Some businesses get thousands of visitors on their websites each month but rarely get someone to buy their product or services. Why is that? The Internet is not the same playing field as it is when you are face-to-face.
On the Internet, your first impression is likely to be your only impression. You have approximately three seconds to get a visitor’s attention when he or she comes to your site. In just three seconds, they will decide if you are a good choice for solving their problem. And once they click off your site, you have lost them forever.
You could be the very best in your industry and have something that people desperately need and want but if it doesn’t come across in your copy, no one will buy it online. So how do you get their attention? Here are some general rules for writing marketing copy that will effectively sell you – and not just on the web. Copy is copy and it works just about the same way in your printed materials.
Here are nine secrets for copy writing that will win you customers. These should be applied to your website, Internet marketing and all of your marketing:
- Use headlines that include a strong benefit or solve a problem. The headline should address pain or gain. Using a number in your headline can be a plus. Five Secrets to Losing Weight and Eating Your Favorite Foods – is an example. Be sure to address benefits and not features. Features are descriptive about a product or service but do not tell what it does. If you were selling vitamins for instance, features might be soft gel capsules, air tight sealed packaging, standardized ingredients, FDA approved, etc. But the benefit is that you will have great energy, feel great, avoid getting sick and so on. Headlines must interrupt the visitor. He or she must instantly see something that gets their attention.
- Use power words in your headline. Use words like easy, simple, secret, powerful, winning, etc. These words have an emotional component. The ONLY reason people buy is because of emotions. They will rationalize why it was a good decision but deep down it is their emotions that get them to buy.
- Write in a conversational tone. It has been proven that if you write as if you are talking to someone face-to-face, you are much more likely to build rapport and earn their trust. It is a well known fact that people do business with those they like and trust. Use short and simple sentences that are easy to understand. If you must use a scientific or technical term, be sure to give a simple definition.
- Clearly describe the problem. If you are selling financial planning, paint the picture of what could happen if someone does not prepare for their future. Use stories that show how you could be 80 years old and have no place to go because all of your money has run out. The more painful you make it, the more effective it will be. Describing the problem is your opportunity to get the reader to identify with that problem. You want them to see that this indeed relates to them. It must answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Once you do that, you have them engaged in your message.
- Solve the prospect’s problem. Show not only a solution but all the reasons why it is the best solution. This is an opportunity to provide valuable education. It is also your chance to set yourself apart from your competition by relating your unique selling position or USP. Answer the question, “Why should I do business with you and not one of your competitors?”
- Answer all objections that a prospect might have. Make a list of all possible objections and answer them in your copy.
- Include stories that that illustrate your message. People do not remember facts – they remember the stories. Balance the facts with stories for the greatest effect.
- Include testimonials in your copy. Make sure testimonials stand out. Use a box around them and possibly use a different font or colors. A good testimonials will relate what the situation was before using the product or service, their experience with the product/service and what their life is like now because of using that product/service.
- Make a clear offer and tell people to order right now. Don’t assume they will buy. You must tell them what to do. Make sure there is a clear and simple path to ordering on your website. Give incentives to order now – you might include bonuses or a special price that is only good for a limited time. Be prepared to do what you say you will do. The fastest way to lose credibility is to continue discounted pricing after the expiration date you published.
Use these nine strategies in your copy writing on your website as well as in your print marketing and Internet marketing, and you will see a tremendous increase in converting your website visitors to customers. Even if they do not buy right away, they are certain to join your list. With proper follow-up, it is just a matter of time before they choose you in business.