Entries Tagged 'conversion' ↓

Copywriting – Intelligent Disobedience

You’ve finally done it.

It was a job that remained on your to-do list for months, but finally, you’ve completed your new website copy or brochure content.

Your copy is error free (well, as far you can see), reads superbly and most importantly, can now be crossed off your to-do list.

Once it’s been uploaded or your shiny brochures have been received back from the printers (smelling divine), you sit back and wait for your phone to start ringing and the deluge of emails to pour into your inbox.

Strange, nothing’s happening…

Dogs can teach you a lot about copywriting

These lovable rogues are my dogs – Jerry and Scooby.

As all dog owners will understand, they love to test my patience every time we go for a walk.

Jerry (the Springer Spaniel) is 11 now and slightly hard of hearing. Therefore, the commands he obeys are the ones he hears – and that’s not many.

Scooby (the Chocolate Labrador) on the other hand is only 5. He can hear and see me perfectly well, but that doesn’t mean he’ll always do as he’s told.

You see, Scooby has a condition known as ‘Intelligent Disobedience’. In other words, he’ll only do what I want him to do if there’s something in it for him.

The fields around us are littered with rather unpleasant dead rabbits (myxomatosis seems to be rife this year). There is nothing Scooby loves more than to find these rabbits and either play or attempt to eat them (dogs will be dogs).

If I tell him ‘no’ in a stern tone, his thought process goes something like this:

Hmmm, she wants me to put this rabbit down. But I found it so it’s mine. She’s not going to run across this ploughed field after me so, no, I’m not going to put it down.

A prime example of his Intelligent Disobedience – he’s thought about the command, decided there’s nothing it for him and therefore chooses to ignore me.

However, if I shout ‘no’ as I place my hand in my jacket pocket – the one he knows contains his favourite doggy treats – this is more likely to be his response:

I don’t want to put my rabbit down. Hang on, her hand’s in her pocket…hmmm, do I want a smelly rabbit or one of those delicious treats she buys me. No contest, goodbye rabbit – I’m coming mum!!

This time, even though Scooby didn’t really want to put his rabbit down he knew that if he did he would be rewarded with his favourite treat.

What on earth does this have to do with copywriting?

You are probably beginning to think I’ve finally lost it.

Bear with me, all will become clear.

Let’s go back to the copy we talked about at the start of this blog. Something’s wrong because it’s not converting readers into customers. Your readers are displaying their Intelligent Disobedience.

The most likely cause is that you haven’t written it for your reader. Everything you write must be aimed at your customers. It has to tell them what they want to know, not what you think they ought to know.

In a nutshell that means writing about the benefits of your product or service.

For example, if you were writing about a sofa and told your reader it comes in 6 colours, seats 3 people and has wooden casters, the most likely reaction would be ‘so what?’ That could relate to any sofa, you haven’t given them any good reasons to buy yours, therefore they have made the decision not to buy.

But if you told them:

  • It’s made of hand stitched fine Italian leather
  • It’s the latest design, so this is your chance to be the first to own such a luxurious piece of furniture
  • It will transform any room, creating an air of chic luxury
  • The same sofa is currently gracing no less than 3 movie star homes

Your reader is more likely to think ‘yes, I must have that sofa!’


Well, the first scenario simply tells them what the sofa is and doesn’t offer them anything in return for their investment.

Yes, I know, they will get the sofa – but’s that all.

In the second scenario, you are not only selling a sofa, you’re also selling a life style. Basically, it’s telling your reader that not only will they get the sofa, they’ll also own the latest design, a piece of furniture that will create an air of luxurious chic in their home, in fact a movie star life style!

An extreme example I grant you, but it serves as an illustration of how selling the benefits of your product will make your reader decided to buy.

Over to you

If you want to avoid Intelligent Disobedience in your customers, always make sure your copy sells the benefits of your products or services.

That means concentrating on what your product/service will do for your customer. Whether it’s aesthetic like the above example or more tangible (i.e. saving them money etc.), your customers will want to know what’s in it for them if they buy from you.

How do you sell the benefits of your product/service? Have you come up with any innovative techniques that really work? If so, leave a comment below and share them with us.

Landing Pages – Keeping them Focused

Landing pages are a great way of creating a web page that is totally focused on one thing – buying, signing up for a newsletter, or collecting email addresses in return for free reports.

