Read this post while you still can!

Dunkin-YuenglingIt’s officially the Christmas (or winter holiday of your choice) shopping season! (Yes, I am aware that the Christmas sales started months ago, but I am old fashioned, and I am holding onto the notion that Black Friday is the kickoff of the holiday shopping season.)

So what are you doing to get your customers to not only buy from you, but buy now?

Take a lesson from coffee and beer

What does coffee and beer have to do with holiday selling? Let me explain.

I am a Jersey girl by birth, but I currently live in San Diego. I love living in Southern California, but there are some things that I love that I cannot easily get there, including:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (I mean from an actual Dunkin’ Donuts, not from the bags sold in the grocery stores)
  • Yuengling lager (beer from America’s oldest brewery – only available on the East Coast and only as far west as Ohio)
  • Real NY pizza (although I can get my fix from Bronx Pizza)
  • Hard rolls and real Jersey bagels (if you don’t know what I mean, then you’re not from the Tri-State Area)

This year, I was home (New Jersey) for a week to celebrate Thanksgiving. In addition to spending time with my family and friends, I:

  • Drank a lot of coffee
  • Had Yuengling whenever it was on draft and at Thanksgiving dinner because my family bought it for me
  • Got my fill of carbs via pizza, hard rolls and bagels

The amount of coffee and other Jersey treats I consumed was much higher than my normal routine. Why? It wasn’t because I was on vacation; it was because I knew I can’t get these things when I go back to San Diego.

Act now before it’s too late!

DunkinHoliday

I drank a lot of coffee … a lot. The availability of the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is limited for me, so I got it while I could – pretty much whenever I drove by one.

If I lived in New Jersey or if Dunkin’ Donuts ever returned to Southern California (supposedly they will be returning in 2014 or 2015), I wonder if I would have needed to stop for coffee so often. My guess is that while I would have enjoyed a cup or two, I would not have been driven to have a cup at every opportunity.

It’s all about the principle of scarcity. If you tell your clients that there is a limited amount of product or that you only have a few spots available, they are more likely to buy from you (or hire you).

Remove the notion that your clients can get your products or services whenever they want. Be sure to increase their motivation by limiting the time of a sale or by telling them you only have so many items left. (Of course, don’t overdo it because eventually you will lose credibility if you always only have a few items remaining.)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you can end the year with an influx of business.

Let me know in the comments what you are doing to promote your business as the year ends. But make sure you comment soon because I will only be responding to comments that are left today! (Okay, not really, but I couldn’t resist.) Happy December!

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Woot! Are you having fun with your copy?

Thesaurus Shirt from Woot!

Woot! Shirt

Have you ever visited Woot!?

You may think that it’s just another online bargain website. Technically, that is true. But, even if you don’t want to find a limited-time offer on some random item or find an awesome shirt, as a copywriter, you need to check out this website.

Why? Because Woot! doesn’t just sell merchandise – it sells stories.

Get the specs and more

When you check out a featured item on Woot!, you will be able to find the basic information you find on other websites: product specifications, warranty information, shipping notes, etc.

But wait! There’s more!

You also will be treated with a fun introduction. What do I mean by fun? The Woot! writers let their imaginations go!

For example, the content for a recent tablet named all 32 of the device’s gigabytes. Some of my favorites include:

  • Gigglypuff
  • Sir Gigsalot
  • Whoopi Gigberg

Each product has a unique, funny story … even if the writers admit that they really don’t have anything to say. No matter the product, they still say something that keeps you reading.

Let your inner Woot! writer loose

Chances are you can’t write exactly like they do on Woot! However, you can harness some of that creativity.

Even B2B websites have some room for creative copy. You don’t have to sound like everyone else. You can reach your target audience and still have some fun. You can spice up your writing and turn up your creativity.

Here’s your task for this week: check out Woot! Poke around a bit and see what their content is all about. Then, embrace your inner Woot! writer and rewrite one page or write a blog post using your Woot! muse.

Time’s running out on Heather’s Copywriting Business Bootcamp! Learn how to make more money, faster. Save 10% until 11/13/13 with coupon code SECRETS.

This is the best post ever!

BestRecently, a member of the SEO Copywriting LinkedIn group started an interesting discussion. He asked what group members thought about the overuse of words like “perfect,” when “fine” or “okay” would suffice.

He questioned the surge in hyperbolic speech and wondered if certain words were losing their meaning.

