The other day, I was having an email conversation with a friend about business goals. She mentioned that she’d started a book only to realize she didn’t want to write one *right now* after all. She had mixed feelings about the decision, though. After all, *everyone* says a good consultant *must* write a book. And she was feeling the pressure. In a reply email, I offered her a piece of advice that, as soon as I’d typed it, I knew was really advice for *me* and not her. Have you ever had that happen? You’re talking with someone and you hear yourself making a suggestion that you realize (on the spot or later on) is exactly what *you* needed to hear? This final newsletter ingredient continues to be the hardest for me–I grapple with it in nearly every issue. See, persistence, and staying the course with your newsletter, is all about keeping your focus on the things that matter. Not letting yourself get distracted by all those *other* great ideas. The sections you *could* add to your newsletter. The design changes you *could* make. The requests and reviews and … that *might* be good to include. I find myself going around in circles some weeks–not wanting to start the newsletter, and yet being on a deadline and *needing* to start the newsletter. And, each time I get caught in this circle, the solution is consistently the same. Yet, it often takes me several hours to *realize* that I know how to resolve my procrastination. For me, what works most often is to STOP what I’m doing (surfing the Internet for ideas, reading someone else’s book or newsletter, asking someone else what they think I should write about, reviewing back issues) and to simply SIT for a few minutes. I know that’s the solution. And I know it works 9 times out of 10. And yet, I still find myself unwilling to apply it at the first sign of distress. Then again, I’m the same way about taking medicine . I have to get really, really, really sick before I even think of taking something. So often, we think of persistence as working harder, as pushing through it, as forcing ourselves to buckle down and “get it done.” And there’s value to that. But, in this case, I’m speaking of persistence as more of a willingness to repeat those actions you already *know* work for you. So, if you know that a plain text newsletter format works best for you, don’t let yourself wonder if you should publish in HTML every few months. If you know your readers respond best when you talk about your dog, don’t listen to that consultant who tells you to be more buttoned up. By persistence, I’m asking you to commit to blazing your own trail–doing things your own way. Persist in that. And don’t worry about what everyone says, or what works for everyone else.
As websites and electronic commerce are becoming more and more common, business owners and marketing managers are realising that quality web copy is every bit as important as impressive design. And with the ever increasing importance of search engine presence, the role of web copy has never been more critical. But in such a relatively new field, customers are still coming to grips with what they can expect of their website copywriter. The question a lot of people are asking is, “How do I know I’ll get what I pay for?” Before engaging a website copywriter for your next project, ask them whether they’re able to provide you with the following ten essentials… 1) Fixed Quote A lot of website copywriters will tell you they only work on an hourly rate. They’ll cite varying requirements, rapidly changing technologies, greater incentive, the risk of customer indecision, and a host of other reasons why they can’t provide a fixed quote. But don’t be fooled. You have a right to know what the job is going to cost you. If a website copywriter won’t give you a fixed quote, think twice… 2) Contract of Works to be Completed Just as important as a fixed quote is a signed contract. It may not be drawn up by a lawyer, but a written and signed document outlining the works to be carried out, and the cost of those works is essential. If a website copywriter is reluctant to provide a written, itemised quote including estimated number of words, you have to ask yourself why. 3) Timeframe Always ask how long your job is going to take. If you’ve already had a go at writing your own web copy, you’ll know how time consuming it is. Never make the mistake of thinking the job will be done in a day. Granted, a professional website copywriter will be very efficient in crafting your copy, but no matter who the writer, a quality product requires time. And on top of writing time, remember that you’ll have to review and provide feedback on everything they write. In a lot of cases, it’s the review phase that takes the most time, so make sure you try to set some time aside, otherwise you’ll find yourself the bottleneck! 4) Plan of Attack Try to get some idea from your website copywriter about how they plan to approach your project. Don’t be fooled into believing you have to hand over the dollars before they’ll reveal their plan of attack. You have a right to be comfortable with their approach before you engage their services. Will you receive individual drafts of every page, or a single draft of the entire site? What format will you receive the finished product in? How many review iterations do they anticipate? 5) Samples A lot of ambitious web service providers of all types are calling themselves writers these days. They offer copywriting as a specialist service, but don’t engage a specialist to complete the work. Always ask to see samples of their previous copy. Read it thoroughly and ask yourself, “Does this copy convey benefits?”. Pretend you’re the intended audience and ask “Does this copy answer the questions I need answered before I’ll buy?” 6) CV Most copywriters’ websites will give you a very high-level overview of their business and the services they offer. Some even offer samples. But very few offer a professional biography of their writers. If you’re not happy relying on their website as your sole source of information, ask for a copy of their CV. The things you’re looking for are a professional history in writing, and preferably some tertiary education in the same. 7) Testimonials Perhaps the best indication of a website copywriter’s ability is customer satisfaction. Don’t be afraid of asking for customer testimonials. A good website copywriter will be proud of their testimonials – so proud, in fact, that they’ll be offering them without you even asking. Look for testimonials from companies you recognise and/or can verify. Anyone can get their great-aunt write them a testimonial. Some will even write their own. If you really want to be sure, ask for contact details so you can give the customer a call and hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. 8) SEO Copy Skills Approximately 80% of all web traffic comes through search engines, so it’s essential that your website copywriter has proven experience in SEO copy. Ask them their general approach to SEO copy. Do they normally perform the keyword analysis themselves? How do they know when they’ve used enough keywords in enough of the right places? Can they show you a high ranking site they’ve written the copy for? What steps do they take to avoid diluting the effectiveness of your primary keyword phrases? Will their SEO copy change the text links on your pages? (It should!) 9) SEO Copy at No Extra Charge! Never be fooled into paying more for SEO copy. If you’ve already performed your keyword analysis, and you know where you want your keyword phrases used, writing of the copy should take no longer than usual. I’ll say it again… SEO copy is not an extra – it’s how web copy should be written! Do not pay extra for it! The only things you should expect to pay extra for are keyword analyses, adding the HTML code for unmarked text links, providing guidance on site structure, sourcing of inbound links to your site, etc. SEO copy by itself should cost no extra. 10) Writing Experience for Online Media Writing for an online medium is entirely different to writing for print. Readers have different requirements and objectives, and reading conditions are very different. Make sure your website copywriter knows how to cater to these differences. Ask them to recommend a maximum page length or word count per page. The correct answer should include some comment on the trade-off between the problems of scrolling and the need for a high keyword count for SEO. Ask them whether they prefer long sentences or short (and hope to hear “short”). Ask them whether they will include lots of text links within the main body of the copy, and if so, will they appear as regular links (colored and underlined) or will they be unmarked. Professionally written copy can mean the difference between a great looking site and a great looking site THAT EARNS YOU MONEY. Choose your website copywriter carefully.
