Have you ever landed on a website and been taken from ‘just browsing’ to ‘I need this’ in just a few seconds? Good. That means you’ve been graced with awesome products and more importantly, effective copy. Great copy elevates a user’s experience and boosts the significance of your product or service. When done well, sales copy goes from boring to stimulating.
Writer Rudyard Kipling once said that words are the most powerful drug used by mankind: “not only do words infect, egotize, narcotize, and paralyze, but they enter into and colour the minutest cells of the brain…” I’m willing to bet that any copywriter worth their salt would say the same.
So my questions to you are: How much do you pay attention to how you communicate through your website? Does your copy do your brand justice? Does it send the right message? Does it spark the right emotion?
The purpose of this post is to bring a bit of inspiration and remind readers what good ol’ (good) copy sounds like. We have curated the following pieces because they piqued our interest and successfully got our team revved up to produce great sales copy.
1. Warby Parker
Who: Eyeglasses, sunglasses and everything in between.
Why this copy: It’s honest to the core and that’s what most people appreciate.
“But wait,” you’re thinking, eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Why sell the glasses? Why not just donate them?”
Glad you asked.
It’s a sticky fact of life that kind-hearted gestures can have unintended consequences. Donating is often a temporary solution, not a lasting one. It can contribute to a culture of dependency. It is rarely sustainable.
Instead of donating, our partners train men and women to sell glasses for ultra-affordable prices, which allows them to earn a living. More important, it forces our partners to offer glasses that people actually want to buy: glasses that fit with local styles, look good, work well, and make the wearer feel incredible.
Because everyone wants to feel incredible.”
2. S.W Basics
Who: This Brooklyn-based indie beauty brand offer a handful of products, each accompanied by a short description that’s woven together like a fine textile.
Why this copy: It’s relatable. We all do it in the morning, we just don’t have the super oil they are selling…hold on a minute…
“So you’ve just taken a nice, hot shower and toweled off and—gasp! Now what? Are you just going to step out into the bitter cold/sweltering heat/suffocating humidity/arid wind with NO protection for your skin? We thought not.
Our newly reformulated Body Oil is a great way to quickly lock in moisture and keep it there all day long because it’s made with three of the most superpowered oils out there: sesame, macadamia, and avocado!
They’re light enough to soak in deep and heavy enough to get the job done. And, you’re in luck! Our Lemongrass scent, with the added awesomeness of organic lemongrass essential oil is back.”
Who: American insurance firm with the simple goal of providing insurance for every kind of incident.
Why this copy: It’s an experience only some are familiar with – that’s what makes it interesting. If you’re an individual who’s mad about their new, shiny £100,000 car, it’s likely Farmer’s Insurance will be able to sell you auto insurance with this copy.
“A Farmers customer had worked long and hard, and finally rewarded himself with his dream car. He special ordered it with all the features, gadgets, and even a limited-edition paint job. But he wasn’t 5 miles off the dealership lot when a deer destroyed his shiny new ride by jumping up and “dancing” across the hood and roof.
We’ve seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything.”
Who: Mum of three boys, Tesse, built a business that sells salad dressing and it’s not full of artificial ingredients.
Why this copy: Keywords. it’s packed with keywords: paleo, dairy free, sugar free, vegan, kosher, gluten free, all nestled beautifully between the witty dressing that is copy.
“Our mom taught us to follow one rule: Always check the ingredients. Are you looking for a Paleo solution? Or do you just want the best mix of Lemon and Garlic salad dressing and marinade you can taste?
This is the one. The Original. Yeah, it’s gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan, kosher, and Whole30 Approved but that doesn’t matter to us because it just tastes good.
That’s it, darn good period. What are you waiting for?”
Who: Game-changing law firm separating themselves from the competition by redefining their business and talent.
Why this copy: It tells you the firm is pushing hard to be different – and you want to see just how different they are. It makes you want to pick up the phone and chat with them.