This got me thinking – first, about exaggeration, then about the changing definitions of words (don’t get me started on the new definition of “literally”), then about sales people.

Did I lose you with that last one?

How many times have you heard that this is the “best” product or that a lawyer is the “best” personal injury attorney?

This isn’t just a relaxed use of the English language. These claims are meant to entice you, the potential client.

But do you believe it? Unless you’re Buddy the Elf from Elf, who believed the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee” sign in the window of a random New York dive, you probably don’t believe these claims. In fact, claims like these may make you question the product or service provider.

Are you the best?

There is nothing wrong with boasting about your product or service. However, whatever claims you make should be backed up.

Don’t say, “We make the best widgets,” if you can say, “Our widgets were ranked #1 in customer satisfaction by Consumer Reports.”

Don’t use puffery, when you can prove your point with facts. People can tell when you are trying to sell to them and possibly mislead them. Phrases like “best online marketer” and “everyone loves our product” trigger people’s BS meters.

You can win more people over by using:

Be the right provider, not the “best”

Take a look at your website. Are you using puffery to try to sell your product or services? It’s time to stop.

Pick one page and clear away the hyperbole and generic information. Give your readers something to believe and a reason to trust your products and services. If you do that, you may just become the best.

 

Photo credit: ©

SEO Copywriting Checklist: Are your product descriptions costing you customers?

Are your product descriptions converting your prospects?Welcome to another video in the SEO Copywriting Checklist series!

Today’s video is addressed to those of you in e-Commerce retail, and asks: are your product descriptions costing you customers?

Tune in as Heather shows what works, and what does not, in well-optimized product copy:

YAWN…There’s Nothing Here That Screams “Buy Me!”

Well-written product descriptions are a blind spot for a lot of e-retailers, as evidenced by this first screenshot: you have the picture, and then a very, very short description of the product.

As written, the text certainly does the job in terms of the product’s technical specifications, but it doesn’t have any descriptive copy that screams “buy me!”

There’s nothing here that is targeted towards the reader that will tempt them to take that next conversions step.

Compare this example to what you’ll find on the lululemon site…

Great, Descriptive SEO Copy

This second screenshot is actually just a snippet of the product page. There’s a big picture at the top and there are the technical specifications for the shorts down below, but there the similarities end.

The product description is definitely SEO copy – the keyphrases are in there – but the tone and feel of the content is very fun: it’s engaging, and it’s highly targeted towards their audience.

And the lululemon copy provides much more information about the benefits that people will realize when they buy these shorts, as opposed to the previous example.

So you can see how this content is much more compelling. Especially if you’re dealing with products with a higher price point, then the more compelling the content, and the more you can demonstrate that value and the benefits, the more items you’re going to sell!

Highly Descriptive Copy Sells – And Makes You More Money!

At the end of the day, highly descriptive product copy will help you make more money from your site. So if you’re selling products online:

– Think beyond super-short product descriptions.

I know in a lot of cases you may think it’s easier to just do it short and sweet, and let the picture do the selling, but in many cases people want to have more information. And because…

– People can’t touch the product online – so you need to create highly descriptive text.

Rich, descriptive copy helps potential customers visualize what it would be like if they owned that product, so it definitely helps them take that next conversions step.

And like the lululemon example, you can…

– Use tone and feel to differentiate your offer.

This is especially important if you are selling products that other retailers sell online as well – and it might be that you and your competitors have similar price points, as well.

So who are people going to buy from?

They’re going to buy from the site that they “click” with the most, so that tone and feel of writing towards the target audience can really help generate more sales!

Thanks for joining me for this latest installment of the SEO Copywriting Checklist series! As always, if you have any questions at all, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at heather@seocopywriting.com, or find me on Twitter @heatherlloyd.

photo thanks to StormKatt

Hurry! Only 2 days left to claim your $300 early bird rate on advanced SEO copywriting and business-building strategies, PLUS receive your SEO Certification training free!

Rock conversions with these proven & powerful copywriting strategies!

Welcome back! Today we’re featuring another collection of SEO Copywriting’s video how-to’s, all to do with specific techniques you can readily use in your Web writing to boost conversions.

After all, at the end of the day it is how well your Web content converts that counts! Ever mindful of just that, Heather devoted a series of her YouTube SEO copywriting tutorials to those strategies that make your prospects say Yes!

Edify, enjoy, and prosper!

