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Does Your Online Copy Talk?
This article may be reprinted in your ezine or on your site
in its entirety so long as the author's credits and all links
Does Your Online Copy Talk?
Copyright © 2006 Daniel Levis (reprinted by permission)
THE UNSPOKEN DIALOGUE
When it comes to online copywriting, it's not the words
that count. It's the reaction to those words in the mind of the
reader, as he reads them on the screen…
And it's your ability to anticipate and plan out those
reactions that spells the difference between being able to get
your web site visitors to opt-in or buy your product in
sufficient numbers to make your business a success.
It's like a dialogue between two people, divorced in time and
space. You are feeding your reader images, ideas, and emotions
across the continuum, in a carefully planned sequence... and he
is feeding you back reactions.
You plan for certain reactions, and do your best to make them
come about. You hope your reader will understand and agree with
the assertions you put forward, and that he will share in the
emotions you are suggesting he feel.
Included among these reactions are demands, questions, and
anticipations, which must be answered, or your copy will
When you've successfully aroused your prospect's interest, his
reaction may be to demand more information, more image, and more
desire from your copy, as if to say... hmmm, tell me more? Where
you have inflamed his desire, he will demand proof. And even when
you demonstrate proof, he is likely to demand to know how those
results are to be achieved, so he can judge for himself whether
or not the product will work for HIM.
... So your challenge is to play a dual role. You must be
and prospect at the same time. You must walk in his shoes,
sense his reactions, feel what he feels at each point in the copy...
so you can switch direction at the precise moment his demands
arise, and answer them. This fracturing of your mind is one of the
most difficult skills to master in copywriting. And naturally it
demands a great deal of research into the product, and the market
you're working with. This sensitivity is one of the key distinctions
between writing good enough copy... and writing grand slam home
run copy that pulls in obscene returns.
Those anticipation points are crucial. If you miss them, you lose
the interest of your reader.
Let's examine one of these demands in more detail. At some
point in your copy, your prospect generally will ask this question.
"How does your product do all these good things you say it does?"
First you must anticipate where this question will arise, and then
Notice this is a very specific kind of proof. It's not a
or an authoritative endorsement. Your prospect is asking for an
explanation of the "reason why" something works, which may or
may not be included in the aforementioned. It is an explanation of
the mechanism behind the magic.
I have seen ads that included every conceivable proof element
under the sun fail, because they left this simple device out.
They failed to demonstrate the 'reason why' the product delivered
the promised results.
Of course John E. Kennedy and Claude C. Hopkins are well known
for popularizing the importance of this idea at the turn of the
last century, and today many direct response ads make use of it
to some degree. But how much 'reason why' is enough, how much
is too much, and where in the copy does it belong?
WHEN TO USE LOGIC AND
REASONING IN YOUR COPY
The answer to these questions comes from your market. Are
writing to those who already understand the reasons why your
product can do what you claim? Do they accept those reasons as
valid? If so, there is not much point in wasting the reader's
attention with a lot of 'reason why' copy. For example, if you
are writing a car ad today, and the car you are writing about has
ABS brakes, all you need do is name this mechanism. Millions of
dollars of advertising, perhaps hundreds of millions that has gone
before you, has distilled the logic and workings of this technology
down to a three letter acronym that just about everyone with a
license to drive understands. You simply name the feature, tie it
to a benefit, and then move on.
But what about the vast array of products that present a new
promise, but where the prospect does not yet understand the
mechanism behind the claim? Here it is a simple matter of
building a strong promise, backed up by a 'reason why' the
product delivers on the claim. In the early days of ABS for
example, the pioneers made the promise of greater safety, and
then backed up that claim with a reason why. Safe, because you
could now steer while braking in slippery conditions, and so on.
Of course, the cardinal sin is to make your 'reason why' copy
dull and boring. It is not scientific discourse. It should sell
the mechanism, just as hard as the opening sells the promise,
and it must continue to captivate and engage the reader's
interest and build his desire.
In the later stages of product competition, where the market is
sophisticated, and it seems that everyone has the same technology,
the same promise, the same price, a new strategy is in order.
At this stage your 'reason why' should take center stage. Move it
up from the anonymity of the body copy, and put it in your headline.
It is now just as vital as your promise, no longer just a proof element,
but a new, fresh incentive for your prospect to read your ad.
Another place in your copy where this reaction commonly arises
is where you offer a special price or discount. Your prospect is
suspicious. Many advertisers ignore this fact, and are shocked to
discover that a price reduction does nothing to increase sales.
What you must realize is that a price cut, like a promise or a
claim or a benefit is only as good as the words you use to
describe it, and the strategy you use to present it. Price cuts
should be justified. There must be a reason for them. A 'reason
why' you are doing what you are doing. Without it, you are
selling with only a fraction of the power.
About the Author:
Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant & direct response
copywriter based in Toronto, Canada and publisher of the world
famous copywriting anthology "Masters of Copywriting" featuring
the marketing wisdom of 42 of the world's greatest copywriters,
including Clayton Makepeace, Joe Sugarman, Joe Vitale, Bob Bly
and dozens more! For a FREE excerpt visit the link
********** Additional References **********
30 Days to Internet Marketing Success - huge collection of marketing "know how".
Niche Products Package - giant package of 106 niche products with master resell rights plus 14 guides FREE.
Get It Done! Marketing Action Plan - a complete marketing system using techniques and methods that most people don't know about.
Red-Hot Copy to Woo Your Target Market - step-by-step guide to writing professional-looking copy.
The Golden Book of Proof - a simple system for attracting customers with advertising that works.
Adtrackz - complete guide to ad tracking programs.
Confessions of a Website Copywriter - why almost everyone is wrong about creating sales letters for the web.
Pay Per Click Profits - one of the most powerful marketing strategies to drive targeted prospects to your web site.
Automatic Goldmine - how to use autoresponder courses to put ad campaigns onto autopilot.
Ad Gladiator - guide to creating solo ad campaigns that pay well.
Ultimate Ad Tracker Tool - run your own ad tracking system to get precise statistics on your links.
Ad Tracking SuperTips - a FREE ebook to guide you in choosing, using and profiting from ad trackers.
Best wishes for your online success!
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