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Your website must enable a customer to do what you would like him to do: Request more information; register for a course; fill out a membership or subscription form; follow advertiser links; make a purchase through PayPal or credit card; or just forward a link to your site to someone else. To enable customers to take any one of these actions, your website must:
oProvide an opportunity on every page for customer to buy your product/service or contact you. Some customers will make a sudden decision to hit "Purchase" button, while others may want to think about it or call for more information. Many will leave your site to find competitors who offer same product or service at a lower price. (This is why your value proposition is so critical - more unique your offer, more difficult it will be for customers to find same deal anywhere else.) oEnable them to take desired action on spot. Provide a shopping cart, registration form, secure payment feature, toll-free number, and visible links that make it easy for customer to take action. oReassure them that action they take is safe and secure. Online customers want to know that information they leave behind will not be used in any way other than what they specify. If your site has an ecommerce function, be certain it's secure and that your customer has good reason to believe that it is. Also, assure customer that his privacy is important and that you will not sell or pass on his customer information to anyone for any purpose. oKeep customers coming back. Customer retention is a huge part of your online business success. Obviously, first step is to satisfy customer with product/service purchased and experience of purchasing it (ease in ordering, customer service support, quick shipping, etc.). Beyond fist positive experience with your site, you want to give customers reasons to return to your site regularly. To do this successfully, your site needs a good tool for tracking and profiling every customer and ample opportunity for customer to opt-in to receiving email, newsletters, faxes, or even direct mailings from you.
Enable customer to achieve his desired purpose...
Why did this customer come to your site in first place? We can only assume he was looking for something he thought you might offer. Did he find it? Did he buy it? Did he leave immediately?
In any case, your site should have enabled customer to achieve his desired purpose. If he was looking for something you offer and found it, that might be all he wanted to do this time around. Maybe he wanted to compare prices or think about purchase. If he bought it, you enabled him to. And if he left your site immediately (assuming that home page loaded quickly), it was probably because he was in wrong place. Again, you enabled him to achieve his desired purpose - to go elsewhere to find what he was looking for.
Strategic copywriting is about understanding human beings and what satisfies them. It's about courtesy, sensitivity, quality, and respect for consumers, whether you offer what they're looking for or not. The simple courtesy of enabling a customer to accomplish his purpose, be it buying from your site or leaving immediately upon learning he's in wrong place, is essence of strategic copywriting for a successful and effective consumer experience.
Carolyn Evans is the principal of CopyMaxima.com, a search-engine optimization company for small businesses and start-ups