How To Write Sales Copy

by John McIntyre

Do you know how to write sales copy?

You’re probably doing it all wrong. In this post, you’ll learn how to write sales copy that converts.

Last week, I answered the question “What is marketing?” with one word.

That one word was empathy and if you understand that word, your marketing will work like magic (no joke).

How can I be so confident?

I’m not talking about tactics and I’m certainly not giving you a magic bullet. This shit is hard work. If you actually do what this idea suggests (ie. have empathy), you will wear yourself out. You will actually need to talk to potential customers. You will need to brainstorm. You will need to think creatively.

You can’t guess. You can’t hide behind your computer screen. You can’t hide from the world.

Despite the obvious difficulties, it is the only way to create marketing that works.

(On a side note, that’s why I love The Foundation’s premise – find the pain. If you can find a painful problem, your marketing and sales copy will write itself.)

Before we get stuck into today’s lesson on how to write sales copy, let’s have a quick refresher:

What is empathy?

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Steven Covey says it better than anyone else:

“Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival – to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.”

To sum it up,

Your Marketing Will Succeed To The Extent
That You Demonstrate Empathy

Now, the topic of today’s article is how to write sales copy.

It’s actually not that hard (the writing, that is).

You don’t have to be a genius marketer, a business pro or even a copywriter.

In the words of Joe Polish, you simply need to know what to do.

So how do you do it?

Let Empathy Drive Your Copy

The best way to explain is with an example, but first, let’s talk about two misconceptions people have when it comes to writing copy that converts.

a) they think it’s about tactics (headlines, bullets, guarantees, etc), or

b) they think it’s about being funny, clever and entertaining

BOTH of these are wrong. Sorry tiger. WRONG. Neither of these things will electrify your copy…

…if you don’t have EMPATHY.

(Related: What Is Copywriting?)

You have to…

Find The Pain

The best copy in the world won’t help you if you don’t have anything people want. If you aren’t solving a painful problem, then it doesn’t matter what tactics you use… or how clever and entertaining you are.

It’s about cold… hard… pain…

Great copy is driven by pain. If you want to make something compelling, don’t just try and guess.

Find out what the pain is… and match the copy with the pain.

Let me give you an example –

Empathy In The Weight Loss Niche

I have a couple of products in the weight loss / wellness niche.

In the beginning, I wrote copy the way most people wrote copy. I tried to create catchy headlines, attractive bullets and nice guarantees. I tried to write like a pro, entertaining people all the way through my copy.

But the response was abysmal.

Then a friend mentioned sending out a survey to my list. I asked three questions:

  1. What is the end result that you want to achieve?
  2. What is your biggest fear in attaining this goal?
  3. Is there a timeline you’d like to achieve that result?

And boy oh boy did I get some good responses.

Here are some sample responses:

Ideal Result:

  • “I would like to lose 10 pounds and maintain that weight without feeling tired, hungry or sick.”
  • “I would like to lose 20 pounds, increase my energy, and increase my overall well-being. “
  • “I want to get rid of Type 2 diabetes; I need to lose 20 pounds and boost my energy.”

Biggest Fear:

  • “Keeping the weight off.”
  • “My biggest fear is that I will give into my cravings. “
  • “Allowing my busy schedule to interfere with getting up and juicing every morning.”


  • “2 months”
  • “I would realisticly like to lose this weight by Christmas.”
  • “Within the next month”

How To Turn Survey Responses Into Sales Copy

This is the magic step.

Rather than explain it, I’m just going to show you how I do it.

Somewhere along the way, the penny should drop… and when it does, you will be amazed at how simple this strategy of empathy is.

Let’s go…

Based on the survey responses above, here are some headlines:

  • How To Lose 10 Pounds In The Next Two Months (And Maintain It Without Feeling Tired, Hungry or Sick)
  • How To Lost 20 Pounds, Increase Your Energy and Increase Your Overall Wellbeing
  • FREE VIDEO: Discover How To Get Rid Of Type 2 Diabetes With Nothing But Fruits And Vegetables
  • NEW: Lose 10 Pounds And Keep It Off Forever
  • How To Lose 20 Pounds With Juicing (Even If You Have No Time In The Morning)
  • Seven Ways To Lose 10 Pounds In The Next Two Weeks
  • I’ll Teach You To Lose 20 Pounds (Even If You Have No Time In The Morning)
  • NOW – Lose 20 Pounds BEFORE Christmas (And Make It Last Into The New Year…)


It’s so freaking simple.

Here is the MAGIC formula to writing compelling sales copy:

You take what people want…
and you write copy that matches EXACTLY what they want.

Gary Halbert explains this in his incredible Boron Letters.

You to use the language they use… the exact words and phrases… the mannerisms… the spelling…

This is rocket-fuel for your copy.

Start with the headline. As Robert Collier says, you have to enter the conversation going on in your prospect’s mind. So based on your survey responses (or actual conversations with people), write a headline specific to their problem and desired solution.

As for the rest of the sales copy, think about it like you’re building a bridge. You are building a bridge from the headline to the sale. It’s as simple as that.

Let the sales copy ring withe empathy…

For example, someone mentioned that they were afraid of failure above. I smell a catchy bullet point!

  • How To Utterly Eliminate The Fear Of Failure With This One Simple Trick

Or how about someone who is worried about what their friends think?

  • How Juicing Works (And How To Explain It To Your Friends So They Actually “Get It”)

Has the lightbulb gone off yet?

Next time you write copy, don’t start by writing.

Find The Pain…
Then Write The Pain Into Your Copy

It’s as simple as that.

You’ll end up with a more compelling offer and your copy will actually resonate with your prospects.

That’s it for today.

Get out there and make some money.


P.S. Oh… before I forget, check out these 10 Headline Formulas from Eugene Schwartz (right-click + “Save as”). Eugene was a master copywriter… and these headline formulas can be used anytime to spruce up your copy. Enjoy 🙂

P.P.S. Coming soon – software that writes sales copy for you. Click here to learn more.

13 thoughts on “How To Write Sales Copy”

    • There’s no perfect length, though generally speaking, the more complex the product (and the higher the price), the longer your sales copy needs to be (to explain it and justify the high price).

  1. Johnny,
    In other words, produce or attain market research and create a headline that will attract the majority. Is that right?


    P.s. Thanks for the article.

  2. Checkout Gary Halbert on the offer:

    That’ll help with opt-ins. Check out for more ideas on layout, etc.

    For autoresponders and email marketing, grab ARM:

    ARM is hands-down, the best product on how to create an autoresponder. By going through the program, you’ll also get an education in marketing and understanding the prospect.

    For the business side of things, take a look at

    I broke down the two key elements to my own success. Building a business around it is super simple, but it’s hard work. That article explains my approach.

  3. Hey John,

    I am very keen to start learning how to become an awesome copywriter. Can you perhaps provide some guidance on a good place to start? How did you get into writing copy and have you completed any courses etc?


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