“We’ve always struggled with the classic “elevator pitch” on Axiom. Thirty seconds becomes two minutes which soon becomes seven. We like to chalk it up to an overabundance of passion rather than a failure to articulate.
Nearly a year ago, we set out to create a quick portrait of who we are, where we’re going and, above all, why we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place. We sat down with teammates, clients and industry leaders and asked for their insights and perspectives to create this short documentary. It’s still not an elevator pitch, but we think it paints an accurate picture. And it’s definitely more fun to watch than us stammering for seven minutes about transformative value propositions.”
Who: A team of trial lawyers. The firm was founded by R. Rex Parris in 1985.
Why this copy: You’d probably want the lawyer in your corner to fight like a lion, right? Great, then these lawyers have already won.
“Like the lion, we fight fearlessly for you. We are trial lawyers who get results. Our established law firm has a history of securing large financial awards and favorable resolutions for our clients, earning PARRIS a reputation as a firm that can be called upon to help people in their toughest times.”
Who: Just one of the best free email marketing services on the web. No big deal.
Why this copy: It gets straight to the point – telling you exactly why you should choose them (and how simple it will be to do so). Sold.
“If you have 2,000 or fewer subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. No expiring trial, contract, or credit card required.”
Who: UK auto retailer
Why this copy: Some may not understand the technical car jargon but damn, they sure do. Jeremy Clarkson and Co, eat your heart(s) out.
“The entry-level engine in the Grande Punto is the 1.2-litre which boasts a modest 65bhp. It’s quite lively but does need to be worked quite hard out of town. The 1.4-litre is better and comes in two outputs of 77bhp or 95bhp – the latter offers enough performance for most. At the end of 2007 a new 1.4-litre T-Jet engine was introduced which uses a turbocharger to produce an impressive 120bhp.
It’s got plenty of pulling power too and is a great engine to use with barely any turbo lag while acceleration doesn’t drop off – even when you near the red line. With a 0-60mph time of 8.9 seconds it’s not quite a hot hatch but is still a gem of an engine and economical too, returning 43mpg. The diesel line-up is equally strong as the Fiat uses the acclaimed MultiJet engines.
There’s a 1.3-litre version which is available in two outputs of 75bhp and 90bhp and both are pokey enough for most. For a bit more pace however there’s the excellent 120bhp 1.9-litre MultiJet which is our pick of the range combining punchy in-gear pace and 50mpg economy.”
Who: U.S based company who sell naturally-grown, nutrient based supplements for health and fitness enthusiasts.
Why this copy: The scenario is relatable and taps into how the product could enhance your day-to-day. We could all do with that.
“Alpha BRAIN may help you remember names and places, focus on complex tasks, and improve your mental speed in response to stimuli. Whether it is a work project, a social gathering, or an athletic performance, taking Alpha BRAIN is like another gear for your brain.
How many opportunities to make a great point or make your friends laugh pass you by because that word gets stuck on the tip of your tongue? What could you accomplish if you could apply unwavering focus to any task you wanted? Two double blind clinical trials conducted by the Boston Center for Memory showed improvements vs placebo in memory, brainwave patterns, and focus.”
Who: It’s Converse. If you don’t know them, you’re just not cool enough, buddy. Know this: their shoes fit your hustle.
Why this copy: The copy has the punch of a heavyweight boxer and it’ll likely make you head to the checkout page once you’re done reading.
“You do your thing. You do it relentlessly. Every day, you’re on your feet and moving. You love your Chucks, but you need them to be more. We listened. Introducing the Chuck Taylor All Star II. They’re cushioned for hustle. They fit and feel better, but still look like the icons you’ve always connected with. Now you can do your thing, only harder.
The LUNARLON SOCK LINER is a lightweight, soft and responsive cushioning that rolls with the punches. A 360-degree COLLAR AND TONGUE FOAM provides a snug, secure fit around your ankles and instep. The interior has an ULTRA-SOFT LINER made of high quality, breathable suede. It provides a comfort that will keep your mind on the important stuff.”
