How to Write Sales Copy When the Standards Don’t Apply

Recently, we did some work for a couple of folks with a product marketed to rock fans. Specifically, fans of one particular band. These folks needed a sales page to sell their product, and since James is a ridiculous rock freak, he was falling all over himself to oblige.

I came along for the ride. Passive observer here, people. I am just reporting the facts.

Usually, in a sales page, you want to make sure the benefits of purchasing this product are obvious to your audience. Your two go-tos are as follows:

  • This product will help you succeed at something you want to do
  • This product will make you rich

Now, this particular product was a book all about one rock band. It looked interesting, but as someone who could give a good goddamn from which poppy field in Afghanistan Kurt Cobain’s heroin overdose originated, I can tell you right now this is only interesting to people who love this band.

Like, really love this band.

Might possibly have shrines in their attics, love this band.

Which means that our normal go-tos for why people should buy this book are out the window. It’s not going to be useful to anyone’s success. It’s not going to make them rich.

How do you find a selling point, one that isn’t about your usual standards?

Here are the selling points of the book:

  • It will make other aficionados of this band weep with envy that you got a first edition and they did not.
  • It will give you even more information about a band that you already knew way, way too much about.

Those are pretty unconventional selling points.

It helps to consider the most outlandish possible ideal customer for this product. In our case, it was the guy who has the shrine in his attic. That guy is going to freak out if he has the opportunity to see just one, ONE more photo of one of the band members doing a sound check.

It doesn’t matter that he’s seen eight million photos of this band. It doesn’t matter that many of these photos are of the band doing sound checks. It doesn’t matter that he could actually recite the exact words the vocalist said into the microphone to test it before any given conference.

To this guy, any new information at all is solid gold. It’s worth the world.

New information that no one else has? It’s the Holy Grail.

Now, this customer may or may not actually exist. For all we know, no one in the world actually has a shrine to this band in his attic. But it does help to imagine the motives of the extremist. He’s not motivated by usefulness or by personal success.

He likes to feel like he has something no one else has.

It makes him feel special. It makes him feel like he’s someone important.

To him, that’s success. To him, that makes him the richest guy in the world.

It really does always boil down to those two points: money and success. The reason it boils down to those two points is because money and success are our tickets to happiness.

Sometimes, though, it helps to just cut to the chase and ask, “What would make this customer happiest? And why?”

If it’ll make your customer happiest to have one more photo of a rock band that existed before his time because it makes him feel special, then go ahead. Let him know you have just what it takes to make him happy and to feel like he’s the richest, most successful person in the world.

And the next time you have sales copy to write for a client where the standards – money and success – really do apply, ask yourself why customers want them for and for what purpose. Chances are, you can figure out what makes them happy, too.

Not a writer? Get us to write your sales copy. We know exactly how to make happiness happen.

Post by Taylor

Taylor Lindstrom (fondly known as Tei) is a twenty-something copywriter and journalist from Boulder, CO. She’s the team’s rogue woman who wowed us until our desire for her talents exceeded our desire for a good ol’ boys club. She loves the color green, micro-point Uniball pens, and medieval weaponry.