The Ultimate Finish: Why Most Marketers Miss the Mark in Sales Copywriting

Sales Copywriting With Andrew Yedlin, Recording of a live tutorial

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At Copyhackers, we have a mantra: Sales copywriting isn’t about artistic flair; it’s about clinching the deal.

Yet, while navigating the course from the opening line to the CTA, numerous marketers stumble right before the finish line: the all-crucial close.

When Sales Copywriting Goes Mute

Recall that unforgettable moment with Alec Baldwin schooling a room of salesmen about the ‘ABC’ – Always Be Closing.


His message, while ruthlessly delivered, hit the nail on the head. In sales, and indeed in sales copywriting, if you’re not driving towards a close, you’re missing the whole point.

Imagine this: A sleek homepage for an up-and-coming SaaS product. The sales copywriting dazzles, inspires, and alleviates concerns. But, just when you expect a climax, it ends in a whimper. An FAQ sits there, devoid of a decisive CTA. The reader is left in limbo, pondering, “What’s the next move?”

Our duty in sales copywriting isn’t to inform or entertain; it’s to lead.

And it’s mind-boggling how frequently this duty is neglected.

Beyond missing CTAs, we’re witnessing an unsettling trend of feeble, uninspiring CTAs. The ubiquitous “Ready to…?” followed by an indifferent offer. You’ve no doubt come across them, and now that they’re on your radar, you’ll see this sales copywriting faux pas everywhere, like these.

Crafting a Close That Sticks in Sales Copywriting

So, how does one craft a close that resonates? Though exceptional closes might seem rare, they’re not mythical. Regulars at Copyhackers might recall Joanna highlighting Follow Up Boss’s exceptional sales copywriting on their homepage. It goes beyond just tossing a “Free Trial” button into the mix. It’s about interweaving a story, blending benefits with striking visuals, and underlining tangible value.

learn how to close in your sales copywriting with Master of Closing Techniques with Andrew Yedlin

In practice, this means clarity combined with oomph.

Instead of a generic “Sign Up” or “Discover More”, highlight the true offerings.

Does the trial offer an array of features? Does the product stand head and shoulders above its competitors? Be direct, be detailed, and, most importantly, be persuasive.

Sales copywriting isn’t merely a dance to engage your audience; it’s the art of finalizing the commitment. As we explore the myriad techniques and tactics of effective sales copywriting, let’s remember to not just set the stage but to also ensure the curtain call leaves a lasting impact. In sales copywriting, mastering the close doesn’t just wrap things up; it transforms the narrative.

Watch Andrew display this skill in the recording of a live Tutorial Tuesday on Sales Copywriting


Introduction [00:00]

Joanna Wiebe: Andrew, you’re going to share with us today, your interpretation of something that we teach inside 10x Web Copy. Tell us. Tell us all about it.

Andrew Yedlin: Cool yeah so we’re talking about the close and i’m calling this the most underrated part of your website copywriting and you’ll see why i’m calling it under rated soon.

Real quick about me before we get too far into that, my name is Andrew Yedlin. I’m a conversion copywriter and I work, mostly with SaaS companies on their website copy and landing page copy. What we’re about to talk about applies across industries, so do not worry, if you are not in SaaS, this will still apply to you.

What to Expect in This Tutorial [01:03]

Andrew Yedlin: So I want to start with a quick question: Copywriting is an art? Or copywriting is sales? Let’s see what people are coming back. I think I’m seeing a little bit of a lean towards sales, but there’s definitely a trick question. I am going to argue the second one, that is sales. The only difference being that it is in writing.

And, rather than try to prove that point to you myself, I’m going to go ahead and borrow some authority from some copywriting legends starting with Claude Hopkins who wrote the book Scientific Advertising almost 100 years ago.

And here, Claude says advertising is salesmanship, its principles are the principles of salesmanship. And I know he uses the term advertising here, and I think that’s because he’s being inclusive of copy and design and some of the other elements, also websites did not exist 100 years ago.

