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 Why not give yourself a pay raise today?

I’ll be back tomorrow…

Eat up, and profit.

Chef Dan “the eMarketing Man”