Attract new customers and increase your profits by mastering the art of persuasive writing. All you need are these 6 steps.
- Use your headline and subheads to push major benefits to grab attention.
- Make your layout easy to read.
- Write in a conversational tone so that your audience is immediately engaged.
- Tell them in simple terms what’s in it for them. Don’t beat around the bush.
- Include a strong call to action.
You might think that because you have a website, you’re guaranteed to sell your product or service.
Sadly, that’s not the case.
Anyone can create a website, write about their services and pop their number at the top of the page. But that won’t roll in the sales. Getting your business online simply isn’t enough. Even if you’re getting loads of potential customers visiting your website, it’s more about the tactics you use to make people want to spend their money.
Ready to get started?
Here are the top 6 techniques you need to master persuasive writing and convert those visitors into leads and customers.
1. Perfect Your Headline
As famous copywriter David Ogilvy once said, on average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. Headlines draw people in and encourage them to read on, which is why you need to begin by pushing the benefits.
Plus, people are only interested in what you can do for them.
The most important principle is “What’s in it for me?” Show them how it can make them happier, slimmer, richer, less stressed, save them time, money and you’re guaranteed to sell more.
Do this the whole way through your website, but make sure to include the strongest benefit in your headline. Benefit-based headlines are the best way to boost your conversions, not “Welcome to my site.” That’s one of the top headline mistakes you need to avoid. 25 years’ experience… multi-award-winning business… same-day delivery. Whatever it is, put it at the top of your page.
Events host? How about “Experience The Latest Adrenaline-Fueled Activity To Hit XX!”
High-end travel agents? “Save Up To £1,855 A Year On Luxury Holidays” is bound to draw your potential customers in.
See how specific that one is?
You’re probably even wondering how much you could do with a luxury holiday! That’s because headlines with numbers tend to generate 73% more social shares and engagement. How? Specific numbers are more believable. They seem less likely to be fake and add credibility, which helps convince customers stay with you and trust your business.
Think About Your Mobile Users
You must also consider advertising on mobile.
What does that mean for you?
It means your headline needs to be snappy and get the point across quickly. If it’s too long and looks cluttered on smaller devices, you could lose potential customers.
2. Craft A Compelling Subhead
Use your subhead to push another major benefit of your product or service.
Obviously, you’ve already included a benefit in your headline, but the more you add, the more likely you are to draw people in. Don’t just use any though. Use one that stands out to you and chances are it’ll also stand out for your customers. Saying you’re reliable is good, but it’s not as strong as an amazing offer or saying you’ve worked with some huge organisations. That’s the sort of stuff that’ll make your users want to buy.
If you’re an aesthetics clinic, mention the fact you’ve been making people feel flawless for 10 years or that your treatments can really help to boost their confidence. Finance company? You could mention the fact that businesses can save 40-50% by letting your certified accountants take care of their finances.
These things will help to engage your visitors, not “reliable and friendly.” You can mention those later on, but you need to encourage people to stay on your page first. Your subhead can also be a good place to mention where your business is based. But don’t just state the facts with a bland subhead like “Based In Halifax.” Add emotion, excitement and a little pizzazz for extra impact.
How much better does “Get Your Dream Look & Feel Flawless At Our Halifax Salon” sound?
3. Mini Subheads That Hook Your Reader
Most people don’t realise how effective mini subheads are.
Probably because in the grand scheme of things, a single subhead might not seem very important. But they actually invite ‘skimmers’ and people who usually avoid long articles to read your content. Subheads ‘sell’, which is why they should always be benefit-driven rather than act as a standard title. ‘My services’ or ‘My experience’ won’t do the job.
Look at all the information you’ve got in front of you. Whatever stands out the most, highlight it in your subhead and be creative. Got a dry cleaning business? One of your subheads could say something like “Bring Your Clothing Back To Life” or “Ensure Your Belongings Look Immaculate.” Carpet and flooring business? How about “Transform Every Room The Way You’ve Imagined” or “Flawless Flooring Completed Within Days”?
You can do this with every business — no matter how niche. Electrician, transport and courier service, a graphic designer… you name it.
Make Your Copy Easy To Read
Mini subheads make reading easier (like the one above).