So anytime he was talking about copywriting he was talking about advertising, but I think it would be completely fair from his perspective, to substitute the word advertising for copywriting here.

And I think it’s also worth pointing out that he doesn’t say its principles are like the principles of salesmanship or its principles are similar to the principles of salesmanship. He says its principles are the principles of salesmanship.

So another copywriter, Joe Sugarman, go ahead and chat if you have read any of these books, by the way. So, Joe Sugarman from the Adweek Copywriting Handbook says the steps in selling a prospect in person, also apply to selling in print advertising. So now we’re talking about the steps are the same.

One more here from Victor Schwab, who wrote How to Write a Good Advertisement. He says, is advertising itself really such a complicated thing? Its basic purpose is simple, to make people buy a product or a service. And so he’s really talking about a purpose here.

So when we’re talking about copywriting and sales together between these three legends, they say that they share the same principles, the same steps, and the same purpose.

If these old Dudes are not doing it for you, look no further than the front page of – I don’t think Joanna knew that was coming. So here, it says, right at the beginning of the headline, “Copywriting is salesmanship in print.”

And if you scoot down to the subhead here she says, No one’s paying you to write, they’re paying you to sell.” And so that is where, if we go back to the question I asked you in the beginning, that’s where i’m coming from with this idea that copywriting is sales. Because writing for art is great, but it’s separate from what we are here to talk about today, and in general.

Marketers Forget to Sell [04:56]

Andrew Yedlin: I think if you’re familiar with Copyhackers, you know that we are writing to sell not to create an art project. So if I could just see real quick in the chat do we agree at this point for today’s purposes that copywriting is sales?

Then that means as marketers, we have to admit that we have a problem. And that problem is that we have forgotten how to close. So another thing to chat real quick, if you have ever seen the movie where Alec baldwin leans into a team of salesman and essentially tells them that they are worthless as human beings, because they are not closing enough.

That’s right and today, copy is for closers. Basically, the point here is that in the world of sales they know that it’s all about the close, the close is so important, and if you can’t do that you’re in the wrong business.

But in the world of marketing and on marketing websites, in particular, the art of the close seems to be completely missing. This I took from a fast growing SaaS company, from their homepage. It’s a pretty nice page.

They have lots of the typical website copywriting you would see, that’s building desire, overcoming objections and so on, but the whole thing builds up to essentially a dead end. The Frequently Asked Questions doesn’t follow a real call to action and there’s nothing really after, it’s just total dead end.

And the prospect sort of left to, I don’t know, scroll up, figure out what they want to do next. And that makes them think you want to be telling people what to do next, and where to go. So sometimes you’ll see this where there’s just no close whatsoever more often, you will see a really weak close.

I know Joanna has talked about this before, where you know this really kind of lazy Call to Action copy of just “ready to blank?” I think that it’s really common for us as copywriters put tons and tons of care and effort and attention into our headlines and that’s what everyone is looking at.

But then we just kind of phone it in when it’s time to close. And so you’ll see this on a lot of websites, now that i’ve called it out to you you’re going to see this everywhere just pages, the end with ready to increase your sales, are you ready to get new insights? Something like that and then a button and that’s kind of it.

And to me that seems pretty weak, so what is the antidote to all of this, so it is really, really hard to find an example of a good close. But if you have taken 10x Web Copy you have seen this example that Joanna shares from Follow Up Boss on their homepage. This does a lot more than that last example that I showed.

You have a final call to action on the homepage there are all sorts of benefits and things packed in here and there’s also this mega list which sends a really strong visual signal that there’s a lot of stuff in this free trial. It’s not just a button of a free trial, look how much is included in that.

How To Make Sales With Your Website Copywriting [08:19]

Andrew Yedlin: So the question then becomes, how do I build one of these, on my own? How can I close stronger? So today what i’m going to do is i’m going to show you one way to close strong in your website copywriting.

