Picture a website, it has class “A” graphics, a beautiful flash menu, sound video and all the bells and whistles. Now imagine this beautiful website without any words at all. How many sales do you think it would make?
Rudyard Kipling once said “words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Words make us laugh, cry and fall in love. Words have started wars and ended them. So it is with writing copy for your web site. The words you use have the power to positively explode your sales, or completely kill them.
Great copywriters of the advertising age have given us tested formulas for the mechanics of writing effective sales copy. Attention-getting headlines, body copy that appeals to your readers’ emotions, and benefit-laden bullets. You must answer the question “what’s in it for me?” While you’re at it, don’t forget to build credibility, ask for the sale, offer a bonus and finish off with a P.S. that reiterates the call to action.
But still something is missing. What they leave out is the importance of style and delivery. Great copywriters, like great musicians, have practiced their delivery for years, honing their skills to razor sharpness. Like a Stradivarius in the hands of a master violinist, an accomplished copywriter’s skilled delivery requires more than just an intimate knowledge of the mechanical fundamentals.
What about the rest of us? What if I need to make sales NOW? Here is a secret that will speed you on your way to writing effective copy every time:
It’s chemistry, that same “Je ne sais quoi” that makes us attracted to one person over another.
Our personality and individuality comes through in our writing style. Just like meeting someone in a social setting, it’s the combination of the words they say and the intangible features they have that we use to decide whether or not we like them.
Even the best sales copy rarely converts more than 2% of prospects to customers. So, don’t worry about the 98% of people that you know will not be interested in your message.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when writing copy is that they fail to write to their ideal customer. Instead of writing to the millions of potential readers out there on the Internet, effective web copy is written to one single individual.
Imagine sitting in a bar or coffee shop, across the table from someone whose company you truly enjoy; a close friend, family member, or other loved one. Now, imagine that this person has just asked you for your advice or opinion about your favorite product. Write as if you were talking to them out loud. Speak from the heart and do it quickly.
In case you missed it, that last little tip, “do it quickly,” is incredibly powerful. It came from John Caples, one of the masters of modern direct response marketing. Once you have followed the steps above and put yourself in the right frame of mind, begin writing, and get the words out as quickly as you can. Caples said that writing quickly would focus all your energy on the letter, which would give it a life of its own and make it sizzle.
Once completed, it is much easier to pare down a terrific piece of ad copy than it is to try and add life to lifeless, dry copy. Your copy will become exponentially more effective when you write to one person than if you try and write to a crowd.
That is the foundation of writing copy that sells.