1. Boost your conversions with “power words”

Heather takes it back to “old school” copywriting in this video, discussing how to boost your conversions with “power words.”

Back in the day – before SEO copywriting, even before Web writing – copywriters focused on adding “power words” to their content, such as their direct sales letters, to improve conversions. It’s a tried and true strategy that’s been used by copywriters for many, many years.

Tune in as Heather explains what power words are, how they work, and how you can use them to strengthen your copy with their conversions-driving mojo!

 

2. Are you harnessing the power of “you”?

Here, Heather expands on her “power words” vlog (above) with a how-to on harnessing the power of that magical customer-centric word: you.”

You. Such a seemingly simple word packs an incredible punch, as it centers your web copy around them. Coupled with customer-oriented web content, using “you” in your copy is a proven strategy for engaging the prospect and improving conversions!

Learn how to make your Web copy rock with the word “you” and customer-oriented messages.

 

3. How to use “free” to boost conversions

With this last video of her power words video blog series, Heather addresses how to capture the power of the word “free.” (Bet your eyes just snapped on the word already!)

Like the word “you,” “free” is a very powerful power word – and yet it is one that many copywriters fail to use correctly.

So… how can you fail to correctly leverage that sexy power word, “free”? As easily as you fail to let your readers fail to understand the real value of it.

Tune in as Heather discusses how to use that mighty power word, “free,” so that it both conveys value to your readers and helps increase your conversion rates!

 

4. How to write sales copy that turns your readers on

As a natural follow-up to the 3-part power words series, this post was inspired by neuromarketing expert Roger Dooley’s recent SEO Copywriting Certification presentation. Here, Heather gets into how to write sales copy that turns your readers on…meaning, your readers’ brains.

If you write sales copy or landing page content, or if you work with copywriters, then you’ll definitely want to tune in and learn how to write sales copy that turns on your prospects’ brains and sparks conversions, by using “…vivid, sensory, emotional adjectives to engage the brain.” (– Roger Dooley)

 

Thanks for stopping by!  And remember, if you have a question or comment for Heather, you are most welcome to leave a comment below, or email her via heather@seocopywriting.com, or tweet her via @heatherlloyd. She’d love to hear from you!

 

Want to earn more money as a copywriter? Learn the art & strategy of conversions and SEO copywriting with SuccessWorks’ SEO Copywriting Certification training!

How to write sales copy that turns your readers on

Greetings! Ready to get your brain influence on?

Inspired by neuromarketing expert Roger Dooley’s SEO Copywriting Certification presentation of last week, today Heather gets into how to write sales copy that turns your readers on…meaning, your readers’ brains.

If you write sales copy or landing page content, or if you work with copywriters, then you’ll definitely want to tune in and learn how to write sales copy that turns on your prospects’ brains and sparks conversions…

I’m talking about BRAINS…

For last week’s SEO Copywriting Certification training call, we were honored to have guest speaker Roger Dooley, author of Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing.

If you haven’t yet read this book, I highly recommend that you do – especially if you’re a copywriter, or work with copywriters, and/or you simply want to make your web copy better!

One of the things Roger talked about during his presentation is how you can use adjectives, and specifically how to…

“Use vivid, sensory, emotional adjectives to engage the brain.”

-Roger Dooley

This is something that of a lot of copywriters forget – we get in a habit of writing copy in a certain way, and we forget the power of adjectives.

Words related to texture activate the brain

Now the cool thing about using those sensory adjectives is that they can actually activate your readers’ brains.

The brain can actually picture – as evidenced by brain scans – what silky would feel like, or smooth or rough: the brain actually “lights up” as if imagining those particular textures.

So when you use these sensory-laden words in your writing, you are actually engaging more of your reader: you’re really turning them on. And now you’re thinking not only about what your copy reads like, but also what it sounds like!

– Silky

– Smooth

– Rough

– Bright

– Jagged

– Slimy

Source: Roger Dooley, NeuroscienceMarketing – “Persuade with Silky Smooth Copy – Substitute sensory metaphors to engage your reader’s brain”

[http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/metaphor-marketing.htm]

The list above indicates some adjectives that are possible sensory substitutes, like “jagged” and “slimy” and “bright.” For more information on this, check out Roger’s article – I highly recommend it!

