MSP Copywriting – Part 4

Just as a recap, we’ve covered the three set-up questions, Why you should learn copywriting, Who you’re writing for and What their pain points are.

Now, we’ll take a leap into how to construct a sales letter. Traditional sales copy follows a well-known and well-documented formula, you may well have heard of it already, it’s called AIDA which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. This works for letters, web pages, adverts, flyers, plus adverts in general as well as presentations and sales pitches.

Attention  – The headline.  Get someone’s attention immediately or the rest of the ad or sales letter is largely irrelevant!

Interest. Your prospect now has to be immediately interested in what you say – ie. you need to immediately maintain momentum from the attention you’ve grabbed in the headline.

Desire. This relates to building desire within the letter to create the motivation within in your prospect to do something.

Action.This means that at some point – or several points, you should always ask for commitment somehow, such as to e.g. buy, sign-up, register, phone, vote, like, share… you name it.


You may wish to add some sub-sections to this AIDA framework which you should remember as they are almost as important (in my opinion) and shouldn’t be left out.

The sequencing for this mnemonic is a bit out of sync but it at least acts as a checklist for some of the things that your letter or web page should contain. Let’s review them now (briefly) then we can drill down as necessary.


Easy-Going Copy


Let’s skim through each of these in turn.

Attention  – Up To 80% Of Your Results Comes From Your Headline

Given that the headline is by far the most important component of the sales copy, it makes sense to spend the most time getting it right. Write maybe 100 headlines and then pick 6 to work with and test and measure the results. These days of course, you can get software to do this for you. Don’t skimp on spending time making killer headlines.

As a sidenote, if you’ve spent any time and money making Ads on Google, you’ll appreciate how quickly it demonstrates the return on investment with good headlines! I have personally spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of my own money and my team have spent many millions of pounds of clients’ money and after a while you can get a feel for it. Of course, the real winner here is Google but I digress.

Tip: Create a Powerful, Benefit-Oriented Headline.

This can’t be emphasised enough really. People need to see a direct benefit that appeals to them. This is where writing for your specific person (your avatar) or ideal client profile really helps.

A Quick Headline Creating Idea.

Think of the main benefit of your product/service , then put “How To” in front of it. So, if your main benefit is to save your clients from being hacked, try something like :

 “How To prevent your company being hacked”

Note, this isn’t particularly powerful (yet) but we’ll work this example through and you’ll see how to jazz it up. To be fair, it already includes the main benefit, so it’s simply a logical place to start.

Next, Try emboldening the headline and making it a larger font size.

How to prevent your company being hacked

Now try Capitalizing Each First Letter.  Copy that IS ALL IN TEXT IS HARD TO READ. However, Words That Have Each First Letter Capitalised Becomes More Punchy And Remains Easily Readable.
This used to have a significant impact when MKLINK did it for clients’ Google ads.

So we now have :  

 How To Prevent Your Company Being Hacked

You can try adding an exclamation mark and/or quotes. Not always, but this often works well.

How To Prevent Your Company Being Hacked!

Tip : Try Indentation, e.g. :

How To Prevent Your Company Being Hacked!
This way, your headlines (and sub-heads) will stand out from your main body copy. (Note – it works better on a sales letter than a WordPress post)

Now, try to remember to be really specific for your ideal clients.

How To Prevent Your Recruitment Company in Warwickshire Being Hacked!  

Specific messaging is the nub of it really. Anyone who runs a recruitment company in Warwickshire would be very likely to at least skim through this ad to see what it’s about. It’s a message directed to them!
Of course, you can rinse and repeat for other niches/areas.

Tip : Use ‘Imperative Narrative

Newspaper headlines are written in a certain way that conveys the most benefit and/or sensationalism in the shortest sentence. This is conveyed in a type of grammar called Imperative Narrative and in short, it’s a story-driven approach and appears to be the most compelling to read. Imperative narrative is a storytelling style where the narrator gives commands or direct instructions, engaging the reader in a directive manner to carry out certain actions or imagine scenarios.  Here’s three simple examples :

“Guard Your Recruitment Data: Fortify Against Hacking with Our Specialised Managed Services!”

