How To Write Copy That Sells

August 21, 2014 | by BatesMeron

Recently, our very own Melissa Leonard was trying to sell some furniture in anticipation of her move. As many do, she jumped on Craigslist as a source for easy posting, selling and buying. She wrote a short ‘n sweet description of her brown leather couch, attached some pictures and thought all was well in the world. She figured her couch would be sold in no time.

Craigslist Post BAD

Hate to say goodbye to my deliciously comfortable leather couch, but it’s too large for my new apartment. I purchased it 2 years ago from another owner and have thoroughly enjoyed it.
The couch measures about 85” arm to arm, the backside reaches 41” in height and it is 38” deep. There are couple minor spots that show wear (scroll through the pics for example).
$325 OBO, please email if interested or with any questions! (You will need 2 strong people for pick up.)

Unfortunately, she was wrong. Hours, days and weeks went by with no email response or interest in purchasing her beloved brown couch. Melissa was disheartened.

Luckily, Melissa had access to a team of happy-to-help wordsmiths, aka the BMSD Copy Department. The copy team quickly analyzed Melissa’s current Craigslist post and addressed some key points:

Who is your target audience? What type of person would buy this couch? What are their interests? How are your images helping create intrigue?

After this strategic assessment a new post was created. This post targeted manly men. The guy’s guy who loves lounging on his big comfy couch watching television, eating jerky and sporting a strong mustache. With this image in mind, a new tone and message was crafted.

Craigslist Post GOOD

Built for the utmost form of comfort, this deep brown leather couch is the perfect spot for indulging in hours of Netflix, days of basketball tournaments and your casual, everyday catnap. It turns any room into a comfortable place to relax and immediately makes you feel at home. (It’s also real leather, so it gives you additional sophistication points on par with mahogany, smoke pipes and glass coasters.)
I’m sad to part from this cozy companion, but since I do not have space for it in my new apartment, I am trying to find him a good home. The couch is relatively big, allowing enough space for a sprawled out sleep or a chill hangout with friends. Also the perfect setting to have your dog’s portrait painted. (Note: this couch resided in a dog-free establishment.)
The couch measures about 85” arm to arm. The backside reaches 41” height and is 38” deep.
Call or email if you have any questions or are interested.

The results were tremendous. Melissa went from zero responses over the course of two weeks to six responses within the first day of publishing the revised post. People were more than interested, in fact, they were practically begging to take this lush companion home. The couch was sold within two days and Melissa was ecstatic.

Lesson Learned: Understanding the importance of strategic, thoughtful and creative writing is beneficial in anything you do. As with marketing, knowing how to speak and communicate with your audience impacts the success and engagement of your messaging effort. (And people really do read the copy.)

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