So let’s see how this might work when you’re writing content…

For example…

In his article (referenced above) Roger uses the example of:

“Having a bad day vs. Having a rough day”

While they mean the same thing, that texture of “rough” does something a little bit different: it engages the brain a little bit more. More examples are:

“She touched the rock vs. She touched the jagged rock”

“Made the fresh eggs vs. Made the freshly-cracked eggs”

“Your skin will feel soft vs. Your skin will feel silky to the touch”

and, my favorite example: “My cat is soft vs. My cat is fuzzy”

If this is something you don’t do automatically when writing copy, let it sit for awhile and then go back and see how you can add these textural adjectives to your content.

Energizing your copy with textural adjectives can actually improve conversion rates – something that Roger Dooley’s article also discusses. So definitely try it out and see how it works for your own web copy!

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s SEO copywriting video! And remember, for no-B.S., real information that you can actually use on your website and in your web writing, sign up for my free newsletter (daily or weekly) – and as a thank you, you’ll receive my complimentary “How to write for Google” whitepaper!

And as always, if you have any questions at all, or if you want to learn more about my SEO Copywriting Certification training (where you can learn from great guest speakers like Roger Dooley), please let me know! You can find me on Twitter via @heatherlloyd, or you can zip me an email: heather@seocopywriting.com.

 

photo thanks to Sarah G…

 

Get in on the FLASH SALE of the SuccessWorks Copywriting Business Bootcamp! Save 70% – a value of $700 – in exchange for feedback on the course. Email Heather Lloyd for details via heather@seocopywriting.com. Hurry – there are limited spots available!

 

 

 

 

 

More ways that spam can teach you about copywriting

Last week, I picked apart a spammy “SEO service” email and discussed why it was actually effective.

See, the tricky thing about spam is that it works. Sure, maybe not on a more educated buyer…but not all buyers are that educated. Instead, they’re going on pure emotion – and it’s that emotion that gets them to respond.

And that’s exactly what these companies want.

See, good spam emails get results because they follow the copywriting basics to the letter. The email is written with a certain customer persona in mind (in this case, a site owner/manager who isn’t very SEO savvy.) It includes copywriting power words like “no obligation.” It outlines typical pain points – and expertly shows how the company has the perfect solution.

Again, we may not like spam – but we know people who fall for it all the time. Here’s a couple more specific takeaways from last week’s email example…and what we can learn from them

“Requesting this report does not obligate you to buy SEO services.”

Why this works:

  • The sentence overcomes objections 
  •  A valuable service is offered  for no charge.

Ever hear something that sounds fantastic…and then your first thought is, “How much is this going to cost me.”

Yeah. me too.

The person who penned this email know that, too. That’s why the writer made it clear that the report is “no obligation” (otherwise known as “free.”)  The spammy SEO company is counting on the prospect to say, “Well, it couldn’t hurt to contact them and get the report. I may learn something. Besides, I don’t have to buy anything that I don’t want to.”

See how easily the “no obligation” blurb overcomes the objection and makes it easy for the prospect to say yes? If you don’t overcome objections in your copy, your prospects may still have that niggling bit of doubt – and that small amount of doubt could cause them to say no. The goal of your copy is to make it easy for your prospects to always say, “yes” – and take the action that you want them to take.

(As a side note…the phrase “no obligation” is used because the word “free” would have tripped spam filters. However, if you’re writing a sales page, know that “free” is a very powerful word.)

“We guarantee that from the first month of our work you will see an improvement in ranking, link popularity and traffic, which would result in higher Organic rankings, more Leads and Orders for better ROI (Return on Investment).”

Why this works:

  • A guarantee is offered, which helps remove any perceived risk.
  • The writer uses benefit statements that are important to the target audience.
  • The benefits are time-specific.

Do you offer a guarantee on your products or services? If not, you may want to reconsider. The word “guarantee” is a a very powerful word in copywriting. When there’s a guarantee, the transaction seems risk-free. The next step seems easy. And it helps the prospect keep saying, “yes” to your offer.

If the copywriter wanted to really add some marketing punch to the note, the phrase “money-back guarantee”  is even better. That signals the prospect that there is no risk  – and they have nothing to lose.

Listing the benefits help to reinforce this “no risk” scenario. With this line, you can almost see the prospect’s mind starts churning with the thought, “Wow, I’d love better search positions and more sales. Maybe these guys can actually help me.” After all, what marketer wouldn’t want more leads and higher positions?  :)  When you’re writing your copy, remember that it’s benefits – not features – that close the deal. People need to immediately know what’s in it for them – or they aren’t interested.

