Over the next couple of months, you’ll probably notice I’m putting a distinct focus on writing heart-based sales pages that click, connect, and convert. (Why? Because a LOT of folks are telling me that’s something they struggle with!)
Before we talk about sales-page specific suggestions though, I’d like to start with some general copy basics. And first up, I want to give you a few simple tips to make your copy – sales page or otherwise – more engaging for your readers.
Why? Because successful copy always starts with reader engagement!
Just like you, your readers are busy people. If they can’t easily see how what you’ve written is relevant to them, they’re not going to invest their time and energy in reading it.
In the short term, that means they probably won’t ever make it to the point in your copy where you ask them to take action. It also means you lose your chance to build any kind of relationship with them.
And if you started your business to make a difference in people’s lives? That’s going to put a serious damper on your ability to do it.
The answer to this question is the subject of many a marketing guru’s webinar and training programme. (Full disclosure: I might end up creating one on the topic myself at some point.)
In the meantime, though, I figured I’d share my top 5 tips – the ones that are simplest and quickest to implement – with you.
Here they are…
When I’m creating copy for my clients, I ask them to imagine their words are guiding readers on a journey.
I ask them to visualise the copy compassionately, respectfully taking their readers by the hand. And then I ask them to imagine it guiding those readers from wherever they are now, to wherever they most want to be.
Ideally, the route from here to there will be smooth and straight, seamlessly heading in a single direction. It shouldn’t ever backtrack over ground that’s already been covered, or dart out for vaguely interesting side trips that have nothing to do with the destination.
And it definitely shouldn’t lurch suddenly from one waypoint to another with no obvious path linking the two!
If you can see your copy as this kind of journey, you’ll go a long way towards keeping your reader with you every step of the way.
I mentioned above that your readers are busy people. That means it’s essential to let them know up front exactly WHY they should read your copy.
You need to make sure you address that why in your first paragraph – and ideally in your heading and first subheading too. See how I did that in my first subhead in this post?
As you’re talking about the “why”, ask yourself:
And once you know the answers, weave them into your copy.
When I say “meet your readers where they are”, I mean it in two ways:
Why do you need to actively acknowledge these things? Well, if you don’t, it’s too easy for your reader to assume that whatever you offer just won’t work for them.
Seriously: you can have all the testimonials in the world… but if your reader can’t see that you know where they’re starting out? They’re not going to believe that you can get them to where they want to go.
Instead, they’re likely to default to assuming that you can’t help them. Other people, maybe – but not them.
This is something I harp on about, because it’s right at the foundation of copy that connects with your reader.
Think about it. If someone consistently uses terms around you that you don’t understand or that make you grit your teeth, how connected do you feel with them? How seen, understood and valued do you feel?
And how much do you trust the person using them to actually be able to help you?
Not much at all really?
Well, believe me: your readers feel exactly the same way.
Finally, remember that people rarely actually read what you’ve written word for word – or not initially, anyway. Instead, they skim in a characteristic “F” pattern.
That means they start by skimming along the top line, then down the left hand side of your page. Every now and then, their eyes dart out – usually in response to subheadings, bullets or links.
Basically: they’re doing what the heat-map below – generated using eye-tracking studies of how people read onscreen – shows.
To remind yourself of how to write, format and structure for F-pattern readers, check out my FREE Make Your Web Page Crystal Clear guide.
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