Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Copywriter's Guide To Conducting Market Research

As a direct response copywriter, one of the most important things on my to-do list before I begin working on a sales letter is to perform market research. I know, YAWN! But the fact is, you must never ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), without first doing your homework and discovering exactly what works (and what doesn't) in your target niche.
So set aside some time to browse around the web and take a look at competing websites in the same market. Pay close attention to the headlines, images, format and structure of other sales pages. Basically, you want to see what others in your market are doing and determine if it's successful. If it is, you could adopt a similar strategy for your business campaign as well.
With that said, here are some useful pointers to keep in mind when conducting market research for your next project...
First off, collect some sales letters that have grabbed your interest in the past and carefully go through them. Pay close attention to the style and feel of the copy, the wording, the format and the way the information is structured. Then note down the things you like and make sure you incorporate them into your own sales copy.
Obviously, you cannot copy another sales letter verbatim and pass it off as your own! That would be dishonest at best and a copyright violation at worst. On the other hand, it's perfectly alright to model your own work on other successful projects. Why bother re-inventing the wheel? It's not required here, so you might as well save yourself the time and effort!
The finest sales pages to swipe ideas from are usually the ones that have pulled in the highest conversion rates. So all you've got to do is find out what the best selling product in your niche is and then look up their official site. Now, in case your product is in a tiny, obscure market and you're unable to track down competing products, don't fret... Simply head on over to popular affiliate networks such as Plimus and Clickbank and perform a quick search. These two websites house a huge list of e-books and software programs, so I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for there.
Finally, you don't want to enter a market where there is absolutely no competition at all. This is a great indicator that there's no money to be made in this niche and you should move on to something else.
Now start researching!

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