A creative copywriter or salesperson has to deal intelligently with figuring out how to turn readers into customers. After that, the next step is to encourage them to come back again and again as recurring visitors on the website and make them get to a purchase.
If you’re going to observe commercial websites, they have a general process for selling products and services over the Internet. Websites will not have exactly the same steps or number of stages in their campaigns, but they more or less have the same flow:
1. Introduction to the website, the business, and the products and services it offers.
2. Diverting the discussion to seemingly mundane topics that actually present scenarios in which the proffered products and services will prove very useful.
3. Presentation once again of the products and services, but this time with more enthusiasm (hard sell).
There is a bigger and more important element here, though, that will ensure the success of any marketing plan, and that is the product or service that you are trying to sell. That’s the big secret—or shall we say not-so-big-secret? After all, any business cannot begin any marketing and promotional campaign if there’s nothing, not even a concept, to sell yet.
If you have a product or an offer that you feel very confident and proud of, consumers will see what makes it golden. More importantly, selling it will come naturally to you.
Now that we’ve established the importance of having a kick-ass product or service, you then have to figure out how to sell it effectively. The general steps above are actually a good track to follow.
People who frequent the Internet are always wary of blatant 'sales talk,' especially that which arrives unsolicited. That’s why many businesses take it slowly when promoting something online. Start with introducing your product/service and the company, group, or individual behind it. Sometimes it is better to be upfront about who you are and what you have in store for the people you are targeting.
There’s a very good chance anyway that they will be willing to listen because they know you have something they might be very interested in. More importantly, they will remember you the next time they think about something related to your offer.
Don’t jump into a hard sell right away, especially if the nature of your product or service is not well-known. For example, websites that sell clothes, shoes, bags, furniture, and other merchandise can be more upfront with their promotional content because their products don’t need that much introduction.
On the other hand, websites that sell herbal products need to spend time talking about the main herbal ingredient, the types of illnesses it cures, and the product’s overall health benefits. Basically, the pace of your progression from product introduction to soft selling depends on what you are trying to sell to the market.
The Importance of Soft Selling
In soft selling, you present real-life scenarios that the audience can relate to and show them how your product or service will be of use. This way you are sympathizing with them and at the same time offering a sound solution for their plights. Brands like Genie Recycling put a keen focus on soft selling and knowledge sharing -
You need to convince people that your product/service is worth spending money on and that whatever they get out of it, in the end, is worth the time spent waiting for its delivery (in the case of merchandise) or completion (in the case of professional services).
Writing content with soft-selling undertones allows you to do that. Studies show that consumers’ desire to purchase an item increases by 30% thanks to soft selling and that 97% of soft selling-targets are likely to share the product with others.
End with a Hard Sell
In contrast to the above is hard selling. At this point, you are already pressuring your market to make the final step and click on that purchase button. You shouldn’t be coercive though.
Instead, show some urgency and make them realize the need to purchase your offer as soon as possible. This is where time-limited offers and statements like, 'while supplies last' come in. Simple words that don’t coerce but nevertheless urge customers to grab your offer.
Remember two things for your entire campaign: don’t take too long with your soft selling, and never forget to make a hard sell at the end. That’s the way to secure conversions.