Many marketing folks are finally starting to sit up and take notice of the fact that traditional copywriting techniques do not work on the web. The reasons are varied but include the nature of the web. When leafing through a magazine for example, you will likely give some focus to a full page ad, or if there’s a billboard between your home and your place of work you might not notice it today, but you probably will tomorrow or the next day. it’s a different ball game when it comes to the online world.
When surfing hundreds (sometimes even thousands) of pages per day, the chances of coming across the same message once you’ve left a website are pretty small. With each web page it’s either now or never. You can lose the reader if you haven’t engaged them sufficiently.
So, how do we solve these issues?
First of all, instead of trying to SELL to a customer, today’s successful marketers need to be more focused on generating leads which could end up in a sale further down the line.
Offering free downloads of white papers, videos that engage, or other free trials and offers are a fantastic way to engage your future clients, and a great way to capture their information so that with permission, you can continue to market to them, building trust and becoming a valuable source of information over time. What you are doing is recognizing that it’s tough to get people to buy from one page, and reacting by reducing the size of the barrier making it really easy for consumers to become familiar with your company.
The bigger issue is that most traditional marketers think writing sales copy for the web is exactly the same as writing for print. Many make the simple mistake of copying and pasting their print-based marketing messages onto their websites, and then wonder why conversion rates are poor. It may be time to make the transition from writing print sales copy to online copy and stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Some key points to consider include:
1) Online customers aren’t a captive audience. They come and go as they please, ultimately making an immediate sale harder. Generating leads by offering free trials, white papers, demos, or a free newsletter may ultimately be more important than blindly pursuing the big sales pitch.
2) Transparency is key to writing online sales copy. Don’t make false promises because customers can readily read up on your products and services, immediately check a competitors site, use comparison websites and even Google customer review forums and user groups to get real information.
3) When writing an offer for your prospective clients, make sure it is clean, concise, and attention grabbing without being too gimmicky. Your headline is a promise to prospective readers. Its job is to clearly communicate the benefit that you will deliver to the reader in exchange for their valuable time. Write your headline first, and then make sure you are able to deliver on the promise you just made!
Jeffrey Cohen is the director of New Business Development at ImageWorks, LLC in Vernon, CT. ImageWorks has been providing state of the art web development solutions for 13 years. ImageWorks can provide web solutions for both large and small companies. Visit our portfolio on our website. If you have any web design, development, hosting or internet marketing and BLOG design, we can assist. For help with web issues or to leave a reply to this blog post, contact Jeffrey at JCohen@imageworksllc.com.