the Income-Generating Web Site
Your Web site has a single motive: To 'ignite' your visitors to take
This prime motive is behind every element of your Web site design and
content. Start with the idea that you have one chance to reach your
customers. They will never return to your site unless you make it worth
their while, and they will not buy unless you encourage/force/ask them to.
This will impact the 5 prime elements working together in any excellent
Web site the mechanics, content, interactivity, design and
optimization. Right now, let's focus on the mechanics of writing content
Here is a simple template for a Web site that sells which you can readily
adapt to meet your needs. Use it as a jumping-off point for your
income-generating Web presence.
You'll find it goes against the current vogue online for the single-page,
long-scrolling sales letter on the home page leading to an order form. But
think of it this way:
Your home page can be like an interesting magazine index, or magazine
cover listing provocative headlines. You should offer enough compelling
information here so that any visitor is forced to go deeper into your
site. They've got to click through. They just can't hold themselves back.
A good home page should be a clear call to action. But it also can't go on
for too long or you will put your visitors off. Go ahead and use different
benefit sub- headlines and link phrases that pull readers to your sales
page. Start with...
I. The Benefit-Rich Headline
A strong, enticing headline is the single most important element of your
Web marketing copy. It is the opening statement and first impression you
Because Web pages load from the top down, place your headline right at the
top of the page so it can be read while the rest of the elements fall into
place. If you have a lot of graphics that need to load, your headline
should give your site visitors enough reason to wait.
Imagine your Web page is a blind date for every first-time visitor who
comes to your site. Your headline MUST make the right first impression
immediately, or new visitors will want nothing more than to click away as
fast as they can.
Obviously your headline cannot be all
things to all people (and you wouldn't want to date everyone
either...), but it can and should speak directly to those people you most
want to reach.
Your headline has these tasks: to ARREST the attention of your target
market. To GRAB your reader by the collar so they have no choice but to
If your target market is 'doctors', then use the word 'doctors' in your
headline. There's a funny saying:
"Enough about you... let's hear about me."
That's your site visitor talking. These words tell you everything about
how to craft your headline, and the more specific and targeted you make
it, the better.
Your headline should serve as an ad for the rest of your Web copy, clearly
delivering a 'distilled' version of what they are about to discover in the
body of your text.
Did you know?
o Only one out of five people get beyond the headline to read the rest of
the Web page
o You have 30 seconds or less to make a positive impression, or your site
visitor will click away
o The right wording in your headline can increase your sales conversion
rate by 1700%
It's true! Studies show the right headline can increase response to an
offer exponentially, which is a good reason to test different headlines
until you find your 'killer'. Once you've got it, it's the key to your
success. So spend the time to make your headline work. Here's how to find
the right headline:
Tell your target audience the single most important benefit you are
State a powerful benefit in your headline that clearly enhances THEIR
LIVES, using power words such as: 'Discover'; 'Announcing';
'Breakthrough'; 'Facts'; 'New'; 'Now'; 'Yes'; 'Sale' - all words that are
active, grab the attention of prospects, and promise them something (the
two words of most value to your customers are 'You', and 'Free').
Finally, keep in mind that your customer is never buying a product or
service. They are actually buying a key benefit that will make their life
II. The Value Proposition for Your Customer
Immediately after your headline comes the opening salvo of text on the
page - the value proposition. This 1-3 paragraph section is all about your
target customer. Either it states their current situation, and 'ain't it
awful', or it reveals a dream they have about what their life could
become: 'If only...'
To write it, go back to the roots of the product or service you are
offering. Why does it exist in today's world, and what good does it do
your target customer? Ask yourself why you sell it, and perhaps why you
got involved with it in the first place. Be idealistic. The proposition
section of your home page sets up a kind of vacuum, which you are about to
III. The Benefits You Deliver
A benefit is anything that will make your customer's life better by using
your product or service. This is the payoff, and the crucial section of
your home page where you must deliver the goods. Take a good look at what
you are promoting, and then...
Write down each and every benefit you can, with no thought about which is
the most important. You'll order them later. Write down everything that
can possibly do your customer some good. Everything.
After finishing this 'brain dump', go back and prioritize. Don't
prioritize as you go, because that will inhibit you. List first, order
second. (NOTE: consider using a powerful benefit as a text link leading to
your sales letter.)
On your home page you will clearly state the top benefits you deliver, but
you'll expand upon them in...
IV. Your Benefit-Rich Sales Letter
The benefit-rich sales letter always closes the sale. It builds upon what
you have promised to deliver on your home page, answers any objections or
questions your readers may have and fully justifies the price you ask. On
this page longer copy will outsell shorter copy, so make a complete sales
pitch from start to finish.
Here are 10 key formatting tips that will keep your prospects reading so
you can close the sale.
1. Break the copy of your sales letter up into short copy paragraphs. A
single-sentence paragraph can make a striking point.
2. Use headlines and sub-headlines.
3. Use bullets, numbers, and dashes (-) to further break up copy, allowing
plenty of white space to make reading your offer even easier on the eye.
4. Use arrows (-->), boxes, color or shading, graphics, indentations,
bold lettering, CAPITAL LETTERS, italics, and punctuation!! Note: use a
light touch here, rather than the 'HIT them over and over 'til they beg
for mercy!' approach.
5. Give customers premiums. Over-deliver on the offer that first
interested your prospective customer any way you can. The goal is to give
your customers far more perceived value than they actually pay for.
Premiums can add tremendous value to your offer without substantially
increasing your cost of delivery.
6. Emphasize the word FREE wherever it applies.
7. Use fast-loading graphics that actively support your message. Avoid
generic clip-art 'success' graphics if you can.
8. Provide testimonials. If you don't have them, give your product or
service away and gather some immediately. It's a suspicious world, and you
need other people to validate your offer.
9. Urge 'Immediate Action'. State a time limit to your offer (note: many
marketers offer their premiums only if prospective customers buy within a
window of 3-14 days).
10. Make an iron-clad guarantee. Do what you can to over-deliver in this
area, too - a guarantee that is better than your competitors offer is a
powerful selling point.
Finally, here is the progression people actually follow when they read:
b. Any Captions for Photos or Drawings
c. Any Large Text Subheads
d. The PS
e. Ordering Information and Price
f. (Finally!), the Actual Text itself
means, spend the time to buff and polish each of these elements for your
target audience. The better you know these people and 'how badly they
hurt', the more sales you will make.
article by Scott T. Smith ...
.__ Copywriting that Sells __.