Long Copy Sales Letters on the Web: Hype or Not?
I have written before about long sales copy on the web. But I have more to say on the subject.
First, let me be clear about what I'm saying here. I'm not talking about long content pages within dozens of other pages on a site. I'm talking about stand-alone pages...a long, direct response sales letter online, often with its own domain name.
Next, let me say this: long copy works, online and offline.
If you can hold someone's attention with your writing, a long page gives you the space to deliver all the benefits, cover all the features and address a myriad of reader questions and concerns. So long as the letter carries momentum and holds the reader's attention, people will keep scrolling.
And you'll get a better conversion rate than you would with a shorter page. This is true offline, and on the web also.
However, what I have found is two distinct approaches to the long, online sales letter. Both work, but do so in different ways.
Long copy style #1: Selling with Hype
You probably know the kind of page I mean. Here's an example of the kind of copy you can expect:
"Income For Life? is the same program being praised by the true experts as "...a new breakthrough method that will probably lead more people from broke to millionaire status than 'Think & Grow Rich,' 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad,' and 'The Science Of Getting Rich' Combined!""
The copy style is fast, packed with superlatives, thick with unsupported promises and bulging with testimonials given by people who appear to sprinkle amphetamines on their wheaties.
The template for these sales pages is fairly consistent. Lots of highlighted subheads and indents. A breathless pace...and the promise of a better life. Success. Wealth. Happiness.
Well, we all want to be happy and most of us could do with some extra wealth.
But how is it that this approach works so well? Many of us look at these letters and are incredulous. And many of us would claim never to be persuaded by such an approach. But hundreds of thousands of people are.
How come? This copy approach has a hypnotic quality to it. It makes promises with such strength and enthusiasm. And in some way, it tempts us into a state of submission. We submit to the endless waves of promises and testimonials. We succumb to the thought that maybe, just maybe...this might work...and we might find that extra wealth or happiness.
And yes, even you will turn off your critical faculties from time to time. If you have ever purchased a lottery ticket you have been in this 'space'...where your desire for a better future overcomes your more rational thinking process. Hey, someone has to win. Right?
The same is true if you have ever felt your brain go soft in the face of an enthusiastic car or electronics salesperson. One half of your brain knows you are being persuaded to buy extra features you don't need and probably can't afford. The other part of your brain is whispering in your ear, "Hey man, chill. This feels good. Go with the flow, listen to the man."
This happens to us when we WANT to hear what we are hearing. When we WANT it to be true. When we allow ourselves to dream.
This is how hype works. It deepens our state of submission and creates a state of almost dreamlike optimism.
And it works.
The significant downside to this approach is that most of us wake up from the dream and find that the promises were empty. Or, to put it another way, we bought the ticket, but didn't win the lottery.
So if your aim is to build long-term relationships with your readers, prospects and customers, using hype is not the way to go.
The second style of long copy approach is quite different. Again, these are often stand-alone pages, many screens long. Again, you'll find the headings, the subheads, indents and testimonials.
But you'll find a very different approach in the writing style.
If you have ever read a sales letter from Bill Bonner, Ken Evoy or Allan Gardyne... this is the kind of writing I'm talking about.
These are still long, enthusiastic letters...and the pace still draws you down, line after line.
But here are some differences, and they are very significant.
- Within the text you will hear the genuine voice of the writer. You're not being sold with copy written by the 'Dream-O-Matic 2000' - you're being sold by a recognizable human voice, the voice of Bill, Ken or Allan.
- You are not succumbing to that state of dreamlike submission and suspending your critical faculties. You remain quite rational and quite clear in your thinking.
- You are hearing a voice that sounds and feels infinitely more trustworthy.
- You don't have to suspend your disbelief. Instead, you feel comfortable and believe what you are reading.
At the end of a letter like this, you make a choice...buy or not to buy. And it's a choice you are much less likely to regret.
Online sales letters like these are the children of traditional direct response letter writing. Good direct mail letters are written in this second way - by making a genuine connection with the reader and earning his or her trust.
There is a big upside to this second approach. It builds trust and loyalty. If your strategy is to build a list of happy prospects and customers who will come back again and again, this is the style you will want to adopt.
Long copy works, and it works in more than one way.
If you can reach a big enough readership (no small feat) and want to make big money, right now, hype might work for you.
But if you want to build a long-term list of repeat customers... be yourself and write to your audience with an enthusiasm that is built on a foundation of honesty and respect for your readers.
Article Resource: If you would like to learn how to write like a traditional direct marketer, read my review of Michael Masterson's Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting.
Nick Usborne is a copywriter, author, speaker and advocat of good writing. You can access all his archived newsletter articles on copywriting and writing for the web at his Excess Voice site. You'll find more articles and resources on how to make money as a freelance writer at his Freelance Writing Success site.
5 Security Risks of Responsive Web Design Security Boulevard
Beanstalk Web Marks 10 Years In WG | Webster Kirkwood Times ... Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc.
17 Free Web Design Tools, Fall 2023 Practical Ecommerce
Belfast Web Design Agency Expands to the US, Bringing Innovative ... Washington City Paper
Community Commentary: Deliberate Incompetence Talon Marks
Why your business needs a responsive web design Arizona Big Media
The 14th annual Student Experimental Film Festival Binghamton University Pipe Dream
Recent FTC Report Shows Increase in Dark Patterns The National Law Review
Top 10 Mobile App Development Firms for Startups – Robotics ... Robotics and Automation News
DEC launches redesigned and mobile-friendly website Niagara Frontier Publications
ChatGPT job losses for freelancers on Upwork and Fiverr Business Insider
Web design firm Integrity appoints 2 to C-suite - St. Louis Business ... The Business Journals
ERP news from the week beginning 27th November 2023 - Enterprise Times
RCC opens institute to offer courses on web design, digital ... The Financial Express BD
What is the future of web development for small businesses? Arizona Big Media
Guidelines for secure AI system development - NCSC.GOV.UK National Cyber Security Centre
How to balance web development with other small business ... Arizona Big Media
Mizzou alumna uses web design expertise to give back to ... - University of Missouri College of Engineering
Mizzou alumna uses web design expertise to give back to ... University of Missouri College of Engineering
Joint journey: The Ferraz Rodrigues brothers' path to collaborating ... - Illinois State University News
Joint journey: The Ferraz Rodrigues brothers' path to collaborating ... Illinois State University News
Regulator: “Harmful” Web Design Could Break Data Protection Laws Infosecurity Magazine
6 ways AI is changing web design Creative Bloq
About Web Design and Development | Web Design & Development ... Utah Valley University
5 seriously useful AI web design tools Creative Bloq
When and Where to Use REM and EM Units in Web Design? hackernoon.com
This Web Development Grad is Developing for Esports Full Sail News
Top 10 web design companies: 2023 reviews and comparisons The Jerusalem Post
New Interactive Web Design Trends in 2023 Finance Monthly
Colorado web designer told Supreme Court a man sought her services for his same-sex wedding. He says he didn’t – and he’s straight - CNN
Colorado web designer told Supreme Court a man sought her services for his same-sex wedding. He says he didn’t – and he’s straight CNN
Web Design & Development Advisory Board | Web Design & ... Utah Valley University
3 golden graphic design rules for e-commerce businesses Creative Bloq
AI tools are killing web design jobs in South Africa Rest of World
Portfolio Requirements for Web and App Emphasis | Web Design ... Utah Valley University
19 Free Web Design Tools from Summer 2023 Practical Ecommerce
8 Web Design Trends We Noticed in 2023 MUO - MakeUseOf
21 Common Website Design Mistakes Small Businesses Should ... Social Media Today
The Mysterious Case of the Fake Gay Marriage Website, the Real ... The New Republic
U.S. announces official web design system Boing Boing
Opinion | Reasons for ambivalence about the 303 Creative Supreme ... The Washington Post
Wix's new web design platform looks seriously cool Creative Bloq
How To Rescue Your Graphic Design Project When All Else Fails
Whether you're giving a critical sales presentation to a client, producing visuals for a meeting, event, trade show or seminar, or unveiling the new company logo before an audience of shareholders, top-notch graphics will help ensure that you, your products, and your message receive the attention they deserve.Yet when you decide to do the graphics in-house to reduce turnaround time or cut expenses, those logos, photos, charts, graphs, pictures, timelines, illustrations, etc.
