Four Easy Ways to Make Your Web Copy Sell

Welcome back! I hope you had a good, productive week.

Last week we identified some questions that should be addressed when trying to create effective web copy. Once those questions are answered, for all intents and purposes, you should have the equivalent of a blueprint, or a “mini-version,” of your website clearly laid out in front of you.

This week we’re going to take it a step further and get a little more creative … .

You see, having the blueprint but not putting it to work is like having the plans for a building but not constructing it. Sure, some people may purchase your product or service based on the answers you’ve come up with, but more-often-than-not, at this point all you’ll have is that “roadmap” that we talked about last week.

And really … how compelling is a road map by itself without a destination in mind?

So, if we want to “take the car out of the garage” and let it scream, the first thing we need to do is find a road to drive it on!

Here are four important elements to start with that will help transform your website roadmap into a dynamic selling tool. There are others, of course, but I chose these three because most of us already have some familiarity with them from the “Accelerated Course.” There are others a bit more complex, of course, and we’ll examine those in the weeks to come as well. But for now, let’s take a look at these three necessary ingredients … .

  1. Emotional Investment

    When people come to your website for information on a product or service, they’ve usually already made the decision to buy; now they’re just looking to justify it. Remember … people buy on emotion and justify it later with logic. You can inject emotion into the buying decision by focusing on things that frustrate your buyer, gets them mad, instills fear in them, or deflates their ego. Other more positive emotional triggers include imagery of a life with their problem solved, the lure of a guaranteed income, or notoriety. Whatever touches your prospect on an emotional level is likely to move him or her to take action.

  2. Add Credibility

    Effective copywriters provide a ton of proof in their copy. Why? So buyers can logically justify their emotional decisions. In his book, Confessions of an Advertising Man, legendary copywriter and ad man David Olgivy said, “In my first Rolls-Royce advertisement I used 719 words—piling one fascinating fact on another.” The point is it doesn’t matter what you’re claiming as long as you can prove it. Testimonials from existing customers are a great way to do this. Also consider awards, endorsements and reviews of the product, case studies and statistical information.

  3. The Power of One

    Michael Masterson is big on this one: The more you distract your reader with multiple subjects and topics, the more likely it is that he or she will never perform the call-to-action that you’re looking for. It’s called the “linear path” method of writing web copy. Think about it … The more buttons and links there are for a person to explore, the more chance there is that the person will stray from the primary path you want them to take. In addition to that, our brains—being the nifty little computers they are—want to complete one task before moving on to the other. Here’s your rule of thumb: Anything that doesn’t lead your reader to take the action you want him to take, or that doesn’t contribute to the sales process, should be eliminated!

  4. Write/Talk, Talk/Write

    No, I’m not babbling. This cliché comes to us compliments of Matt Furey and it simply means to write in a conversational manner. "Write like you talk, and talk like you write." Now, that sounds simple enough, but you need to put some thought into it. First of all, you need to define the group you’re writing to. Remember a couple weeks ago we talked about the four-quadrant behavioral model labeled, “DISC,” which stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance? Well, each of these groups should be addressed in a conversational manner that’s appropriate to them. Of course, there’s overlapping gray areas between each group, but if you can define the “power words” that each will respond to, you’ll have a better chance of reaching them on an emotional and compelling level.

It gets better … .

Besides defining your power words for each individual group, you need to give some thought to the emotional (or “right brain”) and rational (or “left brain”) stimuli that each group reacts to. For example, let’s talk about the group most of our prospects belong to, the “Steadiness” group:

While the rational brain of those in this group hears “famished,” their emotional brain thinks “hungry.” While their rational brain hears, “pleased,” their emotional brain thinks, “happy.” While their rational brain hears “superior,” their emotional brain thinks, “better.”

And there are hundreds—if not thousands—of similar examples.

Are they subtle differences? You bet. Are we splitting straws? Perhaps. But understanding these nuances is what will distinguish you as a top-shelf web writer and a cut above the rest.

Let me know what you think.

Next week we’ll really stir the cauldron and take a look at some psychological motivators that we can use to our advantage. Hey … whatever gets the job done, right?

Until then … and as always …

Good health and good writing!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: August 19, 2009

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