Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. -- Warren Buffett
Is your USP finished? Super! That means, you have accomplished the following...
• figured out your Most Wanted Response (MWR)
• built a detailed thumbnail sketch of your ideal customer
• have a good sense of the key parts of an effective Web site. And that means that you know...
• how to start your site (with the focus on theme-based content, of course!)
• how to end your site (where you generate income through your selection of appropriate monetizing models)
And you know to apply all this to your customer who is firmly sketched in your mind. Like anything else, preparation is 90% of any job. That goes double for Netwriting!
The sales copy advice in The Netwriting Masters Course goes beyond writing copy for your Web site. It's for all of your online communications... e-mails, newsletters, free offers, advertisements, contests, online stores, etc., etc.
However, no matter which approach you use to begin the relationship with your visitor, you can only cement it once you have grabbed her attention first, in a direct one-on-one interaction.
For example, what good is creating an e-mail signature file (sig file) if the recipient deletes your message right away?
A sig file is a powerful and free advertisement. With an appealing signature file, every single person you communicate with will read about your business. Its job is to persuade your reader to click through to your Web site. Make it visible with just the right amount of words that are subtle and persuasive. Your sig file lets the reader know why you are unique.
But, to continue with this example, the subject of your e-mail must first get its job done. the recipient opens the e-mail.
Joe Robson, a professional copywriter who co-authored Make Your Words Sell! (http://myws.sitesell.com/) describes the Net as a bustling crowded street, full of a million shouting, honking, blaring distractions. Somehow, as a vendor, you have to find a way to flag your surfing visitor so that she will slow down long enough to read what you are saying. Note what was just said.
"Slow down," not "stop." That's another part of the Net challenge.
Once you catch her eye, your words (i.e., your content) have to increase interest enough that the visitor stays to learn more info. At that point, you take possession of the screen... temporarily.
So what type of flag do you need? Something extravagant? Something noisy? Something colorful? Something cutting-edge? The answer is no to all four.
Pretend, for a second, you are on Joe's crowded street. What could someone say that would make you turn around and stop? "Nothing," you think? What if the person said your name, just loud enough for you to hear? Of course you'd turn around! Why? Because you just heard something that was important to you. something that connected.
Your Opening Headline on your Web site, pure and simple, is that flag. Your sales copy must open with the same attention-getting power as calling your name on a crowded street. There is only one way to do that... with your USP.
Oh-oh. Look sharp. Here comes your ideal customer now, hitting your site. Look at her. She doesn't automatically stop to read. She scans, looking for "relevance" clues. She quickly breezes through your "Opening Headline". if it does not click, her mouse does!...
However, if your Opening Headline does get her attention, then the whole picture changes. She'll slow down enough to read the Subheadings and your Opening Paragraph. And if there's enough there, she'll continue on and read the whole accompanying message, right to the part where you generate income... as long as you keep delivering benefits that help her.
Your headline will grab eyeballs only if it has emotional appeal and offers your USP. No logic is involved. It has to answer this question in the reader's mind... "What's in it for me?" (This is such an important part of PREselling and selling effectively that it is worth repeating over and over again!)
So pull out that benefits list, your USP and your thumbnail sketch of your ideal customer. This is where your foundation work pays off.
Create your top headline. It must contain your USP. It understands your ideal customer's mindset. That's the only way your message will get "heard" on the busy Net street and shift those speeding, scanning eyes into lower gear. pulling them into your sales copy.
Now, turn more of your benefits into "lower level headlines." You don't have to be fancy or clever. Just write benefit-laden headlines that are aimed at your ideal customer. Put lots of effort into this. Don't be satisfied with a pair. Write ten. Take a look at your Opening Headline and ten Subheadings. Order them so that they "tell the story" that you want to tell. If you need one or two more Subheadings to fill in the blanks, add them.
Your Opening Headline and Subheadings accomplish several important functions...
1) They pull the reader deeper and deeper to your sales page.
2) They divide your information into small, digestible chunks.
3) They create the structure, "the story," around which you'll add your Body Sales Copy.
4) The final Subheading is especially important since it leads to the MWR and your monetization model.
As you see, you'll die or fly according to how your Opening Headline and Subheadings perform. So they must be perfect. It's all part of creating a great content site. So. create, refine and polish.
Then repeat. It's not finished until you share it to a friend for a "test read." If she asks to buy, you're ready! ©
Make Your Words Sell! http://myws.sitesell.com/ elaborates on writing irresistible sales copy. If you are finding this course of value, MYWS! is "graduate level."
Make your Opening Headline the best "flag" possible. A positive start makes all the difference when you interact with your reader.
A negative start is almost impossible to overcome.
OK! From this point forward, your challenge is twofold...
• build your reader's interest as you flesh out your "subheadings site" with sales copy
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