Write a compelling headline.
Now, I can give you some incredible statistic like changing just a headline produced 700% more sales without any other changes to a website, but I’m pretty sure you already know how powerful headlines really are.
So, here are two ways to write powerful headlines that make your website sell like crazy.
You’ve probably heard this one before but here’s a twist on it. “Don’t break what aint’ broke!”
You see, there are thousands of powerful headlines that have converted well for tons of different industries in the past. You probably already know quite a few of them.
All you have to do is “swipe” the headline and edit it to suit your product or service.
The second way is…
You can use my “A.C.E.S. method” for writing headlines that sell!
Here’s the short and sweet explanation of A.C.E.S…
A compelling headline has these four elements in it almost ALL of the time.
A – Attention C – Curiosity E – Excitement S – Specific
In other words a compelling headline…
1. Grabs the attention of your visitor.
2. Builds curiosity about your product or service.
3. Builds excitement through the use of powerful ‘news type’ words.
4. Is specific to your target market’s needs and your product or service.
A long-time client of mine created a software that slows down video training material so that the user can learn specific moves or techniques faster.
Here’s the headline we came up with in only five minutes and STILL it can be improved but the sales results have been astounding to say the least.
“Amazing Software That Manipulates Video So That Anyone Can Learn At Least 3 Times Faster Than Normal . . . Watching The Same Video . . .In A Completely Different Way!”
Do you see the A.C.E.S. in there? Great!
Write 10 to 20 of these headlines and save them all.
Write down a list of your key benefits and turn them into bullet points.
There are really only two main kinds of benefits.
The first one is a “functional benefit.” Often called a feature, the functional benefit can easily be identified as something like, the fast, overnight delivery from a company like FedEx or all the office supplies you need under one roof at your local Staples.
The second type of benefit is the “emotional benefit.” An emotional benefit can be identified as the ease and comfort you experience knowing that your package will arrive by the next business day at your desired destination or the reduced stress and feelings of happiness when you get everything you need for your office in one location and without stress.
When you look at billion dollar corporations like FedEx, Microsoft, Home Depot, Best Buy, Staples or any number of the big players in any industry, you’ll find that they have an firm grasp and a perfect mix of functional and emotional benefits inherent in their product or service and in their marketing.
Once you have your emotional and functional benefits written, your next step is to add the Zeirgarnik effect into them.
“The Zeigarnik effect states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones.” – Wikipedia.org
Basically, you’re forcing your prospects into a state of curiosity and the only way to satisfy this curiosity is to buy your product.
Infusing the Zeigarnik effect into your benefits will transform them into persuasive bullets.
Here’s an example using the software product I mentioned earlier if you were targeting dancers or martial artists…
Emotional Benefit: Feeling of achievement. Functional Benefit: Learn difficult moves twice as fast.
Bullet: Experience the overwhelming joy of achievement when you learn difficult moves twice as fast…using this one secret feature.
Bullet: How to learn complex moves twice as fast with a single click of your mouse!
See the curiosity built into the benefit?
Line up the social proof…testimonials and statistics.
Social proof is a very powerful form of persuasion, and after all, copywriting is persuasion in print.
In every sales letter or direct response advertisement you’ll find the element of social proof.
Social proof in the form of testimonials, provides your prospect with both the reassurance that your product is good and it also triggers the “herd mentality,” inherent in all human beings.
Having social proof easily provides your copy with the much needed impulse buying triggers because both real statistics and personal testimonials have the power to get past your prospects defenses and deeper into their minds.
But you know what?
Another powerful form of testimonial exists.
It holds the persuasive power of “authority.”
Getting testimonials from well known experts and/or celebrities can and will make your testimonials even more powerful.
The persuasion principle of “authority” or rather compliance with an authority figure can immediately and many times drastically boost your sales.
I highly recommend you read, “Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert Cialdini to learn more about the principles of persuasion.
Write your lead.
This is where you begin to address your prospect directly.
It is where you set the stage for the rest of your sales copy.
To address your prospect directly, you should begin a sales letter with…
“Dear Friend,” or better yet “Dear Fellow Dancer,”
The next thing you write after that should be a opening sentence that makes a “big promise” of the ultimate benefit they will receive from reading your sales copy.
A classic example of this is the “If…Then” opener.
For example using the software example…
If you’ve been trying to learn a new skill using ‘Windows’ compatible video on your computer, then you already know the value of what I am going to tell you.
If you’ve been trying to learn a new skill using ‘Windows’ compatible video on your computer, and want to learn faster, then this may be the most important letter you have ever read on learning a new skill with video.
You see the big promise in those?
You’re setting the stage for the copy to follow.
Write out your copy.
Funny that this is the last step but remember each step is a tactic and adding them together with your copy will form your entire sales letter strategy.
To get pat your prospects objections and close the sale!
Now, once you have all of the above elements in line, you should sit down, pretend you are speaking to your best friend and just write out an explanation of why they should purchase your product.
Write as if you are speaking to your friend directly.
Answer the following questions within your copy and add your bullets and testimonials throughout your copy.
The questions you should answer are…
Who Are YOU?
Why should I listen to you?
What is it?
What’s so great about it?
What’s in it for me?
How much does it cost?
How do I get it?
Remember those headline that you didn’t use?
Well throughout your copy, you can place those headlines as subheads.
Subheads break up your copy so that a person does not get tired or bored reading all your sales copy.
It’s what I call “Optical Appeal” and subheads are your first line of defense against boredom and increasing optical appeal.
It also prevents “page scanners,” people who quickly scan through your page, from scanning your sales page and leaving, by drawing their attention with your subheads.
As a rule of thumb I use one subhead, at least, per printed page of sales copy.
Another trick to keeping people glued to your sales copy is to use short sentences or very brief paragraphs to increase the white space on your page.
Finally, remember this…
Write as if you are “speaking” to a friend, NOT writing a college essay. If you use somewhat broken language, write it, don’t leave it out or make it proper.
Just refrain from using too many bad words.
The only other advice I have is go out and read, read, read as many sales letters as you can, and then apply what works in each of them to your copy.
Pretty soon, you’ll be a master at writing copy for your market!