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How to Write Effective Web Copy

Aug 17, 2007
Most web designers won't tell you how important web copy is. Although web design plays a crucial role in converting prospects into customers, your web copy plays an even more important role in generating online sales. Graphics may capture your visitors' attention first, but you need powerful copy to entice them to buy from you.

Here are some tips to make your web copy effective:

* Talk to your audience. Focus on your audience. Talk your audience's language. Address your audience in your headline or first paragraph.
* Make your copy personal by using a friendly, conversational tone. Write like you're talking to a friend.
* Get to the point right away. Make it clear what your web site is about. If they don't read it, then they weren't interested in the first place.
* Mention the most important information first. They may not read it if you don't mention it right away.
* Emphasize important words, headlines, and sentences by using color, bold, and different text sizes, but do so sparingly.
* Mail order advertisers have told us for years, "The more you tell, the more you sell." They are right. People will read long copy. They just won't read boring copy. If they are interested, you can't tell them enough. As long as your copy is interesting, it doesn't matter how long it is.
* Make your copy interesting. One way of doing that is by telling a story.
* Appeal to your prospects' emotions, e.g. feeling of pride, fear, greed, sadness, anger, or love. You can evoke emotion in your reader by providing vivid details so that your prospects see, hear, smell, taste and feel. This creates images in the reader's mind. Copywriters are trained to write words that will touch emotions and create a desire for a product or service. Then they use features and facts to back up the emotion and justify the purchase.
* Use power words. Power words elicit emotions and create visual pictures in your readers' mind. They have proven to attract attention, motivate prospects to buy, and increase sales. Use them in your web site's headlines and copy. A few examples are: free, you, new, discover, amazing, breakthrough, latest, proven, guarantee, money, top, secret, act now, save, how to, easy, reveal, insider, and success.
* Use action verbs. A call to action such as "call now," "order now," and "click here" can dramatically increase your sales. Motivate readers to do what you want them to do with action verbs. Give precise instructions. Tell them exactly what to do. Give them a direct order, but add an incentive or benefit to your order.
* Use simple language.
* Use short sentences and paragraphs.
* Break up your copy into short, easy-to-read sections and use subheadings to highlight benefits.
* Back up your claims.
* Include "you" more than "I" or "me" or "our."
* Give specifics. For example mention 97.4% vs. 100%.

Here are some important elements to include in your web copy:

* Provide a compelling, benefit-oriented headline.
* Include benefits throughout your copy. Use bulleted lists to make your benefits easy to read.
* Provide solutions.
* Include product information Give tips on how to buy your product, what your products or services can do, to whom your products or services may be useful, how customers might use your products or services, and what results buyers will get from using your products and services.
* Give enough information to help your potential customers make an informed decision.
* Tips for buying your products or services.
* Give them what they want instead of what they need.
* Include bonuses.
* Include testimonials from satisfied buyers.
* Include contact information.
* Remove doubts with a money-back guarantee.
* Include case studies.
* Include statistics.
* Include answers to frequently asked questions and potential objections.
* Summarize your offer.
* Motivate them to buy now by including a limited time offer.
* Include a call to action telling them exactly what you want them to do. Give a command. For example, "Click here now to get this course absolutely risk-free."
* Include several compelling order links throughout the copy. Use simple terms for your navigation buttons and links that visitors will recognize such as "home," "order," and "contact."
* Include a P.S.

Writing powerful copy is the first and most important step toward web sales.
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