: We all know that the lion’s share of web traffic comes through the search engines. We also know that keywords and links to your site are the two things that affect your ranking in the search engines. Your keywords tell the search engines what you do, and the inbound links tell them how important you are. This combination is what determines your relevance. And relevance is what the search engines are after. There’s a lot of information around about how to incorporate keyword phrases into your HTML meta tags. But that’s only half the battle. You need to think of these tags as street-signs. That’s how the search engines view them. They look at your tags and then at your copy.
If the keywords you use in your tags aren’t used in your copy, your site won’t be indexed for those keywords. But the search engines don’t stop there. They also consider how often the keyword phrase is used on the page. To put it simply, if you don’t pepper your site with your primary keywords, you won’t appear in the search results when a potential customer searches for those keywords.
But how do you write keyword-rich copy without compromising readability? Readability is all-important to visitors. And after all, it’s the visitors that buy your product or service, not search engines. By following these 8 simple guidelines, you’ll be able to overhaul the copy on your website ensuring it’s agreeable to both search engines and visitors. 1) Categorise your pages Before writing, think about the structure of your site. If you haven’t built your site yet, try to create your pages around key offerings or benefits. For example, divide your Second Hand Computers site into separate pages for Macs, and PCs, and then segment again into Notebooks, Desktops, etc. This way, you’ll be able to incorporate very specific keyword phrases into your copy, thereby capturing a very targeted market. If you’re working on an existing site, print out each page and label it with its key point, offering, or benefit.
2) Find out what keywords your customers are searching for Go to wordtracker. com and subscribe for a day (this will only cost you about AUD$10). Type in the key points, offerings, and benefits you identified for each page, and spend some time analysing what words customers use when they’re searching for these things. These are the words you’ll want to use to describe your product or service. (Make sure you read WordTracker’s explanation of their results.) 3) Use phrases, not single words Although this advice isn’t specific to the web copy, it’s so important that it’s worth repeating here. Why? Well firstly, there’s too much competition for single keywords. If you’re in computer sales, don’t choose “computers” as your primary keyword. Go to Google and search for “computers” and you’ll see why… Secondly, research shows that customers are becoming more search-savvy – they’re searching for more and more specific strings.
They’re learning that by being more specific, they find what they’re looking for much faster. Ask yourself what’s unique about your business? Perhaps you sell cheap second hand computers? Then why not use “cheap second hand computers” as your primary keyword phrase. This way, you’ll not only stand a chance in the rankings, you’ll also display in much more targeted searches.
In other words, a higher percentage of your site’s visitors will be people after cheap second hand computers. (WordTracker’s results will help you choose the most appropriate phrases.) 4) Pick the important keyword phrases Don’t include every keyword phrase on every page. Focus on one or two keyword phrases on each page.
For your Macs page, focus on “cheap second hand macs”. For the PCs page, focus on “cheap second hand pcs”, etc. 5) Be specific Don’t just say “our computers”. Wherever you would normally say “our computers”, ask yourself if you can get away with saying “our cheap second hand Macs” or “our cheap second hand PCs”. If this doesn’t affect your readability too badly, it’s worth doing. It’s a fine balance though. Remember, your site reflects the quality of your service. If your site is hard to read, people will infer a lot about your service… 6) Use keyword phrases in links Although you shouldn’t focus on every keyword phrase on every page, it’s a good idea to link your pages together with text links. This way, when the search engines look at your site, they’ll see that the pages are related. Once again, the more text links the better, especially if the link text is a keyword phrase.
So on your “Cheap Second Hand Macs” page, include a text link at the bottom to “Cheap Second Hand PCs”. If you can manage it without affecting readability, also include one within the copy of the page. For example, “As well as providing cheap second hand Macs, we sell high quality cheap second hand PCs”. TIP: If you don’t want your links to be underlined and blue, include the following in your CSS file: Then format the HTML of each link as follows: As well as providing cheap second hand Macs, we sell high quality cheap second hand pcs. 7) Use keyword phrases in headings Just as customers rely on headings to scan your site, so to do search engines. This means headings play a big part in how the search engines will categorise your site. Try to include your primary keyword phrases in your headings. In fact, think about inserting extra headings just for this purpose. Generally this will also help the readability of the site because it will help customers scan read. 8) Test keyword phrase density Once you’ve made a first pass at the copy, run it through a density checker to get some metrics.
Visit http:// gorank. com/analyze. php and type in the domain and keyword phrase you want to analyse. It’ll give you a percentage for all the important parts of your page, including copy, title, meta keywords, meta description, etc. The higher the density the better. Generally speaking, a density measurement of at least 3-5% is what you’re looking for. Any less, and you’ll probably need to take another pass. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to effective SEO copy. Just remember, don’t overdo it. It’s not easy to find the balance between copy written for search engines and copy written for customers. In many cases, this balance will be too difficult to achieve without professional help. Don’t worry, though.
If you’ve already performed your keyword analysis, a professional website copywriter should be able to work your primary keyword phrases into your copy at no extra charge.
Copywriting Training Writing is a great field to get into and much of this article today will look at ways that you can focus on copywriting training. There are many different ways that you can learn more about copywriting. This article will focus on different resources for you to help in your copywriting training. The first resource that you should look for in copywriting training would be any book by Dan Kennedy. He is one of the world's foremost experts on copywriting, specifically direct response writing. Direct response writing is copywriting where people respond immediately to the offer that you present to them. This is often done in the form of direct mail. One of the very good books that he wrote is called The Ultimate Sales Letter. If you would like an introduction into copywriting, visit your local library. You will find that there should be at least one or two do-it-yourself books on copywriting training. Another great resource to help you would be the Internet. There are many different resources out there to help you in your copywriting training. Here are a couple of good websites which have tutorials on operating which you can use at your own convenience. The first website which you should visit is: http:// sherus. com/business/copywriting/. The second website that you should visit is: adcopywriting. com/Tutorials_List. htm. Each of these websites has different steps that you should work on so that you do not have to learn everything at once. You can learn at your own pace and when you have the time available. The key to copywriting training for your development into a good copywriter is to make sure that you continue to train every day. When you take the time to work on this subject day after day, you will find that you will have consistent development. Another key to copywriting training is that you must make sure to continually learn about the field. There's a great deal of information to learn about copywriting and this is not a field which you can learn overnight. It will take the development and persistence as well as the education and experience that you get from continually working. Hopefully this article on copywriting training has helped you out. You can find books or you can use Internet resources to help you in your copywriting training. There is such a great source of information out there that you can use the resources that best fit with your particular learning style to ensure that you become the best coverage or you can possibly be. Good luck in your journey to become a better copywriter. You will find that this is a very rewarding field and that you can work for a company or you can work for yourself. There are many different options available to you as a copywriter. If you develop websites, this may be the most critical skill that you can possibly learn. Without good web content, your site will not be highly listed and you will not have the ability to sell to people the products or services which you offer.
