As a ... I attend several ... ... ... to give talks, show posters, and exchange ideas with ... Many of the talks have time limits of 7 minutes with3 minutes for
As a scientist I attend several international conferences every year to give talks, show posters, and exchange ideas with my colleagues. Many of the talks have time limits of 7 minutes with 3 minutes for questions. Have you ever sat down and timed yourself to see what you can say in 7 minutes? Its not much, let me tell you.
Even from a discipline that prides itself on sticking to simplicity, a 7 minute talk is a challenge. It forces you to say quickly and in as few words as possible your premise and findings.
This is not so different from advertising on the internet. Wait a minute you say, you are trying to relate internet marketing to doing scientific research? Well, classified ads for instance require a short but catchy headline (your premise) and a few sentences describing benefits (or findings). There simply is not enough room to discuss anything in a classified ad.
Sales copy is different. You have much more room for discussion. Does this mean you should run off on some literary commentary? No. To keep readers attention you must still remain focused to your initial premise. The big difference is benefit elaboration. Space now exists to list benefit after benefit by delivering one scenario after another to prove your premise.
Now think about the things just stated:
(1) remain focused to premise, (2) list benefits, and (3) prove premise.
This is essentially identical to what we do in a scientific talk. Is online marketing scientific? In some ways, yes. One must research and brainstorm ideas to form the premise and benefit list. Sales copy is then drafted with these research results and one other underlying condition: getting to the point quickly and staying highly focused to it throughout the copy.
I have come across many web sites with sales copy that extends over more than 5 pages. It hops from one idea to the next without remaining focused. I personally am lost in their premise after page 2. There is no doubt that your copy should be compelling but stick to the point. Don't go overboard with your benefits list. A well laid out list of benefits will succeed at grabbing the readers interest. If it's too long, people will simply click away to another site. Do you really need a benefits list longer than 5 or 6 key items?
If your product is that good that it takes 15 to 20 items to describe all of the benefits, you need to take special care to capture them all and the readers attention. I suggest dispersing several within the body of the copy. Don't itemize each. Carefully draft your copy with some of the benefits included. If this proves too hard then simply use only the most important. You can weed out the ones that aren't necessary by going back and thinking in detail about your target audience. See if you can sort your benefits into different groups based on the people who would make the most use of each benefit. Then write several different pages of sales copy and advertise each to its respective group.
Remember that the point to all of this is to capture a readers attention and drive home the sale. Success will be very hard if you make your readers work hard to understand and see your point. Do yourself and your readers a favor by getting to and sticking to the point.
Dan J. Fry is an independent researcher and owner of e-Kinetic.com, a site devoted to providing resources for small budget home businesses.Subscribe to his free E-Zine on home business resources at mailto:e-kinetic@GetResponse.com or by visiting his Home Based Web Business Resources and Tips site.