Write Sales Copy Effectively for the Web
© Herman Drost
When surfing the web, you often find websites with large
or flashing graphics to grab your attention. While this
may "wow" you initially, it does not pull the visitor
through the site to get the order and make a sale. This
should be the ultimate purpose of your site if you are
trying to sell something.
On the other hand, writing effective sales copy will
generate a much more favorable response, whether it is
long copy or short copy.
16 steps on how to
effectively write sales copy:
1. Research keywords - use wordtracker or the
overture suggestion tool to
find keywords related to your product. Weave them
throughout your web site sales copy, including your meta
tags. Try to find alternative keywords to your main ones.
I chose the keyword phrase "teeth whitening" as an
Here are some of the alternatives to "teeth whitening" to
give you some idea:
laser teeth whitening
zoom teeth whitening
los angeles teeth whitening
teeth whitening gel
teeth whitening california
teeth whitening kits
new york teeth whitening
california teeth whitening
teeth whitening products
2. Create a slogan - capture your visitors’ attention by
creating a slogan that stresses the benefits (not
the features) of your product. For example for the phrase
"teeth whitening" use a slogan such as:
"Get heads to turn when you open your mouth to smile?"
3. Write a powerful headline - the headline should appeal
to the benefits of the product not the
features. Try to put yourself in the customers’ shoes so
you are seeing the product from their
viewpoint view (not yours). ie
"New Teeth Whitening Gel Becomes Household Necessity for
4. Appeal to visitors’ emotions - writing sales copy for
the web is more difficult because you are not
physically interacting with the person. Therefore you need
to convey some emotion in the words that
you use so they will continue reading. In the above
headline example, I have emphasized that this
product is a necessity for kids...that you can't do
without it. You will feel some loss if you don't buy it
5. Make it personal - write as if you are sitting next to
the person trying to persuade him to buy the
product. Use words such as "you". ( ie "people will notice
you when you smile") or "your" instead of
"we" or "our" which sounds very impersonal.
6. Don't use capital letters - using capital letters in
your sales copy is like yelling at them to buy.
Instead, use different colored text or bold text to
emphasize the points you are trying to make.
7. Write an introductory paragraph - this should support
your headline and outline the clear purpose of
your site and include your keywords. Often a personal
story helps to personalize the product.
"Bob's teeth whitening gel makes you want to smile
continuously because you immediately stand out
from the crowd with your fresh, clean, white smile. You
can take this teeth whitening kit with you
anywhere you go, whether it's to the office, beach, or
Here I have included the keyword phrases:
teeth whitening gel
teeth whitening kit
I have also stressed the benefits of the product (what's
in it for me) and given a clear purpose of what
the site is all about.
8. Create sub headlines - these should continue to support
the introductory paragraph. Use bullet
points and plenty of white space so your visitor can read
your sales copy with ease.
9. Use testimonies - obtain testimonies from satisfied
customers and include them throughout your
web copy. These are powerful motivators because it is
someone else (not you) testifying to the use of
your product ie
"I am so relieved that I don't have to chase my kids into
the bathroom anymore to brush their teeth.
My kids now run to the bathroom to use the teeth whitening
gel and are smiling much more than
before. They now have a more positive attitude and have
made many more friends."
10. Include graphics - graphics should only be used to
support the content of your web copy.
In this example, you could include before and after
photos. The first photo could show someone alone
smiling and showing their yellow teeth. The second photo
could show a smile with shiny white teeth
standing together with their friends (to emphasize why
this person became popular).
11. Get the order - include several ways for your visitor
to take action and order your product. Include
order buttons throughout the sales copy (sometimes
visitors have read enough and want to order
immediately without wanting to read through the whole
page). Use several payment methods (ie credit
card or paypal) to capture the largest number of paying
12. Include bonuses - most people love to receive
something extra on top of what they are getting
already. This increases the perceived value of your
product. Add a few bonuses to the end of your
sales copy. This may consist of e-books, offering extra
help after the sale, or having access to special
information only available to those that purchase your
product. Create a password protected directory
on your site where only people that have purchased your
product, have access to this special
13. Create a sense of urgency - it's very easy for
visitors to procrastinate, thinking they will come back
later...they rarely do, especially on the Net. Most will
purchase on impulse. You could write something
"Get your order now as supplies are very limited" or
"These bonuses are available for only a limited time"
Be truthful in what you say. You don't want a visitor to
return to your site and still see the same
number of products listed from when they last visited your
site. There may be a script you can use on
your website that automatically shows the decreasing
number of products or time available to receive
14. Provide a solid guarantee - guarantees help reduce the
anxiety the customer may have ordering
from you. ie "30 Day Money Back Guarantee". The longer
your guarantee, the fewer returns you will
receive. You will receive fewer returns for a one-year
guarantee than you will for a 30-day guarantee.
This is because they won't feel rushed to return to review
your product in order to return it.
15. Provide contact information - this allows visitors to
ask questions which you may not have clearly
addressed in your sales copy. You may also want to include
a personal photo of yourself or an "about
us" page. This shows customers you are not trying to hide
yourself behind your site but want to win
16. Check spelling, grammar and formatting - run your
sales copy through a spell checker like MS
Word. Typos in your sales copy project an air of
unprofessionalism, sending your visitors away. Keep
your sentences short and to the point. Most Internet users
will scan your sales copy for headlines,
sub headlines, bulleted, bold, or colored text. Proofread
your sales copy several times or have
someone else read through it.
By following the formula outlined above, you can now
create sales copy that enables visitors to stick
to your site and purchase your products instead of trying
to "wow" them with flashy graphics that may
take forever to download.
Make Your Words Sell!
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