: © 2006 My soapbox is just about worn out. I've been preaching the necessity of knowing your target audience for at least 10 years. "You can't write effectively to someone you don't know," is how my spiel would normally go. When one day someone asked me to show him what I was talking about. "I'm writing copy for computers," he said. "Everybody needs and can use a computer. How could a general product like that possibly have different target audiences?" I'll show you exactly how. Be Specific With Your Definition Don't ever begin an analysis of your target audience with the word "everybody." The people who fit into your target group are individuals. They certainly share common traits, needs and wants, but they are unique.
When defining your customer base, and the segments within it, be as specific as possible. Senior Citizens If we go back to the computer example, we would surely find several segments within the target group who buy computers. One would be senior citizens. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project Report, 54% of Americans ages 60-69 go online. In fact, 21% of those over the age of 70 also go online. In order to surf the Internet, these people need a computer. What concerns do seniors have when it comes to computers?
Fear is a big emotion that comes into play with this crowd. While they love the idea of being able to keep in touch with family and friends, many in this age bracket have a hang-up with learning to use new technology. Ease of use and a low learning curve are some things that must be communicated clearly. High School and College Students Having grown up using computers in the classroom, and most likely at home, students are generally very comfortable and confident with this technology. If something breaks, they'll figure it out themselves or just get a new computer. Portability, the latest technology and speed are the biggest factors for students.
With many younger users, gaming is a primary function, so the computer they want/need has to have large amounts of RAM, hard drive space and virtual memory. What about cost? Mom and dad are almost always the money source for a student's computer, so the student isn't interested in the price. If mom and dad can't afford it, there is always grandma and grandpa. Small Businesses While computers are a tax-deductible business expense, small businesses are still concerned with price. They are also leery of low price points and special offers because, most of the time, small businesses will need to add a good bit of additional equipment to a basic computer which ups the price. Small businesses also normally have no full-time IT staff, so support is an issue that comes into play.
Is help available to answer questions or troubleshoot if and when networking doesn't go smoothly? What about repairs? If the computer requires any service, is it done on-site or does the computer have to be shipped to some nameless service center? Is there a guaranteed time for repairs to be completed? As you can see, each segment has its own concerns about buying a computer. While "everybody" may need one, every person does not have the same concerns or needs when making a computer purchase. Before assuming that every member of your target audience is alike, take some time to do a little research. Conduct an informal survey, ask questions and talk with customers one-on-one. Find out what their wants are, what concerns they have or what they'd most like to see you offer. Once you find out, write so that you communicate directly with them on their level.
You'll find your conversion rates rise when you give your visitors the information they want.
Anyone can write effective Internet copy. You just have to know a few copywriting basics known to journalists and writers as the 5 W's. Throw one "H" in there and all your copywriting basics are covered. Who? Tell the reader who your product will help. This should be your target market. What? Tell your reader what your product or service will do to improve their lives. In other words, tell them the benifits they will receive, what's in it for them. When?
When is the offer good for? If there is a special offer, when does it expire? When will the product or service help them, immediately or over time? Where? Where can you order the product or service? Where will it work? Why? Tell your reader why he or she needs your product or service.
Why will it benefit them? Why should they sign up or order today? Why is the quantity or offer limited? How? How do they register or order? How much will it cost? How much return will they see for their investment?
How does it work? Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? There is no trick - it really is as easy as that. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader and answer the questions you would likely ask or want answered about your product or service. Answer those questions clearly and thoroughly and your Web copy is complete.
These copywriting tips and copywriting techniques will work not just for Web copywriting but also for direct market copywriting, other online copywriting, and offline copywriting as well. Below are a few other copywriting basics that will help you write your web site copy: 1. Keep it simple. No one wants to drudge through a long, drawn out confusing explanation. If you can't say it simply, that's fine. But by all means, simplify when you can. 2. Make sure your copy urges a call to action either in the body copy, or text of the article, or in the headline. Words like "Act Now," "Limited Time Offer," or "Limited Supply" will urge your readers to contact you sooner rather than later. 3. Keep it honest. Don't make wild claims just to get business. Build a good reputation by being up front and honest with your potential customers. In addition to appreciating your honesty, they will recommend you to others as a business owner who is true to your word and claims. 4. If you make an offer, make it one that is hard to pass up. Don't waste your readers' time with small, worthless offers. Think about the coupons you see in magazines and newspapers. Do you take time to clip them? If so, it's because the offer is of value to you. 5. How long should your copy be? As long as it takes to adequately answer the above questions for your product or service. An unanswered question is considered an objection in your potential customer's mind. So, be sure to answer all their objections. Keep these Internet copywriting basics in mind as you prepare the articles or sales letters that will appear on your Web site. Don't be intimidated because you don't have any professional writing experience. Most people want to do business with an honest person who knows the product or service well that he or she is trying to sell. You don't have to be a professional writer to do that. The only requirement is that you truely believe in the product or service which you are trying to sell. If you do, your enthusiasm will shine through your writing. If you do not believe in your product or service, your lack of enthusiasm will shine through also. So, in summary, answer the above questions as clearly and simply as you can, be honest, avoid hype, make an irresistable offer, and be sure to include a call to action. If you do all these things you will master the copywriting basics and should have no trouble converting your Website visitors into customers.
Copywriters often disagree on whether a short sales piece with lots of white space is better or whether long and detailed is the way to go. The long and short of the debate is this… what type of buyer are you targeting? There are basically 2 kinds of buyers. 1. The Impulsive Buyer This is the kind of guy with “places to go and people to see” and not a whole lot of time to do it in. Typically, he’ll skim the headlines and subtopics, glance at the photos and captions, and make a snap decision. 2. The Analytical Buyer This group of buyers believes that the proof is in the details. They’ll read everything… including the fine print. It stands to reason that successful copy will address the needs of both buyers… regardless of length. Let’s look at what you need to do to reach both buyers. How to reach…. The Impulsive Buyer 1. Use attention getting headlines and sub headlines. 2. Capitalize of graphics that enhance your message… Photos Captions Varying fonts and font sizes Shading Use Bold Headlines Highlight with shaded areas or bullets The Analytic Buyer 1. Use the headlines, sub headlines, and graphics for the impulsive buyer as guides. Add the detailed information the analytic buyer needs under the proper heading, and you’ve got a winning marketing piece that is guaranteed to be successful Inside knowledge of how your potential buyers react is the key to getting their attention… and extra income. The fact that the needs of the impulsive buyer and the analytical buyer overlaps is a bonus for you, the copywriter!
So you are just getting out of college. You want to earn your living as a writer, and you decide on a career as an advertising copywriter. Naturally everyone wants to write the next great sneaker ad, or be the brainchild of the newest 20-year Vodka campaign, right? Not so fast. While a career in “consumer” advertising has always been the benchmark of the industry, more and more young copywriters are finding their way in the growing world of pharmaceutical advertising.