People are typically put off by long blocks of text, either because they think it’s unappealing or it just seems like too much effort. Think about it — how do you decide what to read when you pick up a newspaper or magazine? Or when you’re scrolling through Facebook? You read the bits that stand out and usually ignore the rest, which is probably what the majority of your users will do.
So you need to make sure the bits they do read, count.
4. Make Your Body Copy Conversational
No matter what you’re selling, you should always write in a conversational tone. It’s the key to successful copywriting. Nobody wants to read paragraphs and paragraphs of long, boring jargon. They just want the exciting stuff. Not only that, the National Literacy Trust said 16.4% of adults in England can be described as having ‘very poor literacy skills.’
That’s 7.1 million people who’d struggle to read a complex article. And even worse, 7.1 million people you’d immediately exclude from buying your product or service.
Avoid Complicated Words & Phrases
Imagine you’re trying to sell a product to your friends or family.
You wouldn’t say “My spectacular domestic and commercial cleaning service will allow you to achieve maximum productivity in the workplace and make your employees feel more satisfied throughout the working day.”
That’s a copywriters nightmare. And a nightmare for your audience.
You’d probably say something like “Our highly professional cleaning service will make your workplace look spotless. With us, you can always make the best impression on your visitors.”
So simple. So straight forward. So effective.
See what we’re getting at?
5. Features Vs. Benefits
We touched on this slightly at the beginning, but it’s not just important for your headline and subhead. It’s important for your entire website. If you don’t know the difference between features and benefits, let me explain.
Features are emotionless. They’re what your business has, or is, such as leading barbering equipment, new printing technology, etc etc. Benefits are the results your customer will experience from using your product or service — the reason they become an actual customer in the first place. Barbering equipment from a leading brand? Great, but don’t just write about your shiny scissors, your brand new clippers, metallic razors, etc.
Of course, you can mention those things, but you need to follow up with a benefit afterwards. Sell the fact your customers will leave your barbers with the neatest, sharpest haircut they’ve ever had. The fact their confidence will be sky high and they’ll never visit another barber again. New printing technology? Again, great, but don’t sell the actual machinery. Your customers don’t care how big and flashy and expensive it is.
Remember the “What’s in it for me?” principle?
Tell them how your printing services are so fast that their customised clothing can be delivered the very next day. How your printing is so high quality their logos will be more eye-catching than ever before. That’s what will make them choose you.
6. Don’t Forget To Tell Them To Buy!
There’s no point in doing all of the above if you aren’t going to tell them what to do next. That’s like persuading someone to buy your product and not taking their money.
You need to include a strong call to action (CTA).
A CTA is meant to entice your visitors to take a specific action that’ll essentially benefit your business. It’s usually a button at the bottom of the page, but you can add CTA’s anywhere on the page where someone reading may want to take an action. There are hundreds of different types of call to action, including filling out a form, adding something to your basket, placing an order, downloading a PDF, etc, etc.
They have a major impact on conversion rates, especially if you include multiple ones throughout your website. You can’t just stick a CTA anywhere though. You need to make sure they’re relevant to your copy.
If you just use the one, it needs to relate to your entire page and if you use several, each one needs to relate to the section it’s in.
Need Some Inspiration?
To get your creativity flowing…
If you’re a tutoring business, your CTA could be something like “Enrol Your Child Today”, “Start Your First Month” or “Book Your Free Assessment.” Cleaning business? How about “Book My Flawless Clean”, “Make My House Sparkle” or “Wow My Visitors.” Or, all of them!
The more you include, the better. Obviously, don’t go overboard but you can, and should, use more than one if necessary. Keep in mind your CTA’s will vary depending on the type of page you’re writing. CTA’s for a beauty clinic, aesthetician or hairdressers will be much more emotion-based than those for contractors.
That’s because a new roof or a plumbing issue are things you have to pay for but never want to. So the motivation is different for buying something you’ll enjoy — such as a beauty treatment or new hairstyle.
More importantly, don’t forget your contact details. It’s a mistake many small businesses make.
Potential customers might want to contact you before they make a commitment. You don’t want to put them off by making your contact details impossible to find. Just like your CTA’s, make them clear-cut, visible and easy-to-read.
Feel Like An Expert?
By following our tips and tricks to sell more with your website, you’re bound to see an increase in your conversions.
Don’t get us wrong — there are other sales elements you should include to attract customers, such as images, opt-in forms and testimonials. But you need to master the basics first.
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