How to Write Marketing Copy That Effectively Sells Supplements
Dietary, nutritional and weight loss supplements are part of a fast-growing, lucrative industry. It’s no wonder so many businesses have sprung up in this niche to meet the surge in demand.
For many years diet, nutrition and weight-loss information has captivated modern day audiences. And for good reason. Who among us can honestly say their diet is perfect and they don’t need to shed a few pounds? In fact, nearly two out of three Americans take at least one supplement per day!
As you might expect, plenty of products have been created to meet the strong demand for better health and fitness as well as weight loss. That’s fine if you’re a consumer; you have more choices and presumably lower prices due to competition.
But if you’re the inventor or distributor for one of those products, you face the challenge of how to distinguish your diet/nutrition brand from what is an exceptionally crowded field.
Standing out in the crowded dietary and nutritional supplement industry presents a formidable challenge.
How can you get your share of the $30 billion worth of nutritional, dietary and weight-loss supplements sold annually in the U.S.? Strong copy is the key to differentiating your product from others and being heard above all the noise. And, since even a small increase in response rates can translate into thousands of dollars in sales, quality copy is usually well worth the investment.
Good Copywriting Makes a Difference
Have you ever received a mailing about a diet product or nutritional supplement or seen an ad in a magazine? The write-ups tend to be long-winded affairs with lots of information to tempt you to buy.
While other products can get by with a bold headline and a few descriptive sentences, diet and nutritional products do best when they’re explained in detail, whether marketed online, through direct mail, print media or any other way.
Think of these meaty write-ups as the counterpart to those long-form 30-minute infomercials you see on TV. And because of their length, the quality of their copywriting can make a substantial difference in how many leads and sales they generate.
To be effective in selling your nutritional products, your promotional copy must be interesting, engaging and persuasive.
Why Copy Matters
Supplements are a discretionary product. A person with diabetes needs insulin. Without it, they risk serious illness and possibly death. But vitamins, supplements, minerals, enzymes and herbs are rarely a necessity. Of course, you might want the benefits that come with better health, but not taking supplements is unlikely to harm your well-being.
Success in marketing nutritional supplements hinges on the quality of the copy.
Good copy must make a strong case for your product if it’s to get results. That’s why copywriters like Bob Bly say, “Direct response marketing of nutritional supplements is a copy-driven business. Offers, lists, and formats are important. But what determines how many orders a supplement mailing pulls is mainly the copy.”
When it’s done right, copy for dietary, herbal and nutritional supplements:
Provides clear, concise reasons a prospect needs your product
Converts skeptical prospects into enlightened, enthusiastic buyers
Cultivates loyalty and optimizes profitability of existing customers
Effective copy for supplements attracts new buyers and maximizes the profitability of existing customers.
What to Include in Your Copy
Writing copy for your diet or nutritional product deserves your best thinking. Find a balance between scientific facts and emotional copy. Consider including each of these components and understand the objectives they serve:
Powerful Headline – The purpose of the headline is to grab attention and deliver the reader to the first line of text. The headline should be thought-provoking and intriguing. It should also tout a key benefit whether that’s weight loss, bigger muscles or improved health. Feel free to also incorporate subheads to state additional benefits and break up big blocks of copy.
Narrative Copy – This is where you get to tell your product’s story. What does your product do, how does it do it and why is it better than competing products?
Written testimonials from satisfied customers can make a compelling case for your nutritional products.
Testimonials – What could be more compelling than someone telling you their personal story of success in their own words teeming with emotion and pride? According to Kissmetrics, a marketing blog, “The power of testimonials lies in their objectivity. That is, someone outside of the brand does the talking, so in theory, the credibility is higher.”
Case Studies – Think of case studies as long-form testimonials or anecdotal evidence to support your claims. Highlight the struggles and describe the health-based results. If your case studies are written about people who are representative of your target audience, they can make the reader think, “If she had success with this product, then I will too!”
Favorable reviews on social media can be leveraged into your promotional copy on your website, in brochures and in ads.
Physician Claims – If you have any doctors who support your diet or nutritional product, quote their comments about it, especially if they can speak to its effects on the health of their patients.
Social Proof – If you’ve received any positive reviews online or been mentioned by a prominent blogger or voice of authority in the diet and nutrition industry, those endorsements should be featured.
Statistics – Got any numbers to support your claims? Don’t be afraid to get specific. Saying you lost 32 lbs. in one month is a lot more impactful than saying you lost a lot of weight.
Claims that are supported with legitimate studies and statistics become more credible.
Studies – Is your product the result of a scientific breakthrough? If so, provide the facts. If you have information garnered from pilot studies or clinical trials with your product, they’re worth including. They’ll help bolster your benefit statements.
Credentials – Anything that can increase trust in your product and your company is important. Whether it’s membership in a medical association, educational credentials, seals of approval or awards won, they all belong in your copy.
Bullets – People read lists. Summarize you key benefit statements with highly persuasive bullets that cut right to the chase.
FAQs – Frequently asked questions allow you to restate your most important selling points in an easy-to-read, Q/A format. They’re also an opportunity to remove or mitigate the reader’s biggest fears, whatever they may be, by addressing them in a simple, straightforward manner.