So why would someone want to write about a depression drug rather than a soft drink? Here are three major reasons for this trend: Stability: With Job security as low as it has been since the crash of 1929, young creatives in general consumer advertising on Madison Avenue are finding themselves out of work an alarming rate. Pharmaceutical advertising is generally a bit more stable, as the market is simply smaller. Money: Initially, the salaries earned by consumer and healthcare copywriters is roughly about the same. That is to say, not very much. However, successful healthcare writers see larger salary increases and title promotions sooner than their consumer counterparts. Sense of Importance: At first glance the content, regulations and demographic would imply that pharmaceutical advertising wouldn’t allow for as much creativity as a general consumer advertising. And while your “creative box” may be a bit smaller in pharmaceutical advertising, the work does allow and lend itself to a more dramatic and strategic end result. Furthermore, many creatives in pharmaceutical advertising love the fact that the message matters, and feel that their work truly is important. So while writing the dream sequence spot for that new video game is fun, at the end of the day you’re simply marketing a video game. Pharmaceutical writers are asked to really devour the product; it’s chemistry and most importantly how the condition for which the pharmaceutical product is indicated affects patients. In many cases, writers are asked to interview and meet patients to talk about their condition(s). It has been debated ad nauseam if medication is truly the best therapy. And while I’m smart enough to not opine on that topic, there is no arguing that awareness and education for both patients and healthcare professionals are necessary. In any case, we can be certain that medicine has historically done more for society than any sneaker, soft drink or video game ever has. To learn more about a career as a pharmaceutical copywriter please feel free to email me at anthony@dolagroup. com Anthony Hemsey is a Sr. Trainer/ VP Placement Specialist at Dola Group Professsional Development. Dola Group is a consulting and executive search firm dedicated soley to the medical pharmaceutical advertising and marketing arena. To learn more about Dola Group’s current program and job openings please visit dolagroup. com To begin a dialogue with one of Dola Group’s professional consultants please send an email to chat@dolagroup. com-– and mention this article!
These days, there’s widespread acceptance that a website is an integral part of the marketing plan of any business. Likewise, it’s commonly accepted that web copy is a vital component of any website. But how much web copy is enough? The pure volume of information available on the Internet is daunting – often counterproductive. There are approximately 550 billion documents on the web, and every day another 7 million are added. According to an A. T. Kearney, Network Publishing study (April 2001), workers take so long trying to find information that it costs organizations $750 billion annually! Yet people continue to use it. Information gathering is the most common use of the Internet (American Express survey, 2000). And it seems work-related searches are amongst the most common, with 48% of people using the Internet to find work-related information, as opposed to 7% who use magazines (Lyra Research, 2001).
Interestingly, however, the average person visits no more than 19 websites in the entire month in order to avoid information overload (Nielsen NetRatings in Jan 2001). So how do you ensure your site is one of those 19? How do you make your content helpful without making it overwhelming? That’s what this article is about… I’ve written several articles on WHAT to write on your website in order to make it helpful. (See http:// divinewrite. com/benefits.
htm, http:// divinewrite. com/webbenefitwriting. htm, and http:// divinewrite. com/webwriting. htm.) But that’s only half the battle… Businesses also need to know HOW MUCH to write. Here are 5 quick rules of thumb to help you decide how much is enough. 1) Know your audience (Reader or Search Engine?) Think about whether you’re targeting human readers (potential customers) or search engines. This must always be one of your very first questions, as the answer will determine your approach to content. In general, human readers think less is more. Search engines, on the other hand, think more is more (well, more or less…). In many ways, it comes down to a question of quality versus quantity. Human readers are interested in quality, whereas search engines are interested quantity. Human readers want you to answer their questions and make it clear how you can benefit them. And they don’t want to wade through volumes of text. Search engines want a high word count, full of relevant keywords, and short on diagrams. (See http:// divinewrite. com/seocopy. htm for more information on writing for search engines. See http:// divinewrite. com/SEOCEO. htm for an introductory article on search engine optimization.) You need to think carefully about your audience. In most cases, it’ll be a trade-off. A high search engine ranking is important (or at least beneficial) to most businesses, so a happy medium is required. The following tips will go some way toward providing this balance. 2) Make it concise Say everything you need to say, but always ask, “Can I say it with fewer words?” The literary world may be impressed by complex writing, but visitors aren’t. Keep it simple, and keep it brief. Your home page shouldn’t be more than 1 screen long. In other words, visitors shouldn’t have to scroll. Subsequent pages can be longer, but try to keep them to a maximum of about 300-400 words each (approximately 1 scroll). A lot of people will tell you that you also need 300-400 words or more on your home page for a good search engine ranking. You don’t. If you focus on the right keywords and generate a lot of links to your site, you can achieve a high ranking without losing your readers’ interest by padding TIP: For most businesses, a good rule of thumb is to make it conversational. Old school writers and would-be writers oppose conversational copy; don’t listen to them. Unless you’re writing for an old-school audience, feel free to write as people talk. 3) One subject per page On this, both readers and search engines agree. Don’t try and squeeze too much information onto a single page. For example, instead of trying to detail all of your products on a single Products page, use the page to introduce and summarize your product suite, then link to a separate page per product. This way, your content will be easier to write, your readers won’t be overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to focus on fewer keywords (so the search engines will get a clearer picture of what you do). 4) Make it scannable According to a 1998 Sun Microsystems study, reading from a monitor is 25% slower than reading from paper. As a result, 79% of users scan read when online. So make sure you accommodate scanning. Use headings and sub-headings. Highlight important words and sections. Use bulleted lists and numbered lists. Use tables. Use statistics. Use meaningful indenting. Use short sentences. Most importantly, be consistent in your usage. Oh… and follow rules 2 and 3 above. 5) Use a simple menu structure Try to keep your high-level menu (Home, About Us, Contacts, Products, Services, etc.) to a maximum of about 10 items (5-8 is ideal). If you have too many options, your site will seem unstructured and your visitors won’t know where to start. In order for a visitor to want to come back to your site, they need to feel comfortable when they’re there. They need to know what to expect. If they can’t identify any logic in your menu structure, they will always feel lost. What’s more, this lack of structure will reflect badly on your business. The Internet can be an incredibly cost-effective form of promotion because the cost per word to publish is so low. Don’t be fooled into thinking more is more just because it costs less. Audiences – even search engines – don’t want everything; they just want enough. Happy writing!