A better way that they could have approached this? They could have included third-party success story testimonials. It’s one thing to  read that you’ll see an “increase in ROI.” It’s another when you read how a companies service has helped drive over $10,000 of sales in the first month.

Finally, always remember that time-specific results a great selling tool. If you can (ethically) tell the prospect what they can expect – and when to expect it – you’ve calmed their fears and overcome their objections.

Yes, spam may drive us nuts – especially SEO company spam. But rather than instantly deleting it, take the time to read it over.

You may be surprised by what you’ll learn.

The conversion dilemma: AIDA in the internet age

 A marketer’s job is to reduce, and hopefully remove, any and all barriers to THE SALE.

The conversion drives everything we do.  Social standing, likability, awareness, fairness, law, order, kittens*, etc . –we care about these things because they potentially impact SALES.  Dollars.  Greenbacks.  Dead Presidents.  Moolah.

And while the AIDA (Attention-Interest-Decision-Action) model is about as new as spats and talkies, the cyber-sales era presents unique issues.

Never before have more sensory cues battled for attention, more products and services vied for interest and more factors affected the decisions of consumers.

And never before has the call to action suffered from more inaction – a national stasis rooted in Internet-capable plasma TVs, Snuggies and Cool Ranch Doritos.

The links of AIDA are rusty at best, snapped at worst; it is a web marketer’s challenge to repair them.

Tactics We’ve Outgrown

Times they are a changin’; we must change with them.  No longer can we count on:

  • Door-to-Door Sales

The only people approaching doors these days are Jehovah’s Witnesses and kids selling auto-renewing Allure subscriptions.  Today, we must communicate personality and likability virtually.

  • Advantage of Location

With a glut of competition accessible in a .27 second Google search, being physically proximate to your consumers is (generally) not good enough.

  • Ignorance

Savvy consumers are accustomed to advertising – this post-modern audience demands interesting and dynamic rationale for purchase.

  • Singularity

Multi-tasking killed the radio star.  Billboards, cellphones, email, IM, TV, streaming, THIS.  Stimuli, stimuli, stimuli… When’s the last time you focused on one thing?

How to Rebuild the AIDA Model

But enough gloom and doom.  Guiding a prospective consumer through the steps of AIDA in this climate is difficult, but not impossible.  Magic wand time.  Do I have your Attention?  Good.  Let’s proceed.

Attention à Interest

I know you’re there; I just don’t care.

Imagine I walk up and punch you in the face.  Do I have your attention?  Yes?  Would you like to buy this lovely purse filled with diamonds, fat free Cinnabons and peace?

Probably not so much.

While gaining attention is step one – and a necessary step at that – it doesn’t necessarily translate into interest.  If you annoy, aggravate and otherwise antagonize your target, attention can have the opposite reaction.  Hitler got Poland’s attention, but they certainly weren’t buying what he was selling.

The link between attention and interest is broken when:

The attention is negative –OR–The target becomes interested in the campaign, but not the product it’s promoting.

  • Solution

Unless you are SOLELY interested in awareness, avoid campaigns that are entirely reliant on entertainment value.   There are simply too many things competing for eyeballs today (YouTube / Tivo / Cats that look like Hitler).

Tether the advertising campaign to your product with social media, optimized copy and a brand personality consistent with the wants and needs of your target market.  Internet marketers must establish a direct connection between campaign and product that delivers consumer value.

Interest à Decision

I’m interested in what you’re selling… but not interested enough to decide to buy.

These folks are perhaps best described as fence sitters – consumers that need the cattle prod.  Absent using an actual cattle prod (which would be both impractical and illegal), internet marketers need to take the concept virtual.

  • Solution

INCENTIVIZE.  This is where “deals” and other drivers – flash sales, discounts on shipping, coupons for “liking” the Facebook page, sales aimed at specific groups – can tip the scale.  The internet is particularly good at creating a sense of immediacy; use it.  Emphasize that NOW is the time to buy and try.

Decision à Action

I’ve decided to buy this product, but…

You’re on the one yard line, but for some reason, you’re not scoring.  Your mission: ID that blocker and take him out.

  • Solution

Use Google Analytics to identify bounce / exit pages and gather stats on cart abandonment.  Isolate and remove major barriers to purchase, such as:

Annoyance

While follow-up is part of any successful sales strategy, MODERATE.  Asking too much of your customers (questions, password creation and the like) is a sure-fire way to provoke a hasty exit.  It is often difficult to recognize when assertive jumps track into annoying, so monitor interactions.  Just because you can’t SEE your target doesn’t mean the feedback loop doesn’t exist.

