Profiting from Web Copy II: Making a House a Home

In the first instalment, I spoke of how to create an outline of your web copy in a way that allows your target audience to see that you genuinely care about their needs. However, once you have:

  • Set your goals
  • Identified the audience’s problem
  • Offered a reason as to why this issue has not been solved
  • Created a rosy scenario
  • Introduced your product
  • Issued a call to action

You are still only part of the way there! In fact, all you have managed so far is to build the foundation of your house. This is a fine achievement and an important step forward but you still need to add paint, fixtures and fittings and all the other aspects that turn a foundation into a liveable space. In web copy terms, this means adding flesh to your outline and creating a salesman who never gets tired or takes breaks. Below, we add substance to what was discussed in the first part in what is the equivalent of painting the exterior and interior walls of the house.

Add Emotion

I keep banging the drum about how people make their purchases based on emotion and then justify these displays of largesse with logic. It is Advertising 101 and skilled copywriters have used this fact to their advantage for decades. You need to have emotion in your copy or it will just look bland and get ignored. Here are a few examples:

Are you tired of placing heart and soul into your business only to find that NO ONE purchases your products?

Do you feel lonely, rejected and reclusive and think you are certain to live a sad and unfulfilled life?

What would your life feel like if all your financial woes were lifted from your shoulders and your credit rating was near-perfect?

I have also written a variety of ‘emotional scenarios’ for clients that basically chronicle what life would look like with a certain product/service. They scenarios can work tremendously well if written correctly as they can give virtual ownership to the reader. Allow your prospects to close their eyes as they imagine the good things in life that will surely come to them if they have your product.

The Added Bonus

Marketing gurus say that adding a bonus or ‘freebie’ to a product will increase sales. For example, Sports Direct in the UK give a free giant mug to first-time online customers as a ‘thank you’ gift and it would appear that this gesture does increase the company’s rate of return customers. Free gifts seem to enhance a customer’s desire for the main product and, though there are scant studies to support this hypothesis, encourage impulsive buying behaviour.

For added effect, place a deadline on the ‘free gift’ as this will generate a sense of urgency. Customers don’t want to ‘miss out’ on their freebie so they are more likely to make the purchase now rather than leave the website never to return. I would also recommend adding some kind of ‘guarantee’ as well. Virtually all reputable online companies offer a 30 day money back guarantee so customers feel as if they have nothing to lose since they can return the product if they don’t like it. Few customers ever return online goods unless there is something drastically wrong.

Be Credible

Testimonials are a great way to add credibility as prospects see that their fellow consumers have already had positive experiences with your company. New organisations will not have testimonials and some actually invent them; this is a practise that I can’t recommend because if your deception is uncovered, your reputation will be in tatters. Look for statistics, facts and quotes related to your product and strategically add them to your web copy.

Use Psychology

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will doubtless have read my four-part series entitled Psychological Warfare. In it, I discuss the different techniques you can use to stimulate the interest of prospects including taking advantage of the Zeignarik Effect, using the 6 Pillars of Influence in marketing, reframing and how tiny changes to your message can make a HUGE impact. The use of psychology in marketing is a long and complex topic which is why I had to split it up into different sections and I invite you to have a read to see how you use the techniques to your advantage.

Write for the Right-Hand Side of the Brain

The right-hand side of the brain is the emotional and creative side whereas the left-hand side is logical and critical. Believe it or not, you can create copy tailored to the right-hand side of the brain by simply replacing rational words such as ‘fortunate’, ‘futile’, ‘wealthy’, ‘peril’ and ‘prevent’ with emotional words such as ‘lucky’, ‘hopeless’, ‘rich’, ‘danger’ and ‘stop’.

Going through your entire list of web copy and replacing all the rational words is a painful and time consuming process so allow this great app from Paul Galloway to do it for you! All you have to do is enter your website URL and the app will highlight all of the rational words used and emotional word suggestions.

Now that you have created a foundation and added a nice coat of paint to your web copy, it is time to start putting it all together. In the next part, I will show you how to combine all the elements already mentioned along with some new principles in order to create outstanding web copy that causes your sales to skyrocket.