© 2006, All Rights Reserved Isn't it frustrating? All you need is a new computer desk (or whatever you may be currently shopping for), but you can't make a decision you're comfortable with. It shouldn't be this hard, should it? What's holding you back? Probably lack of information. Here's something every web site owner should know. When visitors come to your site, they are looking for a reason to buy from you. Think that's stating the obvious? You'd be surprised! I come across countless sites every day that do everything but give the visitor a reason to buy, subscribe, click, call or otherwise take action. It's a fatal mistake in any business, but it's especially damaging for web-based companies. Let's continue with our example of buying a computer desk. You start with the big three office-supply stores. You click the "office furniture" link, and you're faced with a barrage of links to pages about lamps, printer stands, bookshelves and more. Then you get to the desks. Computer desks, desk collections, metal desks, workstations… geez! There are lots of links, but no information. Finally, after drudging through pages of links, you find some actual copy that describes a desk you think you might want. You look over the features. You write down the price. You gather the shipping or delivery information. Great! Now, on to the next site. When you arrive, everything looks almost the same except the logo. Same navigation, same links, same inventory, same prices. The shipping amount is the same, and the delivery policy is identical to the site you just came from. As you click from site to site, it's like dйjа vu. How are you supposed to make a decision to buy when all your options are equal? What will be the determining factor between site A and site B? If you're feeling frustrated just reading this scenario, imagine how your site visitors feel. When they come to your site, they are looking for a clear reason to buy from you instead of all the other sites. Do you give them a reason? Do you give them several reasons? If all factors are equal - even if all factors are similar - your visitors will find it difficult to make a decision. When they start guessing at which site would be best to buy from, you start losing business. Maybe they'll choose you, maybe they won't. There is a way to ensure you are chosen over your competition. You have to clearly point out how you are different or better than every other option available. MarketingExperiments. com recently published their findings in regards to differentiating your company from others. They reported that most companies - when asked what their most unique aspect was - answered, "Our great customer service." I have bad news for you. That won't cut it. Why? Because, in most cases, when customers are visiting sites to gather information and make purchasing decisions, they won't come in contact with your customer service department. It would be a nonissue until something went wrong. Also, since most businesses are claiming excellent customer service, it's an overused promise that has begun to carry less and less weight. You need something solid. You need something that is persuasive. If I were standing in front of you and told you that I was considering buying my desk from you or from Vendor Z, what would you say to convince me to buy from you? Here are some things to consider when trying to discover ways to differentiate yourself from other businesses. · Offer free shipping (on all orders or on orders over a certain amount) · Increase your inventory · Decrease your inventory and only carry specialty items · Lower your prices · Raise your prices (works well for premium goods & services) · Increase your area of expertise (for service-based businesses) · Specialize or narrow your niche · Achieve ratings or rankings from well-known associations or organizations · Apply for a patent · Win awards · Offer a customer loyalty program Conduct an online survey of your visitors to ask what they want. (SurveyMonkey. com is great for this.) Look back over your complaints and other feedback for ideas about how to set yourself apart. Email existing customers (if you have their permission to do so) and ask them why they chose you. Whatever you do, don't stay in a position where you are exactly the same as (or highly similar to) your competition. The chances are far too great you'll get lost in the crowd.
When it comes to making the most of your website or blog, you will need to have top notch content. The bottom line is that content brings visitors to your site, and visitors bring profits. In order to increase traffic to your site, you will want to use a good mix of keyword articles. These will go a long way in increasing your traffic from search engines. Not to mention the fact that keyword articles can also be very educational. When looking to choose a keyword article company to help you out, there are three important things that you should keep in mind. These details are as follows. 1. A good keyword article company should be devoted to helping you succeed through quality content. This means that you will want to find a service that offers quality content, not just fluff. After all, people are going to be reading what you put on your site. If your writers do not do a good job you will not be making your visitors happy. 2. Even though price is not everything, you will want to take it into consideration. Think of it this way. If you need 10 articles a week, and one service offers them for $6 an article and another $8, you will be saving $20 total every week. Over the course of a month this is $80; and during the year $960. Surely you could find something to do with an extra $960. Remember, costs can add up; shop for the best price without compromising quality. 3. Search for personal service. When you order any type of copywriting project chances are that you will need to be in touch with the writers you are working with. This means that you should do your best to choose a service that will walk you through the process, not one that simply completes the work and sends it back without communication. Overall, there are several top quality keyword article companies that are available to work for you. As long as you do your research and follow the tips above you should be able to find the one that best suits your needs.
=> Step #1 - WHO DO YOU THINK YOU`RE TALKING TO? Before you sit down to write your email sales letter, you`ve got to determine exactly who your audience is. This is a master key to getting results from email marketing. Ask yourself these questions: - What do your prospects/customers want? - What frustrates your prospects/customers most? - Who else is selling something similar to you? - Why should your prospects/customers believe you? - Why should prospects/customers respond to you instead of someone else? - What kind of appeals will your target market respond to? => Step #2 - A GREAT SUBJECT IS YOUR OBJECT Before an email can generate results, recipients need to open it. But what can you do to spark their interest and get their interest "motor" revved up? Your SUBJECT LINE is the key. There are four types of email formulas you can use as a guide in crafting your email. Each has a different PSYCHOLOGICAL APPEAL that works like magic on consumers. Here are some examples: - State a powerful benefit - "Empowerism Satisfies Your Need for Leads" - Pique curiosity - "Empowerism Has Uncovered the Secrets of Success" - Write your subject line with a news angle - "Empowerism Launches RSVP For Those Who Want to Double Their Money Fast!" - Offer Immediate Gratification - "With Empowerism RSVP, you can start the money wheels turning before the sun goes down tonight" Here`s an important "homework assignment": Write at least 25 SUBJECT LINES before you decide on which one to use. Take the best two and test them against each other in your marketing campaign. (Save the "losers" to use for other purposes or spruce up later.) => Step #3 - WHAT`S IN IT FOR THEM? Sit down and write every conceivable benefit your product has. Don`t know the difference between features and benefits? Features describe the product; benefits describe the results of using the product. Features appeal to logic...logic justifies emotion...emotion drives sales (see below). Here`s a rule of thumb for benefits: ask yourself "What can my product or service do for my customer?" Then begin to write your letter telling your reader WHAT`S IN IT FOR THEM. Tell them how much better life will be for them after they buy from you. Tell them how much better they`ll feel. Tell them how their peers will respect them more. => Step #4 - AN EMOTIONAL APPEAL When promoting anything to anybody, you must remember that buying decisions are based upon emotion and later backed up by logic. Before you write a single word, determine what emotional hot buttons you need to push to "jumpstart" your prospect. Selling health supplements? Go for the "fear of illness" button with "A Natural Way to Save Your Eyesight." Selling political bumper stickers? Hit the "anger" button with: "Let the President Know What You Think of His Policies." Other buttons include: curiosity, greed, ego, vanity, hope, and/or fear of scarcity or security. => Step #5 - A NAME YOU CAN TRUST To convince people to buy your product or service, you must make them believe that your offer is credible and that you (or your product) will deliver as promised. How do you do that? Here are three ways you can build credibility with the readers of your sales letter: - Provide testimonials. - Include endorsement letters from authority figures in your industry - Make your offer and promises sincere and believable. => Step #6 - A GUARANTEE Nowadays, trying to sell without some type of guarantee is a losing proposition. You`ve got to have one. And the stronger your guarantee, the better your response will be. And, believe it or not, although most people will NOT ask for a refund, they`ll trust your offer knowing that you stand behind it. You can offer a 24-hour, 30-day, 60-day, 90-day, or even a full-year. And here`s an interesting fact: The longer the time period, the fewer returns you`ll have! It`s human nature to procrastinate, so the more time someone thinks they have to get a refund, the more they`ll put it off or forget about the refund altogether. => Step #7 - DON`T FORGET TO ASK It happens all the time. Someone makes a fantastic sales presentation, and then doesn`t close the deal because he/she didn`t clearly ask for the order or made the process confusing rather than simple. - From the Research Department: Statistics show that you need to ask for the order at least three times to close substantial sales. (Some studies put the number at 7!) If you can, offer several ways for your prospects to order -- consumers love choice. It tells them, "You`re talking directly to me and meeting my unique needs." If you only offer one way to order, make it crystal clear how AND how easy it is. Describe it in detail and ask for the order. Then ask again. => Step #8 - THE EYES HAVE IT It`s a well-known fact: Large blocks of copy are intimidating and will often send people running for the hills or at least the Delete button. The solution? Break up paragraphs into two to four sentences. Use several subheadings throughout the email letter. And use asterisks, dashes, and ellipses (...) to give your copy more rhythm. Bullet points are excellent eye-catchers - use them whenever appropriate.
