How to Avoid Writing “Slimy” Sales Copy
by Cheryl Binnie

When I started out as a copywriter, I had a very clear idea what type of copy I did NOT want to write…

Sales copy.

I thought that writing sales copy (like a sales page or sales emails) would make me feel icky.

I didn’t want to be pushy.
I didn’t want to be salesy.
And I certainly didn’t want to be slimy.
(I mean, who wants to be slimy?)

I just wanted to write blog articles for people.
Or emails with fun stories.
Or social media posts.
Or informational webpages.

Anything that didn’t ask for money.

But y’know, what you resist persists, so I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the first big gig I landed was for — drum roll, please — a longform sales page.

(A longform sales page is one of those suuuuuper long pages that sells you something. Like, you scroll and scroll and scroll. And we all think we hate them and, “Why would anyone buy from this?” but they still perform like crazy. When they’re written well, that is.)

Yep. I was supposed to write the one thing I thought was the ickiest, slimiest, sales-iest thing I could possibly write.

But you know what?

I actually believed in the program that client was selling.

She was a personal friend, and I knew she got her clients incredible results.

So I agreed to take a stab at it, even though I dreaded writing sales copy.

And then the craziest thing happened…

I loved writing that sales page.

It didn’t feel slimy or salesy.

I didn’t feel like I was trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes or trick them into buying the program.

I didn’t feel like I was pushing the reader to spend money on something she didn’t really need.

Instead, I felt pretty darn good about it.

So what changed?

How did I make the shift from being afraid of slimy copy… to enjoying writing that sales page?

I did everything I could to take care of the reader.

  • I made it long­ — NOT because it’s the magic trick that makes people buy… but because I wanted to give her enough information to make an informed decision – and that requires a lot of copy.
  • I painted a picture of the reader’s current pain — NOT because it pokes at her fear… but because she needed to know that my client understood where she was coming from.
  • I created a new possibility where the reader could live free of that pain — NOT because it was what she wanted to hear… but because she needed to know my client could help her achieve that dream.
  • I covered all the logistics of the program — NOT because “that’s just what you do on a sales page”… but because if the reader was on the verge of deciding, I knew she might think, “Wait, what all do I get again?”

…and I did it all from a place of, “How can I take care of the reader?

Because I believed in that program. I had full confidence that my client would be able to help the reader change her life for the better.

I genuinely wanted the reader to feel good about making the choice to join that program.

I was honest about what the program was, and what it wasn’t – because my client was clear about the person that her program was perfect for. She didn’t want to trick the wrong person into joining.

The copy didn’t come from a place of manipulation.

It came from a place of genuine caring.

And it was easy.

And it was fun.

And I felt good about both the writing process and the finished product.

Oh. And it worked. That page resulted in sales for my client for YEARS (until she discontinued the program itself, when her business shifted).

So the next time you sit down to write sales copy or website copy that talks about your services or products (or ANY type of copy that scares you)…

…Give yourself a moment…

…Take a breath…

…Ask yourself, “How can I take care of my reader?”

Want more help writing your web copy?

In my “Write Your Website” Checklist, we’ll go through all the essential pages of your website & what needs to be on each one.

p.s. Still worried no one will read your copy if it’s too long?

Here’s a little secret — you have to learn to write for “skimmers” (people who read super quickly and start skimming over things). Because EVERYone skims when they read online.

Lucky for you — I wrote an article that shows you 3 simple ways to make your writing skimmer-friendly.

(Seriously. It’s mega simple, but once you start using these techniques, your web writing gets waaaaay more effective.)