Web Copy That Sells
eBook - ePub

Web Copy That Sells

Maria Veloso

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  1. 304 pagine
  2. English
  3. ePUB (disponibile sull'app)
  4. Disponibile su iOS e Android
eBook - ePub

Web Copy That Sells

Maria Veloso

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Just as technology is constantly evolving, author Maria Veloso approaches marketing communication from a posture of newer, faster, and more effective techniques.

Veloso provides both timeless and cutting-edge methods to help content marketers achieve phenomenal success. With the rise of social networks, "Twitterized" attention spans, and new forms of video content, marketers' online sales techniques need an upgrade.

In Web Copy That Sells, you'll gain tips for:

  • crafting attention-grabbing, clickable, and actionable content;
  • learn how to streamline key messages down to irresistible "cyber bites" for highly targeted Facebook ads and interactive web banners;
  • discover the latest psychological tactics that compel customers to buy;
  • and learn how to write video scripts that sell.

Whether your focus is on web copy, email campaigns, social media, or any of the other latest and greatest opportunities for lead generation through digital marketing communication, these tips will help you pack a fast, powerful, sales-generating punch.

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The Dynamics of Web Selling

Don’t worry that you’ll take a shot and you’ll miss. The fact is, you’ll miss every shot you don’t take.
In the advertising world, the words employed to communicate a sales message in an advertisement or commercial are called advertising copy, and the people who write these words are known as copywriters. (This term should not be confused with copyright, which is a legal mechanism that protects your ownership of what you write.)
Similarly, web copy refers to the words employed to communicate a sales message on the web, and the people who write these words are web copywriters. Although distinctly different in tone from advertising copy, web copy has the same objectives—that is, to generate leads, customers, sales, and, consequently, profits for a website. (Web copy also should not be confused with web content, which consists of words written for the web for the purpose of informing, communicating, entertaining, or edifying the reader, not necessarily communicating a sales or marketing message.)
Web copywriting is one of the most exciting crafts and professions I know of. I often equate it with alchemy, but whereas alchemy is the science that turns base metals into gold, web copywriting turns words into money seemingly out of thin air. Think about it. The Internet is the only place where anyone can truly market every day for little or no money and have the chance at making a fortune. Personally, I have seen many companies and entrepreneurs do it—even on a shoestring budget.
Whatever your writing skills are, don’t worry! Practically anyone with moderate to good writing skills can learn how to write web copy. One of the best copywriters in the offline world, Joe Sugarman, almost flunked English in high school. One of his copywriting students, a grapefruit farmer who had never written sales copy, made millions of dollars over the years using sales copy he wrote to sell grapefruit by mail.
Before any discussion of web copywriting is attempted, it is necessary to consider a few facts and figures about the web in order to have a clear concept of the online marketing environment in which one needs to operate.
As of May 2012, there were approximately 662.9 million (662,959,946) websites (according to a Netcraft Web Server Survey)! That’s a 378 percent increase over the 175.4 million websites that existed in 2008.
The average Internet surfer who uses a search engine visits 25 websites among the displayed search results in three to four minutes. Therefore, the average duration of stay on each website is approximately eight seconds, including the click and load time.
An estimated 107 trillion pieces of e-mail were sent out in 2010 (approximately 294 billion e-mails a day—and growing). An estimated 89 percent of these are automated spam mails.
Why would the staggering number of websites and e-mails be of any concern to you when doing business on the web—especially since all those other websites are not necessarily your competitors? Here’s why: On the Internet, you’re competing for a piece of the Internet surfers’ online time, and you’re also competing for mind share. In a cyberuniverse characterized by information overwhelm, every company, individual, or entity that has any kind of Internet presence competes for your prospects’ online time and mind share and is therefore your competitor, for all intents and purposes.
With the aforementioned facts in mind, we can now lay the foundation for communicating successfully on the web.


It amuses me that whenever I run a successful campaign with great web copy, I find a few dozen copycats mimicking certain parts of my work. Invariably, however, they merely copy the words but fail to duplicate the strategy or tactic behind the words, which is what really makes the copy effective. The writing strategy I employ in every web copy piece that I write is founded on three relatively simple rules.

