Website Copywriting Podcast: How to Write Direct Response Website Content Without Appearing “Tacky”

Despite being one of the most efficient, cost effective and intelligent marketing weapons,direct response marketing (aka DR) has an image problem. It’s usually associated with junk mail, infomercials, and ads for nasty porcelain figurines in the back of the TV guide.

However, the principles of DR can be applied widely and it doesn’t have to be “tacky” or “low rent”. Knowledge of DR is particularly important for internet marketers as the web is the most interactive and responsive of all marketing environments.

DR is all about getting people to take action. And that’s also the goal of your website e.g. click here, download this report, sign up for our newsletter, read this, buy now, etc.

Last month Will Swayne from Marketing Results invited me to join him on a podcast to discuss how to apply the principles of DR copywriting to websites.

Listen in and you’ll discover how to write direct response website copy without appearing “tacky”. Those hype-y, looooooooooong scrolling sales letter-style websites are obvious examples of online DR copywriting (which some may consider tacky), but there are also many other useful applications.

3 Super-Effective, Low-Cost Marketing Weapons

MarketingWeapons1With the economy slowing it’s a great time to rev up your marketing. But you need to get the most bang for your marketing buck.

Here are three super-effective and low-cost marketing weapons to help you attract new clients in tough times:

1. A written marketing plan

Far too many businesses don’t have even a basic marketing plan written down. It only costs you time and is the most important marketing asset you’ll ever have.

A marketing plan is like a roadmap to your success. It shows you where you want to go and how you’ll get there.

The mere act of writing your plan down increases your chances of succeeding substantially. Research varies, but many experts believe writing down a goal increases the chances of achieving it by 15 to 30 per cent.

Don’t worry, a marketing plan shouldn’t be long and complex. In his book, Guerrilla Marketing, marketing guru Jay Conrad Levinson explains how to write an effective seven-sentence marketing plan on a single sheet of paper.

2. A “mini brochure” business card

If someone from your target market found your business card on a table somewhere would they instantly know what you do and why they should give you a call? They would if you turned your business card into a mini brochure.

Print your standard contact details on one side of the card. On the other side you can put your elevator pitch, a list of your services, the top three benefits of working with you, one or two juicy testimonials or a special offer.

Printing on the reverse only costs a few cents per card. How many new customers do you need to justify this expense?

3. A customer-focussed website

If you met someone at a party and then talked only about yourself and how wonderful you are, how long would that relationship last? Probably as long as it takes for your new “friend” to excuse themselves and make their escape.

Yet most websites are the online equivalent of a self-centred party bore. Many business websites focus on their label (I’m a graphic designer, tax accountant, landscape architect…), their process, or their credentials.

The hard truth is no one really cares about what you do, how you do it, or even how well you do it.

What your prospective customers want to know is what you can do for them. They want to know that you feel their pain and can help alleviate it.

A customer-focussed website speaks directly to your prospective customers’ goals, problems, needs, hopes, fears and dreams… and how you can make their life better, easier and/or more prosperous.

You can check your website’s customer focus with this nifty online calculator:

Overhauling your website content won’t cost you money, only time.

4. Over-delivering

Businesses should always look for ways to over-deliver. Like this article for example: three low-cost marketing assets promised, four delivered.

Over-delivering doesn’t cost you a cent, but it’s one of the best ways to build customer loyalty and stimulate word of mouth. Start with finishing jobs before the deadline, returning phone calls and email more promptly, and sharing more of your expertise via articles, e-books and/or free consultations.

Why Copywriting is “Invisible Writing”

Copywriters don’t write literature. They write copy. The goal of copy isn’t to get readers to stop and read. The goal is to persuade buyers that a product or service is worth buying.

Copywriters are often fantastic writers; however, they have to remain invisible in order to get the message across. Ultimately, copywriting is never about the writer.

So how does a copywriter achieve that? A recent post on the Freelance Copywriter’s Blog tackles the topic succinctly, offering excellent tips on writing top-notch copy.

Get it here: Invisible Writing – The Art of the Copywriter

Think Before You Redesign!

Just like clothes and hairstyles, website design can go stale. If your website was designed back when Levi’s Engineered Jeans were the freshest thing in fashion, it might be time for a redesign.

But while a site makeover is always a nice ego boost, it may not lead to improved results… unless you look beyond just the look and feel. This short video illustrates why it pays to think about what your customers want from your website before you redesign: