"Web Copy That Sells" by Maria Veloso
There are so many millions of web sites out there that surfers are overwhelmed. The result of this glut of information is that surfers will spend an average of just 8 seconds on a site before moving on and forgetting all about the previous ones. So, how do you keep them on your site long enough to at least read what you’re about?
A lot of people use cute animations and killer graphics, but that doesn’t really do it. It’ll buy you a few more seconds, but that all. It’s all about the copy. What are the actual words your web visitor sees when they land on your home page? That is where the gold is.
Maria Veloso started out as a great copywriter for commercials and other offline marketing, but not a great web copywriter. She had the great good fortune to be working for Mark Joyner at his über-successful marketing agency, Aesop. Mr. Joyner poured huge amounts of money into research to find out what worked, and then mentored Ms. Veloso. She added her own skills and experimentation and became a hugely successful web copywriter. Then she distilled it into this book.
She has developed what she calls the Trifecta Neuro-Affective Principal. Our mind works in threes, we pick things up easily that way. Her Trifecta etc. Principal uses Resonance, Redefinition, and Resistance. Make sure what you’re saying Resonates with your target market. Then give it a bit of a spin, or Redefine it. There will always be Resistance, but if you anticipate it and address it before your prospective customer voices it, you’ve taken away all its power.
This is a gross oversimplification, of course. I’m just trying to give you an idea of how she breaks things down for you so they’re easy to grasp and to use. She gives a lot of instantly-useable tips, too. Use “I” and “my” rather than “we” and “our.” It sounds more like you’re just talking with them. Use drop caps. When she did that for a client, sales went up 251% in one week (pg 77).
This is not a book you curl up with. You look at the table of contents and you read a section at a time, flagging paragraphs as you go. (Do buy an actual book, not an e-version. You can’t flag it as easily.) And you will use a lot of flags. I randomly use multiple colors of PostIt flags and they’ve made the book so pretty! Looking at the side I put the flags on, you see a rush of color.
The book is not going to make you a brilliant web copywriter. But it’s sure going make you a better one! If you listen to what she tells you, your new web copy will be much more engaging and much more likely to keep the web surfer there for long enough to click through a couple of pages.