Images – Product pictures are good, including pictures of your product’s packaging. Those help build your brand. So do pictures of plants, if they’re part of the ingredients. Medical photos also work. And you can even include photos (or videos) of the people giving testimonials, which will help increase the credibility of their statements. Finally, there’s the old standby of before and after photos. Seeing is believing when it comes to people who’ve shed pounds, gotten buff and improved their overall health.
Use product photos, ingredient photos and even customer photos to add visual interest to your copy.
Call to Action – After you’ve told the reader all of the wonderful things your product can do, you need to ask for the sale. Spell out what you’re offering and don’t hesitate to restate why they should place their order NOW. Powerful closing lines prompt a response.
Deadline – If you can add some immediacy to your offer, you’ll convert some of the procrastinators into buyers. It can be a special introductory price available for a limited time or the incentive of a bonus gift for which there is a limited quantity.
Order Information – Be clear in spelling out the exact steps for placing an order, whether by phone, mail or online.
Guarantee – Take away the prospect’s fears by eliminating risk. A money-back guarantee if the customer doesn’t see the promised benefits is a good way to reduce friction in the sales process.
If your supplements are made from food, don’t just list the ingredients, show them for added impact.
Your Copy Must Be Authentic
One of the reasons why longer copy works best for dietary, nutritional and weight-loss supplements is that people are a bit wary of these products. They’ve probably tried other products that didn’t accomplish their stated goal, and they want to be prudent in making decisions about something they’re putting into their bodies.
Strive for transparency and authenticity in describing your product’s health benefits in your copy.
They’re skeptical and need convincing. By providing a wealth of information, you appear to be transparent. Your statements become more believable. You’re demonstrating you have nothing to hide.
According to NutraScience, a vitamin and supplement manufacturing company, “Marketing studies have been able to demonstrate, time and again, that authenticity and transparency can go a long way when trying to connect with your customers.”
Consider the tone of your words in selling nutritional products. Avoid sounding “salesy.”
Set the Right Tone
When you write copy to sell diet aids, vitamins and nutritional supplements, the tone you use is important. What you say is as important as how you say it. While promising fast, substantial, near-miraculous results may initially move products off the shelf, it’s not a good long-term strategy.
Avoid writing with hyperbole. You don’t want to sound “salesy” or “over the top.” Pushy may work for selling cars but it creates doubt for dietary products. If it sounds too good to be true, don’t say it!
Avoid hyperbole. A straightforward presentation of the facts will be more compelling.
Instead, lean toward a straightforward presentation of the facts, supported by studies and provable results. And leave the statements of emotional delight for your customers to say in their testimonials.
Tell Your Personal Story
In your copy, consider telling your own story if it demonstrates your personal, empathetic understanding of the struggles your customers face.
“Why did you get into the supplement business in the first place? It was likely a passion for health and a desire to share that passion with others.
“Perhaps vitamins or supplements have helped you to overcome an illness, become a better athlete, lose weight or substantially raise your quality of life?
“Your story and connection to a healthy lifestyle will inspire others to seek the same, and they’ll feel a more personal connection to your business and brand,”
Write about why you began selling nutritional supplements if it demonstrates your personal struggle and connection to your products.
Don’t Forget to Include These Critical Elements
Whether you’re promoting vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids or other nutritional substances, you want to be sure your copy will be effective. After you’ve written your first draft, check it against the following list of critical elements for supplement marketing:
A list of conditions that can be helped by your nutritional or herbal supplements
Testimonials from satisfied customers
Stories of people who’ve used your dietary supplements
Positive comments from physicians or other reputable professionals willing to vouch for your product
Endorsements from celebrities, fitness professionals or other credible sources
Description of ingredients in your supplement’s formulation and what benefits they provide
Statistics and any scientific research that support your claims
Claims regarding safety and comparison to more risky prescription drugs
Mention of side effects and contraindications your supplement might produce and how to handle them
Background about the company that makes the dietary supplement
A compelling offer that overcomes a prospect’s hesitancy
A guarantee that removes any final concerns keeping your prospect from reaching for his wallet
When your supplement sales copy has all the right elements, you’ll succeed in converting passive prospects into active buyers.
From Concepts to Written Words
If you know your product inside and out but you’re struggling to put those words on paper, you are not alone. Some of the nation’s best salespeople are phenomenally articulate in describing what they’re selling, but ask them to compose a sales letter and they’re paralyzed. Hey, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
Consider working with a professional copywriter to create marketing copy for your dietary products.
An experienced copywriter who knows how to write sales copy can get the job done right. Whether it’s a chore for you to craft your own copy, or it’s just not the best use of your time, consider working with a professional copywriter. She can quickly get up to speed on your product and craft copy that delivers a solid return on investment.
An experienced nutritional supplement copywriter can elevate your message with clear, concise statements that resonate with customers.
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Every day your dietary and nutritional supplements are sitting in boxes gathering dust is a day you missed out on potential sales. It’s also a day that your competitors probably made progress on meeting their goals.
A good copywriter is worth her weight in gold when it comes to getting a response to your marketing efforts. Don’t focus on the costs of copy but rather on the results it’s likely to deliver.