Value Added Copywriting
I know a preacher that can burn any pulpit down within an hour.
His sermons cause the greatest stirs and responses in his audience and he really can keep his congregation awake. But there is one tiny problem.
Ask many of his listeners what they think about his sermons and they’ll quickly respond with only words of acclamation.
Follow that questions with a request for what the sermon was about and you’re met with only blank stares.
They knew that the sermon was “great” but cannot recall what they learned.
This reminds me of the popular selling tenant referred to as ‘selling the sizzle and not the stake’.
In other words, build enthusiasm and curiosity about your product without giving away too much. Let them hear it, smell it, imagine it but never taste it until they buy.
I find however that when you’re selling high ticket items, because you are asking for a higher level of commitment from the prospect, you have to give something in order to get something back.
So you have to give some ‘steak’ along with the ‘sizzle’. This is what is commonly referred to as ‘value added copywriting’.
I use some of this myself at my website to sell my copywriting services. Right there in the sales letter itself are some tips and ideas on how to sell to prospects online.
So the reader gains some value from reading the letter even before he or she uses my services.
But this “free information” also serves a few other purposes:
- It helps to establish goodwill with the potential client. My willingness to share this information shows that I’m not stingy and helps to develop a relationship with the reader. So even if the prospect doesn’t use my service he walks away with
- It helps to establish my credibility. This is an opportunity for me to show that I know what I’m about and have the qualifications to help the reader’s business.
- It serves as a teaser. It’s obvious that I’m not saying everything that I know and that there is a ‘lot more where that came from’. In other words, if I’m willing to give away this information I must have a lot more ‘secrets’ up my
- It lowers the sales resistance of the reader because I’m in the giving rather than the taking mode. There is really no argument against someone who is giving you something for
- It provides a natural incentive for the prospect to read your entire sales letter. Any device that encourages readership will also improve sales especially with longer sales
It will be therefore helpful if you can provide your prospects with useful information in your sales literature.
This may be in the form of a free report, an email course or case studies.
Once this information is useful and not seen as an overt sales piece, then this should lead to an easy conversion of a new customer.
This technique of value added copywriting works very well in service – type industries.
There are many services where the professional can ‘reveal’ a lot without fear of losing his value to the customer.
This often occurs because even though someone may know how to perform a task, the job may be sufficiently difficult or unpleasant that it may be better left to the professionals.
A quick example comes to my mind. I know how to do simple maintenance work on my vehicle but I’ll prefer to pay to have this done.
I’ll happily read all the available literature from my mechanic about how a mechanical repair should be done.
The fact that my mechanic made this literature available to me gives me confidence in his performance of a great job.
So, in the same way, a lawyer may want to provide information on how to fill easy legal forms, while a plumber may provide information on performing simple repairs around the home.
When a prospect read this helpful information and they need further ‘expert’ attention they would easily think of that lawyer or plumber.
Because the public today is bombarded with so many advertisers’ messages the usual sales talk is having less impact.
With the advent of online advertising where it is easier and cheaper to get your message before thousands of eyes your sales message must have a lot more bite than its bark; a lot more steak where only sizzle used to be.
After listening to your sizzling message, your market congregation will need to recall more than the enthusiasm of your delivery.
They must be able to recall enough value to want the whole shebang from you.
Watch Out! Copy Mistakes Are Sinking Your Site
No matter how well you write, or even if you have a professional writer create your web site copy, you’re going to have errors.
Misspelled words, awkward sentences, phrases that don’t make sense, and words that are used incorrectly run rampant through many sites.
And it’s no wonder. Writing well is hard work.
Even a good writer will be too close to the copy and won’t see ALL their mistakes, even when re-reading the copy carefully.
Mistakes in your copy can sink your web site. The online audience who accounts for most of your customers are a rather literate group of people.
Studies show a large percentage have a good knowledge of spelling and punctuation.
If they find your copy has several errors in it, prospects will figure you do sloppy work.
The solution is simple. Get a proof reader to carefully check your copy. You can enlist the help of a friend who has a sharp eye for spelling and punctuation.
Better yet, get a professional proof reader to read your copy.
Proof reading is almost always affordable and the investment will pay off big time in avoided embarrassment and missed sales.
Don’t get too comfortable with spell checkers. Many have limited numbers of words they recognize, and will skip past some misspelled words.
One of the most common problems is that a spell checker can’t help you if you use the WRONG word.
Don’t feel like I’m picking on you. I worked in the TV and movie industries for many years.
I can tell you from personal experience that even Hollywood’s writers struggle with typos and other errors in their copy.
None would dream of turning in a script without first having a capable proof reader go through their drafts and revisions.
Website Copywriter Tips: Write Web Copy for People Not Technology
Every website copywriter faces a trap – SearchEnginitis. Writing web copy with technology makes sense, but writing web copy for people makes the sale.
Here are two ways to connect with people across broadband and create web copy that sells.
Your website looks great: solid words, easy navigation, graphics just so, and maybe even a bit of flash with some multimedia. But customers are not buying.
