When I was a much younger bride, I decided I was going to plant a garden. My family had a garden when I was a kid, and I remembered how nice it was to have fresh produce to eat and spend time playing in the dirt. I wanted to recreate the nostalgia by  planting some seeds, watching them grow, then eating the veggies. 

There wasn’t much more to it than that, right? 


I drove to my local Walmart and had a wonderful time picking out seeds. My main criteria for choosing was based mainly on how nice the photo on the front of the packet looked. I didn’t pay much attention to soil types or growing zones or anything like that. This was Iowa. Things grew here. It would be fine.

(Insert Morgan Freeman’s voice narrating, “It was not fine.”)

Now that I had all the seeds, I knew it was time to figure out where I was going to plant them. I realize that most people would have already settled this “minor” detail, but not me. I begged my husband and my dad to till a patch of yard, and I was off to the races. I took my seeds out to the garden in a little basket, ready to do some planting. 

Except I didn’t have any garden tools. After a quick search through the machine shed, I came up with a rickety old hoe and a trowel. “Good enough,” I thought. I marched myself and my tools back to the garden and spent a few hours planting seeds. 

Fast forward a couple weeks, and I have little plants sprouting up. I was thrilled … until I realized I hadn’t made a record of what I’d planted where or marked the rows. I had no idea what was what, and to make matters worse, I didn’t know how to tell if something was a little veggie or a weed!

The whole gardening season went like this. Lots of trial and error. Lots of being totally unprepared and not having what I needed to do gardening well. Here are a few more highlights:

  • The weeds in May are NOT the same as the weeds in July. 
  • If you plant things in sandy soil, they don’t grow as well.
  • Things don’t always look just like the photo on the front of the seed packet.
  • Birds like onion sets and pull them out of the ground.
  • Twelve jalapeno plants produce WAY more jalapenos than any one family needs. 

I could go on and on about my first garden mishaps, but let’s get to the point. There are certain things you have to do in a certain order for plants to sprout and produce vegetables. You have to:

  • Find the right patch of soil
  • Make sure there’s enough water and sunlight and research plant varieties that will perform well in your area
  • Plant the seeds
  • Keep the bugs and weeds at bay

And then, when the time is right and conditions are met, you reap the harvest. You can’t just throw some seeds at the ground and expect the harvest to be amazing. 

Yet isn’t that often how people expect sales copy to work? They throw an ad up on Facebook and think people will read it and instantly buy. When it doesn’t work, they grow frustrated and discouraged. They wonder what went wrong and start to doubt themselves and their calling. Sometimes they even throw up their hands and walk away.

Sales Copy That Converts Happens in 5 Stages 

The truth is, sales conversion copy is like gardening. There are certain things that need to be communicated in a certain order if you want people to buy. Occasionally, yes, you can throw some words out there and someone will throw money back, but most of the time it doesn’t work like that. 

First, you have to catch the attention of the right target audience. Then you need to address their needs and desires so they feel cared for and understood. When it comes time to make the offer, it’s important to break down objections that stand in the way of them taking action. Finally, once they buy, you don’t stop. Repeat the process with them within their new context as buyers to keep them ascending to the next level of service.

Sales conversion copy is a process that has five stages. The target audience must be led through these five stages in order to convert.

  • Capture
  • Connect
  • Communicate
  • Convert
  • Conquer Objections

Each of these objectives need to happen in that order to move people from cold to the idea of buying to ready to throw credit cards at your face. If you try to skip stages, your conversion rate will suffer. If you try to do them out of order, again, your conversion rate will suffer.

More from Christa Nichols

Want to learn more tips on writing copy that converts? Grab my FREE 8 Must-Ask Questions guide. Inside you’ll find the eight questions I always ask about my clients’ target markets that help me write copy that follows the 5 stages of sales copy . Click here to download it now: 8 Must-Ask Questions For Copy That Connects And Converts.

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