How to Write Carrot-Wielding Copy.
A reason behind websites that fail is the lack of an
effective direct response sales message that's comprised of
three things: it must
2) riveting and
How can you incorporate those three elements? First, write
to be scanned. On the Internet, people are fast-paced,
click-happy and easily bored. Break your copy into small
paragraphs and lace your copy with many headers with one at
every two to three paragraphs
But once you captured your readers' attention, the next
step is to keep them reading the copy. Your job is to not
only generate interest but also maintain it. The latter is a
much harder task.
The debate about long versus short copy is an old one. While
long copy is statistically proven to outperform short copy,
many of my clients still say that long copy will never be
read on the web, and that things online are short and fast.
I fervently protest.
Sure, things are short and fast online. But there is a
difference between grabbing people's attention and holding
on to it. Keeping readers riveted, hanging on to every word
with an intense desire to discover what's next, is the goal
of any direct response copy.
(It sounds the same as reading a story, right? Well, it is.)
Prospects who are genuinely interested in the product you
offer always want more information about it, not less. If
they are not qualified, no matter how long or short the copy
is they will just never buy. They won't read 15 words, much
less 1,500 words.
In my experience, short copy can often result in:
1) a lower response rate due to the lack of
2) a barrage of questions from confused or undecided
3) or a higher level of returns since the product failed to
If long copy yields poor results, it has to do with the copy
and not the length. It's too boring. It didn't elevate the
reader's level of interest, and it failed to keep her
Of course, writing long copy that engages, entices and
entertains the reader is very difficult. (That's why people
hire copywriters like me.) But when it is good, then the
reader hangs onto every word and becomes increasingly
excited the further she reads it.
Copywriters are storytellers. If your copy tells a
compelling story, people will read it. All of it. To
illustrate, one day you notice a book at your local
bookstore. The cover, title and cover copy pull you into the
book. The opening chapter is delectable.
So, you decide to buy the book.
The book is inviting, and the story compels you to read
every single page, no matter how big the book is. In fact,
the book is so good that you either wish it was bigger or,
once finished, are prepared to read it over once more. You
just can't put it down.
But as you read it further, you become confused and slowly
begin to lose interest. The plot no longer invites you to
keep reading. You drift away and find it harder to continue.
Ultimately, you stop, close the book and then shelve it.
Copy is no different.
With a riveting story, the reader becomes intimately
involved in the plot. They see themselves in the shoes of
the characters. To do this, you need what I call "UPWORDS,"
which is an acronym for: "Universal picture words or
relatable, descriptive sentences."
"Universal picture words" means mental imagery
that help to paint vivid pictures in the mind. Lace your
copy with words that engage as many of the senses as
possible, and cause prospects to easily visualize already
enjoying the benefits of your offer.
"Universal" means to appeal to your audience as a
whole. Readers must not only read your copy but also
understand, internalize and appreciate it. Remember:
different words mean different things to different people.
So, use words that can help your message to be interpreted
in the same way by the bulk of your readers.
For example, in an effort to explain the importance of
initial consultations to their patients, surgeons use
analogies, such as:
"Like a dentist, I can't give consult you over the
phone without any x-rays of your teeth and knowing how many
cavities you have."
Similarly, use analogies, metaphors and examples, including
case scenarios. In short, use a language to which prospects
can relate and with which they can visualize what you're
trying to describe
Finally, tell your readers what to do. Be active, not
passive. Use action words and active verbs that paint vivid
pictures in the mind, too. The more vivid the picture is,
the more compelling your request will be. Don't be afraid to
pull out your Thesaurus!
For example, you're a financial consultant. Rather than,
"Poor fiscal management leads to financial woes,"
say, "stop mediocre money management from sucking cash
straight out of your wallet!"
People can visualize the action of "sucking"
better than they can "leading." Here's another
example. Instead of, "Let me consult you on how to
maintain your balance sheet," say, "borrow my eyes
to help you keep a steady finger on your financial
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michel Fortin is a copywriter, author and consultant
dedicated to turning businesses into powerful magnets. His
specialty are long copy,
email and web sales letters. Get a FREE copy of his ebook
and subscribe to his FREE monthly email newsletter,
"The Profit Pill," by visiting <http://SuccessDoctor.com/right
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