Writing Website Sales Copy That Sells
If you own an ecommerce website of any kind one of your main goals is write content designed to sell your products.
Ten Ways to Create Compelling Sales Copy For Your Website
No matter how professional the design or well-planned the marketing campaign, if the words on your pages do not instill credibility, visitors will go elsewhere to do their business online.
The problem is that most of us are not professional writers, and since hiring a professional is expensive, it is not in the budget for many webmasters.
However, with some easy-to-understand tips and guidelines, you can improve your sales copy on your website significantly.
Note: The Builder comes with default text on your homepage. This text is for an example only; if you haven't changed it, we highly recommend you change this text on your website for two reasons: 1) the text is not specific enough or compelling enough for the services, information, or products you sell; and 2) search engines may reject your website because the text is a duplicate of so many other Builder websites.
1) Customers buy benefits, not features
There is an old saying, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." It's still true today. Never assume that the customer will figure out the benefits of your product or service. Tell them. For example:
"Improve your gas mileage by 18% right now!"
2) Customers buy solutions, not products
The majority of the time, customers are looking to solve a problem rather than buying a particular product, so explain the solutions your product delivers.
"Suffering from a bad golf game? Our clubs will improve your game or your money back!"
That solves a problem. What golfer doesn't suffer from a bad golf game? Target the problem, then sell the solution.
3) Change your perspective
Always view your product, and your copy, from the customer's point of view. Speak on their level. Be specific, clear, and concise.
4) Present a compelling reason
Present a unique and compelling reason for a customer to do business with you. Why buy from you instead of from your competition? This concept is most frequently referred to as your "unique selling proposition" (USP).
Ask the questions: What is it about your product or service that is unique? What do you offer that your competitors can't? Customers do not always make purchases based on price. There are other issues as well, such as delivery time, guarantee, service, availability, and trust.
5) Pay attention to the layout of your site
Place your headlines (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc. header tags) where they will be seen first and arrange your presentation in an orderly fashion. Many ad copy writers spend more time refining their headlines than they do the body copy of the ad. Don't be afraid to test different headlines against each other while leaving the rest of your offer the same. Tell your visitor up front what you are selling or offering. If they have to guess, your chances of converting them to a customer are slim.
6) Use graphics (images) wisely
Use graphics to invoke emotion or to draw the eyes to text you want your readers to see. Do not use graphics just to fill space. Always ask yourself what you want the graphic to accomplish.
Do the graphics demonstrate the benefits of the product, promote a professional image, or draw attention to an important section of a page? A yes to any of these questions justifies your images.
Images can be powerful, but a page's space is precious. Always strive to get the largest possible return from each of your images. Use them to invoke positive emotions. For example, a picture of a happy family getting into a brand new car is more appealing than just a picture of the car.
If, on the other hand, an image or graphic lacks purpose, then remove it.
7) Don't forget the importance of your first paragraph
Studies have shown that if you can attract readers' interest with the headline and then maintain interest throughout the first paragraph, chances are far greater they will complete your entire sales presentation. The first paragraph of your sales copy should solve a problem or clearly articulate what benefits are forthcoming once a customer becomes involved with your product or service.
8) Use credible testimonials
Encourage customers to give testimonials and place the testimonials strategically throughout your website to help validate certain points of your sales presentation. Of course, legally and ethically speaking, the testimonials must be legitimate.
9) Avoid using abbreviations and trade terms
Use the language that your least informed customers might use and be sure to expand acronyms. You don't want customers to feel that the language in your website is over their heads. Even the most sophisticated prospect will not object to your spelling things out by explaining in terms that anyone can understand.
10) Make the text easy to read
Studies show that 12pt Times New Roman is easiest to read in paper and ink format. However, the Internet is different. When reading from a computer, people prefer 12pt Arial font or, when smaller, 10pt Verdana.
Also, black text on a white background, with no images behind it, is easiest to read.
Break the paragraphs into easy-to-read pieces. Use bulleted or numbered lists, mini headings, bold type, and heading tags to further facilitate the one-bite-at-a-time, easy-to-chew page appearance.
It Takes Practice
Writing solid sales content takes practice. Start by writing everything you want to say. Then begin whittling it down, combining it, and organizing it into a lean, mean, benefit-oriented sales presentation that tells the whole story without a single wasted word. Your goal is to keep your qualified prospects excited about the solution they are about to gain as a result of doing business with you. Keep in mind, though, that most prospective customers will not read long copy.
These layout strategies enable the reader to skim quickly through your sales page while comprehending a great deal of your presentation without having to actually read every word. Many Internet readers skim rather than read.
Remember the call to action! Never assume a prospect will know what to do next. You must tell them. Clearly spell out what you want them to do next. For example:
Then review the benefits, bonuses, and guarantees you offer to remind them of what will happen once they have completed the process.
Last, but not least, read everything you write out loud. Why? The idea is to ferret out the sections that cause word stumbling. Restructure and reword awkward sentences or concepts so your readers won't stumble. Be on the lookout for overused words and listen carefully to the rhythm and tone of the message as you connect with the general flow of the content in its entirety.
The foundation of the article above was provided by Robin Nobles, co-founder of Search Engine Workshops. She teaches hands-on search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe.
© 1999- Harry McGrath, Inc., DBA Skip McGrath, Auction Seller's Resource and Vision-One Marketing. All Rights Reserved.
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