Expectations

Manage expectations early.  If there’s a big pill to swallow (for example, shipping is a zillion dollars), don’t sock customers with it at the very end.  If you find shipping fees prove to be a constant transactional impediment, build that cost into the item’s core price.  Also, keep in mind the “H” of S&H is regarded as highly suspect by many consumers.

Method of Payment

Make buying online as easy as possible.  Don’t expect consumers to hunt down credit cards – offer them options like (Godsend!) Paypal.

Sales and Delivery Models

Evaluate potential stumbling blocks to initial and repeat business.  Is auto-renewal scaring off sales?  Do deliveries require an in-person signature?  Is a slow website inducing customer comas?  All of these factors can affect an income statement.  A-B tests can answer some of these questions.Thank you for wading through my webmarketacular.  Feel free to disagree (or even agree!) with me in the comments.

In the meantime, please enjoy Alec Baldwin’s fine work on the classic AIDA model in “Glengarry Glen Ross” with my compliments…hpittp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCf46yHIzS

 

*I care about kittens.  Fundamentally.  Practically exclusively.

 

About the Author – Katie Fetting-Schlerf

Katie Fetting-Schlerf is a copywriter and all around marketing whiz-kid at Portent, an internet marketing company.  She would like to impress her employers, so feel free to ‘like’ the crap out of this post. You can find Katie on Twitter @KatieLFetting.

So how well does your copywriting convert?

Greetings! In today’s SEO copywriting video, Heather discusses how watching informercials can help you be a better copywriter, and greatly improve your conversions.

Specifically, Heather demonstrates how informercials can inform your writing with structure, clear calls to action, and benefit statements that scream value to the prospect.

Heather admits that she’s actually addicted to informercials because of what they show you about the process of building excitement and getting people really pumped about buying a product, and showing that product’s value so well.

In fact, she’s willing to bet that if you’ve ever watched an infomercial, at least once in your life you’ve thought, “Huh! I want to buy that!” And that’s how powerful informercials can be! Tune in to learn how watching infomercials can improve your writing…

Infomercials can teach you a lot about how to structure your copy

  • The scripts are carefully written and designed to build excitement and convert.

The reason why informercials are so powerful is that the scripts are carefully written and designed to build excitement and convert.  The folks involved in informercials know what they’re doing.

  • Everything is measured, so producers can see what works and what doesn’t.

And they know that because they measure EVERYTHING: they have a track record of what works, what doesn’t, and so everything they do is designed with conversions in mind.

  • Plus, they make companies a LOT of money.

With their amazing set of skills, informercial copywriters make companies a LOT of money.  Here are three things they do very, very well:

1. But Wait! There’s more…

  •  How are you promoting the value of your product or service?

We’ve all seen and heard the “But wait! There’s more!” and this is fun, because what they’re doing here is to sell you on the product and then some.

So when you’re watching the informercial you can get excited about the product, but then after you know the price, you find that they’ve added all this extra stuff and that helps pump up the value: so if your were already set to buy the product at $9.95, when you see all this other stuff that you can get for $9.95 then you’re more than ready to buy.

Really think about how you are promoting the value of your product or service!

  • Benefit statements are crucial. You need to tell your prospects “what’s in it for them.”

(Yep, that’s Heather’s WIIFM guy in the screenshot.) Are you really showing the customer what’s in it for him? Those benefit statements are crucial. If you watch informericals, you’ll notice that they may talk a little bit about the product/service features, but everything ties back into the benefit statements.

  • You want your prospects to think, “I NEED to have this. Now.”

So it’s not just building a little bit of a need – it’s showing that urgency and intensity so prospects are actually excited to contact you!

2. Call now! Operators are standing by!

The second thing that informercials do is the “Call now! Operators are standing by!” They have calls to action everywhere, throughout the informercial.

  • Check your copy. Do you make your call to action clear?

The typical format of the informercial is sharing a little bit of information about the product, and then interjecting “how to order.” Then it goes back to sharing a little bit more information about the product, and then again, cutting in with “how to order” with that phone number.

So when you’re looking at your Web copy, you want to check to see that your call to action is clear.

It’s amazing how many pages, both on the product side and the services side, make it hard to understand what that next action step would be, and how to take it.