Web-Safe Fonts for Your Site
Choosing the right typeface for your website copy is important, since it will affect the way your readers perceive your page (serious and formal, or friendly and casual). Aside from this, there are also important usability concerns.
When You Create A Web Site, Dont Make A Splash!
Don't make a splash!Are you thinking about using a splash page when you create a web site? You would be wise to think again.What is a splash page?Generally, it is a fancy entrance graphic which requires your visitor to click in order to enter the main home page of your web site.
Design Matters in our Visual Culture
FIRST IMPRESSIONS. First impressions often leave lasting impressions.
How to Force Your Visitors to Order Immediately!
This may comes as a surprise to you but, if you're using popups on your website (which you should), then chances are you're using them all wrong. Almost everybody is.
Do You Really Need A Website?
Nope. You certainly don't need a website.
Building Web Sites Using Web Templates
Gone are the days when you had to rely on a web-designer to design your websites. New technologies with innovative ideas have brought out a new variant to this trend in the form of ready to use website templates.
Should I Use Pop-Up Ads?
Web advertising has taken many forms, including those that appear within the Web page as an in-line graphic, as well as those that "pop up" (over) or "pop under" a browsing window. If you are considering the use of pop ups on your website as an advertising method, this article provides some points you should consider.
Basic Graphic Design
Wether you design your business brochures, flyers, web page, or ads there are some things that you need to know. There are some basic graphic design principles that those of us trained in the commercial art/graphic design field don't always share.
Cheap Web Design In London
Due to the large number of people offering web design services in London, there is always a bargain to be found.Website design firms in London are in a very competitive market and some offer some great deals at various times of the year.
Design Your Site For Your Customers
The most important person that you need to please when you design your site is your potential customer. I can not stress that enough.
Freelancers Bite Back!
The Internet has seen an explosion in so called 'lance' sites. Their service are a sort of go between to bring together clients requiring projects with freelancer seeking work.
Learn the Truth about Your Web Design Company by Its Portfolio
When you start building your online business and search for a web design company that will implement all your needs for the web site you must understand that it is a very serious step because you are entrusting your business along with its reputation and future.That's why it's very important to make the right choice.
A Crash Course on Graphic Philosophy 101
Novice and professional graphic designers, we are aware that you know the basic principles of graphic philosophy. But then, as workers of art - though digital and graphic art already borders in commercial arts, there's no harm in continuously improving our craft through constant study and practice, is there? Really great graphic designers I know have come to their status because of painstaking application and study of their past works.
7 Ways of Building Customers Trust With Your Web Site
When I purchase something from a web site I first check whois behind this site. If there is no contact information oranything about the owner of the site or his/her company Imove on.
Fast Web Design For The Skint Webmaster
About two years ago, I had a go at commercial web site design. I put a medium-sized ad in a London classified ad paper.
Create Favorite Icon
Favorite icon appears to the left of your link in either address bar or in favorites menu of your browser. It gives your website more personality, better visibility in favorites menu and is easy to create.
Do You Own Your Web Site Design?
Your web site has been up for a few months and you are making money hand over foot. While surfing sites one evening, you are shocked to find a competitor using your design.
Flash - To Use Or Not To Use?
Out there in the WWW there are thousands sites using flash for their needs. But the majority sites are not in this list.
Turn Benefits Into Sales with Streaming Media
The "Wow" factor that accompanied the introduction of streaming media on the Web has long passed, and the technology now has to prove itself to marketers. Its' acceptance by advertisers, in conjunction with other rich media technologies, is on the upswing, but it's still not widely used to enhance commercial sites.
|home | site map|
|Webdesign-box © 2006|