Your FAQ Page – A Sales Tool? You Bet!

by Karon Thackston © 2006 The FAQ page… a standard addition to almost any site. It usually lists questions customers ask on a regular basis, and the answers to those questions. But what befuddles me is that hardly any sites I’ve visited use this page as a sales tool. Did you think of that? If not, you’re losing out on the use of some valuable real estate! FAQ pages are generally well-trafficked areas of your site. With just a few adjustments, your FAQ page could become one of your leading sources for sales conversions. Let me give you a before and after version of one site I visited. I’ve changed some of the information so as not to promote (or embarrass) the site owner. BEFORE What is the source of the minerals used in your supplements? We use all-natural minerals from sources such as limestone and dolomite. Nothing artificial. [back to top] What is the source of Vitamin C? Ascorbic acid, which was originally gained by isolation from fruits and plants, is produced today by an industrial process. The basis for the industrial ascorbic acid synthesis is D-Glucose (grape sugar or corn sugar), one of the most common organic compounds in nature. [back to top] Informative? Yes. Does it answer the question? Yes. Does it contribute to making the sale? Not really. Now, let’s change these two answers just a bit, add a link or two, and see how much more powerful they can become. AFTER What is the source of the minerals used in your supplements? We use all-natural minerals from sources such as limestone and dolomite. These...

Writing The Perfect Sales Letter

Before you actually write the e-book we are going to write the sales letter first. Now I suggest you write it in Microsoft Word and save it. Then we can transfer it to the main “Sales site Page” when we are designing our basic site in step 5 The main reason we are writing our sales copy before we ever write a word in our e-Book is because it hasn’t actually being created yet, which means there is absolutely no limit what you can write in your sales letter. The sales letter doesn’t fit the e-Book; it’s the other way around. Now you can describe exactly what your e-Book will show to the potential customer. There are no restrictions on what you can write in the sales letter. When the sales letter is completed you can then incorporate all the ideas you have come up with into your e-Book Your sales copy must do the following three things * Get the attention of the prospects * Communicate the benefits of the product * Persuade the prospects into the desired action Remember the most important part of your page design is your actual sales copy. A fancy website and graphics help but the key is in the words used Sales letter Structure * Header/Title * Promises * Testimonial * Info product * Benefit * Bonuses * Guarantee * Summary This is the structure that you should use for your sales copy. If you check out the best sales letter they will all follow this formula? Header The main function of the header/title is to grab the reader’s attention. The header...

Writing Sales Copy That Sells

When writing a sales copy, all internet marketers know that a long copy will sell more than a short copy. This does not mean that the more words the better; the quantity and the quality of detail is what will improve its performance. Having the correct sales structure will keep the reader interested from start to finish. These are the steps to follow to create a successful sales letter: 1. USE A POWERFUL HEADLINE. Express the main benefit of your product in a short sentence. Grab your readers attention and make them want to continue reading. 2. CREATE EXCITEMENT WITH A SUB-HEADLINE. In no more than two or three short sentences, expand on the benefits of your product and generate excitement in your reader. If you are offering a limited promotion, specify the limitations of your offer here. 3. OUTLINE THE BENEFITS OF YOUR PRODUCT. Give the reader three good reasons to buy your product. These reasons have nothing to do with the product’s features; think about what your customer wants. For example, if you are selling holiday villas, say something like: “If you want to take advantage of the comfort of a luxury apartment, enjoy the Mediterranean sun and save money on your summer vacations, then this might be the most important letter you’ll ever read” 4. EXPLAIN YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION. This is the specific benefit that differentiates your product from all the others. At this point, you must mention your USP in one or two sentences. You will explain the details later in the sales letter. 5. PROVE YOUR CREDIBILITY. The most important thing to sell...

Writing SEO Copy – 8 Steps to Success

We all know that the lion’s share of web traffic comes through the search engines. We also know that keywords and links to your site are the two things that affect your ranking in the search engines. Your keywords tell the search engines what you do, and the inbound links tell them how important you are. This combination is what determines your relevance. And relevance is what the search engines are after. There’s a lot of information around about how to incorporate keyword phrases into your HTML meta tags. But that’s only half the battle. You need to think of these tags as street-signs. That’s how the search engines view them. They look at your tags and then at your copy. If the keywords you use in your tags aren’t used in your copy, your site won’t be indexed for those keywords. But the search engines don’t stop there. They also consider how often the keyword phrase is used on the page. To put it simply, if you don’t pepper your site with your primary keywords, you won’t appear in the search results when a potential customer searches for those keywords. But how do you write keyword-rich copy without compromising readability? Readability is all-important to visitors. And after all, it’s the visitors that buy your product or service, not search engines. By following these 8 simple guidelines, you’ll be able to overhaul the copy on your website ensuring it’s agreeable to both search engines and visitors. 1) Categorise your pages Before writing, think about the structure of your site. If you haven’t built your site yet, try to create...

Writing Helpful Help – A Minimalism Checklist

User documentation is all too often written by programmers for programmers. It tends to focus on the product’s features, rather than the user’s tasks. Generally, programmers aren’t in the ideal position to be writing user documentation. They’re too close to the bits and bytes, and they’re too far from the user. To them, what the product can do tends to be far more important than what the user can do with the product. It’s a subtle – but vital – distinction. Research shows that the key to effective user documentation is writing task oriented help. Even better, write your help according to the minimalist theory. In the documentation world, “minimalism” is a fancy word for a commonsense practice. In basic terms, it means write to your reader and keep it simple. The theory itself has a lot of twists and turns. If you want to read a great – but slightly wordy – book on the subject, check out the book “Minimalism Beyond the Nurnberg Funnel”, 1998, edited by John Carroll. In the meantime, if you can tick every item in the following checklist, you’ll be well on your way to usable online help that both your readers and your managers will thank you for. Helpful Help Checklist 1. Base the help on real tasks (or realistic examples) 2. Structure the help based on task sequence – Chapter headings should be goals and topics should be tasks 3. Respect the reader’s activity – this is generally more about what you don’t do than what you do. Don’t waste the reader’s time by diving off into tangents 4. Exploit prior...

Writing Benefit-Driven Web Copy – 4 Steps to More Sales

You’ve identified the benefits you offer your customers, but how do you turn a list of benefits into engaging web copy which converts visitors into customers? Recently I wrote an article explaining how to identify the benefits you offer your customers (http://www.divinewrite.com/benefits.htm). That article challenged business owners and marketing managers to think in terms of benefits rather than features when writing their web copy. What the article didn’t discuss was how to actually write the web copy once they had identified their benefits. That’s what this article is about. (It even gives you a couple of templates you can use to make your job a whole lot easier!) As a website copywriter, many of the projects I undertake are completely new websites. The client has some general ideas about what they’d like to convey, but they need someone who can fine-tune their message, and create web copy (and a web structure) which engages their readers. As a result, over the years I’ve developed a process for doing this effectively. There are four main steps: 1) Identify benefits 2) Identify how you deliver these benefits 3) Prioritise your benefits 4) Write the content Although this article touches on step 1, it’s mostly about steps 2, 3, and 4. STEP 1 – IDENTIFY YOUR BENEFITS Branding aside, most websites are about selling. Customers don’t want to know what you can do; they want to know what you can do for THEM. That means the first question you should ask is, “What benefits do I offer my customers?” This is usually the first step toward identifying the key message to be conveyed....