Rule 1: Don’t Make Your Website Look Like an Ad

Depending on which source you believe, the average person is exposed to anywhere between 1,500 (Media Literacy Report published by UNICEF) and 5,000 (Charles Pappas, Yahoo! Internet Life columnist) advertising messages per day from TV, billboards, radio, the Internet, and practically everywhere we turn. That’s an average of 3,250 advertisements per day.
“It’s a non-stop blitz of advertising messages,” Jay Walker-Smith, president of the marketing firm Yankelovich, told CBS News recently. He estimates that we’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 a day today.
Therefore, the last thing we want to see when we land on a website is yet another ad. Additionally, since most of us have been inundated with ads for most of our lives, we have developed instinctive mechanisms to tune out commercial messages.
Yet many online businesses seem to go out of their way to make their websites look like ads, billboards, or other commercial media. Don’t fall into this trap, because if you do, you’ll turn away potential customers. Always remember that consumers don’t hate advertising—it’s bad advertising that they detest. It stands to reason, then, that your website should engage your prospects, it should provide the solid information that they are looking for, and whenever possible it should have an editorial feel to it. Above all, it should be free of hype. Why? Because people usually go online to find information. Few people log on saying, “I can’t wait to see ads, and I can’t wait to buy stuff!” No, that usually doesn’t happen.
People go online to find information. That’s why they call it the information superhighway. Even if they are shopping for something—say, a DVD player or an antiaging skin care product—they are generally seeking information, not advertising, about those products. There is a myth that the Internet is an advertising medium or one big shopping channel. It’s not.
Here’s the first distinction between offline advertising copy and effective web copy. Web copy needs to provide good information that appeals to the target audience; that is, ideally, it must not look or feel like a sales pitch.

Editorial-Style Web Headlines

Don’t Buy a DVD Player Unless It Meets These 5 Criteria
How a Simple Formula Has Been Scientifically Proven to Cure Cancer
and Virtually All Diseases
[Courtesy of 1MinuteCure.com]
How to Sell Your Home Fast at Top Dollar—Even in a
Soft Real Estate Market
“Topical Botox”: The New Way to Erase the Look of Wrinkles and Lines
from Your Skin—Without Injections
[Courtesy of TransformationAntiAgingCream.com]
Can Streaming Audio Really Double Your Website Sales?
A recent Internet research study says you can.
What You Don’t Know About Foreclosure Could
Cost You Much More Than Just Your Home
[Courtesy of SurviveYourForeclosure.com]
11 New Breakthrough Cures That Transform Your
Health and Well-Being—and Add Years to Your Life
Not All Miracle Cures Are Created Equal
How to Tell if a So-Called “Miracle Cure” is Scientifically
Proven—or Utter Falsehood
Now You Can Separate Healing Facts from Myths
An Amazing Little-Known FDA-Approved Therapy for Pain Relief,
Smoking Cessation, Weight Loss and the Healing of 350 Diseases
[Courtesy of ScienceOfAuriculotherapy.com]
The World’s Richest Source of Cash—and How You Can Tap Into It
to Start or Grow Your Business
Melt Away Cancer From Your Body
Using Nothing More Than Your Fingertips?
Where does the selling come in? It comes from expertly crafted copy that tilts the website visitor’s favor toward your product or service. In other words, avoid blatant sales pitches; instead, provide irresistible information that slides smoothly into a sales pitch for your product.
Why? Because people online do not want to be sold to. A study conducted by web usability experts John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen (reported in a paper titled Concise, Scannable and Objective: How to Write for the Web) showed that web users “detest anything that seems like marketing fluff or overly hyped language (‘marketese’) and prefer factual information.” If web visitors ever do get sold on something, they want to be engaged and finessed, not bombarded by blatant advertising.
The operative principle here is engagement. Just as a high engagement level—not just the number of likes—is an important indicator of a healthy Facebook page, so too must a website have a high engagement score.
It bears rep...

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