Advertising and copywriting was once seen as a gamble.
These days however, it is more of a science. Everything can be measured and tested.
Claude C. Hopkins wrote a fantastic book about it called Scientific Advertising.
Although we have moved from physical sales letters to emails and online media, all of his principles are still valid today.
The only difference is that we have sharper tools to better optimise our on-line stores. Pageviews, CTRs, sales funnels, user-engagement and video views can all be measured in real time.
There are no excuses to having poor conversions.
Copywriting is an integral part of this. Just by changing a word, you can boost sales by 20%.
Here are a few tips I have picked up over the last few years.
The splash page or letter should have the following in this order….
1. INSTANT CLEAR HEADLINE
How to : End Customer Wants + Specific Time Period + Address the customer objections.
Example: Domino’s pizza. ” Hot fresh pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or its free.”
Tips: Clarity is everything. Don’t be tricky, just stop them and get their attention. It’s not about your product, it is all about your customer.
2. STATE THE PROBLEM
How To: In your customers words, explain their problem.
Example: 37signals ” Still managing projects with email? Are you still using excel for your to-do lists?
Tips: The aim of this is to get the customer nodding their head. You want to make them feel that you know more about them than they do. Get them to realise you understand their problem. If you are struggling with this, your product may not be solving a real problem.
3. PRESENT YOUR SOLUTION
How To: Product name helps you do (TASK). Say goodbye to (PROBLEM) and hello to (BENEFIT). From this you get (3 TOP FEATURES + BENEFITS)
Example: “PaperlessPipeline helps take your real estate transactions and related documents online. Say goodbye to filing cabinets and hello to happy mobile agents.
- Email, scan, fax or directly upload contracts and view them from any computer.
- Get an items needed checklist per transaction to stay organised
- Securely send contracts via Email to clients, the lender or the title company when the ask for it.
Tips: It forces you to do a quick elevator pitch for your product. Use the language of your customers. Pick the top three features only.
4. CREDIBILITY AND SOCIAL PROOF
How: Tie your company to trusted and famous brands. Put the biggest brands over your page. They may not use your product but they do use similar things. Alternatively use quotes by famous people. Be sure to also state the number of users like 37signals.com does.
Tips: Never stop using social proof. Have the number of likes on your facebook page or the number of tweets. Also include any verified payment services and badges to the site, these always help to instil trust.
How To: Specific end result customer got + Time period + accompanied feeling + Persons name and position
Example: ” I lost 45 kilos in 3 months and I feel great.” Jon Smith, Ex-olympian.
Tips: You can rephrase what people say to you and shorten it, no problem. The more distinguished the person, or people with more social proof have more credibility. Never stop selling testimonials. Also use testimonials in email marketing.
6. CALL TO ACTION
How to: Tell the customers to do something without gilt.
Tips: Use big either orange or green buttons, with an add to cart or a try it free on them. A/B test everything and determine what works best. Pictures of a smiling women also seem to work well in some instances. Just make sure it is very CLEAR.
7. FAQ’s and REVERSE RISK
Tips: Have all the frequently asked questions, clearly shown, with simple and easy to understand answers. The key is to make sure all the questions or concerns the customer has is already answered before they can think of it. FAQ’s can increase conversions by up to 85%.
Reverse Risk: This is huge. All you are doing is reducing the fear that they are being a made a fool of. No-one likes to be a sucker. Either have a money back gaurantee or a double money back guarantee, no questions asked. The more outrageous the better.
How To: If you don’t love (PRODUCT), call or email and we will refund every penny IMMEDIATELY.
And that’s about it for the moment. While all of these are good guidelines to follow, don’t take my word for it. TEST EVERYTHING!
I’d love to hear if these pointers have helped others, so shoot me an email.