08 Feb Web Site Copywriting
Web Site Copywriting is a must-have skill if you plan on selling anything online–whether your product is a digitally-downloadable e-book or ‘hard’ merchandise. Even if it isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll need to at least pretend to be a copywriter. These tips will
Tip #1 – Create Your Swipe File
One easy way to write as if you are a seasoned copywriter, is to have on hand examples of great ad copy that you can refer to whenever you need to. This reference will be your “swipe file.” Almost every good web site copy is just a variation of a tried ‘n true sales page template. The only thing you need to do is simply put your unique info in place of the text on the ‘swiped’ ad.
A swipe file is simply a folder with copies you’ve “swiped” of good-performing sales letters. How do you know if a sales letter is good-performing or not? If it sucked you in, then it’s likely pretty good! Think of the sales letters that wooed you into a purchase. Print out these pages for when you want to create your own sales page. (Google search for the products you’ve already bought, or were tempted to buy – in order to be taken back to the sales pages so you can print them out.)
But don’t violate copyrights by copying any of your sample ads word-for-word. Instead, use them as a guide. You may find that you’ll want to combine the strategies from two or more into your one sales page.
Tip #2 – ‘Speak’ To Your Site Visitor As An Individual, NOT a Group
Before you start writing, it’s important to know how to “speak” to your target reader. Always write your web site copy as if you are sitting across from a friend, telling him or her the great things about your product or the product you’re recommending. Do not make the mistake of addressing your visitor in the plural form; even if there are 1000 people reading your web site copy at the exact same time, each one is totally unaware of the other 999. He wants to feel as if he is important; like you are ‘speaking’ to him or her alone and no one else.
…Think about when you walk into a shoe store to try on some shoes. A good shoe salesman will give you his undivided attention until you don’t need him anymore. He doesn’t treat you like you are part of a larger group. Remember this when you are writing your web copy.
Tip #3 – Do Not Get Too Salesy Too Soon In Your Web Site Copywriting
Remember that most people use the internet NOT looking to buy something, but for information on something–even if it’s just mindless surfing for news, weather, sports, entertainment, email, etc. Just think about your own experiences online. Yes, you’ve bought stuff online. But 99% of the time you’re online, you don’t have your credit card handy. This is an important thing to remember–THE most important thing right off the bat to remember when it comes to writing your ad copy. Because you’ve gotta turn “browsers” into buyers. Not only that, but always remember that the public has grown tired of hyped-up ads that scream “advertisement, click here.”
You must first connect with him and his problem on a personal level before you attempt to convince him that he needs to pull out his credit card.
Tip #4 – So How Do You Turn Browsers Into Buyers?
Hint: “Facts tell, stories sell.”
Remember that people are drawn to stories but are instantly bored with facts or claims. Think of what interests you when you read: You may force yourself to read dry specifications on something you’re really interested in–like the specs on a sports car, for instance. But never assume your visitor will be automatically interested in what you’re selling or promoting based solely on facts, specs, claims – or information of any sort by itself…
Unless those facts are accompanied by or woven into a story. Have you ever read specialty catalog ads like in “The Sharper Image” or “Hammcher Schlemmer?” Those companies do so well because each product has a personal story attached to it. Even if the “story” is only a paragraph.
We all love stories because we can relate to almost any story. As a result, we subconsciously put ourselves into the shoes of the person telling the story. Stories arouse enthusiasm in us. Now imagine what this does to your site visitor: He or she will forget they’re reading a sales message!
Three of the best copywriters in the world are Gary Halbert (rest his soul), Gary Bencivenga, and John Carlton. Why are they so good? Because they know the value of weaving an interesting story around the product or service they’re writing about.
So don’t ever forget the bit of sage advice about copywriting advertising: “Facts tell, stories sell.”