You’ve determined the advantages you offer your customers, but how do you turn a list of advantages into appealing web copy which converts visitors into customers?
Just recently I wrote a short article explaining how to determine the advantages you offer your clients (http://www.divinewrite.com/benefits.htm). That article challenged company owner and marketing managers to think in regards to benefits rather than functions when writing their web copy.
What the article didn’t go over was how to really compose the web copy once they had actually recognized their advantages. That’s what this short article is about. (It even offers you a number of templates you can use to make your task a great deal easier!).
As a website copywriter, much of the tasks I undertake are totally new websites. The customer has some general concepts about what they ‘d like to communicate, but they need somebody who can tweak their message, and create web copy (and a web structure) which engages their readers. As a result, throughout the years I’ve developed a process for doing this efficiently. There are 4 primary steps:.
1) Identify benefits.
2) Identify how you deliver these advantages.
3) Prioritise your advantages.
4) Write the content.
Although this short article discuss step 1, it’s primarily about steps 2, 3, and 4.
STEP 1– IDENTIFY YOUR BENEFITS.
Branding aside, most websites have to do with selling. Clients don’t wish to know what you can do; they need to know what you can do for THEM. That means the very first question you should ask is, “What advantages do I offer my customers?” This is generally the primary step toward recognizing the key message to be communicated.
That’s not to state that your site should not explain your products and services. You simply require to make sure it explains them in regards to benefits to your consumer.
However advantages identification is outside the scope of this post. If you ‘d like to find out more about how to engage your customer with advantages, go to http://www.divinewrite.com/benefits.htm.
STEP 2– IDENTIFY HOW YOU DELIVER THESE BENEFITS.
Of course, you can’t just claim to provide benefits and stop at that. You need to support that claim. On your site, you’re going to require to convince your audience that you in fact do provide these benefits. Anyone can say they provide benefits, but few can state it persuasively.
From step 1 you’ll have a list of advantages. Now you need to think of how you provide each advantage because list. This is where you begin discussing features– cost, product highlights, circulation channel, rival weak points, external factors, USPs, and so on. It’s valuable if you prepare a table with one column for advantages and one for the features which provide those benefits. (Click http://www.divinewrite.com/downloads/benefitsfeatures.doc to download an example Benefits-Features table– 20KB.).
You’ll probably discover this procedure a lot easier than recognizing advantages. In fact, you’ve most likely got the majority of this details written down already … somewhere. If not, possibilities are you discovered a good portion of it when you were brainstorming for advantages.
TIP: If you’re having trouble recognizing supporting features, prior to submitting the table, attempt noting whatever you can think of which associates with what you do and how you do it. Don’t stress over the order. Just braindump onto a paper, a white boards, a Word file, anywhere … Don’t leave anything out, even if it seems unimportant. (You ‘d marvel how crucial even the most insignificant details can end up being when you begin assigning them to benefits.) If you start getting lost, reflect to the question you’re attempting to address: How do you deliver your list of benefits to your customer? Once you’ve done your braindump, checked out it and decide which particular benefit each feature delivers.
STEP 3– PRIORITISE YOUR BENEFITS.
Now that you’ve determined all the important things you COULD state, it’s time to find out what you SHOULD state and where you need to say it. This is where your benefits-features table enters play. Read through your list of benefits and prioritise them according to how compelling they will be to your reader.
The reason for this? Concern determines prominence. The most compelling advantages will need to be popular on your website.
SUGGESTION: Be conscious that your list may include some benefits which everybody in your business classification could claim. To put it simply, they’re not just specific to your business, but apply to the kind of service you offer. For instance, if you offer a Content Management System (CMS) for site production, you might list “Greater control for marketing managers” and “Less expenditure upgrading content” as benefits. Every CMS vendor could claim these advantages, so you’ll need to question their significance. Will they separate you from your competitors. Generic advantages can be beneficial if none of your rivals are utilizing them, or if you feel you require to inform your market a bit prior to launching into company-specific advantages.
STEP 4– WRITE YOUR CONTENT.
So now you understand what you ‘d like to say, it’s time to decide how to say it. This is about three things:.
i) Subject– What is the subject of your website; functions or advantages?
ii) Structure– How do you structure your website such that your clients will read your most compelling benefits?
iii) Words– What words should you utilize to finest engage your audience (and the search engines)?
The rest of this short article is committed to Subject and Structure. For additional conversation of Words, see http://www.divinewrite.com/webwriting.htm and http://www.divinewrite.com/seocopy.htm).
What is the subject of your website; features or advantages? The answer to this question lies in audience recognition. If your audience understands a bit about the kind of services or product you’re offering, lead with features (e.g. processor speed, turn-around time, uptime, know-how, educational certifications, broad product variety, and so on). But make sure you talk about their benefits, and ensure the features offering the most important benefits are the most popular.
Here’s a simplified example …
” Cool Widgets offers:.
— Standard Operating Environment– Significantly lowering the complexity of your IT infrastructure.
— System upgrades which are less costly to certify– Providing exceptional TCO reductions”.
In cases where you’re offering to an audience who understands extremely little about your product and services, lead with advantages (e.g. if you’re selling something technical to a non-technical audience).
Here’s the very same simplified example, reversed for a novice audience …
” Cool Widgets offers:.
— Reduced complexity of IT facilities– We can implement a Standard Operating Environment for your organisation.
— Reduced TCO– We can update your IT to systems which are less expensive to accredit”.
How do you structure your site such that your customers will make sure to read your most compelling benefits? The answer is, keep it short ‘n sweet. And make it scannable. This doesn’t indicate you have to cut features or advantages. You just have to structure your website to accommodate your message.
While every site is various, as a rule of thumb it’s an excellent concept to introduce your main features and advantages on your home page. Summarise them– ideally using bullet points, but at the very least, clearly highlight them so that your audience can scan-read (e.g. vibrant, highlight, colour, link).
Then link from each summarised function or advantage to a comprehensive description. Attempt to keep each page to approximately 200-400 words. You may need a number of pages to information all your functions and benefits. (Click http://www.divinewrite.com/downloads/pagestructure.doc to download a page structure design template– 29KB.).
SUGGESTION: In cases where you require to present features and advantages which are generic to your field (instead of specific to your offering), your home page is usually the best place to do it. From there, you can result in a 2nd page summing up the particular features and advantages of your offering.
Web copy is about much more than simply creative words. It’s necessary that you identify the benefits you offer your customer, and that you can encourage your client you in fact provide those advantages.
I hope that the assistance and tools provided in this short article will help you on your method to engaging web copy which converts to sales.
It’s practical if you draw up a table with one column for advantages and one for the functions which deliver those benefits. When you’ve done your braindump, checked out through it and decide which specific benefit each function provides.
Generic advantages can be beneficial if none of your rivals are using them, or if you feel you require to educate your market a bit prior to introducing into company-specific benefits.
Make sure you talk about their advantages, and make sure the functions offering the most essential benefits are the most popular.
You might require a number of pages to information all your features and advantages.