Copywriting For The Web: Start Off With A Big, Big Bang! (HO Internet Marketing Hors D’oeuvre #115)

The Hors D’oeuvre for today applies to all sales copy…offline or online. If you’re selling something on your website, it’s even more important to dig deep into this simple concept, and knock it out of the park.

I’m talking about gaining a visitor’s full, undivided attention from the first sentence.

Remember the famous line from Jerry Maguire… “You had me at hello.”

That’s what you gotta have on the web. People have their email clients up, their instant messaging quivering in their task bars, and a thousand other distractions that could whisk them away any second.

But if you grab ’em… make it almost impossible for them to STOP reading, your sales conversion will soar.

Start off with a bang! No need to shout at them, or scream…this will accomplish the opposite goal in most cases.

No matter how long you’ve been running your business, you can ALWAYS improve your first paragraphs.  Depending on how radically you chance things, you may need to change your headline and body copy as well… but that’s fine, as long as you TEST your new angle against your current copy.

Here’s what I do.

I get a big blank notepad and a pen.  I walk down to the local coffee join.  Gets my blood flowing…and my mind sharp.

I sit down with the coffee, and I begin to think about the product or service I’m offering. And I begin to write from the initial thoughts in my brain, directly onto the paper…without editing.

I write a list of “opening ideas” for the first paragraph or 2.  Part of the “hook”.

First, I think about each of the biggest benefits of my product, and how my market responds emotionally to each. I list out unique “opening ideas” for each…just one sentence apiece…not even a complete sentence sometimes.  Just the idea.

Next, I think about everything I’ve gone through in my life, both past and present, and how it relates to what I’m offering. My emotional connection to the product or my business. Again, I just continue to write opening ideas as they come.

Next, I think about how the product was created. What’s the story? Who created it? What’s his or her story? I continue to write each idea as it comes…

Next, if it’s an informational product, I go through it in detail, and I look for fascinating facts related to the end goals of it’s use.

If it’s a physical product, I research how it is manufactured…how was it discovered… how is it made..

In the end, I usually have at least 2 or 3 pages of opening ideas for my landing pages.

I let it all gel in my brain overnight.

Then, first thing the next morning, I think as deeply as possible about each of the ideas. I let my mind run with it, when possible…and I expend on each like a madman.

I let my gut take over as well.  If I get to one, and nothing comes…and it really doesn’t seem all that compelling or fascinating, I just cross it off.

This should narrow it down to the best 3 or 5 ideas. And most of the writing and idea work has been done.

Copy your existing landing page to a new page…plug in one of your new hooks…tweak the headline and body copy around it, so it ties in perfectly… and setup a split test.

If you’ve done this right, your new copy is probably going to win.  It has for me…EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve done this.  And I’ve done it a lot.  All at the coffee shop.

So what are you waiting for?  This translates into a pay raise…and you don’t have to be a copywriting master to do this well…because you’re using your own experiences and thoughts as they related to what you sell.

For a bunch of simpler, easier to implement website tweaks you can make to instantly increase your sales conversions, head over to honesteonline.com/gifts. Why not give yourself a pay raise today?

I’ll be back tomorrow…

Eat up, and profit.

Chef Dan “the eMarketing Man”

How To Write Gold-Nugget Marketing Bullets That Instantly Boost Conversion Rates On Almost Any Sales Webpage (HO Internet Marketing Hors D’oeuvre #107)

My sales copy (and bullets) are usually 10 times better when sitting at a dive coffee shop with a pen and notepad.

While the kids and wife are up at the Santa Barbara Zoo, I’m sitting in a cave talking to you about bullets.  Ah, the lonely life of an entrepreneur.  At least they left the dog here to keep me company.

One of the biggest keys for success in online marketing, for me, has been the ability to write persuasive, hypnotic, compelling bullets on my sales pages.

In my opinion they are the 4th most important part of any sales landing page, behind the headline, offer, and hook.

No matter who you are, or what you sell, if you take some time to write awesome, power-packed bullets, your conversion rates will increase.

But this isn’t something to take lightly.  I spend WEEKS writing bullets for a long sales page…and at least 3 days writing bullets for smaller catalog-style pages selling physical products.

I like to walk down to the coffee shop with the product I’m going to sell, a notepad, and a pen.

My sales copy (and bullets) are usually 10 times better when sitting at a dive coffee shop with a pen and notepad.

My sales copy (and bullets) are usually 10 times better when sitting at a dive coffee shop with a pen and notepad.

I spend an entire day staring at the product, if it’s a book or course, I’ll flip through each page.

