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That’s not to say your site shouldn’t look professional. It’s your store front - a reflection of your business and quality of your product – so it has to convey image you want to present to world. But a clean, simple site can do that. Some of world’s biggest “e-tailers” like Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble, have very simple logos.
So let’s get back to key to a successful website – words. If you want to write copy yourself, think carefully about purpose of text. You are writing sales copy. And secret of all successful sales copy is to think like your customer.
To quote Ken Evoy again: “Web selling is about selling one customer at a time … one-to-one selling … you and customer talking together about their needs and wants.”
Most people make mistake of writing their websites for themselves. They tell how wonderful their company is, how long it’s been in business and technical details about products they offer. But customer doesn’t want to know about you and your company. The customer is interested in one thing … “what’s in it for me?”
So focus on benefits of your product or service. After every sentence you write, see yourself as your customer and ask question: “so what?”.
For example, let’s imagine you are selling a new email filter that keeps spam out of people’s mailboxes. Don’t bore your potential customer with technical details. Focus on benefits of having such a filter. For example, you might say something like: “Do you waste valuable time dealing with junk email every day? Ban-It Mail Filter is answer to your problem. Ban-it is most effective filter available to keep spam out of your mailbox and put back more time into your day.”
You are selling benefits – not features. Even experienced copywriters sometimes get two mixed up.
You need to have a clear picture in your mind of customer you are writing for. Write as if you were sitting in a chair opposite them and talking face to face. And tell them what your product or service can do for them.
That in a nutshell is secret of writing copy for Web.
If you can do this, potential of web selling is enormous. It outranks Gutenburg’s printing press, Marconi’s wireless and Bell’s telephone all rolled together.
So don’t waste fantastic opportunity presented by cyber-marketing. Make sure your website copy is doing job you want it to. If you don’t feel competent to write it yourself, hire a professional copywriter. The investment will repay itself many times over.
Chris Mole is a freelance writer/editor based in Ashburton. His company, Plain Words, specialises in writing and editing for print and web media. Chris has more than 20 years' experience writing for newspapers, magazines, radio and electronic media and as an editor of books and magazines, in New Zealand and the UK. Visit the author's website at www.plainwords.co.nz