The Technology Trap
You wonder if it’s the web copy itself. How can that be?
You remembered the two key mantras of powerful web copy – “write for the search engines” and “write for the medium.”
Your web copy used appropriate keywords to help search engines find you and traffic is up.
Surely, customers enjoy reading your content because your web copy is laid out with the internet in mind using:
Short sentences brief paragraphs bullets.
Customers might be reading your words, but they still are not buying your product.
Chances are your web copy has been optimized for technology not people.
Even on the internet, selling is still about connecting to people. Selling on the internet means writing web copy for people not technology.
So how do you press the flesh across broadband? Start where brick and mortar relationships do – trust. Why not become the trusted provider in your marketspace?
Your web copy can use words to raise your credibility in at least 25 different ways.
Here are two ways to craft web copy for people not technology:
write the way customers speak. replace your pitch with a theme.
Write Web Copy for People Not Technology Step 1:
Write the way people speak. People instinctively trust strangers who speak like them.
If you find this article useful, how would you tell someone?
Are you really going to say, “I read an unusually amazing web copy article that fundamentally increased my sagging sales”? Not likely.
Weak web copy, not everyday people, uses too many modifiers.
“Amazing,” “fundamentally,” and “sagging” weaken trust. How’s your site for modifiers?
Give your web copy the finger test.
You might not want fingerprints on your screen, so I suggest printing a copy of your homepage content.
Put your baby finger on the first modifier you can find. put your ring finger on the next adjective or adverb repeat until you run out of modifiers or fingers.
If your page is a handful, you’ve got too many modifiers and your web copy is hype heavy, not trustworthy.
In addition to giving readers web copy that matches how they speak, it helps to give them time to get to know you.
Write Web Copy for People Not Technology Step 2:
Replace your pitch with a theme. Customers need time before they trust.
They will get used to your site in tiny steps, so hold off selling; buy some time with thematic web copy.
Have a theme for your site, introducing your offer only after your customer feels comfortable.
Themes are a subtle form of repetition because they continually reinforce a single concept. Repeated exposure to an idea usually makes it familiar and safe.
Remember the first time you used instant messaging or the family car – not so scary now.
Let’s say your site sells dental floss.
Here’s how your web copy might handle it.
Instead of listing the benefits of DentaThread, you could tie the presentation together under the central idea “Some people have nothing to smile about.”
The opening section could point out how the discomfort of Gingivitis wipes the grin off a person’s face.
Another segment of the web copy would show how ugly cavities make someone too self- conscious to smile.
Yet another piece would reveal how the high cost of root canal causes an individual to frown.
In this way, the web copy offers three versions of one idea to help the site grow on the visitor: one idea, three versions. Does your homepage have a theme?
How many chances does your web copy give visitors to get comfortable with you?
In this article, I tried to use the two key elements a good web copywriter uses to write for people not technology: the language of my readers a central idea, trust.
Did it work? Did my web copy help? If yes, I guess I proved my point. If no, I have 23 more ideas to go.
Useful tips how to make your content sell
Whatever niche of the market you operate in, you should always have direct, convincing and appealing communication with your existing or potential clients.
Steadfast and returning customers will undoubtedly judge you by the quality of the products or services that you provide.
They might recommend your company to their acquaintances, friends or relatives; yet majority of persons who do not know your company will judge you by the text that you present on your web site, your web content counts.
Attracting and convincing content can really perform the miracles.
Many of us know that the memorable phrase can influence our decisions, can transform our understating of existing situation and induce us to take some actions.
Copywriting does the same; in a nutshell copywriting is a written message, text or content that promotes your business and induces your customers to purchase the products or services that you provide.
Professionally written copywriting transforms a casual visitor into a steadfast client.
How does it work? It works by technique that includes memorable content intriguing headlines and easy-to read yet convincing texts, by developing web content.
In today’s rapid word it is indispensable to grab the attention of a person immediately once he has visited your site.
Remember that the majority of your potential clients skip through rather than read all your text.
Nevertheless, not every text will do, what is appropriate for one person, can be wrong for another and vice versa.
The content must target your audience- group of individuals who are really interested in your products and services; therefore, copywriting and marketing should go hand in hand in order to achieve the best possible results.
It is imperative for every copywriter to write the content based on research of the market the company operates in.
The typical marketing research for copywriter should contain the following information: Detailed information on the market (the trend on the market, saturation of it and etc); Information on the major competitors of the company (what tactics do they use, how they advertise their products and services); Information on your potential (the preference of your potential customers, what products and services they would like to purchase).
Once you have found out this information you can start develop and write copywriting.
However, one should remember that this is a complex process and it might be advisable to give some professionals to complete this task especially if this is the first time you get down to it.
Once this task has been completed you might try to use this copywriting copy in the writing of your future copywriting messages.
Writing The Perfect Sales Letter
Before you actually write the e-book we are going to write the sales letter first. Now I suggest you write it in Microsoft Word and save it.
Then we can transfer it to the main “Sales site Page” when we are designing our basic site in step 5.