Copywriting For those of you who are not familiar with the art of copywriting, this article will focus on giving an introduction to the subject and why it is in such high demand today. The field of copywriting is large and continues to expand every year. A way to describe copywriting is putting a creative message in front of a consumer. In the book, Copywriting, it is mentioned that copywriting is based upon three fundamental principles. When you are writing to a customer, there has to be an involvement between the customer and the seller. You must then make sure that you explain the rewards as far as when the customer is purchasing a product. The final piece is achievement and that is what you as the writer will be focusing on. Whenever you write copy, you are looking to have a certain effect upon consumers. Usually this effect will be for consumers to desire a certain product because they will want to gain certain rewards. You know that you've achieved your objectives by hitting certain sales goals that have been set for your copywriting. There are many writers in the world but there is a specific niche for copywriters. Copywriters are the ones who write messages but mold them in a way that it brings about an interest in a consumer. With the number of advertisements out there today, consumers will not respond unless it is something that specifically interests them. This is why it is more important than ever to have a clear focus when you are writing your copy so that you know which particular niche you're trying to hit within the broader population. There will always be a need for copywriters no matter whether the economy is in a recession or in a boom. Companies must always put out a message to consumers and as long as this demand is needed, copywriters will be in high demand. If you are interested in working as a copywriter, you will have many different places to look for work. You can decide to work for advertising agencies, on the Internet, or be your own boss. There are many different markets for you in these three that were just listed. When you are writing copy for a seller of a product, the key is that you must remember to put yourselves in the shoes of the consumer. This is done through doing extensive research and studying what goes through the mind of that particular consumer. Each niche or group of people will be different in what will motivate them to do certain things. By doing this research, you will have a better idea of where you need to go with the message that you are trying to convey to your target audience. This article on copywriting is meant to give you a broad overview of the field. The demand for copywriters will always be strong due to the need of companies to send messages to their audiences to buy their products. If you do not employ someone to promote your product, you will be left behind. This is why copywriting is such a good field and is in such high demand.
: If you’re like me, you’re not writing that banner ad, Web site, or landing page to make your English teacher proud. You’re writing to sell. If you get an “A” while you’re at it, great. But don’t count on it. To get prospects to click, call, or buy, you’ll need to take some liberties with the English language. As direct-response legend Herschell Gordon Lewis so aptly said, “Grammar is our weapon, not our god.” Although copywriting requires a different approach than Strunk and White would advocate, don’t burn your grammar books just yet. It’s important to know the rules before you break them. Following are some rules to keep and some rules to bend or break. But first an important principle.
Clarity Next time you face a grammar grappler, ask yourself this question: Which word construction will be clearer to the prospect or customer? Clarity comes first because it’s the prescription for fast comprehension. Copywriting that blurs meaning (which sometimes includes grammatically perfect writing) slows reading and jeopardizes interest -- and sales. WARNING: This isn’t license to play havoc with the English language.
Literacy must prevail. Following are some rules to keep. Rules to Keep Subject and verb agreement. Whether you’re writing an infomercial or War and Peace, singular subjects take singular verbs and plural subjects take plural verbs. Always. A simple rule, execution is sometimes problematic. The key is to clearly identify the subject of the sentence. The active voice. If you want your copywriting to have maximum punch, use the active voice at every opportunity. Active voice: I wrote the sentence.
Passive voice: The sentence was written by me. Use of Modifiers. Modifiers can cause a variety of problems. There are the questions of which and how many modifiers to use. Again, let clarity be your guide. Also, poor placement of modifiers results in confusion, your enemy. To make comprehension easy, put modifiers near the words they’re modifying. Rules to Bend or Break The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain ushered in a new era in American literature. One of the main reasons was Twain’s use of vernacular. He wrote the way people talked, a departure from the stiff, formal English common during the Victorian period. For copywriters, writing the way people talk is absolutely essential. Why? Because copy that is friendly, informal and conversational stands a better chance of getting prospects to click, call or buy. Which is exactly why sacrificing the following conventions can be in the copywriter’s best interest.
Ending sentences with a preposition. To some a no-no, ending a sentence with a preposition can warm up your copywriting. Which sounds friendlier to you: “Here is the information you requested” or “Here is the information you asked for”? Beginning sentences with a conjunction. Beginning sentences with conjunctions (and, or, but, nor) is more common, even in journalism. Not only is it the way people talk, it can shorten sentence length, a plus in delivering sales messages. Other informal devices. Use contractions to warm up your message. Also, use sentence fragments. Not only do they shorten average sentence length, they add rhythm. And drama.
Punctuation. Use punctuation to your selling advantage. I’m inclined to use more dashes and an occasional exclamation point and ellipsis to add drama and excitement to the sales message. Commas can be pretty subjective, so I have a tendency to use the minimum amount to keep readers moving through the copy as quickly as possible. Parting Reminder Keep that grammar book, stylebook, dictionary and other writer’s references nearby.
You’re still going to need them. But also don’t let grammar be your god, or your next online promotion could be a giant sales flop. (c) 2005 Neil Sagebiel
: Looking for inspiration for your next marketing communication? Try the children’s bookshelf. Dr. Seuss has entertained young (and old) audiences for nearly 50 years with titles such as The Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop and Green Eggs and Ham. The reason why his books remain so popular says something about what makes for good writing (and reading), no matter who or where the audience is. Nouns and Verbs Nothing keeps readers moving like strong noun-verb combinations. If the sentence were a train, nouns and verbs would be the engine. Adjectives, adverbs and the other parts of speech make the train longer and slower.
