Writing Great Website Sales Copy

Many small businesses fail because their owners don't pay enough attention to marketing and sales. Part of the effectiveness of a marketing effort is directly related to the sales copy you produce. This is especially true on websites. Sales copy is the words you use to convince prospective customers to buy from you.

If you want plenty of ongoing, loyal visitors, and consistent income, learn to write great marketing copy for your website. Think of your website. Ask yourself these questions:

-"What does my Web site say about me? Is it formal or informal? Is it friendly or fact-oriented? Is it professional or amateurish?"

-"Do my words take readers by the collar and convince them to read more? Do my words inspire my readers to take action?"

-"Will prospects learn what they need to know in order to arrive at an informed decision to buy on my website? Is my copy written about their concerns and the benefits of my product to them?"

-"Will they be eager to contact me? Is there a time-based incentive (like a limited time offer) to convince them to do something NOW?"

Here are things to consider when composing your sales copy for your website:

Use headlines. These headlines should be so powerful and convincing they force your client to read further. Don't start with "Welcome to my site. My bio is... or "click here" to subscribe to my ezine?" Blah, blah, blah. Boring!

Describe benefits your potential customer can see, hear, or feel if they use your product. Make certain they know you understand their issues and how your product addresses those issues. Write every bit of sales copy from the buyer's perspective. If you are providing a solution to a problem they have, you will make a sale.

Model your website after other successful sites. If you know something works for your competitor or other successful businessperson, why re-invent the wheel? Visit other websites and critically observe what they do well and what they do poorly. Then, compare these analyses to your own website and make changes.

Avoid looking like a company brochure. Your site shouldn't just be a virtual brochure of your products and qualifications. Ask a few questions from your reader's point of view that lead them to your product or service as the answer. The cold, hard truth is people don't care about you; they want solutions for their challenges. Write your sales copy that way.

Use testimonials. People don't know you from Adam or any scam site on the Internet. You must convince them you are who you say you are. Use happy customer's statements about your service or product. This will go a long way toward convincing prospects you can be trusted.

Provide quality content. Give people more than a sales pitch. Provide them with other resources, like articles, to inform and entertain them regarding your product. Provide links to relevant product reviews or survey results so they have all the facts to make an informed decision.

Make it easy for your website's visitors to buy. Many people like the luxury of using a credit card online. Make certain you offer that option. There are many credit card processing options, like Paypal, that do not require a merchant account. On the other hand, some people hate to buy online. They fear for the security of their credit card information. Give them several options, including an order form they can print and mail or fax to you.

Realize the power of the written word. If your website has been up more than a few months without sales, consider reconstructing it. Have a clear picture of your prospective customer in mind. Make certain your sales copy addresses their problems, concerns, and values.

Once you understand your audience, list at least ten benefits provided by your product or service. What are the best five benefits? Then, create a variety of headlines that have marketing and sales in mind. The headlines can be in the form of a question, a command, or a shocking statement, but they should all be full of specific benefits.

People buy for their reasons not yours. Make certain you give them compelling reasons to buy from you.

Michele Schermerhorn calls herself a "Corporate Freedom Fighter" dedicated to freeing cubicle prisoners to experience their own successful online business. She has over 30 years experience in the business world and over 12 years running her own successful online businesses. She is President of Online Business Institute Inc. (http://www.obinstitute.com), authors a sassy marketing blog (http://www.imarketblog.com), and regularly conducts free online seminars. Online Business Institute Inc. exists to "Create Successful Online Business Owners One Person At A Time".

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