11. Nixon Watches
Who: American watches, accessories and audio brand headquartered in California.
Why this copy: It assures consumers that they’re getting quality from a brand that cares about what they make and who they make it for.
“We make the little things better. The stuff you have that isn’t noticed first, but can’t be ignored. We pay attention to it. We argue about it. We work day and night to make the little things as good as it can be, so when you wear it, you feel like you’ve got a leg up on the rest of the world.
We believe that you warrant a lot of respect. When you choose to wear a watch, put on your headphones, or select a wallet to hold your hard earned cash, you deserve to have something that reflects your entire package. You may not know how to say it, but you’ve got something to say and you can’t slap on an off-the-shelf piece and consider yourself you. That’s why in ’98 we started Nixon and that’s why all these years later, we’re still here.”
Who: Your own personal web-based finance manager. Trusted, friendly and helpful.
Why this copy: Money is least exciting when you have to look after it. This copy assures users that their service will help make the process much less frustrating.
“Know where you stand, and how you can improve. The more accounts, cards and bills you link, the more we can help you do. See what you have and what you owe. Understand where money goes and where you can cut back. Create budgets, track investments, discover new ways to save and more.”
13. Mule Design
Who: Design studio based in San Francisco.
Why this copy: It’s got an ease and confidence to it, which makes us think their team might too. It makes you want to get to know them.
“When you’ve got a stubborn design problem, you need a stubborn designer. (We don’t mean a jerk. No one needs that.) We’re talking about someone who really commits—to understanding what you need and to getting it right.
We’re stubborn because we want to do good work. We design things that help people. And we teach other people how to design those things as well.”
Who: Scandinavian furniture retailer online and Swedish meatballs galore in-store.
Why this copy: The copy is written for a distinct sort of individual. The genius here is: it’s the individual we all want to be.
“IKEA PS is for the fiercely independent. For free-thinkers who refuse a work-eat-sleep-repeat life and who give convention a wedgie. Not asking for permission or approval. Choosing freedom and the possibilities that come with it.”
Who: A treasure trove of gifts, tech, food, drink, gadgets, art, books, home, clothing, games, toys, lifestyle, pop culture and oddities. Phew!
Why this copy: We can picture the scene, oh-so-vividly. Plus, it made us laugh.
“Picture the scene: a friend returns from some former Soviet republic clutching a bottle of vodka that’s supposedly been fermented in the nose cone of a MiG using Siberian snowflakes, before being bottled by one of Rasputin’s relatives in a former Cossack boot factory. How do you top that?
No, you don’t admit defeat in the battle of vodka one-upmanship; you produce a bottle of Scorpion Vodka and make your gloating guest look sillier than Boris Yeltsin after a few lemonades.
As you can see, Scorpion Vodka contains a walloping great scorpion. And it’s not just any old scorpion. This particular pickled arachnid has been specially bred in southern China and is totally safe to eat. So they tell us. The word is that each pincer-wielding beastie (infused in the vodka for three months before hitting the shelves) has undergone a special detoxifying process. This neutralises the scorpion’s venom, making it 100% edible, tail ‘n’ all!
We’re not saying this makes it any easier to wolf down the sozzled little critter but it’s nice to know that death and paralysis are not on the cards when you’re chewing on that deliciously squishy tail. Besides, the Scorpion lives in the bottom of the bottle, so chances are you’ll have downed the contents before you’re faced with eating it.
As well as its novelty factor, the eight-legged lush in each bottle has other benefits. No, really. For starters it’s guaranteed to frighten the living daylights out of would-be booze bandits (‘Blah-blah won’t mind if I just nick a bit of his vodk…aargh!’). What’s more it imparts a soft, woody taste to the vodka and smooths off its sharp edge. Not that you’ll be thinking about that when you’re arguing over who has to eat the little blighter. Mmm…pincers. Cheers!”
