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If you're selling a product or service on the Internet, your words are the most important factor in determining your success. High-tech web sites with fancy images won't make sales however, many Internet entrepreneurs spend much more time designing a professional looking web site than writing effective sales copy. A professional looking web site is a very important part of making sales, but without effective sales copy your web site will be useless.
The art of writing effective sales copy is simply learning how to write persuasive words specifically written for your targeted customer. You must feel your customers needs and write your copy with passion, excitement and benefit.
If you've ever developed a new product then you know that there is a certain time when your emotions are riding high and you're full of excitement and anticipation. This is the best time to write your sales copy. Your excitement will flow through your words. Take this time to sit down and write an outline for your sales message.
Creating A Headline
The first part of your outline will be your headline. This is the most important part of your entire sales copy. You must write a headline that demands attention and forces your visitor to read on. Most of your visitors will only read your headline. If it doesn't instantly grab their attention, they'll move on and never return.
Writing an Introduction
Once you've captured your visitor's attention, you'll now need to direct their attention to your introduction. Keep your introduction brief and to the point. Let them know exactly what you have to offer them.
Use Plenty of Subheadings
Your next step in creating your outline is to add subheadings. Subheadings are basically just smaller headlines used to break up your text blocks. They also provide your readers with important highlights of your paragraphs. Use plenty of subheadings throughout your copy, as not all of your visitors will read your copy word for word. They'll simply scan it and only read what catches their attention.
Remove the Risk
You must provide a solid, no risk, money back guarantee. Provide a limited time free trial or download that will completely remove the risk. This will build your potential customers confidence and put their mind at ease. Display your guarantee in bold text and even mention it in your sales message and on your order page.
Call for Action
Ask for the order and provide an easy ordering process. Continue to reassure your potential customer and lead them to your order page.
Use a P.S.
When your visitor scans your sales message, chances are they'll read your headline, subheadlines and your PostScript message. Place your most important benefits within your P.S. message. It will get read.
Writing Your Copy
Now, you're ready to begin filling in the spaces. When you begin writing your paragraphs, get straight to the point, avoid negativity and hype, and write in small sections. Vary the paragraph sizes and limit each paragraph to four or five lines max. If you feel that your paragraph will be longer than four or five lines, try to use bullets to display important points. Write in an everyday language that everyone can understand.
Make sure you use plenty of white space. White space is the empty space between your paragraphs and around your text. You don't want to overwhelm your visitors with a solid page of black text. Nothing will make them click away any faster.
Pack your sales copy with benefits from your headline straight through to your order form. Make sure you don't confuse features with benefits. Features don't sell... Benefits sell. Your visitor wants to know exactly what your product or service can do for them.
Testimonials provide another great way to reassure your visitors. Blend your testimonials in with your sales message. Avoid making your visitors have to click to another page to view your testimonials; chances are, they won't. By blending your testimonials in with your sales message you can ensure they will be read.
Avoid using fancy fonts. Fancy fonts make text difficult to read. In addition, your visitor may not have that font on their computer. Select a font that is easy to read and use black text on a light background.
Long Copy Vs. Short Copy
It is a proven fact that long sales copy out-sells short sales copy, but some visitors do prefer a short sales letter. You can give your visitors both. For those who prefer a short sales letter you can provide opportunities to click through to your order page prior to ending your sales letter.
Try to keep your sales letter all on one page. Your visitor would much rather have to scroll through your letter than click through and load another page. With each additional click, you'll lose a percentage of your potential customers.
Your words should seamlessly flow together from your headline through to your order page. Keep it simple, to the point and pack it with all of the benefits your product has to offer. The simple, well-designed web sites with killer sales copy make the sales.
Shelley Lowery is the webmistress of Web-Source.net http://www.web-source.net - Your Guide to Professional Web Site Design and Development. For further information on writing effective sales copy read her review of Make Your Words Sell. http://www.web-source.net/review4.htm