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How to improve your copy and increase your sales

Why is it that so many business web sites seem to rake in the cash while others never produce a dime? What is it that makes the difference between a winning web site and an also ran? The reason is more obvious that you would think, it's the copy that make the difference. Below are ten ways that you can improve the copy and increase the sales from your web site.

1. Grab your readers attention from the very first line by creating curiosity. Ask a question or make a statement that causes a question to be formed in the minds of your readers. This will get them to read on as they attempt to satisfy their curiosity.

2. Write your copy as if you are speaking with someone you know. Use the language you would use in a conversation with a friend. Nothing turns away a potential customer faster than realizing they are reading a sales pitch.

3. Use "you" and "your" words liberally and "I", "me" and "us" words infrequently. Everyone likes to hear (or read) about themselves. They like to feel like they are the center of attention. Using "you" and "your" will help them feel that the product may address their needs. Always remember, the focus of the copy should be the prospective customer not the person selling the product.

4. Keep the paragraphs short, three or four sentences are fine. And while you are at it, format the page so the column width of the copy is narrower than the entire screen. Newspapers publishers have known for years that narrow columns and short paragraphs keep people reading.

5. Use bullet lists. The eye naturally gravitates toward a list. People who are inclined to skip over long, wordy sales copy will still look at bullet lists. Use this fact to your advantage, list the "killer" benefits of your offer here.

6. Tell the reader how the product or service will benefit them. Don't list the technical details of your product in your sales copy, you can list those on a linked page for those who are interested. Sales are made by appealing to the reader's basic needs of comfort, security and acceptance. Your copy should explain how your product can address one or more of these needs.

7. Keep it real, no one is going to believe copy that is filled with hype. Most of your readers will be sophisticated enough to to recognize hyperbole when they see it. Don't make outrageous claims and beware of claims that, while true, may appear to good to true.

8. Publish customer testimonials. You don't have any, you say? Then solicit some immediately. Ask your current customers for their opinions regarding your product. Get permission to use their words and publish them on your web site. Testimonials are a very powerful selling tool, one that you can not afford to ignore.

9. Offer a iron clad, no questions asked, money back guarantee. What better way to get someone to buy your product than for them to know that you are willing to assume all the risk? Sure, some customers may take advantage of such an guarantee, but the increase in sales should offset the few unscrupulous characters you may meet.

10. Ask for the sale. Many web sites do a great job of telling about the benefits of the product but they neglect to ask the customer to buy. Don't stop there, lead your customer through the purchase process. Always remember the KISS (keep it simple sweetheart) principle. Be sure to thank customers for their purchase and inform them how and when they will be receiving the product they just purchased.

Proper application of these tips combined with experimentation and refinement of your copy will result in an increase in sales from your web site.

PS -- Okay, this is really tip number eleven. Always include a postscript. Postscripts get read, you read this, didn't you? The fact is most people can't resist reading a postscript. Many readers will "cut to the chase" and scroll to the bottom of the page, where they will find, and read, your postscript. Be sure to briefly restate your offer in a postscript.

PPS -- I know, tip number twelve. If you believe people read postscripts, then you can be sure they read post postscripts. Use the PPS to mention a free bonus, special offer deadline or simply to ask for the sale.

About the author
Copyright 1998, 2003 Tony L. Callahan All Rights Reserved
Tony L. Callahan, is a successful Internet Promotions Consultant with more than twenty years of industry experience and is president of his own Internet marketing company, Link-Promote. He also publishes Web-Links Monthly, a newsletter full of tips, tricks, tools and techniques for successful web site promotions. To subscribe, send e-mail to: Web-Links-subscribe@topica.com. For an online archive of Tony's articles available for reprint, visit: http://www.link-promote.com/articles

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