You've got your business set up, including a website, blog and social media platforms. Perhaps you've even landed a great network of potential clients and lots of leads.
But without one key ingredient your website visitors won't convert, and you'll have serious problems selling your products or services online.
So, what's this magic ingredient? What's going to steer your business towards success?
If someone lands on your site, what do they see? Usually some images, a few lines of text, often too much heavy text to scroll through. Maybe they see a product or service that is either just like everyone else's or just plain vague.
To be honest, many websites I've visited clearly haven't understood the essential ingredient of copywriting. As a result, website copy is often unfocused and doesn't 'speak' to a prospective client. There's no interaction between your business and the visitor.
Just think about it for a moment: if you visit a business or a shop, you usually interact with the salesperson - right? And that person is trained to guide you to make the right decisions about purchasing a service or product. That salesperson knows the product inside out - including all the features and benefits - as well as which product is best for you based upon your questions and needs. (I don't mean a creepy, crooked salesperson, but a genuine one, who is able to see things from your viewpoint - who understands you.)
When someone visits your website, there's no salesperson there for guidance - maybe just a 'help' or 'FAQs' dropdown. Sometimes your visitor will phone or email for further information. But if there is persuasive copywriting to guide your prospective buyer every step of the way towards making a decision to act, or buy - then your conversion rates will boom.
Just think: when you want to buy something online, what are you looking for? Maybe you're not all that savvy about the psychology of sales, so here's a list of important elements that you would probably look for, that need to go into your own web copy when you want to sell something:
1. Benefits This area of benefits should encapsulate the 'solution to a problem' that people will immediately recognise through your product or service. It seems obvious, but too many ecommerce sites in particular have not addressed solutions to problems within their copy. For example: if you're selling yoga mats, you need to make it clear that your mats are supportive, there is less likelihood of sore knees or spines, and they're easy to wash, etc. After the benefits are outlined, then desirable elements, such as gorgeous colours, etc can be promoted.
2. Reviews Reviews are still gold in 2019 - people definitely read them - and they do convert customers. (Don't you read reviews too, before making decisions to buy?) Sprinkle reviews everywhere you can on your site. They'll help other people choose a product and feel more secure about buying.
3. Images Words aren't always the whole story - it can be highly effective to support your persuasive copy with images that highlight your product or service in an inspiring way. Coming again to the example of yoga mats: you could have an image alongside the benefits of your brand of mats showing someone who's clearly super comfortable, supported and practising yoga happily on your mat. Do take professional pictures wherever possible.
4. Research your product and forge a customer connection at the same time Go into every single feature of your product or service - all the corners and edges, every nook and cranny! Know your product inside out. And at the same time, put yourself in your customers' shoes: what concerns might they have, what questions, resistance, objections might they have about what you're selling. Make a list, and then answer all these points in your copy (maybe a FAQs section about the product itself). Keep showing that you understand your readers' point of view, that you understand their problems and worries. Keep forging that compassionate connection.
5. Help your customer to purchase at check-out (or take the action you want them to take) Sounds obvious, but you need an easy check-out - and this check-out page should also include carefully written, optimised text. Hold your buyer's hand. Make them feel secure. Offer them a discount, a special gift, maybe a 2-day fast delivery for a product. Or maybe a second item for half-price. If you're selling a service, maybe you'll give them a free ebook with their purchase. Whatever it is, don't ignore the power of the check-out page. Use persuasive copywriting right up to the last moment.
Summary Persuasive copywriting is the key to a successful business. You might have a great website and lots of leads, but without persuasive copy you will run into problems converting prospects to customers. Persuasive copywriting is not a mysterious realm, but an easily broken down system of steps: Benefits, Reviews, Images, Research, Easy Action.