Even though this is a critical component of any brand, you’d be surprised how many businesses out there still haven’t defined who their customer is.

A customer avatar or persona goes way beyond the basic data found in your website analytics such as age, gender, and location.  

Your customer avatar is an actual personality that you create, name and define as you would a real person. It illustrates the personal and psychographic traits of your ideal customer… down to their challenges, fears, goals and personal interests.

The goal is to be able to showcase genuine empathy and communicate effectively in your copy. A customer avatar profile takes the marketing motto “if you try to sell to everybody, you’ll sell to nobody” to the next level by having a specific person in mind.

The more clarity you can get on who your Customer is, the better your sales copy will be.

If your client doesn’t have a customer avatar profile handy — why not guide them through an exercise that will a) be an added value to your service, and b) help you deliver great work? 

At the end of this post, I’ll link to my video on the Customer Avatar Exercise that I use with my clients.

#3 Authority Credentials

No one wants to buy products or services from a rando joe-schmoe… 

People want to be sure who they’re buying from is legit and qualified to sell or teach them the product offered. 

If they’re providing professional services — do they have the right academic qualifications? 

If they’re positioning themselves as an expert in their field, do they have proof to showcase their experience, such as case studies and relevant training?

If they’re supposedly renowned for their work, have they been featured in the press or taken the stage at any events? 

You get the point here. 

These are the types of credentials and accolades that will establish your or your client’s authority and help you create trust with your sales copy, increasing the likelihood of your prospects hitting the order button! 

#4 Brand Origin Story

Now more than ever before… customers want to buy from brands that they can relate to. Gone are the days of businesses getting away with generic identities and a lack of personality. People are no longer just buying the WHAT of your product, but also the WHY. 

That’s why it’s important for you to get to know the story behind the product you’re writing for. What is the history? What inspired it’s creation? How does it represent the values of the company? What is the company’s mission and how does the product aim to achieve it?  

If you’re lucky enough to be writing for a well-established brand, chances are there’s a brand voice guide or guidelines that you can request to help with your copy.

Otherwise, what I recommend you do is get on an introduction call with your client not only to understand the scope of the job and the campaign, but also use the time to ask about their brand message and story.  

Questions like: Why did you start doing what you’re doing? What’s the origin of your business? What’s the first thing you want people to know about you? What is your mission statement? 

And of course, what is your…

#5 Unique Selling Proposition

Chances are, your client’s product or service isn’t the very first one on the market of its kind. In fact, there are probably hundreds, or even thousands, of similar products or services just like yours already out there.

So why would someone buy from you over your competition? What problem does it solve and what goal does help your prospect achieve? These are usually summed up in a USP statement or description on their brand website. 

If your client doesn’t have a USP Statement that they publicly use, there’s a high chance that they have it outlined in company documents such as an investor deck or brand guidelines.

If your client doesn’t have an answer at all — then it’s down to you to look into their brand, do some market research, and suggest some ideas on how their product can be positioned for the campaign.

If you need an effective copywriting exercise to help you with this, you can watch my video to learn all about it here.

#6 Product Features & Framework

Okay, so this is probably the most obvious one! In order to write about a product, you need to know EXACTLY what the product is and everything that’s included with it… and I mean everything!

People like to know the specific details of what they’re buying! For example, if your product is a Whole 30 Cookbook with 25 free recipes included… make sure you mention those recipes in your sales page copy.

Perhaps you’re selling an extra-luxurious Rose Quartz Gua Sha tool that includes a detailed e-book on 10 facial techniques plus a nourishing face oil…

Or maybe you’re writing for an online coaching program that includes 8 guided learning modules, insider Q&A recordings, and tons of step-by-step templates, exercises, and worksheets…

See where I’m going with this? The more specific you can be with your features and framework the better! 

#7 Customer Testimonials

Now, this might just be the Holy Grail of any sales page… customer testimonials. 

I mean how many of us have quickly skimmed through a sales page, and then VERY thoroughly read each testimonial before deciding if we want to either 1) move on and forget the product altogether… or 2) scroll back up the top and re-read the sales page a little closer?

Customer testimonials make a huge difference in the decision-making process…

A staggering 92% of people read online reviews. And it is proven that the presence of customer testimonials can drive revenue up by 62%!

I mean think about it, how often have you bought something just because your favorite influencer swears by it? Or when you read a review by someone who struggled with the exact same issue that you have and managed to overcome it with this product? 

So if your client has any testimonials (even just one!) make sure you ask for them! They can often be great sources of inspiration for your hooks and headlines too!

And obviously… the more you include on your sales page, the better!

#8 Price

As yes the main question that’s on everybody’s minds — how much is this going to cost?

As a copywriter, you’ll want to ask your client what the price point of the product is, along with any payment plan options available.

But, before you move on from this line item on your checklist… you also need to get a clear idea of what the value of this product is.

For example, does the product come with additional features that other brands don’t have or charge extra for? Does it come in a package or bundle whereby getting the features individually would cost waaay more? 

Does the product help prospects save money by getting the benefit from your client versus someone else? 

These are the questions you want to ask to help establish what the overall VALUE of the product is so your prospects know what they would have to pay if they buy outside the offer window or if they went to another market alternative. 

#9 The Offer Specifics

Now onto the MOST important details you need to know to write copy that sells… the offer specifics. These are all the details you need to write the close of your sales page.

This includes the promotion specifics, discount and any scarcity that will or can be used on the page. This is also a good time to clarify any formal details like discount conditions, application deadlines, FAQs, refund policy, and any extra bonuses that are included. 

Once you get the offer specifics mapped out and get the green light from your client, it’s your job to spice this stuff up and write a hot offer! This is when you can turn to their brand voice and customer avatar to add some personality to the pitch! Get creative and make it fun. 

#10. Delivery Details

Another item that is commonly overlooked is the Delivery Details…

It might seem obvious, but you need to clarify from your client EXACTLY how, when, and where the product will be delivered so that you can communicate it clearly to your customers. 

For instance — will they get their login details via email instantly? Where can they access their content? How long do they have to wait before they receive their product? 

Remember, you don’t want to leave room for any customer confusion, so it’s best to include delivery details on the sales page, like in an FAQ section… or you risk that customer peacing out because they weren’t clear on next steps or what to expect.

Watch This Instead:

So there you have it guys, the 10 things you need BEFORE you can write a relevant, complete, and effective sales page that connects and converts. Leave me a comment below if you found this article helpful.

And if you want your own copy of my Pre-Copywriting Checklist — I have an exciting invitation for you…

At the link below, you’ll find out more about my highly-anticipated Write & Ignite challenge, where I will teach you the EXACT sales letter formula and writing process I’ve uses to help dozens of businesses execute multi million-dollar launches… and countless students land high-paying copywriting projects and clients…

And you’re going to learn it all in just 5 Days. Ya heard me!

So whether you’re an entrepreneur who needs a high-converting sales page that actually works in today’s online marketing climate…

Or a new coach or consultant who is ready to put your work out there but don’t have thousands of dollars to pay a copywriter…

Or you’re a freelance copywriter who is struggling with a client’s sales page and needs fast-track guidance to get high-quality copy out in under a week…

Or an aspiring copywriter who wants to have a freshly-minted professional sales page in your portfolio so you can get clients ASAP…

This Challenge is for YOU! Click here to find out how to get in on it.

I hope to see you there!

As always thanks so much for reading and subscribing to my YouTube Channel. Next up check out my video on creating a Customer Avatar here. I will see you next week with a brand new post.

Until then, I’m Alex, Ciao for now!

 

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