Blending sales copy with optimization: Ka-Ching!

Greetings!  Today we’re picking up where we left off last Monday, and transforming our notes for our online content into well-structured web pages that will grab our readers’ attention and convert them with powerful direct response strategies!

First, you need to be clear about what you want folks to do once they land on your web page:  what steps do you want them to take?  Buy your product?  Subscribe to your service?  While it may seem a painfully obvious point, it’s an easy one to miss:  if you want your customers to take a specific action, then you need to tell them exactly what to do!

Ask for the Sale

This simple and amazingly effective sales technique is premised on that age-old saying: ask, and you shall receive.  But you have to ask, not merely hope for.  “Asking for the sale” implies just that: asking your customer, however subtly, to buy what it is you are selling.  You’ve certainly experienced a sales person handing you a pen while sliding the requisite purchase agreement towards you:  that is asking for the sale.  If you think about it, you can probably recall dozens of times you’ve been asked for the sale.

But Don’t Ask for Too Much, Too Soon

A critical caveat to asking for the sale is:  don’t ask for all of your sales at once!  You’ll overwhelm your customer and they’ll switch to “overload” and click off your page! This is particularly true of product/service pages, and this is where structure comes in:  you need to scale down your offerings and guide the customer through the sale.  Help your customer make a choice by narrowing their choices!  If you’ve more than a few different variations on one theme or product, then parse them out according to some organizing principle, such as “top sellers,” or “newest,” or “discount,” something that makes a buying decision more simple and gratifying for your customer!

Pay Attention to Your Tone and Feel

Second, you need to match your message to the customer’s mood.  This is somewhat intuitive turf that defies a “one-size-fits-all” formula — as is the case with most online writing.  It harkens back to knowing your perfect customer, and is geared towards letting your prospects know that you “get” them.

Recall those questions from last week’s brainstorming exercise?  They apply here:

  • What is the likely emotional state of my prospect?
  • What objections do I need to overcome?  How do I best express my value?
  • What benefits are most important to my customer?

Create Headlines that Promise Benefits

Third, tied directly to the last point, you need to convey a benefit to your customer immediately and up-front, in your headlines.  It’s a given that visitors scan (don’t we all?) and research has proven that dominant headlines grab the reader’s first!  Not only that, but the first couple of words determine whether the reader is going to continue reading your message.  So, you have to make them count!

Adding to that is the optimizing power of headlines for search engines.  Keyphrases count here, as headlines are what search engines “see” and weigh more heavily in churning out search results.  So yeah, your headlines are incredibly important!  In crafting your headline, be sure to:

  • Choose the most important keyphrase for the web page and focus your headline around that phrase
  • Convey the immediate benefit/s to your customer to grab their attention
  • Word the headline such that it lends itself to a quick-scan: easy to read and fast to grasp, while containing your main keyphrase

Hope you enjoyed this week’s post, and thank you for tuning in!  Next week, we’ll delve into developing compelling content paragraph by paragraph!  See you then!