Internet Marketing Strategies Part Four: Writing Effective Website Sales Copy
by Shelley Lowery
A professional looking website is a very important part of making sales. However, without effective sales copy your website will be useless. Words make sales, not fancy websites.
Your words are the entire foundation of your business. Your product, your website and your marketing strategies all depend upon your words. You must learn how to write persuasive words specifically written for your targeted customer. You must feel your customers needs and write your copy with passion, excitement and benefit.
Your text should be written in a black, legible font with a light background. Avoid using fancy fonts or backgrounds that will make your text difficult to read. When you begin writing, write in small blocks of text with a space between each block. There is nothing that will make your visitor click away faster than a sea of black text, so make sure you use plenty of white space.
Begin your sales letter with a powerful headline that demands attention. This headline is the most important part of your entire sales letter. If it doesn't grab your potential customer's attention, they won't bother to read the rest of your letter. Your headline should be displayed in a larger bold font and demand your potential customer's attention to intrigue them to read on.
Use subheadings (headlines) throughout your letter to capture the attention of those who just scan your text. Your subheadings should provide highlights of each section of your sales letter and be displayed in a larger, bold font.
Once you've captured your potential customer's attention with your powerful headline, you should now direct their attention to your introduction. Write a brief paragraph about your product to let them know exactly what you have to offer them. Keep your introduction brief and to the point with no filler content.
Once you've written your introduction, continue to write and tell your potential customer why your product is the solution to their problem. Tell them exactly how your product will benefit them. Identify a specific problem and promote your product as the solution. This can be accomplished with the use of questions that identify a specific problem that your product will solve. Ask your potential customer questions that you know they can identify with -- feel their needs.
Every word, sentence and headline should have one specific purpose -- to lead your potential customer to your order page. When writing your sales copy, direct your words towards one specific person. Use words like "you" and "your" rather than "them" or "their." Write as if you are speaking with just one person -- one on one. Write to persuade, that's the bottom line.
Use the following formula when writing your website sales letter:
A - Attention - Use a powerful headline that demands attention
I - Interest - Intrigue interest and create curiosity
D - Detail - Provide details about your product or service
A - Action - Call for action
Many Internet users are apprehensive when it comes to making a purchase on the Internet. You must put their mind at ease by displaying your full name, company name and contact information. In addition, you must completely remove their risk. Provide your potential customers with a solid, no risk, money back guarantee. This will put their mind at ease by building their confidence in you and your product. In addition, include some of your testimonials within your sales letter. Make sure you don't create a separate page for your testimonials, as they most likely won't be read. Place your testimonials throughout your sales letter to ensure their visibility.
Studies have shown that long sales copy out-sells short sales copy. However, some visitors do prefer a short sales letter. To accomodate both types of preferences, you can provide both. For those visitors who prefer a short sales letter, provide them with an opportunity to click through to your sales page throughout your sales letter.
When writing a long sales letter, keep in mind that with each additional click, you will lose a percentage of your potential customers. Have you ever read a sales letter page that forced you to click through several pages to continue reading the sales letter? Many Internet users find this very frustrating and just click away. Try to keep your sales letter all on one page for the best results. Your visitors would probably much rather scroll through a long sales letter than click through and load another page. Their time is very valuable -- accomodate them.
Once you've written your sales letter and packed it with all of the benefits your product has to offer, your next step will be to "call for action." Ask for the order and provide an easy ordering process. Continue to reassure your potential customer by reminding them of your personal guarantee and lead them to your order page.
For potential customers that still aren't convinced, provide them with free bonuses just for purchasing your product. Many times, you will find that your customers purchase your product just for the free bonuses.
Your final step will be to close your sales letter with a PostScript. When your visitor scans your sales message, chances are, they'll read your headline, subheadings and your PostScript message. Place your most important benefits within your P.S. message. It will get read.
Write your words so that they seamlessly flow together from your beginning headline through to your order page. Pack your copy with all of the benefits your product has to offer and keep it simple. The simple, well designed sites with great copy make the sales.
Copyright © Shelley Lowery 2001.
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of several successful ebooks including Web Design Mastery - An in-depth guide to professional web design. Ebook Starter - A Complete Ebook Design Kit, and eZines: A Complete Guide to Publishing for Profit. Subscribe to Etips and receive a free copy of her highly acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet Marketing Strategies." http://www.web-source.net
You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print, in your ebook or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author bylines are included.
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