16. J Peterman
Who: Fashion retailer selling classic apparel and accessories for men and women.
Why this copy: One our my absolute favourite sales copy of all time. It’s as raw and punchy as New York itself. You’d probably want the coat just to feel like you’re part of it.
“Attitude. Some people complain that New York isn’t what it used to be. Too clean. Too vanilla. Too safe.
Back in the 1970s New York was a war zone. Bankrupt. Jobless. Homeless. Visitors were greeted at airports with tips for surviving the city: Don’t go out after 6 p.m. Don’t walk on the streets. Don’t use public transportation.
Through the rubble, a distinct hue of outerwear resonates. Camel. Somehow, it’s more New York than black or navy. Soon, every type of man is wearing it from the teamster to the graffiti artist to the Wall Street banker.
Today, a camel peacoat suggests a sort of forward sophistication. But with the right attitude, and maybe the right shirt (see our black mock turtleneck), you’ll notice people a bit more eager to admire and a bit less eager to get in your way.
Now that’s New York.”
17. Butchers Salon
Who: Hairdressers based in London’s Shoreditch, founded by Susannah and Katie.
Why this copy: Let’s count the ways they say hair without actually saying hair: barnets, locks, follicle miracle. It’s simple, your hair is their mane priority (sorry, we had to).
“This is the start of a two women mission to rid the world of ugly barnets. We’re fed up of hair that drains your brain, saps your style and fixes you with a frown.
At Butchers we believe in cuts and colours that shout ‘Check me out. I look unbelievable.
And so does my fabulous hair.’ And all without trashing your locks or the planet in the process. But how do we achieve this follicle miracle? With people and products that take real good care of you. We’re Susannah and Katie, stylists and Butchers owners –
armed with an Aveda range that gets gorgeous results without the chemical warfare.”
18. Uncommon Goods
Who: Headquartered In New York, their online shop is all about creative gift ideas for men, women, and kids.
Why this copy: It sets the scene, and it’s a scene we definitely want to be a part of.
“Eating Off The Floor: We’ve all done it: eating in front of a movie marathon on the couch, or dinner in bed on a rainy evening. It’s OK…you’ve had a hard week. We understand.
Instead of balancing a foam take-out container on your knee in front of the TV, our Ooma Bowl will transform your couch dining experience. Its dual chambers are specially designed to keep food separate, so you can enjoy your chips and salsa or rice and curry without any unintentional mixing. Plus, the ergonomically designed bowl balances when held in one hand, and keeps your wrist in a comfortable, neutral position! Here’s to eating on the floor…and the couch…and the recliner…
Learn more about how Thomas is taking ‘comfort food’ to the next level in an interview on the blog.”
19. Nasty Gal
Who: Self-made richest woman in the world, Sophia Amouruso, started this fashion retail business at the age of 22.
Why this copy: You may not end up buying anything, but you’ll take a look. That’s for sure.
“Take 70% OFF Absolutely Everything. Yep. EVERYTHING. Stop reading, start shopping.”
20. Sakara Life
Who: Organic meal delivery service based in the U.S.
Why this copy: It appeals to the health-savvy by sending a clear message: their food doesn’t feel like a constraint.
- We believe in plant-based, organic and nutrient-dense whole foods that use the freshest, purest, most loving ingredients from around the world.
- We believe in NOT restricting, starving, or guilting.
- We believe in counting our blessings. Not points, carbs, or calories.
- We believe food makes you feel sexy.
- We believe in mimosas at Sunday brunch and the joy of dark chocolate.
- We believe in body LOVE, in the most delicious way possible.
- We believe in making choices that will improve your quality of life, not just your dress size. Although that will change too – trust us!
- We believe everyone has the right to feel their absolute best, love themselves and others to the fullest, and live their dream life.
I originally wrote this for Ideas Made.