Thanks to James Vaughan for the photo!
Are you leaving money on the table because of a poorly written Flippa listing?
You’re not alone. Writing a compelling listing is something that most Flippa sellers struggle with. Many people find writing difficult enough, so the idea of writing to sell can be overwhelming. In this article, I share four copywriting tips advertisers revisit again and again. The good news is that you can apply these same strategies to improve your own copy and get more money from your listing.
Using these four copywriting tactics will significantly boost your next Flippa auction. So, let’s get started.
“The real advertising writer who is after results makes the reader want something – and then provides what the reader will consider a good excuse for buying it.” - Clyde Bedell
A young assistant to a District Attorney approaches his boss and says “I think we have just enough for a conviction”. The DA grabs the assistant by the cuffs of his shirt and yells “Don’t you ever dare send me into court with just enough!”
Why was the DA so upset? Because to win a criminal case, you need a preponderance of proof. There needs to be no doubt in the jury’s mind that the person on trial is guilty. You should have the same preponderance of proof when creating the sales copy for your Flippa listing.
The more proof you can supply to back up your claims, the better. Uploading attachments of payments received, verified Google analytics, and income statements will all help. You can even go one step further and create a YouTube proof video and link to it from your listing. This video can show your potential buyers when you log in to your Google analytics or Paypal account, and so they can see the proof for themselves.
You can also use social proof. If you have a 100% positive feedback and over $50,000 in previous sales then this is something that you should include near the start of your listing. The very successful website brokerage Flipping Enterprises does a great job of this with their statement that “We are the all-time top grossing sellers on Flippa, with over $1m in perfect (check our feedback!) transactions in 2011 and 2012”.
If you are comfortable providing personal information about yourself, then this can really help your credibility. Justin Cooke of Empire Flippers always includes links to his blog and LinkedIn profile. You can see that this is a real person who is in the business for the long term.
Create a Winning Auction Title
“Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” - David Ogilvy
Your auction title is one of the most important elements of your listing. If more people click on your headline then there will be more potential buyers for your site. Conversely if your auction title doesn’t grab the viewer’s attention enough to click on it, then it won’t matter how great your site is. Spending a little more time crafting a compelling headline is time well spent.
Be Specific in Your Auction Title
Using specific figures is a great way to get attention and build trust. Again Flipping Enterprises does this very well. In many of their listings they will include the exact monthly profit or revenue that these sites are bringing in. For example:
$35,618 in Profit Last 6 Months – Established CPA Affiliate Network
$42,343 in Profit in Last 12 Months – Unique Software Product – IM Niche
Note that the auction title includes the exact dollar amount. Listing an exact amount in the headline appears considerably more credible than simply stating that the site is profitable. Thousands of dollars a month profit may seem like a potentially interesting opportunity, but $2,345 a month are the figures of a real business.
Include How Long the Business Has Been Earning the Profit
If you ask serious buyers what they look for in an auction, they invariably say they want a significant earnings history. Sites which have been producing a solid profit for the past six months will fetch a better price than those which have only one month of earnings. If you do have a solid earnings history then you should include this in the headline as this will definitely help to improve the number of people who check out your listing.
Detail the Page Rank
Another specific piece of data to include in the listing title is the page rank. Stating that the site is PR5 or PR6 doesn’t take up a lot of room but it helps to draw interest. This is a quick way to establish that the site is well established and worthy of your attention.
The Power of Transparency
“The most powerful element in advertising is the truth.” - William Bernbach
It’s the copywriter’s job to “Sell a good night’s sleep – not the mattress.” People buy products because they want a specific result, not to own the product itself. We use transparency to show the buyer how they are going to be able to achieve the result they desire.
The vast majority of website buyers are investors. They want to earn the income that you are claiming for that site. The more transparent you can be about how they will achieve this income, the better.
If you are creating content for your site, explain how this is being done. Are you writing the content yourself or do you have a team of writers already in place? If you are using freelancers, how much does this cost?
If the traffic is coming from organic search, which keywords does your site rank for? If you are using social traffic, which sites are generating the most referrals? And if you are using paid traffic, how much does this cost?
By being transparent you are showing your potential buyer how they will be able to get from point A to point B. They can feel comfortable that they will be able to replicate your income or traffic performance after they’ve bought your website.
Overcome Your Buyers’ Objections
“We have become so accustomed to hearing everyone claim that his product is the best in the world, or the cheapest, that we take all such statements with a grain of salt.” - Robert Collier
As potential buyers look through your Flippa listing an internal dialogue is taking place. The buyer will think of reasons why they shouldn’t buy your website. One of the main purposes of your Flippa listing is to overcome any objections that your buyer might have.
Before creating your listing, think of the kinds of objections someone might have to purchasing your site. For example:
- Running it will take up too much of my time
- I won’t be able to create new content for this site
- I don’t have the technical ability to run this site
- I’m not sure how to generate traffic to this site
Once you have identified these objections you should bring them up in the sales copy for your site and address them. For example, to overcome the objection that they don’t know how to generate traffic in the future, you could include a PDF which explains which traffic sources to use and how to use them. To overcome the objection that it will take up too much time, you could detail how certain aspects of the site are automated.
The most common objection that buyers will have is “If this site is so great, why are they selling it?” There are many reasons why you might be selling a quality, profitable site. Perhaps you need the money for a down payment on an apartment deposit or to pay for college. Or maybe you don’t have the time it takes to maintain the site anymore. Listing the reason why you are selling will help to disqualify this common objection.
Over to You
Writing a great Flippa listing may seem overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be. The key is to be detailed and transparent, while emphasizing your website’s strengths. In the words of master copywriter Leo Burnett:
“Here’s what we’ve got. Here’s what it will do for you. Here’s how to get it.”
Follow that simple framework, and use the four tips from above, and you’re on your way to boost your next Flippa listing.
What have you found to be effective for your Flippa listings? Leave your comments below.