Thursday, September 24, 2009

The keys to web copy that sells

by Anton Pearce

If you're not happy with the results from your commercial website the issue may lie with your web copy. Before we explore this area in detail let me ask you a few questions:

Have you ever had someone try to sell YOU something and their approach has irritated you leading you to reject an offer that may have actually been a good one? On the other hand, have you ever tried to sell something to someone because you are sure it is what they need, but been cold shouldered? And again, has ever been a situation where you have just casually mentioned a product or service and the other person has practically begged you for the details? Or have you ever spent a pleasant afternoon browsing around the shops looking for something to buy and been thrilled to find something of good quality at a bargain price?

I guess anybody who has anything to do with buying and selling will have been in all four of those situations at some point in his or her career. Taken together those four examples illustrate how people enjoy buying when they are in control of the process, but hate feeling that someone is trying to sell them something.

Today, with so much buying and selling going on on the Internet, and with more and more people turning to the Internet as a way to make money, Internet marketers need to know about the psychology of buying and selling if they are to succeed in turning a commercial website into a profitable venture.

Although design factors will always be important, nothing has a bigger impact on the success of your website in generating sales, than the message you deliver - whether that be via text, audio or video.

What you have to avoid doing is selling to people before they are ready to buy. So instead of using sales hike, adopt a friendly, warm and informal style, and write as if you are writing an editorial rather than a sales letter.

Think about why people might want to buy the product you are selling. What sort of people would buy it? What sort of problem would they have that your product would solve? Now take the time to show your understanding of the problem. At this stage you are trying to make people aware that they have a problem that needs to be solved.

You can also set up the idea of how great it would be if the problem could be solved, and talk about why the problem has not been solved up to now.

Next describe what would be possible if the problem was solved. Now you can introduce yourself as someone who has used, or developed, a product that has solved the problem. Talk about what is unique about the particular product and the solution it offers, why it works and the benefits that you have enjoyed from using the product.

Now is the time to call your readers to take action. If your readers are still with you they are probably interested in the product, so simply tell them what to do in order to get it.

You might call this style of writing a sales letter disguised as editorial content. When you do it well, this editorial style of writing brings your readers through a process of realising they have a problem, visualising the solution and then arriving at the means to acquire it. Your informal style creates a warm and friendly atmosphere in which you show that you empathise with the reader's problem and want to help them seek a solution. That not only elicits an appropriate emotion, but also satisfies their need for a logical reason to buy. Remember, people buy on emotion and justify with logic. But before anything else they must understand that they have a problem. So get the emotional atmosphere right while you lay out the problem and then hammer home the benefits of your solution.

As the quality of your web copy improves over time, so will the sales that you generate through your website.

About the Author

Improving your web copy is just one of the ways that Anton Pearce - The Profit Mentor can help you improve the effectiveness of your online strategy. Visit for some incredible free resources.