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Increasing Your Conversion Rate
From First Click To Cart - Part 2
digitalghost




msg:918405
 10:58 am on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Copy That Sells - Getting Surfers To Buy

Last week I went over crafting effective titles [webmasterworld.com] and how a title can be used to qualify a buyer. This week I'm going to cover creating copy that sells.

After you've gone through the trouble of getting the surfer to your page you want to keep them there for as long as it takes to get them to buy. This can take two minutes, or twenty. Your goal is create copy that sells to the impulse buyer as effectively as it sells to the discerning buyer.

First I'll go over the basics of copywriting. Members of the supporters forums, skip this if you've read it.

As a copywriter you have two objectives. Convince and stimulate. You must convince your reader that you have something distinctive to offer and stimulate them to purchase it. You can use the hard sell approach or the informational brochure technique but your goal will remain the same. Convince and stimulate.

Never lose sight of that goal.

Now I'll address the things you should do before you begin to write.

1. Ready your work area. Gather your notes, a dictionary and a thesaurus.

2. Research your product or service. You must define the product and determine which features and benefits will interest your buyers. Make a numbered list of the features and benefits the product offers. Evaluate the product as if you were the consumer. Query users of the product if possible.

3. Position the product. Determine how the product relates to similar products. Note different features and benefits. Make a list of what makes your product better. Are your competitors offering something you aren't?

4. Define your target market. You must tailor your writing to the taste of your readers. Are you targeting young adults or bank presidents? Housewives or cost conscious small business owners? Define your demographic target.

5. Decide on your marketing strategy. This is where you determine whether you want to use the hard sell approach or use the informational brochure technique or combine both techniques. Determine the length of your copy. If you can sell the product in 500 words, write 500. If you can sell the product in 100 words, write 100.

You need to remember these points while you write;

1. Your goal is to convince and stimulate. This is not the time to see how much prose you can write nor is it the time to impress the reader with your vocabulary.

2. Write in an active voice.

3.. Be truthful. Do not make false claims. Emphasize the selling points while sticking to the facts.

4. Be specific. Our widget software will work on most operating systems is bad. Our widget software will work on Win95, Win98, Win2000, WinMe and Mac versions OS8/OS9 is good.

5. Stay organized. Everything you write should flow from the first sentence to a logical conclusion. Don't refer to a point you made in a previous paragraph, simply repeat what you want to say.

6. Do not be afraid to repeat yourself. You want the reader to remember what you write. Do not be afraid to repeat yourself.

7. Write with clarity. Avoid long or complex sentences.

8. Use a bold font to highlight important divisions in your copy. Do not use multiple exclamation points to express excitement about your product's benefits.

9. Do not use humor to sell unless you are really good at it. You do not know if you are really good at it, only your readers will know.

10. Don't lose sight of your goal, which is to convince and stimulate.

Writing Copy That Sells

Before you write a single word learn the AIDA Formula.

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

Attention - Every page you create offers an opportunity for you to grab the reader's attention. There are several common techniques you can use that are effective. You can use attention grabbing words like Free or Stop. You can draw the reader in by forming a question or you can rely on a simple factual sentence that appeals to their interest.

Stop! Don't Read This Unless You Plan on Traveling to Spain This Year

Free Ebook - Build Your Own Dollhouse Following These Simple Plans

Do you know what to do if you're arrested in a foreign country?

Turn Yard Clippings Into Compost

No matter what technique you use you must follow it up by maintaining their interest.

Interest - Now you need to deliver on the promise you implied in your header. This is where a lot of writers get it wrong. This isn't where you describe the product, your business or yourself. This is where you create interest and the easiest way to do that is by remembering that the reader is most interested in himself.

You've found the best price on Cuban cigars on the internet and just like us, you may be wondering why they're so cheap. Do you know that almost half of the Cuban cigars sold in the world are counterfeit? Are you wondering how you can tell the difference between the real thing and a fake? Do you know what to look for? Would you like to know?

We've created this Counterfeit Cuban Cigar Guide just for you so you can enjoy a fine Cuban cigar without falling victim to counterfeiters. This quide will help you spot the fakes at a glance. We've even included a price guide to help you recognize those deals that are just too good to be true. We know you don't mind spending money on real Cuban cigars but why take a chance on buying a fake?

Once you have their interest, it's time to move on to desire.

Desire - You've got their interest, now you have to create the desire for them to buy what you're selling. In simple words list facts, features and benefits. Give the reader reasons to buy your product or order your service. If your product will save them money, tell them that. Then tell them how it will save money. If your service will save them some time, tell them that but stick to the facts. Avoid words like mega, supreme or phenomenal.

Now all that's left is ask for an action.

Action - If you want the reader to act, you have to let them know. The action can be a purchase or you might simply be asking them to sign up for your newsletter or download an e-book. Your call to action can be as simple as a button that says, "Buy Now", or you can give the reader another reason to buy. Order Today and Shipping is Free or Act Now And We'll Take 50% Off The Purchase Price.

No matter what method you choose as your call-to-action make it prominent. Never make the reader search for a way to buy.

You need to remember these items after you have finished writing.

1. Use spell checking software.

2. You must get someone to proofread your copy.

3. You can't proofread your own copy.

4. You must revise and edit your copy. Check your facts, check your grammar and cut out every unnecessary word. Each word should serve a purpose. If you find a word that is not working, remove it. Replace expressions like, by virtue of the fact that, with the much shorter, because.

