Boost Your Conversion Rate in Three Easy Steps
When I critique, edit or rewrite sales copy, I discover that many of my clients commit common errors. Granted, they're not writers. But most of them fail to drive customer actions not because they lack writing skills but because they fail to look at their copy from their readers' perspective. They're so involved with their website, business or product that they forget their prospects.
Let me share with you three simple steps you can take immediately to increase the readability of your copy, the excitement level of your offer and the responsiveness of your readers.
Lace Your Copy With Headers
Online, people don't read. They scan. Unlike a book that's read from cover to cover, people don't read entire web pages from top to bottom. How often do you read entire newspapers, for example? More than likely, you scan them quickly and stop at any headline that captures your attention, piques your curiosity and pulls you into the article. On the web, that behavior is more prevalent.
Moreover, reading web copy, particularly long copy sales letters, is a wearying task. So, write to be scanned. Keep your paragraphs short, and incorporate many headers throughout your copy in order to direct your readers' eyes and attention. Add a header at every two to five paragraphs, and use different sizes, colors or fonts.
Avoid overused, stale and hackneyed expressions, like "Welcome to [Whatever]." Lace your copy with powerful yet brief headers that are inviting, invoking and important. Look at it this way: when your readers scan your copy, headers must force them to stop what they're doing and to feel what follows cannot be ignored. Write a header with the assumption that the preceding text was not read.
Let's say you promote business opportunities or show people how to find them. Instead of a header that says, "Home-Based Business Success", use, "Uncover Profitable Opportunities Hidden In Your Home!" Rather than, "Affordable Diamond Business Opportunities", say "Mine Your Own Business ... At Rock Bottom Prices, Too!"
Blend Your Copy With Bullets
Directing the eye is an important tactic. In order to direct your readers to act, you first need to direct their attention. Another tool for accomplishing that consists of bullets. Bulleted lists are captivating, intriguing and pleasing to the eye. And they can help to reinforce the offer, give readers a visual break and are clustered for greater impact, especially with long copy offers.
In fact, an effective way to use bullets within the heart of your sales copy is when they follow "you get" and "reasons why," such as "with this [product], you get" and "here are the reasons why [you must buy now]." They grant the reader the ability to know, instantly, what they get out of reading further or responding.
Here's an example. Let's say you sell a home exercising machine that helps to strengthen the abdominals. You can say, "With your Abdominoflex Toning Machine, here's what you get," followed by a bulleted list of the various benefits a customer receives ...
... And a so on.
Paint Your Copy With Pictures
Another strategy is to use words and phrases that help to paint vivid pictures in the mind. When people can visualize the process of doing what you want them to do, including the enjoyment of the benefits of your offer, you drive their actions. So, use imagery and picture words to invite, entice and incite your audience.
We think in relative terms. And we are predominantly visual, too. Our brains need to translate messages into visual equivalents in order to appreciate what they are being told. In other words, the mind thinks in pictures, not in words or numbers. For example, if I told you to think of a garbage can, you're not going to think of "G," "A," "R," etc. You're going to visualize a garbage can.
During a televised newscast, a reporter, flying above the scene of a recent forest fire in her station's helicopter, was asked, "How big is the fire?" In a voice drowned by the whizzing sound of helicopter blades, she reported, "It's over 140 acres of land, which is about 200 football fields back to back for you and me."
In the same way, use examples, analogies and metaphors that your readers can intimately understand. And tell stories. Copywriters are storytellers. And above all, compel readers with vivid words and mental imagery. The more vivid the words paint, the easier it will be for the mind to translate the message you are conveying into something readers can understand, relate to and act upon.
In Conclusion, Remember This ...
I agree that copywriting is not an easy task for many. But one of the most important steps you can take is to look at your website through your readers' eyes. Imagine stumbling onto your website for the first time. What would you read? Where would your eyes go? What would your mind think? Above all, what would you do?
If you hesitate at any point, realize that hesitation on your part is confusion on the part of your readers. And confusion leads to procrastination. Your readers will simply do nothing.
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