The main reason we are writing our sales copy before we ever write a word in our e-Book is because it hasn’t actually been created yet, which means there is absolutely no limit what you can write in your sales letter.
The sales letter doesn’t fit the e-Book; it’s the other way around.
Now you can describe exactly what your e-Book will show to the potential customer. There are no restrictions on what you can write in the sales letter.
When the sales letter is completed you can then incorporate all the ideas you have come up with into your e-Book.
Your sales copy must do the following three things:
Get the attention of the prospects Communicate the benefits of the product Persuade the prospects into the desired action
Remember the most important part of your page design is your actual sales copy. A fancy website and graphics help but the key is in the words used
Sales letter Structure
Header/Title Promises Testimonial Info product Benefit Bonuses Guarantee Summary
This is the structure that you should use for your sales copy. If you check out the best sales letter they will all follow this formula?
The main function of the header/title is to grab the reader’s attention. The header should be displayed in a large, bold font.
This demands your potential customer’s attention and intrigues them to read further on. Include your logo or e-Book cover (discussed later on) close to the header.
If your header is not well designed, you run the risk of losing the potential customer straight away. Spend time creating your header.
This section promises the potential customer a huge benefit which is almost too good to be true. It’s ok if it’s a bit too unbelievable the testimonials will take care of that.
Here is an example of such a headline
Discover how my 5 step affiliate programmer can increase your income by 10,000 a month
In this section you include testimonials that old/new customers have sent you about your product or service.
You probably don’t have any customers yet so email some potential ones your e-book for free in exchange for a testimonial.
When you do start selling you can always ask a new customer for one.
Now the testimonials page has assured the potential customer that you can fulfil the promises you made in your header also you have gained a bit of trust from your potential customers so anything else you say that follows the testimonials page will be taken as true.
This is the reason why the testimonial is placed at the top to gain trust right away where if it was placed at the bottom after presenting some good sales copy it may be already too late.
Info and product
In this section you will give info on what your product or service is about. You should show your customers a list of problems in this area.
Agree with the customers, on how frustrating these problems can be and how you, yourself dealt with these problems.
The key is to show the person that you have a deep understanding in this area and you are an expert on the subject. That is very important.
Next you must introduce your product as the solution to the problem. Then you must have a proper e-Book cover design. This is crucial.
Many people have never purchased an e-book so you must give them some idea what exactly they will be purchasing.
This section is basically telling your potential customer of the benefits they will receive from purchasing your product.
Show your potential customers the enjoyment they will get from using the product. Give them as much information on your product as you can.
Use bullet points to emphasize the benefits. Put in another testimonial just to remind the person that it’s all true. Keeping their trust is highly important.
This is a powerful tactic used to increase sales. Including free bonuses with the purchase of your e-Book will increase the perceived value of the e-Book.
Also a deadline on bonuses is also a good way to speed up consumer purchases. Bonuses also reduce the risk of money back returns.
Offering a guarantee to your potential customers takes the risk off their shoulders.
A good guarantee is the final bit in the jigsaw that will make the person finally purchase the product.
The agreement is such that if the customer is not happy with their purchases then can get a full refund.
You must remember that lots of your potential customers will be “first timers” therefore a guarantee puts their minds at ease.
Guarantees can be 30 day, 60 day, or lifetime; however such guarantees must be backed up with an exceptional product.
This is one of the most important steps in the sales letter; this is where you close the sale.
In this section you must include your most appealing benefit and finally ask for the order, because if you don’t they won’t.
Finally make it easier for them to order like an “order now” button shown below.
At this stage you should start to write your sales letter in Microsoft word we will concentrate on the html design and implementing the sales letter in it in section six but for now just concern yourself with writing your sales letter.
To help you here are some of the web’s top e-book publisher’s sales sites.
Sales Letter generator
Ok ill now offer you an alternative to writing the sales page yourself. Only use this if you are willing to spend some money.
You may want to check out this piece of software that actually writes the sales letter for you.
All you do is answer the questions it asks and you will receive your sales letter. You can find this software at sales generator here
Credit card Transactions
Finally, you will need to find a credit card processor later on so your e- Books can be ordered. The one I seriously recommend is Clickbank.
I’ll go into them in more detail in section 6 but for now I want you to know that all these companies, including Clickbank, have a set of rules that you must abide by to use their software.
Don’t panic I’ll go through these rules now.
Basically it involves putting a certain amount of details in your sales letter and product delivery page so you can be accepted by your credit transaction company.
So here they are:
You must provide on your sales page:
Detailed description of your product
Buy now link
Explain how the product will be delivered
Mention how long the delivery will take
remember these are rules not suggestions
So that is everything you need to know on how to write your sales letter, here’s a quick summary
We need to:
Write the sales letter before the e-Book.
Sales letter structure must have, header, promise, testimonial, info and product, benefit, bonuses, guarantee and summary.
You can have your sales letter made by Sales letter generator. Certain set of rules should be included in the sales letter for the purpose of the credit card transaction company.