The key word in the paragraph above is focus – so the content of your landing page will be dependent on what you’re trying to achieve.

So, as an example we’ll look at…

Landing pages for freebies

Offering free reports or white papers is a great way to build your marketing list.

If you want to capture email addresses, you have to give people something (of value) in return. Information is the cheapest option and, let’s face it, people love to get free advice.

So, how do you make sure your landing page remains focused on its task – getting people to enter their email address in a capture box in return for your report/white paper?

1. Above the fold

I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before. Above the fold basically means keeping all your important information in your readers’ immediate eye line.

After landing on your page, they are unlikely to want to start reading reams of text, scrolling down until they find out what they need to know.

Therefore, it is important all the vital information is above the fold, including your opt-in (data capture) box.

2. Don’t confuse

Your landing page has one reason for existing, and that’s to grab hold of your readers’ email address. If you add unnecessary navigation and links to your page, you run the risk of them wandering off before they’ve signed up for your report.

All you need is a single page, without links, directing them to enter their email address into a box. That’s it, nothing else.

3. Benefits

Simply adding the title of your report/white paper next to your sign up box isn’t going to convince anyone to enter their email address.

Add some short, benefits-led copy above the fold. List the benefits in a bulleted list to show them, quickly, why they should sign up.

4. Quick!

If you give your reader time to think, they’ll probably wander off without signing up. Tell them the offer is limited to a certain time period. If they don’t sign up straight away they’ll miss out on this vital information.

5. Make it scanable

People don’t have time to read every word you write, so use white space, bulleted lists and sub headings to make it is easy for them to find the information they want. A graphic pointing the way to the sign up box is also a great idea.

Landing pages are great if they remain focused on the task in hand. Giving your readers too much choice is like showing them the door. Tell them what you want and make it easy for them to comply, without distraction.

Over to you

Do you use landing pages in your marketing? If so, leave a comment below and tell us your experiences and what you’ve found works.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter, blogger and social media addict

Briar Copywriting


F: www.facebook.com/freelancecopywriting

Why You Should Offer a Guarantee

When it comes to deciding whether to offer a guarantee or not, most people’s thought process goes something like this…

If I offer a guarantee, loads of people will use it as a way of getting their money back, which will cost me a fortune.

In truth, yes some will take advantage, but it will be a very small percentage.

But offering a guarantee (especially a no quibble money back one) will offer you far more benefits that not offering one.

The advantages of a guarantee

There are so many internet scams about people have grown very suspicious of online retailers. They want to be sure their money is exchanged for quality goods that will meet their expectations.

When they buy from the High Street, they have their receipt and the ability to return to the same store should something go wrong. But on the internet, they aren’t afforded that luxury and many companies make it difficult for the customer to get in touch with them when they experience a problem.

By offering a guarantee you will:

  • Remove one of the many barriers to purchase. If someone can see you offer a money back guarantee, they know that if they are dissatisfied they can get their money back.


  • Build trust – it won’t make someone trust you unreservedly, but it will certainly help to build trust. It shows you are a genuine company that wants to give them great value.


  • Stand out from the competition so if they are torn between your product and one of your competitor’s, but they don’t offer a guarantee, they’ll more than likely go with you.


  • Increase your focus on quality. It’s only natural that you won’t want to have to deal with complaints or demands for refunds, so you’ll be even more focused on making your product the best it can be.


Why you should offer a guarantee

In a nutshell, you should offer a guarantee because:

  • You could gain sales
  • You’ll build trusting relationships with your customers
  • You’ll be seen as a ‘good’ business

Above it, it won’t cost you anything to do.

At the end of the day, you are in business to provide your customers with the best product you can. If they are dissatisfied, it means you have failed to do this. So by offering a guarantee you will ensure you do everything in your power to be the best you can be.

Over to you

What’s been your experience?

Do you offer a guarantee or did you decide not to?

Leave a comment and share your feelings.

Understanding Copywriting – Who Are You Writing For?

Increase sales with professional copywritingWhen I was growing up, the most annoying thing anyone could say to me was “Ah, but you wouldn’t understand.

As if anything was going to be so difficult I couldn’t even grasp the basics.

Admittedly, had it been something along the lines of Quantum Physics, I doubt I would have understood. But the most irritating thing about that sentence was the assumption that I wouldn’t understand.