Dr. Seuss' sentences have strong engines pulling light loads to keep readers moving down the tracks. Lots of Periods A byproduct of eliminating the extraneous words is shorter sentence length. Lots of periods. Paradoxically, more sentences of shorter length increase reading speed and comprehension. Dr. Seuss, as are many children's authors, is a champion of the short sentence. Imagination Albert Einstein said, "The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge." Were it not for imagination, there would be no Cat in the Hat and no Dr. Seuss. Imagination is the beginning of copywriting because first there must be an idea or concept. Fun Dr. Seuss' books are fun to read.
They're funny, too, but that's not the same thing. Fun to read is material that's entertaining and effortless for readers, an excellent standard for all writing. Lyrical Dr. Seuss' books are written in verse. Of course they're lyrical. However, this goes beyond silly rhymes. There are a sound and rhythm to the words that, like a favorite tune, you don't mind hearing over and over.
Good writing of all varieties is pleasing to the eye and ear. Economical Children have short attention spans. Dr. Seuss knows how to tell a story without unnecessary detours. Every word counts. That's good advice for all who write copy because children aren't the only ones with short attention spans.
Memorable This is the litmus test for all writing. Did readers take something away? Was their time well invested? The Cat in the Hat is a story about having fun, even on a rainy day. Now that's worthwhile reading. (c) 2005 Neil Sagebiel
To write successful copy, you need to know as much as you can. It goes beyond reading background materials, reviewing old marketing pieces and doing some cursory research on the Web. You need to get inside peoples’ heads. Start with your clients. They know their business and their customers better than you do. (If they don’t, they should. You can help them learn more.) How? Use a marketing/creative brief to get the information you need to ace the copywriting (and marketing) assignment. (A marketing/creative brief is a tool used by ad agencies and corporate marketing and creative departments.) Following is a marketing/creative brief adapted from one I used during my stint at a Seattle ad agency. Even though I now work solo, I still use it today. (Begin form) Marketing/Creative Brief (Note: Designed for B2B; much of this brief is also applicable to B2C.) Good input is key to a successful project, campaign, or marketing program. This marketing/creative brief is designed to elicit good input. But it takes thorough and thoughtful answers on your part. Please answer the following questions carefully. 1. What is the description of the piece(s)? (Ad, Web site, brochure, radio script, direct mail, etc.) 2. What is the marketing focus? (What products or services are we telling about?) 3. What is the communications problem that the piece(s) must solve? (Awareness, positioning or repositioning, product introduction, category introduction, etc.) 4. Who is the audience? (Demographics, title, function, responsibility, etc.) 5. What is their point of view about the product, service, category? 6. Who is the secondary audience(s), if any? 7. What business problems or issues does the product(s)/service(s) solve for the audience(s)? (Efficiency issues, profitability issues, operations issues, technology issues, etc.) 8. What effect do we want the piece(s) to have on the target audience(s)? (Purchase, phone call, visit Web site, request more information, increase their awareness, etc.) 9. What can we offer to achieve the desired response? (Demos, situation evaluation, sales collateral, personal visit, white paper, etc.) 10. What is the single essential message we must tell the target audience(s) to achieve the desired effect? (Be as concise as possible.) 11. What evidence is there to support our claims? (Features and benefits, testimonials, case studies, etc.) 12. Can anyone else make a similar promise? 13. Are there any technology issues to address? (Compatibility, operating systems, hardware requirements, etc.) 14. What specific industry issues must be addressed? (Trends, etc.) 15. Are there any industry, product or competitive issues to be avoided? 16. What tone should the piece employ? (Hardhitting/serious, educational/informative, humorous, etc.) 17. What do you like about your current piece(s)? (Look and feel, tone, messaging, functionality, etc.) 18. What don’t you like about your current piece(s)? (Look and feel, tone, messaging, functionality, etc.) 19. What overall impressions (look and feel, etc.) would you like the piece(s) to make? 20. Will this piece(s) be used with any other pieces? (proposals, collateral, letters, etc.) 21. How will the piece(s) be used (online, leave behind, trade shows, mailed, etc.) and at what point in the sales cycle? 22. Any other comments? (End form) Admittedly, getting clients to answer these questions isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s best to be flexible with the use of a marketing/creative brief. You can ask the client to fill it out. You can use it to interview the client. You can fill it out yourself for the client’s review. Any sort of collaborative approach works well. In the end, stress to your clients that if they want more clicks, more leads and more sales, they need to actively participate in the input process. One you have all the information you need, you’re ready to write a winner. (c) 2005 Neil Sagebiel
People have included all kinds of sales pitch in their sales letter but sometimes still wouldn’t achieve the results they want. The importance of a sales letter is likened to having a shop to sell cars. If the looks of your shop isn’t delivering a good impression, no one will be going to buy your cars. Thus, you must make sure that your sales letter have answers to the most basic questions, and instill interest in your visitors towards your product just with these five specific questions: 1. What’s in it for me? The number one rule of salesmanship – people only buy for one reason, which is for getting the results from a product, what they will receive out of it. To achieve this, you must be quick in catching their attention since the beginning with your headline. Create a very convincing headline and tell your visitors what they will get in one shot through your headline. 2. How will my life be better? This is where you have to understand the emotional appeals that attract your prospects like moths to a flame. Do they want to become richer, smarter, better looking, thinner or more popular? Do they want to save time, money or effort? Study your niche market until you know what emotional buttons to push and you’ll see a huge increase in your sales instantly. Use their desires to attract themselves, that’s where you will get them nodding their heads and continue reading right until the end. 3. Why should I trust you? People are skeptical when it requires them to take out their wallets in order to buy a certain product. You need to clear their doubts by providing positive testimonials from your previous customers and emphasize the benefits of your product. If you don’t have testimonials for your product, search for forums related to your niche and offer to give a complimentary copy in exchange for a testimonial – usually you will get a hot response in no time. 4. What will happen if I say no? You are not going to let them say no, that’s it. Remind them about the problems that they are having, the frustrations, how much money will they lose, or how sad their lives are currently – and tell them how they can change all of them in one shot, just by a small investment in your product. 5. Will I be stuck with your product? This is where you seal the deal. Tell them that you provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, they must get it now. The most important thing is to make them buy, and the rest depends on their choices. 70% of the people who purchase a product will not refund it unless they have seen something similar before or they’ve planned to only “borrow” it since the beginning. When you have all these points to answer your prospects’ questions in your sales letter, not only will you gain an unfair advantage over your competition but also let your prospect know that you care about their problems and you have the solution that they need.
