How Great Sales Copy Can Fuel the Growth of Business
On any given Sunday I’m always greeted by a barrage of ads.
When I head out for my morning cuppa joe, I’ll pick up the newspaper… and it’s stuffed with a ton of ads and flyers. The whole thing weighs about 5 pounds with all the advertisements.
But one set of ads always seems interesting to me. And that’s the typical stack of flyers used by all the big chain stores.
These ads always use full color with pictures featuring loss leader deals. Low price… coupons… 2 for 1… 3 for 1… even 4 for 1 is the name of the game. They scream outrageous bargain deals.
A Different Approach
Now let’s compare this strategy against Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer marketing piece.
First, the TJ’s flyer is sent out as direct mail. I’ve never seen it in a newspaper where it’s up against all its competitors.
And frankly, the flyer is an ugly duckling… it’s printed in 3 plain colors on shabby newsprint. It doesn’t resemble anything like the reams of slick glossy flyers from the major chains.
It does not lead with screaming prices. You won’t find many graphics, but there are a few scattered about that are hand drawn with cheezy captions. And they don’t use pictures of the product.
Long Descriptive Copy
But what they use is long descriptive copy. And lot’s of it. You’ll find page after page of enticing product copy. The whole flyer is probably 95% plain text.
Check out this excerpt of copy used to sell English Goat Milk Cheddar:
Today, that farmer keeps a herd of about 2,000 goats, raised outside in the warm months, and housed in the winter to protect them from the elements. Their diet changes throughout the year, depending on the season, consisting primarily of home grown grass silage, corn, wheat, and barley.
Lazy marketers would use a couple hollow words about the cheese being “free range” or “all natural.” But TJ’ copy is a story about a small goat farm. You can practically see ol’man goat-herder dressed in denim-blue overalls lovingly feeding his flock with pitchfork in hand.
Here’s more copy for chocolate-covered espresso beans:
These are 100% Arabica coffee beans that are first roasted to a dark, rich, espresso style, then panned. They begin with intense chocolate flavor that’s immediately followed by a surprising crunch and deep wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee taste.
Most would stop at describing them as “sweet and delicious dark chocolate.” But the flyer copy conveys a rich believable description… it’s like you can taste the velvety chocolate and espresso bean crunch when you bite into it.
Sell the Sizzle
What’s more, the copy pushes beyond the product. They’ll typically include tasty ideas for meals to further sell you.
A jar of red pepper enchilada sauce is not just for plain old enchiladas, it is a “… key component in homemade tortilla soup – it lends a smoky-but-not-too-spicy quality that makes every spoonful of soup a sublime experience.”
There’s just so much to be gleaned from the reading flyer.
But Does this Advertising Work?
The direct response people would be quick to note that the flyer has no apparent way to immediately track response.
But the two stores that serve my local area are always packed with customers.
And with an estimated $12 billion in sales, Trader Joe’s is doing something right with this piece. Aside from occasional radio spot, I believe the flyer is the only outside marketing they do.
And if great copy can be used to effectively sell these items… imagine what it will do for your business.
How much more “ordinary” of a business can you be in than selling a block of cheese and a jar of sauce.
This advertising approach will work even if you’re selling to a “sophisticated” or B2B audience. The structure, language and tone would be different… the marketing pieces you use in the sales process would be different… but the principles of great copy that SELLS still apply.