This is not the end all be all, by any means, it is just one kind of spin that I put on what I learned from 10x Web Copy and closing. And in a moment we’re going to go through a live example, but first i’m just going to walk you through how this works.

Create 2 Lists: Propellants and Repellents [09:32]

Andrew Yedlin: So we’re going to make our two lists and the first list is going to be a list of what I call propellants. Propellants are factors that move your prospect closer to yes, so that might be things like, desired outcomes, benefits, advantages and so on.

And the second list is going to be a list of repellents. Repellants are obstacles that stop your prospect from saying yes, so those are objections, hesitations and anxieties, things like that.

And I have a little asterisks here for obstacles because it doesn’t matter if those obstacles are real or not, if your prospects perceive that those obstacles exist or that they might exist, then you might as well treat it as real because all of this is taking place in their minds, not necessarily in reality.

So what does this really mean? Propellant and repellents, that’s kind of vague. So i’m actually going to go ahead and spell out exactly what I mean by this and give you some questions that you can use to prompt yourself to create these two lists. Template here.

Propellants List [10:29]

So your list of propellants is going to be the answer to these three questions. And these are all written from the first person perspective of your prospect:

  1. What do I get?
  2. How does this get me closer to my goals?
  3. How soon will I get value?

So what do I get means, what does the prospect gain? So this first one is what do I get? And that’s very much about the the what is the key word there what we’re talking about things like features. Like what do I actually get if this whole offer was in a box, what would be in the box?

Two. How does this get me closer to my goals? So now we’re talking about things that are more like benefits, desired outcomes and so on.

And the third one, is how soon will I get value? And this one is included, because there is a psychological concept called temporal discounting and basically what that means is the longer that I have to wait to get value, the more I will discount or ignore that value.

So if I think that’s something that I’m going to get something awesome today, I’m really excited about that. If I think I’m going to get something awesome a year from now, I am much, much less excited about that.

Even to the point where it will defy logic. So an example, might be, if I could get $100 today or $200 in a month, a lot of people who don’t need the hundred dollars today will still take it today. Because our brains are wired to prefer things that are happening sooner, rather than things that are happening later.

Repellants List [12:00]

But moving on to the list of repellants. So your list of repellents is going to be the answers to these three questions:

  1. Why is this a low risk?
  2. Why should I trust you?
  3. Which objections and hesitations can you help me overcome?

You’re first going to want to say you’re going to want to read some answers to why is this low risk?

The second thing you’re going to want to answer is, why should I trust you?

And then, finally, which objections and hesitations can you help me overcome?

So go ahead and, if you want a screenshot of this go ahead and take that real quick because we’re going to do a live example and you’re going to see all of this again so let’s go ahead and do this live.

Live Website Copywriting Teardown [13:01]

Andrew Yedlin: So what I’m going to do here is I’m going to take this website, Whatagraph, I don’t know a ton about them other than that I’ve gone through the page a couple times so everything I know is really just pulled from the homepage and a couple other places on the website.

So i’m just going to scroll real slow here, hopefully that’s not nauseating so that you can just see what the page looks like. We have features, integrations, social proof, see our pricing. What happened here?

No close. No close. They’ve got pricing. It’s like they don’t want you and also I don’t know if that was strategic but I have to imagine that what they really want to go for is the free trial here. That’s their main call to action here.

So, Whatagraph does not have a close. We are going to go ahead and build one for them. And hopefully Ange and Jo are keeping an eye on the time, so if it takes a little bit too long just let me know. I do have a completed version of this that we can skip to.

So the first question is, What do I get? Again this is more about features and like what’s in the box. Luckily, we have this feature section right here, and what i’m going to do is i’m going to just start copying and pasting stuff into my list.

So I have “deliver reports automatically.” Doesn’t matter that these aren’t phrased like features, right now, because I can change them later. “Style reports anyway, you want.” “Build a report in 10 minutes or less.” Okay, I see “customizable ready to go templates” here.