Surely, if they explained it clear enough I would.

Where’s this going? Well, copywriting is a funny thing. It involves a skill we all have – the ability to write – and yet, it is something few people can do well.

That’s not to say that if you hired me to write your website copy or brochure copy, I would immediately turn round and tell you that you can’t write the content because you don’t have the relevant skills and that’s why you need me.

If I did, you’d probably show me the door.

So why would you hire me?

Copywriters add value and a whole new perspective

You and I have one major difference (OK, probably more than one, but for this blog post I’m only going to talk about this particular one).

You know your company inside out and I don’t.

Believe it or not, that gives me an advantage.

As a professional copywriter, I add value to your team because I can look at your business and its products/services from your customers’ point of view.

Let me explain.

You already know your products/services and think they are best thing on the market (if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be selling them). You would, without doubt buy them yourself. Therefore, you think all your customers think the same way and would also buy them – why wouldn’t they?

I look at your products from your customers’ view point.  In fact, I become your customer.

From that perspective I can discover the true benefits of your offering. They are not to be confused with their features. Your customers don’t really care how many colours they come in, they want to know how they will:

  • Improve their lives
  • Save them money
  • Save them time
  • Make them more desirable…

By stepping into your customers’ shoes, I see your products as they do. That means, you have to convince me to buy – and I’m not easily convinced.

By throwing every buying objection possible at you, eventually we’ll drill down to the golden benefits that will make your customers say yes.

I will admit that this won’t work on everyone. Customers will constantly hurl buying objections at you. Plus, when it comes down to it, not everyone will want or need your product.

But by placing your customers at the heart of all your marketing materials, you will maximise your sales opportunities.

Over to you

If you normally write your own sales copy, try a copywriter next time.  Compare the results you get and discover why customer-focused sales copy is so important.

Perhaps you’ve already done this and seen an improvement in your conversion rates?

Leave a comment below and share your experiences.

How to Improve Your Website’s Conversion Rate

Does your website work?

Do you get regular traffic?

Are you getting regular leads from your website?

When, at a networking event, I asked those three questions to a businessman and website owner, this was his response:

“I don’t have an ecommerce website, so that doesn’t apply to me. I have a website because everyone expects me to have one. It’s not as if businesses like mine sell through their website – that’s impossible.”

Unfortunately, thinking like that, he’s never likely to sell through his website. And if he isn’t getting any leads from it that would suggest his website is poorly built and poorly written.

An easy-to-use structure and well-written site will boost your conversion rate (assuming your SEO strategy is targeting the correct keywords). But there is another factor that is often ignored – the speed at which your website loads.

A slow loading website could lose you 7% of your potential conversions

According to a recent post on Bryan Eisenberg’s blog, a 1 second delay in your download speed could result in:

  • 7% fewer conversions
  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction

There are several factors that can affect your load speed, for example image size, social media buttons or the size of your website.

The optimum download time is under two seconds (this will help improve your rankings significantly). So how do you get your site to load faster?

  1. Check your speed

If you don’t monitor your speed, you won’t know how well you are performing. Use tools such as Google Analytics to help you with this. Bryan also suggests a couple of his favourite tools: The Web Page Speed Report, Yahoo’s YSlow plugin, Google’s Page Speed plug-in, Loads In and WebPagetest.

There are others available but this will get you started.

Remember for every button and image you add to your website, you’ll be increasing the time it takes for your website to load.

  1. Coding

This one is for your web designer to look at for you. The coding of your site (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) can also have an effect on download speeds, so it’s best to chat to your designer about what can be done to tweak it.

  1. Images

Images and graphics look great on websites. They can be used to illustrate your products or they can make your text more impactful. But the more you use, the higher your load time.

Condensing your images, using the right format for the right task and reducing the overall number will help.

Why you need to know this

If you have a website, you would have invested heavily in it. Therefore, why would you not expect to see a return on that investment?

A website isn’t an online brochure. It is a powerful sales tool. Available 24/7, it offers potential customers a means to get to understand your company and what you can do for them.

Every businesses website should sell. It should bring in leads – in essence, it should be your 24 hour sales team.

If you’re not getting leads from your site ask yourself why not? Review the structure, content, load time, keywords and analytics.

A business with a website that isn’t performing is like a High Street store that keeps its door locked all the time.

Review your website today and make sure it’s working for you.