First, I must tell you what direct sales isn’t. It’s more important than what they are. Just like any other sale strategy, the goal is to sell something – whether that’s a product or something else is up to your ethic.
Direct sale isn’t the commercial you see on TV. You read that right. The advertisements you see on TV want to sell you brand awareness. Their goal? When you *need* what they sell, they want you to think about their company first.
Coca-Cola do this very well. Need to refresh yourself? Take a Coke. They aren’t selling you their beverage in the advertisements. No. They are showing you how great people feel after drinking it. And it probably spices up the sales and increase brand awareness – but never triggers instant buy. Hey, you are in your sofa watching TV, how can you buy a coke right now?
But to be fair with you, brand awareness is a totally different subject. If you’re reading these words, I’m sure you don’t give a damn about brand awareness. Sure, it would be cool to be known world-wide. But hey, if that doesn’t help you sell your products, that’s useless.
TV commercials aren’t into selling. They are building brand awareness. They want people to think about them first when they need XYZ product. They aren’t hard selling. After seeing the commercial nobody will think: Damn, I need this!
It’s subtle. Just as building a blog, building brand awareness isn’t profitable in the T time but in the future. Brand awareness can be leveraged into faithful customers. And yes, it’s something you must sustain. People hear about your brand again and gain. Sometimes thousand times before they decide the product is worth their hard-earned money.
Unlike direct sales, brand awareness can’t be measured. You’ll never know how many units your ad sales. It sucks. Especially for smaller business who need to turn their readers into customers as soon as possible. Brand awareness is a strategy only already established business should use to gain more traction from not-yet customers.
That’s for the complex brand awareness part. Now, let’s move to what’s direct sales because it’s much easier.
Direct sales are about triggering an emotional state in your readers, so they decide to buy your product. They buy right now. Not later. Right now. And that’s powerful because it enables you to track numbers, change your ads and study what works from what doesn’t.
When writing direct sales advertisement, your only goal is to sell. Results are measured by how many people bought your product after reading the advertisement. You’ve got 100 readers; 2 persons decide to buy. Your converting roughly 2% readers into customers. It’s impossible for brand awareness users to get this kind of data, that’s what makes direct sales so powerful.
When making tweaks to your ad, you see direct results – damn it’s getting cheesy. Let’s say you add a catchy picture. You give it to 100 persons. Only 1 buy. Now you know that the catchy picture is counterproductive. It doesn’t sell more, it sells less. Remove this one from your advertisement.
Direct sale marketing is used mostly online. Because it comes along with the online package. As soon as you publish a sale page, you know how many readers come and how many of them turn into customer – google analytics is your friend. At any time you can tweak the content of the page. Making it shorter or longer. Changing the way you write. Adding pictures. Removing pictures. Changing the button’s color… What about the font? Word’s shade of grey?
You can tweak as many parameters as you want in your advertisement and see direct results your sales
Direct sales marketing comes down to writing copy. When removing all the fluff from advertisements, what’s left? Words.
Direct sales are about writing words selling like no tomorrow. And it’s used in many forms. All sale videos need a script. Right, that’s some words. All pictures? Words. All letters? Words.
That’s why it’s impossible to distinguish direct sales from copywriting.
Copywriting is as straight forward as it seems. It’s the art of writing copies. Or to write words selling products. That’s all there is to it. The final goal of a copywriter? Sell more products.
As easy as it sounds, learning copywriting – or direct sales – is a tough deal. You must be willing to make mistakes and grow from them because there is no other way to learn – hint: life’s generally that way.
You must be ready to write and write more. Everyday. To promote your products and to sell. If that’s something you aren’t into, you’ll probably never sell anything.
Just like any other sale strategy, direct sales are about converting a reader into a customer. If you’re against persuading people, these strategies will sound awful to you. And yet, as humans we are using them all the time.
To be fair with you, there’s only two ways to get better at writing text selling products.
- Studying the piece of work an expert wrote. Read and take note. Why are there writing these specific words? Rewrite their advertisement with your own words. Read great ads every day. Not to feel good nor to buy. To learn the specific style of words convincing like it’s crazy outside
- Build a mailing list and sell something to your readers every day. There’s no other way around. By doing you’ll learn how things are and why they work the way they are. You’ll read a lot and understand some cognitive biases you can use in your favor. Bonus point. Being persuasive is a skill you’ll never run short of in your daily life.
Becoming better and better, you’ll start to notice most tricks are used again and again. I’m not naming cognitive biases in this article, I’ll write about them in another one. Let me just tell you they are fascinating. It’s insane how we can trick the human brain!
Now, for those of you considering how ethical or
unethical hard selling can be. Let me tell you something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
If your product is great and do exactly what you say it will, and you know it will help the buyer. Wouldn’t it be unethical not to do everything you can to get your product in the hand of as many people as possible?
Right, selling is helping. As long as your product delivers what your telling it will do, it’s unethical not to sell it.
When you can help people and you aren’t doing, it’s you the bad guy.
“But hey! Can’t you give away the product for free?”
At first that’s what I thought too. I’m in to help as many people as I can – drop a comment below if you don’t believe me. Why would I want to put a barrier at the entry? Well the reason is quite simple. Most readers will act as if your content have zero value – remember, they access it for free.
While the same content read by the same person would trigger actions if the reader paid for it. Stupid, I know. That’s why most products aren’t free. Creators know free content doesn’t move readers while paying content do.
The same words can have different value depending on what you do with them.
You can very well write an article and put it for free on the web or decide to sell it at 200$. Objectively, the value in your words is still the same. Subjectively? Someone who’s spending 200 bucks on a product MUST act on the content of this product. Otherwise? They are wasting the money they spent.
Long story, if you’re in to build your own business, you must be ready to sell your products. Otherwise? There’s no business at all!
Direct sales are magical in the sense it can sell anything. Sometimes it works too well. Selling shady products who aren’t doing what you advertise they will do can put you in trouble. The customer always knows if you are cheating him. If your honest, there’s no worry selling your products.
Copywriting is power. And power has no face.