When Michael Masterson – best-selling author, business consultant, and entrepreneur – gives copywriting advice, I listen.
At a recent AWAI conference, Michael outlined 7 core direct marketing techniques that should be used in every package. I would suggest these be used for web pages as well:
1 – BIG IDEA – a timely and relevant idea that drives the page. Your pages should have one clear message, and not try to say everything to everyone.
2 – RECIPROCATION – Every communication you have with a prospect should contain something of value to them. A bit of trivia, a relevant fact, or an interesting statistic can establish that you’re worthy of their time. Stories are valuable too; even your About Page can include a “lesson” story about something you learned in your journey that can help others.
3 – STORIES – Stories ignite emotions. They don’t need to be long-winded to get the point across. Don’t elaborate, don’t comment…just tell the story and let your reader interpret for themselves.
4 – BENEFITS – I see a lot of sites that have lists of “Services” or “Skills” without corresponding benefits. Sure, most prospects will have a general idea of how “Fast Turnaround” can help, but make it bigger: “Fast Turnaround…so you won’t have to worry about meeting deadlines.” Every page of your site will have facts about you and what you do. Benefits help readers how all of that helps them.
5 – CONSISTENCY – Robert Cialdini describes this far more eloquently in his book The Psychology of Persuasion, but the key is that people tend to stand by their decisions, so that once they’ve agreed to accept / buy / buy into something, they’ll fight to justify it so as to remain consistent with their rationale. If you can get “buy in” from your prospect early on, by immediately nailing their problem or communicating their needs, they’ll stick it out with you.
6 – PROOF – Back up every claim you make. Use testimonials, case studies, data, authority, a rating system, even, when all else fails, logic.
7 – SCARCITY – Of time (“For 2 days only!”), product (“We only have 12 left…”), or savings (“Price goes up at midnight.”) Always give a reason for limiting availability, and stay consistent with your deadlines.
You can use these in website copy, DM, brochures, emails, even cold calls.
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