“Transfer data from different sources,” go ahead and include that. “Team up with colleagues.” “Collaborate with your team.” So again, just like for things that are more like things, and less like some sort of outcome or benefit that I’m getting eventually.

Integrations, let’s see how many they have. 30 integrations. Probably have some form of support. Live chat support okay. All right, and i’m just going to start with that, in the interest of time.

So i’m going to go back to their homepage now and say Okay, so how does this get me closer to my goal? So we’re going to have to do some inferring here. I haven’t done any research on this, so from what I can tell just by looking at the page, the value prop seems to be something around how it’s going to let you quickly build compelling reports that allow your team to take action on data.

And probably to you know make more profitable decisions or something along those lines. So i’m just going to write it down below. Let’s just leave that, for now, because we can get this nice and polished at the end. And the second thing is that it’s gonna help me save time in the process.

So, in terms of how soon do I get value? Since they’re claiming here that you can build a report in 10 minutes or less, then there’s a free trial, I don’t have any reason to believe that you couldn’t do that. So i’m going to go ahead and make that assumption.

Perfect oh OK cool so now in terms of repellents so we’re talking about a free trial offer, so you might think that that is already pretty low risk. And I’ll actually agree with you that that is one thing that makes this low risk.

I’ll come back to that in a second but i’m gonna go i’m gonna skip ahead, so why should I trust you So there are a lot of different ways to build credibility on your page, and this is not that talk. Because you know this is the end of the page, if you repeat everything that you already said you’re just going to end up with like two versions of the page

So that’s why part of what we’re doing here is we’re building a list of features we’re not trying to create direct response style fascinations, like monitor multiple channels at once, so that you can X, Y and Z. It’s not like that. It’s more of a summary of the offer, and so in that spirit, if you have testimonials on your page, we can also kind of summarize social proof and credibility and things like that.

And these badges in SaaS are a very common way to do that so Capterra, GetApp, things like that so i’m just going to put this here as the, why should I trust you. And it’s just a very basic way to say that you know other people started their free trial and they lived to tell the tale, and they even went and left a four or five star review for us.

So now, in terms of objections, I’m going to brainstorm a few on my own. Feel free for the exercise if you’d like to brainstorm a few on your own as well. So right now I’m going to say Okay, how long is the free trial? I think it’s seven days.

Another question I might have is Do I need to enter a credit card? I believe there is no credit card required for this trial. And another one that I can think of is do I get access to all features during the trial?

I also have a completed version here and you’ll see that some things are a little bit different than they were before but, ultimately, this is what we ended up with. So first we have proximity to value here.

Your first report is ready in as little as 10 minutes, build compelling reports fast and help your team make more profitable decisions so here we’re really talking about proximity to value, and how does this get you closer to your goals?

So those two categories that we listed out earlier and here we have the what do I get kind of stuff here. Let’s see how many we ended up with nine. So I think that qualifies as a mega list I don’t know if there’s a threshold.

So again sending this really strong visual signal of like oh yeah there’s a lot of stuff in here and again it’s not these aren’t direct response style fascinations. There is a summary of the offer, this stuff has been covered earlier on the page and now we’re summarizing it. Now we have a compelling Call to Action.

Some click trigger copy that diswages some of those fears and concerns. So try it free for seven days, no credit card required, access to all features. And should I trust you? Here are the badges that sort of summarize that social proof.

And if they really wanted that plans and pricing thing to stay in there for some reason, they could have a secondary call to action here that says see plans or pricing. So this could be a button and that other one could just be a link so that there’s a strong visual cue that this is the primary Call to Action and the other one is not.

But again for people who aren’t ready to take that offer, there is still another way for them to go a little bit further into the funnel.

Joanna Wiebe: Awesome cool. Thanks everyone. Thanks Andrew. See you guys next week. Have a good one!

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