I think hard about the different features and benefits, and “hooks” lying inside and around that product.

And I write bullet after bullet with reckless abandon.  I don’t edit myself, or think, “this is a dumb one…”.  I just write, no matter how crazy or ridiculous they sound.

I do this day after day until I’ve literally exhausted my mind and/or I’ve been through every page of the product, if it’s an information product.

When I’m done, I go through each bullet and ruthlessly cross off ones that have no chance at survival.

I really take this time to boil them down to only the BEST.

Next, I go through each one and twist, massage, strengthen each… until each one is solid gold.

Finally, I “order them” in the most compelling way possible, to go on the sales page.

As for “how” I write bullets, this is a lengthy discussion, but here are my favorite bullet types:

1. The blind bullet.  This is all about curiosity and is best used if you’re selling some sort of information product.  Here’s the format:

A secret blend of aromas that can quickly ease sinus pressure, reduce sore throat pain, and make you sleepy. (You’ll find everything you need for this in your kitchen, and I’ll show you how to “simmer” these ingredients to get results in under 5 minutes.)

Breaking it down, you lead with a compelling secret “thing” (my example is “a secret blend of aromas”), then follow be 3 important benefits your prospect is looking for.  In this fictional case, we’re targetting people wanting relief from the common cold.

Then you follow it with a statement with how easy it is to use, and how quickly you can get results.  I like throwing this part in parenthesis, as if it’s an important afterthought.

2. The credibility boosting bullet.  This type of bullet is completely transparent.  You basically give some amazing fact or tip that most people aren’t aware of.  Just sprinkle a few of these in there.  Their purpose is to build your credibility and wow your readers.

An example of this: “Why consuming 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar each night before bed time can burn “new colds” out of your body before you feel any symptoms.”

I’m not giving you health advice here, and I have no idea if apple cider vinegar helps.  (Just in case it does, I drink some every night though. 😉 )

See how this can boost your credibility by revealing just a few amazing tips in the bullets?  If they’re really good, people will think, “Wow, this person knows what they’re talking about”.

Of course, it’s a little different if you’re selling physical products… some sort of widget.  In that case you’ll probably have far fewer bullets (but I do recommend as many as possible as long as they each hit a unique benefit…), and they’ll probably all be straight “benefit” bullets.  Just make sure to take some time to make each one as compelling as possible.

Look at me…I’ve gone over my 2 minute time limit again!

The Hors D’oeuvres for today are “well done” to say the least! 🙂

Enjoy, profit, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Chef Dan “the eMarketing Man”

Image contributed by govmarkwarner

How To Dig, Fascinate, “Twist” and Strike eBusiness Gold. (HO Internet Marketing Hors D’oevre #103)

You should have a fascinating, curiousity provoking headline on every piece of "selling" content.

“Keep moving forward no matter what.  When it gets hard, your closer than you think.”

Today I’m going to talk about one of the most important elements of every webpage, period.

It applies to your sales pages, articles, blog posts, press releases, emails, you name it.

There are entire books written on this subject, along with multiple formulas you can use to make this element strong.

Today I’m going to share the strategy I use that consistently beats all others.

I’m talking about HEADLINES.

You should have a fascinating, curiousity provoking headline on every piece of "selling" content.

You should have a fascinating, curiousity provoking headline on every piece of "selling" content.

The only goal of your headline is to get the prospect to consume the next sentence, video, or whatever “next thing” is on your page.

Use it to suck them in.

The best way to accomplish this?

In my opinion, there are 2 things: fascination, and curiosity.

It doesn’t matter what product you sell.  It could be an information product (like a book or course), a physical product (like a red wagon), or a service.

Dig deep into your product, and find the fascination.  Some sort of shocking fact, tip, or benefit.

If you’re finding that tough, then examine the history of the product.  Look for fascinating stories about it’s discovery, or the production of it.

Maybe even a fascinating story about YOU, or the inventor.

Once you have your “fascination”, massage it into a curiosity provoking headline.

Leave the fascination open ended, or incomplete, so they just HAVE to consume the next piece of content on your page.

Do this at every touch point with your prospects. This includes email subject lines, content article titles, sales pages,  and more. (in the case of content articles…dig for the fascination IN the article…or how you discovered the knowledge contained therein…)

Prospects will stay longer on your pages…they’ll consume more information about your products or services…and your response… and profits will soar.

I’ll see you tomorrow with another mouth watering money making morsel…

Chef Dan “the eMarketing Man”

Image contributed by artaide