Secrets of Writing Winning Online Marketing Copy

You probably know that there's more to email copywriting then simply writing the message. In fact, an email marketing piece typically has three components:

  • the fields (the TO, FROM, and SUBJECT lines),
  • the message, and
  • the landing page.

Some copywriters think their work is done after they've written a terrific subject line and an awe-inspiring message.

Not true.

Here's what happens. The prospect receives the email, reads it, and then responds by clicking the hyperlink within the email that takes him to a Web page order form (the landing page).

Then he hesitates. And decides not to buy.

The fact is, many people who respond favorably to your wonderfully crafted email message will change their minds once they arrive at the landing page. I've seen some campaign statistics on "bail-out" rates as high as 80%.

Obviously, like the subject line and email, the landing page also needs copy that sells. And that's where you come in.

Here are my top tips for writing a persuasive landing page:

  1. Remind them why they clicked.

    When the landing page opens, the original email message tends to go out of view, along with all the benefits you've written. So consider repeating these key benefits on the landing page. I've found that doing this within a text box is very effective.

  2. Finish the story.

    Because of space restrictions, you might not have had room in the email to complete the selling job. Now you do. Use the landing page to add new information and elaborate on features and benefits.

  3. Reassure.

    There are still many people who are hesitant about ordering on the Web. To build trust, always include full contact information, including phone numbers and locations. Never hide behind a dubious email address. For credit-card transactions, point out security features. If you have a guarantee, make it loud and clear.

  4. Never leave them guessing.

    Don't assume that just because there's an order form on the landing page people will intuitively know what to do. Guide them through the process. Give clear instructions.

  5. Say "please" and "thank you."

    You may have several landing pages. One to obtain contact information, for example, and another to complete the credit-card transaction. On all of these pages, you can never overuse the words "please" and "thank you." It's profitable to be polite.

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Published: March 22, 2004

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