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If Your Web site Sales seems Dead - then Here's a surprise!

By John Alexander

How are your online sales doing lately? 
Have you read articles recently that talk about how the old-fashioned online sales letter is dead? 

The good news is that sales copy is not dead at all so be careful to which voices you listen to on the Web. 

If your online sales are in a slump, don't just give up on your Web based business just yet. These days if your current sales letter may feel like it is dead, it may not currently be doing the job you intended, but that don't mean you are beyond bringing it back to life in a bigger and livelier fashion than ever before.

Sometimes tiny little changes can make a big difference.

One of the biggest problems that people have is understanding and dealing with change. 
The sales letter of years ago usually tended to be a long-winded page that went on and on for ever. These primarily worked in their day for specific audiences based on the fact that there was loads of information. I remember seeing one particular sales letter that was 9,000 words long.

What do you do if your Web site sales are in a slump? 

Here are 10 quick and easy tips to apply to any sales letter that should help it along:

1.  The power of Surprise!

One of the biggest things you can do is to re-write your copy in a way that will "surprise" your visitors. Catching your visitors by surprise (in a good way) separates you from everyone else out there. It can be not only refreshing but often by adding in a twist with a difference, it can be enough to improve visitor response. Far too many people tend to spend their time trying to re-create what their competition is doing. Better yet, you lead the way and do something different than everyone else is doing.

2.  Writing sales copy as opposed to writing dialogue.

Are you really writing a sales letter or should you be writing dialogue that "speaks to the reader" the way you would speak to your friends? Consider writing more like the broadcasters do "for voice." Read your Web copy that you have right now. Is it loaded with marketing type hype and multi-syllable corporate lingo? 

If so, clean it up. You would never talk this way to your friends, right? Next time you listen to the radio, take note of how a professional broadcaster will project personality into their spoken word. It is more than just their voice, it is also in the way their copy is written for voice.

3.  Spend time working on your headline.

How well does your headline speak to the reader? What is it saying? Is it talking about the services you offer or is it actually describing the benefits of owning, possessing or using your product or service? Far to many people are talking about themselves rather than clearly dialoguing about those benefits. 

4.  Using the power of emotional content

When creating your sales copy, another good thing to keep in mind is the power of emotional content. Focus on the emotion you want your readers to have as a result of their experience on your Web page. Write towards delivering the right kind of emotion. Many people make their buying decisions when they "feel good" or "positive" about what they read. 

5.  Ramp up towards one huge, killer benefit in your list.  

As you describe your benefits, build some momentum towards the one major big benefit. Most people never have nearly enough benefits in their list, but try and build up to the one MAJOR deal that you think will be the topper and work it in as the closing statement using natural dialogue.

Example: "Now once you download your e-book, flip over to page 85 to discover how you can get 12 months of support at no extra charge for 1 full year." This type of dialogue practically paints a picture in your mind of you opening a book and literally getting the extra bonus information by turning to a certain page.

6.  Define your benefits using something other than everyday, overused jargon. 

For example instead of saying "free shipping" you could do the following.....

Normal price $24.95
Special Sale $16.50 which includes delivery right to your front door!

7.  How well does the tone of your sales copy read? 

Ideally you want it to flow without any stumbling points. 
An easy way to check this is to read your copy out loud. 

8.  Did you know that people care about your opinion?

Write to your readers, but include your own perspective. Did you know that people care about your opinion and actually want your perspective on an issue or about a product. Most good sales copy will offer something original and something more than just the same old routine. Include additional original information such as your own review of the product or even a benefits matrix so the reader can compare how your product measures up to similar other products on the market.

9. Using Audio Testimonials still works well.

The power of the spoken testimonial through audio often adds an extra emotional element that the written testimonial can not capture. Have you tried an audio streaming service like to stream your testimonials? 

It comes with a Toll Free 1-800 number you can use to add testimonials to your Web site at the click of a button. The service works great even over slow connections and gives you an easy way to let your customers leave their comments. 

10. Getting started.

Similar to my advice to new SEO students who are just building their SEO skills, the same important advice applies here to working with your sales copy.  While you are reading these tips, why not actually go to your sales copy page and actually get started today

Don't wait. Don't put it off until later but the sooner you get started making some changes and testing those changes, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits. One of the biggest errors made today by some folks is not so much in the mechanics of good writing. It seems the challenge for many is the simple act of getting started right now, today.   

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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles, author of the very first comprehensive online search engine marketing courses. John is author of an e-book called Wordtracker Magic and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John's articles can be read in publications like REALTOR Magazine, Search Engine Guide, WEBpro News and many others.  

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