Ever wondered why most websites only get conversion rates of 1-3%?
Even visitors from search engines – people who not only want what you sell, but want it now – often convert at under 5%.
So why do 95-99 of every 100 visitors leave without buying?
I think there’s one primary cause…
And when I say “weak”, I mean copy that fails to:
- Build desire for your product or service.
- Demonstrate why it’s better than the alternatives.
- Back up those claims with proof.
- Show how the price you’re charging is a fraction of the value you’re giving.
Entire courses have been created that teach how to write better copy. But here are 7 rules that will help you instantly improve your copy… and your conversion rate…
Rule #1: Have a strong offer
David Ogilvy said, “What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.”
Weak offers rarely pull well. If there’s not a good reason why someone should buy from you, rather than from your competitor – or not buy at all – you can’t expect a high response rate.
Rule 2: Map out your sales pitch
Before you start writing, it pays to map out your sales pitch. Because:
#1: A logical sales message is a persuasive sales message.
#2: No more staring at a blank screen or piece of paper, waiting for inspiration. When you start writing, you’ll already have starting point, an end point, and all the steps you have to hit along the way.
#3: It’ll stop you from wandering from the message.
One approach to this is to use “problem-solution”. Here’s how I used this in last month’s newsletter:
Problem: Google is testing having 4 ads at the top, with no ads on the right.
If this becomes the norm, and your ads often show in positions 5-11, you’re going to lose that traffic.
The SEO results will be pushed further down the page, meaning they’ll get fewer clicks, so SEO dependent businesses will suffer.
Your business will shrink
Solution: you find ways to get other traffic – and here’s how you can do that.
See how each step lead to the next?
Rule #3: Avoid empty boasts
You may believe that making empty boasts about your business impresses prospects. It doesn’t.
Not only does that not impress people today, it didn’t even impress people 100 years ago.
Here’s what Claude Hopkins – probably the greatest copywriter of all time – wrote in 1923:
“To say, ‘Best in the world,’ ‘Lowest prices in existence,’ etc., are at best simply claiming the expected. But superlatives of that sort are usually damaging. They suggest looseness of expression, a tendency to exaggerate, a carelessness of truth. They lead readers to discount all the statements that you make.”
Which takes us to…
Rule #4: Specifics sell
Hopkins went on to write:
“A man who makes a specific claim is either telling the truth or a lie. People do not expect an advertiser to lie. They know that he can’t lie in the best mediums. The growing respect in advertising has largely come through a growing regard for its truth.
So a definite statement is usually accepted. Actual figures are not generally discounted. Specific facts, when stated, have their full weight and effect.”
In one of his ads – for a can of beans in sauce – instead of saying, “We use the finest beans”, Hopkins wrote:
“We could by beans as low as 30c per bushel, yet we pay $2.10 for ours.”
Which is more convincing?
#5: Prove your claims
If you want to convince your prospect, it’s not enough to make claims, you need to prove those claims.
I know of a dozen ways of adding proof to copy. The strongest – and perhaps least used – is demonstration.
One company that uses demonstration brilliantly is Blendtec:
If you can give a demonstration like that, you’re half way to the sale.
Rule 6: Don’t Fear Long Copy
You’ve probably heard that “people don’t like reading long copy”.
Well it doesn’t matter what “people” like. The only thing that matters is what potential buyers do. And buyers read.
As Gary Halbert – one of the greatest direct mail men of the last 50 years – wrote:
“Hardly anybody puts enough detail into their promotions. Remember this: People who are not interested in your product or service don’t want to know anything about it but, those who are interested, want to know everything about it.”
And that isn’t just Gary’s opinion, it’s what he learned from decades of testing.
Long copy beats short copy because any benefit you don’t mention is a sale lost. Any objection you don’t address is another sale lost. Any claim you don’t back up with proof… more money slipping through your hands…
So, when you write, include all the information that would be useful to a buyer.
Rule 7: Delete the beginning of your copy
There’s nothing wrong with long copy, but there’s a lot wrong with copy that takes too long to get started.
Most writers take a while to get going. They’ll have a number of paragraphs, or even a couple of pages, of waffle before they get to the point.
Look at your copy with a ruthless eye. How much of the intro can you delete without hurting your sales message?
If you follow these rules, you should see a nice increase in your conversion rate.
But, if you really want to see the power of good copy, consider hiring a professional.
A good copywriter can transform your business – and your life.
Think about it: if your website is generating £200,000 a year in net sales, a 50% bump in conversion adds £100,000 to your bottom line. And it does that without increasing your advertising costs, or your fixed costs.
It’s all profit.
So, when Gary Halbert claimed, “You’re only one great sales letter away from a million dollars”, it wasn’t hyperbole, it was reality.
All the best,