  • Is it easy to take action?

You want to make sure that not only do you have a call to action (e.g., “buy now!” “contact us today!”) but that it’s easy to take action by providing hyperlinks and buttons, and that everything is very clear to the interested buyer.

  • Consider adding a call to action in the content, as well as “add to cart.”

If you’re selling a product, like a lot of folks you might have that little “add to cart” button, and that’s great – but consider that you can also include calls to action with the copy as well.

Amazon does this very well, with its checkout message of “Customers like you also purchased…”  That is another call to action for another conversion.

Maybe you want people to download a white paper, so if people don’t buy from you initially, at least they’ve downloaded something from you and/or they’re on your mailing list.

Make sure that Call to Action is in the content.

3. Hurry, this offer is only available for the next few minutes…!

The third thing about informercials that Heather really loves is that “Hurry…” message.

  • Limited-time offers add a sense of urgency.

Well, we all know that that “next few minutes” offer is most likely available whenever you call and you ask for it. But that ticking clock – where it shows that there’s a countdown – provides that sense of urgency that people really respond to.

  • If you’re running a sale, make sure that you mention the end date.

It’s funny, how you can run a sale and tell folks that the sale ends on Tuesday – and people may not buy anything until Monday night, because they know the sale is ending soon, and so they suddenly they have that sense of urgency,

So if you’re running a sale, make sure that you mention the end date: make it really, really clear because there are going to be those folks who procrastinate to the very last minute, and you want to let them know when the sale ends.

If you’ve been playing with sales and not mentioning an end date, try stating the end date and see how that boosts your conversions.

  • Email campaign? Consider sending another email to remind folks of your limited-time offer.

If you’re running an email campaign and it’s a really cool, exclusive sale, you might want to consider sending another email to remind folks that it’s a limited-time offer.

So for instance, send a brief email of “Just 24 hours left for you to purchase your X at this incredible price.”  And see if you get another bump in conversion rates.

Thank you for joining us for this week’s SEO copywriting how-to! As always, if you have a question or topic suggestion for Heather, zip her an email [at] heather@seocopywriting.com, or tweet her [at] @heatherlloyd.

Have a great week, and we’ll see you next Monday!

Would you like to learn how to write for Google? Just sign up for the free SEO Copywriting Buzz newsletter for lean, no-fluff industry news, either daily or weekly, and get Heather Lloyd’s “25-Point Checklist on How to Write for Google” free!

photo thanks to S.wplunkett

How to write killer sales copy: a video guide

Greetings! Today we’re featuring our top three SEO copywriting video posts on how to write killer sales copy.

Writing sales copy can be difficult! The art of persuasive writing does not always come naturally or easily to copywriters, especially if they are not trained in direct response theory and best practices. Good sales copy does not need to be heavy handed – the key is to have it flow naturally, while providing a clear call to action to inspire conversions.

Tune in as Heather guides us through how to write powerful, conversions-driving sales copy – as well as what to avoid…

How to tell if your sales copy sucks

In this reader favorite, Heather discusses how to check your sales copy to avoid common and costly mistakes. If you are a DIY small business or new to sales copywriting, there are several ways you can inadvertently go wrong. Learn how to detect these deadly sales copy killers.

 

3 ways to transform your sucky sales copy into conversions-driving gold

Here, Heather builds on the original video above, with three more tell-tale signs of bad sales copy. Learn how to refine your website’s tone and feel, create specific benefit statements, and use keyphrases deftly to turn your sucky sales copy into conversions-driving gold!

 

How to translate testimonials into killer sales copy

Finally, Heather shows us how to drawn on customer testimonials to write better sales copy. The benefits conveyed by your happy clients in their testimonials are a fantastic resource to tap for writing your sales pages, providing you with specific benefit statements in a natural voice that can improve both the actual content and tone of your writing. How cool is that?

Thanks for tuning in! If you have a question or suggestion for Heather about an SEO copywriting, Web writing, or content marketing topic, please zip it on over to her [at] heather@seocopywriting.com, or tweet her [at] @heatherlloyd.

 

In the meantime, would you like to learn more about writing killer sales copy? Check into the SuccessWorks’ SEO Copywriting Certification training to learn not only how to be the best in SEO copywriting, but also how to excel in the lucrative field of direct response/sales copywriting! The combination of these skills will make all the difference in your copywriting career.

 

photo thanks to Vectorportal