“Shield Your Candidate Information: Enlist Our Anti-Hacking Expertise Today!”

“Boost Your Recruitment Operations: Partner with Our MSP to Block Hackers Now!”

Those headlines only currently offer a vague benefit and expect the reader to take a massive action, i.e. make a full enquiry which carries a lot of social risk and stress because they know they’ll be sold to.
As I’ve covered in other content, the trick to most sales letters and landing pages is to try and establish the basis of a relationship to develop over time. When I learned this back at the turn of the century and made my landing pages into places to capture contact details and use lead nurturing rather than trying to make instant appointments, I quadrupled my turnover within 6 months.
It’s not always the case of course and sometimes you simply want to sell online or book appointments, but I’d just like to make the point that usually the objective is to start a relationship.

So now let’s give a more specific offer in the headline that means you can capture their details

“Guard Your Recruitment Data: Download Your Free Report to Protect Your Team.”

“Shield Your Candidate Information: Get Your Anti-Hacking Guide Today!”

“Boost Your Recruitment Operations: Access Your Free Anti-Hacker Manual Here”

Hopefully, you’ll see how this can be built up. And of course you can niche it even more by saying something like “Cardiff Lawyers Are Being Hacked! Download Your Law Practice Security Checklist Now”.
Checklists are good by the way – they’re an old reliable favourite in the toolbox – probably because they sound useful and easy to read.

Tip : Try Multiple Pricing Points in the Headline

This is an interesting one! When people don’t know you yet and they are deciding to believe you or are weighing up whether they will get a benefit from a particular price (if a price is used in a headline or copy) they are unlikely to have their “thermostat” set the same as yours.

For example, I know very well that an MSP can increase their profits by two or three hundred percent. Of course, it must be possible because there are MSPs out there that have done it – that’s simply a fact. You possibly know someone who has done it. However, it doesn’t sound believable to a lot of MSP owners and perhaps that’s because they don’t think it’s possible for them personally.

Dealing with this kind of mindset is a whole other topic but what I would say is that, even though it’s true, they might only believe they could increase their profits by a much more conservative 10%,  20% or 30%.
It’s important to remember that it’s often futile try and fight people’s beliefs – it’s an unnecessary uphill struggle. I’d suggest you let them decide.
So, if your whizzbang product or service or software or whatever can make their output better by 9 (say) 60%, giving them a range of smaller numbers enables them to select their own number that they believe from a list.

 In this regard,  multiple ‘Pricing’ points in headlines seem to work very well.

     “Call Centres in London – Save 10%, 20%…Even 60% On Your Operating Costs”

Tip : Try Cliff-hanger Questions.

Remember the Zeigarnik effect? The brain just has to solve problems. Questions are a great way to make the person stop, pay attention and think. To make this work, you can put cliff-hangers not just the headline but peppered throughout the body copy as well.

          “Web Designers – Is This WordPress Security Hack Affecting You?”

Tip : Try Open-ended Questions.

By open-ended questions, I mean ones that can’t be answered with a ‘No’ or ‘Yes’. The whole point of the headline is to make people read the rest of the copy and slide down the ‘greased chute’ towards the call(s) to action. However, questions answered yes/no can kill that process. So be open-ended …

          “Web Designers – Which Of These WordPress Hacks Are Affecting You?”

Tip : Use a Sub-Head.

Headlines can only convey so much information. After all, they have to be short, punchy and are designed to create attention. Sub-Heads can continue from the main headline – usually in a smaller font and create added intrigue. Also, it’s a good idea to use sub-heads throughout the copy as well for the people that want to skim read.  It’s called a ‘dual path’. Some people will want to read everything in detail. Others prefer skimming the sub-heads, which is why it helps to have them included in the copy.

“Call Centres in London – Save 10%, 20%…Even 60% On Your Operating Costs”

                New AI Platform Enables Incredible Savings To Be Made

I think that’s enough for headlines now. Remember that it can make up to 80% of the impact of your sales letter or advert.

There’s plenty of other tips we can play with but for now I want to get on with the rest of the sales structure – URGENT AIDAC  and we’ll continue  that next time.


Ready to find out more?

Drop us a line today for a free quote!

Posted in

Mike Knight