Content & Copywriting

What is sales copy and conversion copywriting?

Jun 3, 2021
Reading Time: 4minutes

Sales copy and conversion copy. Both are highly used terms and are part of a copywriter’s arsenal. But what are they? And is there even a difference?

Post summary:

  • What is sales copy?
  • What is conversion copy?
  • Why use conversion copywriting over SEO content writing?
  • Hiring sales copywriters
What is sales copy?

Stellar sales copy focuses on how the end consumer benefits from what is being sold. What marketers refer to as the “value it brings to the customer.” 

Sales copy is too dry for mass consumption. For example, you could not use it for blog posts, or it will put the reader to sleep. It is more used for sales landing pages. 

Whilst you don’t need to turn a sales page into the next Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a sales copywriter will play with the language, tone and voice to give readers a reason to keep on reading.

Sales copy aims to convince the visitor to buy a product or service. It needs to present what a business is selling in an attractive way that the consumer does not say “no.”

This is easier said than done.

What is conversion copywriting?

Conversion copy is an intentional data-driven method to write text that gets readers to take an action.

The term “conversion copywriting” means different things, depending on the context involved. Conversion copywriters write advertisements, web copy, email newsletter campaigns, even sales funnels. 

Conversion Copywriting

With conversion copywriting, business owners obtain invaluable insight into their sales funnels and their customer personas.

Skilled conversion copywriters are highly prized because the process of doing it successfully is both intricate and time-consuming. When done correctly, it can have an immediate impact on a business’s return on investment (ROI).

The difference between the two? Sales copy gets readers to buy something, typically a product or service. Conversion copy gets people to take an action, like, subscribe or sign up (it can include buying as well) with the process methodically mapped out.

Why use a conversion copywriter over an SEO content writer?

Expert sales copywriter Tori Reid says the primary difference between SEO and sales copy is the following: “In a nutshell, SEO content drives traffic. SEO writers use Google’s keywords built on viewership data. Or, “who clicked to view or read articles that used this keyword”.

Sales copywriters get their ‘keywords,’ phrases, and topics directly from buyer personas to build a list of ‘triggers’ to use within the copy. 

Yes, SEO content can obtain conversions (sales or opt-ins). Still, when comparing it to conversion copywriting, it’s not nearly as consistent, and there’s a reason for that.

SEO content is engineered to drive traffic. Sales copy is crafted to drive sales.

So if you want sales copy, no business should choose an SEO writer over someone who has years of experience refining the art of writing to sell.

Whilst SEO experts and business owners would love to get the best of both worlds – content that’s made to draw organic traffic and obtains a high conversion rate, the reality is that SEO is best at driving traffic and sales copy is best at selling.

Many writers can do both skill sets, yet the writer will be in ensuring that both don’t overlap. 

When to hire a sales copywriter

First, think about all the platforms out there that require copy; 

You’ll want to hire a conversion copywriter when your central goal is to convert traffic into leads or sales. This traffic may be organic, from social media, paid ads, newsletters, or direct traffic.

Sales Copy

Therefore, hire a sales copywriter who exemplifies the exact type of copy you need to convert that specific type of traffic.

For example, a Google ad copywriter may not be a professional in writing Facebook ad copy or vice versa.

The research, targeting, formatting, writing and entire process can be wholly different for each copy project. 

Project types sales and conversion copywriters do

If the focus is not SEO – but sales – then a business will want to hire a sales copywriter that’s an absolute legend at the specific type of copy you need.

Some copy projects that conversion copywriters typically take on are:

  • Business names and taglines
  • Company branding
  • Email campaigns
  • Facebook ads
  • Instagram ads
  • Social media posts
  • Print marketing materials
  • Video scripts
  • Sales pages
  • Product descriptions
  • Web copy (brand messaging)
  • Call-to-actions
  • Non-SEO landing pages

Typically, a business can find a skilled conversion copywriter by doing a quick Google search for what copy format they are searching for.

However, some projects can be so niche that it can be troublesome to find a copywriter that matches a brand. In this instance, you could use a general copywriter and ask if they are experienced in a specific sector, rather than a writing skillset. 

This is especially true for finding writers in the technical or health industries.

Don’t forget, the success of any marketing campaign depends on a copywriter’s ability to write converting sales copy. 

The sales copywriter’s process should involve conducting market research, writing copy that resonates with a specific persona, and including calls-to-action that entice users to buy.