5. When you are finished with your revisions and editing you must revise and edit again.

6. When you are completely finished with all your revisions and editing, read your copy aloud. Make sure you kept your voice and tone consistent throughout you copy. This is especially important for large sites in which you write the copy over a period of several days or weeks. Revise and edit again.

Next Week- Motivation Techniques, Different Methods for Getting The Reader Motivated to Buy.

 

gopi




msg:918435
 3:57 pm on May 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow born2drv , that's a good idea ...I usually put the ">" before the link as

> Click Here to Buy Now

but your suggestion is better i believe ...the ">" at the end adds a flow to the sentence

Jenstar




msg:918436
 4:49 pm on May 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

But then you need some copy that they can take to the person with the checkbook - maybe a nice downloadable PDF. That way you're also giving the influencer the tools they need to take to the finance department and bring the final conversion home for you.

This is a really good point. There are many times in the past I have wanted to print off a hard copy of something, but either the information was spread out over 10-15 pages (then would cut and paste everything into Word before printing) or everything was on one large 100K page, when I only needed about 20K worth of information (again, the good old cut and paste).

And on a related note, when you do that nice downloadable PDF copy, be sure to put your contact information on it somewhere. I printed off some specs last week that came in a handy PDF file - she then phoned me because there was nothing anywhere that would tell her where to go or phone to place that order. Another important aspect to get a good conversion rate ;)

born2drv




msg:918437
 3:29 am on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

If I have a bunch of links lined up in point form or table form (like most popular items or something on the bottom of the page), I'll put the ">" before, because it's more uniform.

If it's in a sentance, or the last words of a paragraph before I want the user to continue to the next page, I put it after because I think it makes them want to click through more for some reason :) I've noticed about an increase of around 20% by having the ">" at the end instead of a period.

raja4




msg:918438
 4:11 pm on May 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Great information. Thank you digitalghost.

I used to have a web site for a product and used almost all the tricks mentioned by digitalghost and we got between 15-30 orders each day.

Now manufacturer control the web site related to product since January. Their site is better looking than ours but we get only 1-3 orders a day with almost same ranking in search engines.

Why? Their copy is weak. No flow if information that may lead to a sale. They have professional traditional marketing staff, better web and graphic designers but I don't see any use of AIDA Formula.

pleeker




msg:918439
 9:53 pm on May 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

I also avoid the use of titles after names on the contact list. "Chuck Wilson - Sales Department Manager" doesn't appear nearly as friendly as "Chuck" does. People want to talk to people when they call, not titles.

I do agree with the idea that "Chuck" is more approachable than "Charles", but I don't agree with the suggestion above to avoid using a person's title when trying to encourage people to take action with a phone call.

If all I see is "Call Chuck to order", my assumption is that Chuck is probably a minimum wage grunt who answers the phone and probably can't do much more than take my name and credit card information.

If I see "Chuck Wilson - Sales Department Manager", wow -- here's a guy who has some clout, some authority, and has the knowledge to answer my most difficult questions -- or can quickly find the person who can.

I'd much rather speak with a manager than a grunt, wouldn't most people? So why not include that in your copy to give customers confidence that the person they're calling is a can-do person.

digitalghost




msg:918440
 5:47 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I'd much rather speak with a manager than a grunt, wouldn't most people

Not me, I'd rather speak with a secretary. They know what's going on. ;)

It depends a lot on the tone of your site. People don't expect to talk to the head honcho. Some people are intimidated by titles. The thing to remember is to test different copy.

Hawkgirl




msg:918441
 6:44 pm on May 29, 2003 (gmt 0)

While people are reassured by seeing a phone number on a site they plan on purchasing from there is still an intimidation factor when people are faced with making a phone call.

Hmmm. I'm wondering, at some point (and I know this idea strays a bit from Content and Copywriting) would it help to have a picture of "Chuck Wilson - Sales Department Manager" near his name.

Or maybe it's a combination:

A picture of Chuck, smiling - and underneath, some copy ...
"Call Chuck, our Sales Department Manager. He's happy to answer your questions and, if you're ready, he'll help you place your order."

The thing to remember is to test different copy.

Always! :) I looooove testing. But, of course, I'm always looking for anything I can do to stack the odds in my favor up-front, before I start swapping text and testing.

As for another part of the thread ...
maybe a nice downloadable PDF

Should this be the same/similar copy and same/similar look and feel as the rest of the site - to drive recognition?

Or should it be extra info? Or both? Make them want to print the extra stuff - and give them something in their hand that looks similar to the web site for branding/reinforcement?

pleeker




msg:918442
 12:10 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmmm. I'm wondering, at some point (and I know this idea strays a bit from Content and Copywriting) would it help to have a picture of "Chuck Wilson - Sales Department Manager" near his name.

As long as Chuck doesn't look like Shrek. ;)

Pictures personalize the site, which I always think is a good idea to increase the comfort level of a customer. Some good text and a real photo makes a nice combo of content that can encourage customers to take the next step. I said real photos because I think stock photography in this venue is inappropriate -- you don't talk about your wonderful, helpful staff and then put stock photos of Joe Model and Jane Model on the page. Seems too phony to me, but your mileage may vary.

Pictures count as "content", so hopefully we're good and on-topic. :)

digitalghost




msg:918443
 12:29 am on May 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>would it help to have a picture of "Chuck...

In many markets it helps. It's almost mandatory for chiropractors and real estate agents.

<aside>It does not seem to help for tattoo artists to put their picture online. People want to see pictures of tats though, but not on the artist. I still haven't figured that one out.</aside>

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