No matter how well you write, or even if you have a professional writer create your web site copy, you're going to have errors. Misspelled words, awkward sentences, phrases that don't make sense, and words that are used incorrectly run rampant through many sites. And it's no wonder. Writing well is hard work. Even a good writer will be too close to the copy and won't see ALL their mistakes, even when re-reading the copy carefully. Mistakes in your copy can sink your web site. The online audience who accounts for most of your customers are a rather literate group of people. Studies show a large percentage have a good knowledge of spelling and punctuation. If they find your copy has several errors in it, prospects will figure you do sloppy work.
The solution is simple. Get a proof reader to carefully check your copy. You can enlist the help of a friend who has a sharp eye for spelling and punctuation. Better yet, get a professional proof reader to read your copy. Proof reading is almost always affordable and the investment will pay off big time in avoided embarrassment and missed sales.
Don't get too comfortable with spell checkers. Many have limited numbers of words they recognize, and will skip past some misspelled words. One of the most common problems is that a spell checker can't help you if you use the WRONG word. Don't feel like I'm picking on you. I worked in the TV and movie industries for many years. I can tell you from personal experience that even Hollywood's writers struggle with typos and other errors in their copy.
None would dream of turning in a script without first having a capable proof reader go through their drafts and revisions.
If you want to increase your marketing results and get more qualified leads, you will need to improve the effectiveness of the copywriting on your website, print ads, emails and direct mail. This is vital because copywriting is your “salesperson in cyberspace, in print and in the mail” … and great salesmanship produces great sales … average salesmanship gets only average or worse results. Here are the copywriting tips that will improve your marketing results. These are proven based on our copywriting work for over 450 businesses since 1978. This is a list of what your prospect is thinking as he reads your marketing copy. It’s important to make sure everything is addressed on this list. If you do this, your marketing results will improve dramatically. 1. You’d better have done your research to know what benefits I want most from your type of product or service. If you don’t, I won’t even notice you, and if I do, I won’t even give you a hearing. 2. What do you do? How will it help me? I need to know “what’s in it for me” instantly or I’m gone. 3. Why should I believe you? 4. I already have a supplier for that – why should I listen to you? 5. Make it easy for me to read, understand, navigate, and “scan” your marketing material. 6. I want a specialized expert in your field for my situation or my needs or my type of business. 7. Don’t bore me! I’m sick of corporate talk, business buzz terms and mumbo-jumbo. Almost all business marketing is very dull and boring and I won’t read it. 8. I want ALL the details and specs, including product information, product applications, CAD drawings and plans, costs and shipping. A ThomasNet. com study finds a very large percentage of buyers say these details are not readily available. 9. I want to read copywriting from a real live person talking to me person to person, and not from some emotionless corporation. 10. I won’t admit it on the record, but I make purchases based on my emotions. Sure I need logic and features for verification, but if you can touch my emotions, I’m much more likely to buy from you. 11. I badly want more from my life than just work. I’m very interested in saving time, work and stress. 12. Make it easy for me! You list many different things I can do and I’m confused. What one thing should I do now and why? 13. Don’t overload your website or brochure with fluff – stick only to relevant and helpful information I need. I’m tired of all the irrelevant “filler” information on the web and I won’t read through it anymore. 14. Compare your product or service against your competitors for me if it is really as good as you say it is. Be honest, as I’ll see through any favoritism. 15. Be specific; generalities go right into my garbage. 16. What’s your guarantee? 17. How can I test your product, service or company first, in a low or no cost way, before I make a large commitment? 18. Help me justify the investment to my boss on an ROI basis. These copywriting secrets applied properly are a main reason one website, direct mail piece or ad can pull 2 to 3 times the response as another for the same product or service. This is why the most successful marketers hire the best outside freelance copywriters they can afford.
: You already know how to create great web copy. Just remember your childhood nursery rhymes. As silly as it sounds, “3 Blind Mice” will show you the way. For some reason, “3 Blind Mice” paid me a visit. As I heard the 100th replay, it hit me – this would make great web copy. As a matter of fact, this simple little ditty contains 10 elements of Web Copy 101. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s how it goes. "3 Blind Mice; 3 Blind Mice. See how they run; see how they run. They all ran up to the farmer’s wife; She cut off their tails with a carving knife Have you ever seen such a sight in your life As 3 Blind Mice?” Let’s see how this children’s nursery rhyme is a model of Web Copy 101. Web Copy 101 #1, 2, 3 …3 Blind Mice (title or heading) 1) Try singing “A trio of visually impaired rodents, A trio of visually impaired rodents.” Catchy? Formal writing doesn’t sell.
Write the way people speak and you will be heard. The title does something else for this song. 2) If you had to choose between songs entitled “Cows,” “Ducks,” or “3 Blind Mice,” which one would you choose? The title in all web copy has to grab the attention the reader. There’s more. 3) This alluring title makes the content clear right away. How many times do you stumble on a website only to find you’re not sure what they are selling or how it relates to you? Be sure your web copy uses the title or headline to set the table for the visitor.
Web Copy 101 #4 …3 Blind Mice, 3 Blind Mice (first line) 4) This song is going to be about little rodents, not geese. Does the first line of your web copy highlight what you offer, or at least whom your site is for? Good web copy is not mystery writing. Instead it says, “We’re here to sell you something and here’s why you need it today.” Web Copy 101 #5, 6 … See how they run, See how they run 5) Repetition is the key to any message track and a staple of effective web copy. From a psychological point of view it lets your message become familiar and safe. From a search engine point of view repetition builds your keyword density and raises your search results. From a net reader perspective repetition in your web copy reinforces your message for the superficial reader who is scanning your site quickly. Repetition works on many levels. Let me say that again – repetition works on many levels.
6) The invitation to watch how the mice run around is also a clever way to involve the readers by getting them to do something. Does your site invite some kind of reader activity in the body of the web copy? Web Copy 101 #7 … They all ran up to the farmer’s wife; she cut off their tails with a carving knife 7) A good way to stitch your ideas together and build more active involvement in your copy is to use pronouns (they, she). By forcing the readers to build connections between previous and current information pronouns keep your site visitors more engaged. Web Copy 101 #8 … Have you ever seen such a sight in your life? 8) Do you know the best way to keep someone interested in what you are writing? What is 3 times 3? If you thought “nine” you proved my point.
If you thought “eight” try night school. If you thought anything at all, you demonstrated the power of questions to generate reader participation. Everybody loves and needs to answer questions. Does your web copy provide thought provoking questions that get your reader thinking and involved? Web Copy 101 #9, 10 … As 3 Blind Mice 9) Brilliant web copy. More repetition.
Plus, the story ends where it started. One of the advantages of writing with search engines in mind is that keyword focus helps you stay on topic. The glancing reader needs this controlling idea to get the essence of why they need what you have, now. Is your site's central idea consistently expressed all the way through your web copy? 10) True, the song is written for children, but notice the use of short, crisp sentences to tell the tale. How are you telling your tale? You want your web copy to be clear, smart and direct. I hope they get stuck in your head – the 10 lessons that is, not the lyrics.
By the way, no animals were hurt during the writing of the article about web copy 101.