"Success is neither magical or mysterious.
Success is the natural consequence of
consistently applying basic fundamentals."
– Jim Rohn
Dear Web Business Builder,
A veteran pilot would never dream of taking off without going over his or her pre-flight check list. And neither should you before driving traffic to your sales page.
So in today’s issue of Web Marketing Advisor it’s back to basics, and a handy little checklist of copywriting essentials.
I invite you to print this page … grab a cup of what pleases ya … and work your way through the money pages on your most important campaigns …
1 – Is Your Headline Supported On These Four Pillars?
Does it arouse relevant curiosity? Does it make a simple, easily understood, ultra compelling promise? Does it trigger the dominant motivating emotion you’ve identified in your research? Does it imply proof of promise?
Big secret: Your headline is the ad for your web page, NOT necessarily the ad for your product. Give people a reason to read other than to find out whether they may want to buy your product. Promise them great things if they’ll just STOP and consume your web page.
With this in mind, I normally write 25 headlines before I begin the body of the page. Then I’ll pick half a dozen or so that I think will work and test them. The best of the rest, I use as subheads sprinkled throughout the page to propel readership, and draw skimmers and skippers back into the copy as they move down the page.
2 – Does Your Headline Have The Look?
I most often find that headlines work best when they are centered on the page presenting a balanced appearance in terms of the shape they create. Sometimes encasing them in quotation marks can also serve to grab more attention.
Brevity is desirable. If there are words you can remove from your headline without weakening it, remove them. Where you break lines is also important …
You want maximum impact and momentum when your prospect collides with your headline. Anything that can enhance immediate comprehension will help your conversion.
Each line of your main headline should contain a kernel of thought.
Grow Up To 1436% Richer
In A World Gone Mad!
Grow Up To 1436% Richer In
A World Gone Mad!
3 - Is Your Opening Provocative?
Does it trip the reader, interrupting the internal turbulence of the day? Does it cut through the noise and enter the conversation your prospect has been having with himself about the area of concern you want to help him with?
Each line of your work must serve to ’sell’ the reader on continued reading, especially at the beginning. Again curiosity, emotion, and relevant promise rule the day. If you can just get him to read those first couple of hundred words you’re on your way …
4 - Are You FAB Balanced?
Does your web page paint a picture of your prospect’s future life as a result of his purchase … and the emotional pay off it represents? Does it pledge the realization of positive feelings, and/or the relief of negative ones? Those are the true benefits of your product.
But it’s equally important to show how those outcomes are achieved with concise descriptions of the features and advantages that will deliver them.
If you want more sales, strike a balance between benefits (what your product does for your prospect, both physically and emotionally), advantages (how it’s better than other alternatives), and features (what it is).
5 - Are You Triggering The Buying Emotion?
Are you demonstrating your personal belief in what you are selling? Will your message quicken the reader’s pulse?
While you may want to put your reader in pain momentarily, the bulk of your page should be upbeat, positive, and full of inspired energy. Is there a sense of WOW to it?
Human beings are hardwired for empathy. They will bond with you if you display empathy for them. And they with naturally empathize with you as well, vibrating sympathetically with the emotions you display.
Confident excitement is the buying emotion. And it’s triggered by YOUR enthusiasm.
6 - Is Your Body Copy Highly Readable?
Remember simple is best. Keep sentences short. Use a plain 10-point to 12-point font. Paragraphs no more than a few lines. Words that are comfortable, familiar, and specific to the audience you are targeting. Inject subheads to break up text.
Highlight important points.
Avoid presenting naked facts and arguments wherever possible. Weave them into the context of a story. Explain what they mean to your reader.
7 - Do You Have High YOU density?
Remember to use the words YOU, YOUR, and extensions thereof to the hilt. Your reader is auto translating to ME and MINE.
But don’t take this wisdom too literally …
It’s perfectly fine to tell stories in the first or third person. Naturally there will be a preponderance of the words “I” or “he” or” she” in such stories. That’s OK, as long as your reader can relate strongly to the story’s hero, projecting him or herself into that person’s shoes. In many situations, this is, in fact, the best way to tell your sales story.
“We” is also not always a dirty word in sales copy …
It is dirty when the copy is all about the seller, as in, “We believe the only thing that never goes out of style is service. We’ve been providing great service in the Gotham City area for over 50 years.”
That’s a bad use of “we”. But when you use this word to symbolize a group that unites the buyer and the seller in a common cause, opinion, or belief, as in, “We investors are fed up!” it’s one of the most powerful pronouns you can use.
The key is to keep the reader squarely in the action at all times.
8 - Are you speaking intimately?
Can you get a strong sense of personality when you review your web page after being away from it for a while? Visualize yourself writing a personal letter to a friend, someone you care about deeply.
Never write to a crowd. Build relationships one at a time.
9 - Are you inspiring the reader’s imagination?
The sub-conscious mind has difficulty distinguishing between vividly painted word pictures and reality. Daydreams enchant. And emotions flow in their wake.
When you have emotion, you have desire. When you have desire, you have suggestibility. When you have suggestibility, you can direct action.
Spark your reader’s creative imagination by associating the promise of what you’re selling to things he’s already familiar with.
10 - Do you offer proof?
Specific testimonials, success stories, case studies and other examples of social proof are essential.
Describing the mechanism that makes your product work — proof of process — is equally important.
An outrageous, ballsy guarantee is another form of proof. It proves your product does what you say it does. How else could you offer such a guarantee and stay in business? A really good one creates the perception that risk is not just removed. It’s actually reversed!
Use visual proofs wherever possible. Show physical products in action. Show before and after pictures for intangibles. Seeing is believing.
11 - Is your offer irresistible?
People are greedy. And they like to procrastinate. Are you piling on reasons to act now — additional bonuses, discounts, etc. — that may not be available if your prospects return to your web page at a later date?
Are you using the power of comparison — showing how your product delivers the same results as alternatives costing much more … while comparing its price to trivial items?
12 – Do you close like this?
Don’t pussyfoot around when it comes time to ask for the sale. If you believe in your product, and you stand behind it (as evidenced by your brass balls guarantee), then for heaven’s sake don’t be shy about telling people how to get it.
Tell your prospects explicitly what to do, and they’ll do it. Big tip: When you close, use future tense language that assumes the sale. For example: “When your electric nose hair trimmer arrives, here’s all you do …”
And don’t forget that some people will be ready to buy sooner, some later. So ask for the order multiple times. As soon as the basic story is out (usually about half way down the page) I start asking for the order, again and again and again.
13 - And finally, do you use this P.S. trick?
For some reason, the P.S. at the bottom of the page gets read a lot. Make it stop your reader in his tracks, like a deer in the headlights!
Associate positive outcomes with taking the desired action, and negative ones with delay or inaction. (You may even want to plant a bomb for the sneaky Petes who scroll down to the P.S. without reading your web page. Simply insert a curiosity-inducing sentence such as: “The horrible things I told you about in this letter could easily happen to you.”)
Finally, restate your guarantee and ask for the sale one last time.
So there you have it, my baker’s dozen. Use ‘em with finesse on all of your sales pages, and watch your business grow!
Until next time, Good Selling!
Editor, The Web Marketing Advisor
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